Colorado Summers at Beaver Creek Mountain

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I started writing this while sitting at the Denver International Airport on my way back to NYC. Did you know they have free Wifi? I know. Awesome.

I spent the past few days in Beaver Creek Mountain Resort, my first time in Colorado during the warmer months. They have a saying here: “People come for the winter, but stay for the summers” and after this week I totally understand why.

For as lovely as my winter experiences have been here (where I visited Keystone Mountain), the summers top that a million times over for me.

As you drive up the mountain (about a 2.5 hour drive from Denver), all you see is green, where months before was a snowy paradise. The ice has turned into rapid waters rushing down the sides of the mountains, creating little creeks that run through the valley. The smell of conifers fills the air and wild life that is often dormant during the winter months are out and about foraging for food.

When I arrived to Beaver Creek Mountain, the very first impression I got was how family-friendly it is. Right outside my balcony window, from the Park Hyatt Hotel, I could hear and see kids and their parents playing, swimming, and really just enjoying their time together. The only thing more enjoyable than that for me were the mountain views. The first few days were cloudy, cool, and rainy, but coming from super hot and humid NYC, this was welcoming to me.

Things to Do in the Summer

I’m not a huge skier, and though I have enjoyed other winter activities here, the list of things to do in the summer, especially for families, seems to be endless. Horseback riding, biking, fishing, camping, golfing, white water rafting, canoeing, and hiking are just a few.

You wouldn’t think this city girl would be into all of that, but you’d be mistaken. I was all over it!

During my time there I participated in two tours: The Off Road Jeep Tours and a Hiking Tour.

The off road jeep tour required that I take the lift up to our meeting spot which was a nice change from doing so in cold, winter weather and, because I was alone, it also felt peaceful and the sights from up there were just gorgeous. The ride is at times bumpy, but our guide was great and I learned tons about the resort, its beginnings, as well as the various activities in the mountain at any weather. I saw deers, rabbits, and a fox which was pretty exciting, and well, the views are just incredible, even on a cloudy day like the one we had.

The hiking tour was my absolute favorite. Our guide was incredible in giving us pointers to make the hike easier on our bodies and more enjoyable. It was about a 3 hour hike, but even for someone like myself who had never done something so focused, I felt it to be an enjoyable experience. Our group was small and included myself, a mother and her young adult daughter. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable in not only the area’s history, but also in the forest life that surrounded us.

There were moments when we stopped to either look at the deer, drink water, or just catch our breath, and instead I would feel myself in a loss for words to truly describe the incredible feeling of being surrounded by so much natural beauty. It affected me so, that I can’t wait to go back and do another hike. Definitely a highlight for me.

Hotel Options

There are several lodging options that can accommodate most budgets and any size family. I stayed at two, both in the Beaver Creek Village, which is convenient because the hotels were all within walking distance from shops and restaurants, as well as activity centers, such as the Adventure Center and the Kids Camp. Guests also have easy access to the ski lifts and ski in/ski out spots.

The Park Hyatt Resort & Spa is a high-end, luxury resort which provides the highest level of convenience to Beaver Creek Village Guests. With picturesque mountain views and the family-friendly feel of the location, it is no surprise why so many families enjoy it there.

Guests also have easy access to the main plaza, as well as on-site ski/snowboard rental, ski valet and Camp Hyatt for the kids. Just steps from the gondola, it also offers ski in/ski out flexibility.

I couldn’t get over the beautiful sunrises from my room’s windows and the service here was top notch as well, every where I went.

Also on site is the 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill, just one of their dining options. Definitely a must try, with my favorite dishes being their Beef Tenderloin Martini (with vodka, olive, and martini). No, it’s not a drink, but it definitely I wouldn’t mind getting totally wasted on this dish if that were possible. It is THAT good. The ribeye (I opted out of the “fat tire onion rings and chose spinach instead) also a great choice here. I didn’t have their breakfast, but I was told by several people that it is equally delish.

Also on site at the Park Hyatt is the Allegria Spa. What can I say about this spa experience other than I felt like I had step out of this world and into some heavenly paradise.

Before their treatment, guests are welcomed to pre-pamper themselves in the spa’s complimentary Aqua Sanitas. It is what they call a water sanctuary involving a series of hydrotherapy steps (5 in total) to relax and rejuvenate even before your spa session has started! This, in combination with one of the best massages I have had in a long time resulted in my walking out of my massage session room with tears of joy in my eyes. Literally.

My second lodging option was the Osprey at Beaver Creek. I loved the feel of this hotel. It’s smaller then the first and thus offers guest a more intimate, cozier experience. In addition to a wonderful array of room selections, ranging from single beds to two-story suites (of which there are only 4 and they go pretty fast!), this hotel also offers ski in/ski out options, easy access to the gondolas, an a fitness center, pool, and meeting services.

I really liked that a lot of the details I have so enjoyed from Rock Resorts in the past were evident here as well, such as the warm colors and comfortable, yet sophisticated design, as well as the glass water bottles in every room, which are in place to help reduce the usage of plastic bottles and further push to the forefront the company’s commitment to environmental efforts.

It also hosts an in-house tapas restaurant, featuring the cuisine of Executive Chef Michael Wilganowski. The tapas are really creative and boast a bit of a flair for the more refined flavors I enjoy, while still presenting itself in a casual manner, welcoming of good times with friends over drinks and a great food experience.

Weddings

Of course with so many great food, lodging, and activities and entertainment options, while surrounded by so much natural beauty, it is no surprise that Beaver Creek would also be a top wedding destination.

Both the Park Hyatt and The Osprey offer easy access to the interfaith Chapel at Beaver Creek, as well as an easy gondola ride over to the area’s newest ceremony destination, The Beaver Creek Wedding Deck. Words will never do this sight justice, so here’s a video of what I saw:

Absolutely stunning.

But to be honest, the entire trip was. From watching the sunset from the balcony at Park Hyatt; to enjoying tapas at the Osprey while the bell at the Chapel at Beaver Creek rang; to loosing my breath at the sheer beauty of the alpine forest during my adventure hike; to watching rain clouds hover over a town nearby while standing at the mountain tops during my jeep tour; to enjoy the sights of a cool rain storm while dining at Toscanini; to enjoying the cool breeze that comes along with a slow sunset while eating sushi at Foxnut Sushi on my last night there – it was really an experience to remember.

And yet, what would make me come back would be the family-friendliness of it all, something I truly hope they continue to foster and highlight for traveling families, and the incredible service everywhere I went.

Yes, warmer months in the Colorado mountains are beautiful enough to convince any person to stay, or at least come back for more each year.

For more images of my visit to Beaver Creak, please visit my Flickr page:

Disclaimer: Individual travel and accommodations were provided courtesy of Beaver Creek Mountain for the purpose of this review. The views and opinions expressed here are strictly my own. For more information please refer to the disclosure page.

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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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4 Responses to Colorado Summers at Beaver Creek Mountain

  1. Wow, what beautiful photos. Makes me want to go there!

  2. This is really such beautiful photos of such a very very awesome place. I am sure proud to be in Colorado. This post just showed loveliness that needed to be spread all through other places.

  3. Glen @ ICe Castle says:

    Have a Happy New Year and a Prosperous 2012 ahead.

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