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Being able to use points during ski season to stay at great hotels with fantastic mountain-side locations is, in my opinion, one of the best uses of miles and points out there. I am biased since I love the mountains, snow, skiing, snowboarding, and almost everything that goes along with it, but there’s no question that skiing can make for a great family vacation. I’ve stayed at a few hotels on points on or near ski areas, and have several more already lined up. I’ve stayed at some great spots, but thus far my favorite overall has to be Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.
If you have never been, Beaver Creek is located near Vail in Colorado. It is about a two hour drive from Denver, or about a 30 minute drive from Vail Eagle airport. I far prefer to fly into Vail than drive from Denver, but have done both. It is a great ski community with many shops, restaurants, and activities (like ice skating) within walking distance from the hotel. For those things you can’t walk to, you can take the free village shuttle that is always just a phone call away.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Needed Renovations
I have stayed at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek before, and had a fantastic stay. You can check out my review of the room and of the additional amenities in those previous posts. My only gripe about the property at the time was that it really was looking ready for a renovation. Not only is it a Park Hyatt, but it is a Park Hyatt that demands high cash rates, and is currently the only Category 7 Hyatt in the United States. This means it is more points than any other Hyatt currently in the country, so it should look nice! The décor at the time was quaint, which was okay for a slope-side hotel with a lodge feel, but in the rooms it was quaint that needed to be modernized.
The common areas were nice then, and remain nice now. I love the large lounging area in the lobby with the views of the mountain!
Toward the later half of 2013, I noticed that the hotel was scheduled to be closed for about a month in October – November 2013 for renovations. Closing a whole property for renovations isn’t unheard of, but it isn’t overly common either. I was immediately intrigued as to what the hotel I already loved had in store once it got a bit of a facelift. There was only one sure-fire way to find out, so I booked a stay for January in the middle of ski season at the old points rate of 22,000 points per night. This way I could check out the renovations, and sneak in some time on the mountain.
The New Room:
As you can see in the photo below, the old room décor wasn’t the best when we visited last year.
However, they have done a really good job in modernizing the look, carpet, furniture, wallpaper, etc. while still maintaining some of the ski lodge feel via the wood doors and closets.
The bed was very comfortable, and the chair and ottoman were still a little mix and match, but in a good way.
The carpet, wallpaper, and accessories were now all up-to-date and made the room feel nicer. It was not over-the-top decorations that felt out of place on the mountain, but it was just the right amount of luxury meets lodge.
The bathroom seemed so appear pretty much the same as before, but it didn’t seem to need as much attention in the first place. I don’t normally comment on such minor things, but the towels here are insanely soft and cozy!
The real highlight of my rooms here has always been the view, and that remains unchanged. This particular room had a village view, which was great for my short stay. It overlooked the ice rink which stays lit up until pretty late in the evening. If you are very sensitive to noise, it also stays a little noisy with music and laughter until about 9 or 10 at night.
Another great thing about this property that has thankfully remained unchanged is the Hyatt Diamond Breakfast benefit. This property is very generous with their breakfast, and allows you to have it in their restaurant, as a “grab and go” from the café, or via room service with all fees included. You can order whatever you wish and it will magically disappear from the bill. This is both wildly enjoyable, and amazingly helpful when trying to get a family ready for the slopes in the morning. Room service begins at 6AM in the morning, so you have more than enough time before the lifts open at 8:30AM.
This time I ordered one of their juices that contained all sorts of fruits and other goodies such as ginger, some yogurt, coffee, and a scrambled egg. I didn’t have to pick between item A or item B because it was all included. Their delicious breakfast plus a great view out of the balcony makes for the perfect way to start a morning.
I will add that on both of my stays here, I have had to ask at check-out for the small amount that remained on my bill for breakfast to be removed. They are very clear at check-in that Diamonds are exempt from any fees associated with room service breakfast, but something in the system has posted a small charge each time that they have happily removed when asked.
Service and Ski Valet:
The very high level of service was consistent on this stay, just like the last. The staff here will do virtually anything to make you happy, and ensure your stay comfortable. On a ski trip, having them available to help with my skis or snowboard is fantastic. They will take the board as soon as you arrive, send it to the shop for a tune up and wax if needed (at an extra charge from the shop will be charged to your room), and have it sent to the ski valets out back where it will be ready for you in the morning.
At check-out you can leave your boots and board with the ski valets who will help get it packed back up and waiting up front with the bellman for when you leave. It is a very seamless process that is very helpful. There is no additional charge (beyond the resort fee) for the ski valet services, just be sure to have some tip money for all these helpful folks.
You Can Do it Too:
During ski season, this property can easily run $500 – $700+ per night for a base King Alpine room once you factor in the resort fee and taxes. The prices are much, much lower during the off-season. However, if you are like me and want to stay here because it is literally steps from some of the lifts and spitting distance to ski school, then ski season is when you want to use points to stay here. This property just became a Category 7 hotel so will cost 30,000 Hyatt points per night or $300 + 15,000 points per night with the new cash and points chart. If you don’t have enough points sitting around in your Hyatt Gold Passport account, you can transfer them in 1:1 from Chase Ultimate Rewards via cards like Ink Plus® Business Card, Ink Bold® Business Card, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Remember that when you use points, you not only avoid paying the high room rate, but you also avoid the taxes and $35 per night resort fee. With cash and points you will have to pay taxes and the resort fee. Also of note is that this hotel is one of a handful of Hyatts that do not allow Diamond Confirmed Suite upgrades to be used for their suites.
I absolutely love this property for ski trips. The service, Diamond breakfast, and location are top notch. Even with the higher category this property has moved into, I will be back. Being able to walk a few feet and be at ski school, on the lifts, or at dinner is just almost priceless…or in this case 30,000 points per night. The renovations were well done, and make the room look and fee much better. If you have been here before, let me know what you think of the renovations or the property in general!