About two years ago I signed up for my first rewards card that charged a fee and because we spend a lot of our disposable income on travel, I chose the Ritz Carlton Rewards card. It earns me 5 points for every dollar I spend at any Ritz or Marriott hotel and 2 points for every dollar on other hotels and on all airfare. It also pays for global entry or TSA pre-check fees, it reimburses you for checked bag fees or upgrade fees up to $300 per year, it covers additional insurance on car rentals, its gives me automatic gold status at Ritz and Marriott brand hotels and it gives me three free upgrades a year to club level at any Ritz Carlton hotel.
So, it was an easy choice to stay at the Ritz Carlton near Beaver Creek and I used one of my free club level upgrades since I was traveling alone and I knew I could eat and drink for nothing during my stay. Club levels at the Ritz get you 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and heavy hors d’oeuvres at dinner) plus light mid-day snacks and a dessert display in the evening. You can also have wine, beer or cocktails whenever you like at no extra cost. When I travel alone, I don’t usually feel like sitting down for a 3 course meal by myself at a restaurant so having the option to graze at my leisure was an added bonus.
I was booked into a club level king room, which is basically the exact same as the regular king room except you are on the club level, which is typically located on a higher floor to take advantage of the views. My room was lovely and I especially enjoyed the huge soaking tub and the balcony with a view to the mountains behind the hotel.
I didn’t spend too much time in the common areas of the hotel because I was either out and about or I was in the club level but they had a beautiful lobby with very high ceilings. The hotel definitely had that “mountain lodge” feel with lots of natural wood and stone, big wooden beams and an upscale cabin-like interior and exterior.
Service at the hotel was impeccable, as usual, and the staff were very kind everywhere I went. I never needed to use the concierge service but they were always busy helping someone set up a special dinner or activity. In the area during the summer, you can go hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, ziplining or go on any number of scenic drives.
My only complaint, which is not the hotel’s fault and may be a huge plus depending on your viewpoint, is the number of young children at the hotel. I was not aware that this is a VERY family-friendly hotel during the summer months. I probably should have guessed that given school was still out and the proximity to Denver but it never crossed my mind. So, I never used the pool area because it was crawling with kids and pretty much anywhere I went in the hotel, including the club level, there were crying or screaming kids. I don’t dislike children at all but it did get annoying especially since I was there for peace and quiet. There was one couple with two toddlers that were always in the club lounge and their two kids were perpetually throwing very loud, screaming temper tantrums. They seemed to care less how much it was ruining the club experience for everyone else there. I guess there is always one. At any rate, the club level concierge told me that starting in September, it’s much more adult-oriented and to simply avoid major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break. Duly noted.
Finally, my favorite part of the hotel was their amazing spa. I spent almost every afternoon here soaking away in the jacuzzi and using their steam room and cold plunge for my aching muscles. They have separate men and women’s area but there is also a shared jacuzzi area so you can hang out with your spouse as well. I also got a hot stone massage on my 2nd day in the late afternoon, which was lovely. You’re not supposed to take photos inside but I manage to sneak one when I was alone. The best part was no children under the age of 16 are allowed in the spa so it was always peaceful and relaxing.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at the hotel and would love to return during the fall when the trees are showing their autumnal colors and the kiddos are back in school. I didn’t eat at any of their restaurants but they were popular for dinner and lunch and given the high quality of goodies at the club level, I imagine the food is excellent everywhere. It definitely caters to a hoity-toity clientele but there is ample opportunity to get down and dirty on the hike and bike trails that are right outside the hotel’s back door. Plus, the higher elevation made for such beautiful views everywhere you looked. Definitely a great stay in my book!