Little C’s Journey to See Snow Trip Overview

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I just got back this week from one of my favorite family vacations we have taken so far.  My husband, my toddler, and I flew from Houston to Denver and then drove about two hours West to Beaver Creek.  We spent one night at the Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas and two nights at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek.  While the trip had some ups and downs, it overall was simply fantastic.  Seeing my daughter play in snow was just magical.  I plan to share as much about our experience as possible, so I will be doing a little mini-series that will be broken down into several different posts.  Here is what I have planned so far:

Booking the Flights

Trip Overview and Planning (this post)

Traveling to and From Colorado with a Two-Year-Old (including the lounges, the flights, the rental car, the gear, and more…..)

Review of The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas

Review of The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

Review of the Westin Beaver Creek Resort Amenities (spa, pool, restaurant, and more)

Winter Activities with a Two Year Old (including dog sledding!)

Deciding to Stay an Extra Day While on Vacation

What Happens When Your Whole Family Misses Their Flight

I may add/change some of these topics as I work my way through this trip, but those are the general topics I hope to cover.

Trip Overview:

We planned this trip a few months out when we got in on a pretty good deal on airfare.  I grew up going skiing in Colorado almost every year, and really want Colorado to be a big part of my daughter’s life as well.  Two years old is really too young to start skiing, but we figured it was the perfect age to experience snow.  We also planned it to coincide with my birthday so that we could all celebrate as a family doing something memorable together.

This is a picture that we would virtually never be able to replicate if we didn’t travel together as a family.  Since we wanted to stay at a nice hotel during ski season, it was no surprise that rates were a bit pricey.  The Westin we stayed at was going for about $450 per night while we were there.  However, since I still had a pretty good amount of SPG points from when I signed up for the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex, we were able to spend very little cash on the actual hotel reservations.  We were able to book the first night at the Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas for 16,000 SPG points.  We then booked the second night at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa for 4800 SPG points + $90.  We weren’t able to find award availability at either hotel for both nights, but I decided that it would actually by helpful for reviewing purposes to try out both.  We ended up extending our stay at the Westin Resort and Spa for one additional night for 12,000 SPG points (they unfortunately didn’t have any additional cash and points availability for the second night).

In total we spent 32,800 SPG points and $90 to reserve our rooms for the three day stay.  For me, that is a lot of SPG points to spend at once, but given how high the rates were that weekend, we got about $0.038 value for each point redeemed.  That is why I think SPG points are the most valuable points out there right now.  There is not a chance in the world we would have been able to pay the going rate of $1350 for our three night stay and experience all the things we got to experience while there.

In case you are unfamiliar with this hotel complex, it is basically two hotels together that share one set of amenities.  The Villas are a SPG timeshare property that has an assortment of junior suites and one-bedroom suites that they rent out to SPG customers when not in use by timeshare owners.  The Resort and Spa is a traditional SPG Westin hotel.  The two buildings are separate, but they are located very close to one another and share amenities such as the pool, gym, restaurants, etc…

Before going to the resort I really didn’t know which property would be best for our family, but after staying there I definitely know which one would be my first choice when we return.  That being said, they really are both great properties, and an individual family’s travel preferences will dictate which one is best for them.  I hope to share enough information about both to help you make an informed decision if you plan to visit Avon, Colorado, in the future.  We were enjoying ourselves so much while we were there that we impulsively decided to stay one extra night!  Boy was that an expensive decision…..

Let me know if there is anything in particular you want me to make sure to cover in this series of post.  I look forward to sharing a review of the villas tomorrow!


Disclosure:  I do receive a commission if you are approved for the SPG Amex using my link.  I also happen to personally think that the SPG Amex is absolutely fantastic.  As always, thanks for your support.  

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. We actually stayed at both properties in January of 2012 and 2011. Did the timeshare presentation each year for a total of 18,000 SPG points. Villas- Enjoyed the full kitchen in the villas plus the points and cash was only $60 and we did not pay a resort fee or parking charges. however the walk to the spa deterred us from using it regularly. Hotel- Paid $90 for cash and points, $25 for parking, $20 resort fee. To save money on breakfast we went grocery shopping at city market. We thought ice cream sounded good so bought some, little did we know that the mini fridge in our room had no freezer and putting it out on the balcony just wasnt cold enough.Received $10 coupons towards the restaurant for each day that we forego housekeeping. Cima has amazing $5 apres ski appetizers. Hotel locations is so much better for using steam room and whirlpool. Nice path along river for walking and enjoyed half frozen river scenery

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