As the I-70 weekend brigade thins out past Winter Park, Keystone, Breckenridge and Vail, Beaver Creek Resort’s distance from Denver quickly becomes one of its strengths. Its terrain has challenges for beginners and experts alike, and the lack of lift lines compared to its closer cousins is a refreshing change of pace. As hotel locations go, there isn’t a better spot in the area than Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa. Situated just feet from two different ski lifts and adjacent to the main village, the chateau-style property is a self-sufficient escape into the luxury mountain lifestyle. 

ARRIVAL

Knowing that Park Hyatt Beaver Creek sits right by the slopes, anticipation builds on the drive up Village Road as the mountain comes further into focus. Upon rounding the corner on Offerson Road, the resort’s stone marquee and tree-lined entrance channels guests into an inviting roundabout tucked below the four-story hotel. The personable staff quickly unloads luggage and equipment while making you feel warmly welcomed in the chilly high-altitude air at 8,100 feet.

Upon entering the Park Hyatt, the lobby’s pillars and decorative molding made of knotty pine catch the eye, as does the view of the lift area straight through the floor-to-ceiling windows on the opposite side. After checking in at the front desk with friendly attendants, the walk to the elevators provides guests a snapshot of Antler Hall, the resort’s grand lobby adorned with a hardwood ceiling, antler chandelier, stone fireplace and comfortable couches next to a full bar. This is where the après ski scene heats up with live music during the heart of the season. Next to Antler Hall is the entrance to 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill, with its contemporary décor consisting of an open kitchen, swanky bar area serving Colorado microbrews and natural wood fireplace. The menu consists of local, natural and organic dishes, most notably the succulent bison meatball sliders.

Once through the lobby area, one of the conversational bell attendants greets you at the elevators where he will shuttle luggage to the room and provide an overview of the facility, including the ski valet, Allegria Spa and daily s’mores by the outdoor firepit from 4 to 5 p.m.

THE ROOM

The hotel's 190 rooms range from 400 to 600 square feet, with anything from doubles and kings to suites. All rooms include plush pillow-top mattresses and signature spa amenities, as well as state-of-the-art air purification systems. The latter is part of a six-step process to reduce airborne particles and minimize the presence of potential irritants for allergy sufferers.

Slopeside king accommodations are an excellent choice for skiers, with balconies overlooking the base of Beaver Creek as well as the circular fire pit and courtyard. Some also hover over the heated pool and five hot tubs featuring a small mountain waterfall. The carpeted rooms are 400 square feet with hardwood doors and trim. Amenities include a Keurig coffee-maker, flatscreen televisions, hidden mini-fridge, lounge chairs, work desk and a signature Hyatt Grand Bed fitted with soft linens and down duvet.

Bathrooms are on the small side, but are outfitted with tile floors, marble countertops and dual sinks. Lighting is excellent in front of the large hardwood-trim mirror. The resort’s own Allegria Spa provides custom lotions, shampoos and conditioners.

In-room technology matches the standard for today’s ski hotels, with an iPod-docking alarm clock, safe, HDTV and Wi-Fi included in the resort fee. Recycling bins are provided as part of Park Hyatt’s sustainability efforts, which will soon be expanded to include a composting program. 

*Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is pet-friendly and offers food and water bowls as well as a plush doggie bed to guests who request them. The concierge or front desk can recommend pet day-care options in nearby Avon for those not interested in letting their companions roam free while on the mountain. A $50 one-time fee is assessed to the bill.

SKIER AMENITIES

If the Buckaroo Express gondola was any closer, it’d be in the hotel. This gives the resort’s ski valet among the best set-ups in town—a mere 30 feet from the lift. The valet’s seamless scan-code tracking system has actually been adopted by several other properties in Beaver Creek because of its efficiency. It starts with the bell staff unloading your gear at arrival, where they shuttle it to the valet with heated boot racks. Those renting skis can do so through Gorsuch, located on property, where rentals and returns are carried out with staff assistance, thus eliminating the hassle of long lines and wait times. Park Hyatt will transport skis to the valet area so guests don’t have to touch their equipment until they hit the snow.

Travelers, especially those from out of state, are encouraged to call the concierge prior to arrival to make any necessary shipping arrangements for gear, as well as submit other personalized requests. Once suited up, most skiers will head directly to Buckaroo Express for a quick warm-up run down Hay Meadow and on to Centennial Express for access to more diverse terrain.

Upon returning, a selection of sport massages and revitalization therapies are available at Allegria Spa, located adjacent to the ski valet. Family-friendly programs like Aprés Getaway and Camp Hyatt allow parents to relax at the spa from 1 to 3 p.m. or 3 to 5 p.m. while their children, ages 5 through 12, engage in a variety of winter-themed activities. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Friendly service combined with an ideal location for both the town and mountain make the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek a top choice for skiers, especially families. From a full-service ski valet to day-time programs for children to fireside s’mores in the evenings, guests are charmed from arrival to departure for a home-away-from-home retreat. Add in a lively après ski scene and world-class spa facilities featuring an Aqua Sanitas Water Sanctuary, and there’s little reason to leave the property outside of hitting the slopes. It’s no wonder repeat business accounts for a significant chunk of the property’s visitors every year.