Where to stay in Beaver Creek? Well – unusually for an American ski resort – you’ve got a choice three separate bed based: Beaver Creek Village (the main focus of shops, restaurants, hotels and condos), Bachelor Gulch (home to vast billionaires’ ski pads and the Ritz Carlton hotel), and Arrowhead Village (more private houses and condos). Each is linked by fast chair-lift into the ski area.
There’s also a new link down into the town of Avon, where there’s a Westin resort and spa. But there’s not much ski resort atmosphere down there, so if you can afford it we’d recommend either Bachelor Gulch or Beaver Creek Village.
The Ritz Carlton is a luxurious cocoon a long way from ski school
If you and your family already know how to ski – or have the budget for private ski instructors, Consider the Ritz-Carlton at Bachelor Gulch. It wraps round the bottom of the ski area at Bachelor Gulf and is like a small village in its own right. It also boasts a magnificent spa and a branch of Wolfgang Puck’s famous Spago restaurant, which serves top-notch food in sleek metropolitan surroundings – slightly at odds, in fact, with the conservative style of the rest of the hotel. Rooms are sumptuous: for the full effect, stay on the Club Level, where free food and drink flows all day.
A big bonus for less confident skiers is that the easiest slopes on the mountain are right on your door step. Even wobbly second-week skiers will feel fabulous here.
However, it’s worth remembering that Bachelor Gulch is a one-horse town – there’s not much there apart from the Ritz-Carlton. Ski school is up at Beaver Creek Village and so are most of the bars and restaurants. You could find yourself shuttling up there a lot in the evenings in search of some variety.
The hotel also charges a bizarre daily Resort Fee for “services” such as wifi and entry to the spa. Hello? Luxury hotels are expensive because they offer great facilities as well as a great location – and if you’re already paying heavily to stay there, extra charges are a bit of an insult.
Beaver Creek Village is compact and convenient
This is the hub of the resort – but to get the full benefit you need to stay in a property that fronts onto the slopes. The Park Hyatt has one of the best locations – next to the ski school meeting point, and facing the slopes. It also has a highly-rated spa. Feedback is overwhelmingly positive, but there have been a few comments lately about the decor and beds needing an update. The hotel also charges an annoying Resort Fee (see the Bachelor Gulch, above).
Nearby, The Osprey is a smaller upmarket property but one that’s had a top-to-bottom makeover, and has won top spot in a recent Travel + Leisure magazine poll. It’s next to the Strawberry Park lift – so there’s speedy access to the easy skiing above Bachelor Gulch. It’s slightly less convenient for the ski school than the Park Hyatt, but not much. It too has an outdoor heated pool and a good tapas-style restaurant. Again, it charges a Resort Fee for services which – in a luxury hotel – should be free.
About 20% cheaper is the Beaver Creek Lodge, which is a three-minute walk from the slopes, and has a great reputation for service. It doesn’t have its own spa – offering instead shuttles to nearby day spa Spa Struck. Meanwhile, lower down in the village the highly-rated condominiums at Elkhorn Lodge are a canny choice for people who don’t need ski school. It’s a shuttle bus ride (or a long walk) up the ski school meeting point, but the Elkhorn Lift runs from the back door. This gives immediate access to the easy skiing on Bachelor Gulch, or you can ski back down into the village hub for a lift to the tougher stuff.
When you’re researching your accommodation options, always check out the lodging pages at the Beaver Creek website in case there are lift-inclusive specials.