If you’re looking into planning a ski trip this winter with the family, you should definitely consider Beaver Creek Resort in Beaver Creek Mountain, Colorado, as a top option on your list. Known as a village in the mountains that offers the promise of “not exactly roughing it,” it is a place that offers the perfect amount of rustic luxury for any family to travel comfortably and affordably.
From the moment you step into the crisp air with mountains gazing at you from every direction, you will be transported. The views are stunning and the resort is immaculate and perfectly built with ski in/ski out accommodations. But the beauty of the resort is not only that it provides a unique amount of ease for families (everything is close, transportation is free and efficient, there is ample family programming) but also that everyone at the resort loves either visiting, working or living there.
This is the first of my many posts about Beaver Creek. All week I’ll be blogging about the resort so you have all the information you need as you plan your next trip there (because you’ll want to after you read my posts). You can read about it here and on other web sites which I’ll point out. Before I launch into details, I now present my top ten reasons you and your family should choose Beaver Creek as your next family getaway:
1. Beaver Creek Resort was voted the #1 place to ski and stay by Conde Nast Traveler this year calling it “tops for terrain, speedy lifts and apres-ski to the hotel havens that provide to the softest of landings.” It even edged out Whistler Blackcomb, in British Columbia. That came straight from the expert’s mouths.
2. The resort’s mountain is unique in that the harder terrain is at the bottom so more beginners can go to the top. It’s pretty terrific for beginners, especially, young children, riding all the way to the top of the mountain (11,400 feet) to ride down the greens. If you plan your trip in advance, book your Beaver Creek lift tickets online to save a significant amount. It’s usually cheaper within 7 seven days of your visit.
3. The resort is less crowded than Vail, at all times of year, so the lines to the lifts are shorter, the lines in the restaurants are shorter and it’s easy to make reservations for meals. The resort also uses Epic Mix, an app allows you to track your vertical feet, connect with friends, and share photos from your ski vacation.
4. The resort is extremely family-friendly. In addition to ski-school, they offer day care for children 2 months – 6 years old, ice-skating, tubing, sleigh rides, complimentary snow shoe tours one day a week and different activities every day of the week from Christmas to March including disco ice-skating, story-telling, Cookie Time and others that I will be going into more detail about this week.
5. As mentioned above, everyone loves Beaver Creek who visits. Many never leave, as witnessed from my meetings with hotel staff, shuttle drivers, ski instructors, wait staff in restaurants and ski equipment rental staff. The people seem to be on happy drugs, but they’re not. Everyone is just happy to live near good skiing terrain and seem to really, really, really enjoy life. It takes natural high to a whole new level.
6. The shuttle service is free, accessible and easy at all times of day from 7am until it stops its service at midnight. All you do is call the front desk, tell your waiter, or step into designated areas with phone service to call Village Transportation (tel: 970-949-1938) and transportation comes right away. It’s quick, efficient, clean and free (I have to mention that again).
7. There is a wide variety of food in Beaver Creek, and it’s really good. There are top-rated restaurants with prestigious chefs, like the Pines Lodge’s Grouse Mountain Grill, a AAA Four Diamond Award- winning restaurant and a 2011 James Beard Best New Restaurant nominee. Other restaurants worth noting include Toscanini, Coyote Cafe, the Osprey, the Chop House and when you’re skiing, the Spruce Saddle.
8. Accommodations come in every price range and are plentiful and scattered all over the village. You can stay in hotels like the Pines Lodge which offers ski in, ski out and a full-service restaurant or in condos like the Elkhorn Lodge with a full kitchen and multiple bedrooms so you and your children can sleep separately.
9. Ski and snow shoe equipment are easy to rent. Places like Beaver Creek Sports or Beaver Creek Nordic Center make it really simple, and you can can’t beat the customer service. They can also hook you up with group ski lessons, show shoeing tours and private lessons.
10. If you’re not a big skier or you’re going with your family and want to sit some of the skiing out or relax, there are other offerings around town. There are free wine tastings offered on occasion, and there’s the Vilar Performing Arts Center, a 350 seat theater where you can catch a symphony, dance performance or popular band or singer. There are also spas like Spa Struck, located in the Charter Hotel, where you can get a massage, facial or bodywrap (which also comes in handy when your muscles are sore from skiing or snowshoeing).
Check out my Flickr collection below from the trip and stay tuned for my many reports coming down the pipeline this week on Traveling Mom and elsewhere. Believe me, you’ll soon be packing your bags to experience Beaver Creek for yourself.
Disclosure: I visited Beaver Creek to research this article and others and received what was largely a complimentary stay, but all opinions expressed are my own.