If you’re planning a luxury trip to the Colorado Rockies, the accommodations options might initially feel a bit overwhelming. But we’re here to help. Nestled within the exclusive Beaver Creek Mountain community in Avon, Colorado, the 180-room Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is one of the plushest luxury properties in the area. The rustic-chic American resort underwent a $15-million renovation two years ago that created pristine common areas, guest rooms swathed in a soothing palette of pale blues and creams, marble baths and cool new restaurants. From the award-winning Spago to one of the best spas in the country, here are five of the things we love about this posh Colorado retreat.
It’s a fantastic winter and summer escape
Located west of Beaver Creek Village and east of Arrowhead, where it is optimally situated to allow for an incomparable “village-to-village” ski adventure, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is counted among the crème de la crème of luxury ski resorts in the nation. Boasting its own private, high-speed quad chairlift, the ski-in, ski-out experience, right down to the ski concierge who will carry your gear in the snow, is about as good as it gets. Come summer, the property takes off its furry beanie and becomes a destination for those looking to relax in the heart of the beautiful Rockies. Surrounded by lush hills and picture-perfect scenery, you can admire the great outdoors from the privacy of your room, or get closer to nature with trail riding, hiking (ask about the private stargazing journey), whitewater rafting, golf and fly fishing.
It’s a place fit for foodies
You could go off property to visit one of the nearby eateries in Beaver Creek or Vail, but don’t feel obligated to do so. Resort executive sous chef Ben Christopher makes sure you’re taken care of any time of day. Need something to jump start your morning routine? There’s the grab-and-go Espresso Chair 16 for a quick cup of joe and freshly baked pastries. Another option for a leisurely breakfast is the Market Table Buffet at Buffalos, where you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat spread that includes house-made yogurt, seasonal fruit, made-to-order eggs, smoked salmon and the incredible house-made bison sausage. As the name might suggest, Buffalos is also where you’ll want to sample the signature bison burger and lamb throughout the day. Finally, for a stellar evening repast with impeccable service and food to match, plan for drinks at the fabulously chic Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Spago, the only Colorado outpost of Wolfgang Puck’s signature restaurant. There, let chef Jared Montarbo take care of you with a seasonally inspired tasting menu, or order à la carte from choices such as the Colorado lamb loin or the unforgettable grilled tandoori half chicken.
Bachelors Lounge offers cigars and custom-flavored hookah
Picture this: It’s the end of a full day around the resort and you’ve just finished a scrumptious meal at Spago, but your watch says it’s merely 10 p.m. and you aren’t yet ready to retire. Not to worry. Bachelors Lounge’s doors remain open well into the night. Designed to function like a speakeasy while still maintaining the feel of a luxe Western lodge, the lounge has places inside or outside on the covered patio to kick back. Firelight will be flickering. Courteous waitstaff will be on hand to offer everything imaginable to keep warm — blankets, cigars, nibbles and after-hour enticements such as vapor-tinis (a martini made of vapor) and watermelon-flavored hookah.
The spa and grotto are amazing
After a day’s worth of exertion, be it on the slopes in the wintertime or hiking the mountains during the summer, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch’s splendid spa proves the ultimate haven for relaxation. The 21,000-square-foot facility has 19 treatment rooms equipped for customized services such as the Bachelor Gulch Signature Massage, the Vitamin C Rescue Facial and a Wine Down Sugar Scrub that employs a chardonnay sugar scrub and chardonnay body butter. For those seeking wellness, packages such as the Mountain Spring Mornings are also pretty cool; after a 90-minute guided morning hike led by the resort’s on-site ranger, Jackie, you get a private yoga lesson and massage. Hotel guests get complimentary access any time of day to private his-and-hers spa circuits (Swedish sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and cold plunge) and a beautifully appointed relaxation room. To top it all off, the on-site grotto is simply dreamy. Fashioned like a subterranean thermal spring with a gushing waterfall, the space affords you a chance to take a dip in the steamy water or catch a quick catnap on the comfy lounge chairs. There’s just a quality about it that makes you feel like you’ve entered your own secret paradise.
It’s pet- and family-friendly
If you want to vacation with your children, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch has you covered — and it doesn’t much matter if they have two legs or four. Considering the former, The Ritz Kids program offers options to keep the kiddos entertained for a full day, half day or evening with camp-inspired activities and fun events like the Beaver Creek Rodeo. Every evening around dusk, the fire pit out back lights up for s’mores on the patio, a tasty happening that welcomes guests of all ages. As for your other babies, the dog-friendly resort welcomes canines in all the public spaces. Additionally, pets can get pampered upon request with plush doggie beds, in-room doggie massages and guided hikes alongside the property’s resident Bernese Mountain Dog, Belle.