Review: The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

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I’ve been looking forward to this review ever since we stayed at this resort last month.  We had such an amazing time at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa.  In case you have missed some of the beginning information about this trip to take our kiddo to see snow, you can check out these posts:

Booking the Flights

Trip Overview and Planning

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 – this post

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

We were able to book one night at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon, Colorado, using SPG points and cash.  With rooms in the $400 range during ski season, it was an absolute bargain for us to book a weekend night for only $90 plus 4,800 SPG points that we had received from signing up for the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex.  We booked our original room several months out, but we were able to add a second night at this hotel at the last minute for 12,000 SPG points (there weren’t any cash and points deals available at that point).

The week before we arrived at the hotel, I emailed them to see if there were any discounted or complimentary upgrades available for the night we were scheduled to be there.  We were celebrating my birthday, so we were hoping to end up with a nice room for the occasion.  We received a call back and were informed that as a SPG Gold member we would be eligible for a space-available upgrade to a studio suite at check-in (one category above the basic room that we had booked).  However, for an additional $100 they were willing to confirm an upgrade into their one-bedroom suite.  From checking out the website, it was clear that the one-bedroom suite would be well worth $100 extra dollars for the night.

I have to say – the suite did not disappoint.  From the moment we opened the door it felt like home.  A really nice home!

Entry and Kitchen:
As you first walk in there was a place for your coats and boots.  Since this is resort that is located in a ski area, it is pretty much a given that you will be coming in with some gear that you want to take off as soon as you get to the room.  It was so nice to have all of that winter gear in a central location instead of piled all over the room.

There was then a full kitchen with stainless appliances.  This is a huge plus when traveling with a family.  We weren’t really there long enough to bother with cooking, but we sure could have in that kitchen.  We did make good use of the fridge storing some milk and snacks for Little C.

There was also a washer and dryer between the entry way and kitchen.  We actually ran a load of laundry while we were there and it felt like such a luxury to have some clean clothes without leaving the suite.  This would be even more important if our trip had been longer.

Living Room:

The living room/dining area had huge windows everywhere with great views of the mountains.  When it started snowing on the last day we were scheduled to be there, we just stared out the windows at the snow….and decided to stay an extra day.  More on that in a subsequent post.  Seriously though, if you are going to go to the mountains, it makes sense to have a view of the mountains.  We had plenty of windows and a balcony you could go out on and gaze at the scenery.

There was also a gas fireplace that we used quite a bit.  It operated on a timer, so we didn’t have to remember to turn it off on our own.  It just made the room feel so nice and cozy.

There was plenty of space in the living room for our toddler to play without us all feeling claustrophobic.  That alone was worth the extra $100 per night!


The bathroom had a shower, soaking tub, and plenty of counter space.  Bath tubs are essential for happy toddler bath time, so this big tub was a real winner.

I wish the suite had an additional half-bath that wasn’t in the bedroom area so that we could have used the restroom during nap times without risking waking up the sleeping kiddo.  However, otherwise the bathroom was great.

The Bedroom:

The bedroom was a pretty standard Westin bedroom with the Heavenly bed and a mounted flat screen TV.  Even with a toddler between us, we still got pretty good sleep in that bed. It was an upgrade over the much smaller bed we had the night before in the villas.  😉

It was so nice to have the bedroom to put the kiddo down to nap or sleep in while we were able to sneak back into the living room and hang out next to the fireplace.

Overall Impressions:

Loved it.  Loved it.  Loved it.  I would go back in a heartbeat.  The room was so comfortable and really met the needs (and wants) of our family.  I would love to someday stay in a two- or three-bedroom suite at this resort with some of our extended family.  I am so glad that we paid the extra $100/night to upgrade to the one-bedroom suite.  It was well worth it for us.  In the next post in this series I will share the details about all of the amenities that the resort has to offer.  The combo of the resort amenities and the suite firmly place this resort on our “must visit again” list!


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  1. Westin Riverfront goes to category 6 on March 1, 2012 for 20,000/25,000 points.

    Cash & points will be $150 + 8,000 points.

    Hotel looks like it will have about five months of peak season rates in 2012 if follows 2011 pattern.

  2. Wow, great suite upgrade! That’s awesome!

    When you write in advance like that, do you mention your blog or does the hotel have any way to know that you are a blogger? Just curious if that bumps up your chance of an upgrade or their willingness to advance confirm to such an awesome room for only gold status.

  3. Looks nice but as Ric points out going up to a category 6 plus ski season will be all peak season. Not justified IMHO for a ski resort where you have to take a lift over the highway to get to the actual ski resort itself. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek likely nicer. Though the suite looks nice

  4. @Michael, aw thanks. It was a great family style birthday.

    @Ric, I checked that before I posted and I only see the Villas listed as going up – not the resort. Let me know if you see differently. Even on this stay the villas priced out higher at 16,000 pts while the resort was 12,000 due to the peak season issue that the villas had. 😉

    @MW, it was awesome. I have never told a property in advance that I blog nor do I typically reveal where I am staying on my blog in advance just to avoid any possible difference in treatment, so the treatment I received should be the same as everyone else. I just really think the resort is that good. Who knows if the studio would have been available at check-in or not.

    @Phil, I double checked again and I am still just seeing the villas increase. Let me know if I have just gone blind and am missing the resort. To me that makes it a very easy decision about where to stay between the villas and resort if you are redeeming points! Also, we went on MLK weekend and while the villas were pricing out at peak season, the resort was not. I do want to try the Park Hyatt in the future, but taking the gondola didn’t seem like a big deal to us. We rode it tons of time with our daughter, but we didn’t actually ski on this trip, so I can’t give a real review about that.

  5. Interesting point about Resort vs Villas, I was not aware of the distinction. Will have a look into it.

    That said surely you are aware it is a CRIME to go to Beaver Creek in January and not SKI!??!? 🙂

  6. From what I can read on the SPG announcement I think you are 100% right it is only the Villas not the Resort going up to category 6. So looks like this will remain a viable option.

    The $100 a night upgrade looks a great deal too. Cash rates look to be at least $3-400 extra per night over basic room

    I retain my other crime comment though 🙂

  7. Phil, I hear what you are saying about not skiing. 😉 More in an upcoming post on what I made that decision….it was hard because I love skiing and snowboarding! I think a lot of people must have confused the villas and the resort as being one. The resort is the clear winner now with point redemptions (and in my opinion with paid reservations as well).

  8. I had a look into this a little more last night as the pictures of the suite really got me thinking of this place for a ski trip. However after research I am not convinced this is such a great place, at least for us. First off it seems it’s very far from the ski school, which happens to be right outside the Park Hyatt. So you have to take a bus there and back each day to drop off the kids = big waste of time and inconvenience. Then the gondola that goes from this place just goes to the base of Batchelor Gulch and looks like you need to take at least two more lifts before you get anywhere into the real runs. Then coming back looks like you have to take a flat cat trail and then back on the gondola. And frankly don’t even know how we’d get back, go get kids, then go for after ski scool run with kids etc. All this in contrast to say for example the Whistler Westin we stayed at couple of weeks ago. For sure the suite we got was nowhere near as fancy as what you got, but the ski school was basically right outside the front door. So leave room at 8:25am, drop kids off at 8:30am, on main lift to pretty much the peak of Whistler at 8:35am, take real peak lift at 8:50am. I’d guess by same leaving time here it would be like 10am before we started really skiing!

    Also I read through the whole master thread on FT and sounds like this place treats platinums with utter disdain. In addition sounds like housekeeping is poor. To me on a ski vacay this stuff is more important. We are usually so tired at the end of the day (at Whistler we’d ski from before 9am to around 4:30-4:45pm) and all you want is to come back to a clean room. So I’d be really unhappy to be coming back to a half-heartedly clean room

    So while I really like the look of the suite you got, I think in the end any Beaver Creek trip we’d go to Park Hyatt and suffer a smaller room for the sake of a better overall experience

  9. You are correct about the Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, Starwood Vacation Ownership property being the only property to rise to category 6.

    The Westin Riverfront hotel will remain at category 5.

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