The Very Best Family Ski Deal: Hyatt Place Keystone

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I’ve long talked about using hotel points to stay on or near a ski mountain in the winter since location matters a ton on a ski trip and paid ski season rates can be insane. A few months ago, a new near-mountain points-friendly hotel opened up at my very favorite ski resort for families, Keystone. The Hyatt Place Keystone in Colorado is a Category 4 Hyatt where you can use the Category 1 – 4 Hyatt awards you earn each year with the Hyatt Credit Card, or you can use just 15,000 points per night. This is a great value compared to ski season cash rates that can be $300+ during peak times. There is a $25 resort fee at this property, but when staying on points at any Hyatt you avoid paying resort fees.

 

The Hyatt Place Keystone caught my eye the second it was announced not only because of the fair award pricing and near-mountain location, but because you get a whole host of Keystone extras when you stay there, including free lift tickets for those 12 and under. I didn’t want to wait a whole other ski season to check out this hotel and its family-friendly inclusions, so I recently met a friend in Colorado for a one-night-only mountain getaway so we could check it out (and have some fun).

Inside the Hyatt Place Keystone

After driving towards Keystone on I-70 for a couple of hours from Denver thanks to a trusty new Audi Q5 SUV from Silvercar, and a few harrowing moments over Loveland Pass (I don’t really recommend doing that in heavy snow), we arrived at the Hyatt Place Keystone and parked in one of their free parking spots behind the hotel.

The Hyatt Place Keystone is located in a building that used to be known as the Inn at Keystone and then underwent a big renovation before reopening in late 2017 as the 103-room Hyatt Place. The lobby and bar area look fresh and weren’t overly crowded during our mid-March weekday visit.

Check-in was fast and efficient, though unlike some other Mommy Points readers I have heard from, there was no complimentary Globalist suite upgrade to one of the 15 suites to be had on this day. We were assigned a two-queen room on the 4th floor with a mountain view. Our standard room was around 300 square feet and perfectly fine on a short stay for two people, but for a family of four, it may start to feel a little cramped after a while.

I did like that they found room for a couch in the room in addition to the two queen beds so your crew could spread out a bit. The room didn’t have a defined corner area for the couch the way you will find in some Hyatt Place properties, but it was otherwise a pretty standard Hyatt Place room with clean, comfortable beds and mountain themed photos.

While we did not get an upgraded room in terms of space, our sunrise mountain view wasn’t shabby!

The bathroom had one sink with plenty of counter space and a stand-up shower that did not look like it got too much attention during the renovation. The bathroom wasn’t fancy, but other than the issue of lacking a bathtub, it would do the trick for a family ski trip if stayed organized since the sink, shower, and toilet are all in one room. Note that the larger suites do have two bathrooms.

Hyatt Place is playing around with a terrible idea of eliminating free breakfast, but at least for now, the breakfast at this Hyatt Place is complimentary allowing your family to fill up on a hot breakfast for free before hitting the slopes.

Being real, this Hyatt Place breakfast isn’t amazing and would get old after a couple of days, but it is hot, fast, and free – the perfect combo before making your first runs on the slopes. Note that plain old coffee is free, but if you want a fancier drink from their espresso machine, that will cost you a few dollars.

The Hyatt Place Keystone has a small business center where you can print your boarding passes, there are lockers available for your ski gear, and you can find multiple hot tubs on various levels of the hotel.

When you stay here, you also have access to the Keystone Lodge and Spa’s fitness center, pool, and hot tub. We didn’t use any of those amenities and opted to just leave our rented ski gear in the car overnight so we could drive to and from the base of the mountain each day. If that isn’t a good option for you there is a free Keystone shuttle bus to the lifts and around the resort.

Location of Hyatt Place Keystone

While we didn’t use the shuttle on our one-night stay, let’s talk a little bit more about the location of the Hyatt Place Keystone. You can catch the resort shuttle bus right out front of the hotel and use it to take you pretty much anywhere within Keystone, but you could theoretically also choose to walk to the mountain in the morning if you were heading up from the Mountain House base. It is probably further than I would want to walk with kids and ski gear, but it is technically doable at about 1/3 of a mile from the door to lifts.

We were uploading from River Run, so we parked in the free Keystone parking there and walked a short distance through their village area. The red Keystone wagons make lugging your ski gear so easy!

Free kid lift tickets and night skiing at Hyatt Place Keystone

The Hyatt Place Keystone is a solid mid-range hotel option for you to use points to be close to the mountain, but really the hotel is even better than that since staying there gets you many other awesome extras. First, having your kids 12 and under ski free when you stay at least two nights is really an outstanding offer, and I did confirm that award reservations are eligible. A one-day child’s lift ticket at Keystone costs around $72 – $92 per day per kid, but by staying here you can totally avoid that expense!

In addition to free kid lift tickets, your group also all gets free night skiing on the day of arrival. Adult night skiing tickets were selling for about $80 per person during our visit, but we got them 100% for free! Night skiing ran from 4PM  – 8PM, and on our mid-March visit after the time change, the sun was still up at 7PM when we called it quits to head to dinner. It was “night skiing: without it actually being dark or cold, which was a ton of fun, and a great value at $0.00.

Staying at the Hyatt Place Keystone also gets you one hour of tennis court rental, one yoga or fitness class per registered guest, free ice skating on Keystone Lake, 20% off of ice skating rentals, and admission to the Keystone Nordic Center. During the summer, you can get nine holes of golf after 4PM on your day of arrival, a guided mountain hike, and a gondola lift ticket for those 12 and under.

Keystone Kidtopia

For a family, that is literally hundreds of dollars worth of quality inclusions at a place where you can stay just using your Hyatt points or Chase Ultimate Reward points transferred to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. Having used points at a wide variety of ski-friendly hotels, I feel confident saying that the Hyatt Place Keystone offers the very best deal out there for skiing families who like to use their points.

Hyatt Place Keystone

While I’m not sure exactly when our next trip to Keystone will happen, I am 100% confident that our family will make regular use of the Hyatt Place Keystone in the coming years for the location, value, and of course the free skiing inclusions.

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Comments

  1. Great post!

    We are currently there but alas, one of my kids came down with altitude sickness, which is more common than you think (based on our visit to the medical center — right next to the hotel).

    The Hyatt is a great deal and our paid rate of $192 was excellent as well and we did get upgraded to a suite (one king and a pullout sofa).

    • Michael, yuck. I battled an altitude headache, but thankfully it was manageable. I loved the oxygen treatment room at the St. Regis Aspen for that very reason. Sorry to hear about your little one. Congrats on the suite upgrade!

    • Hey, i was just in that medical center last week! Only it was because I broke my wrist on the bumps in North Peak. Now I gotta take it easy for a couple of weeks until I can get back on the hill 😉

  2. As a big ski fan with lots of little children in my family and friends circle, I really appreciate your coverage of using points for ski vacations. More so as the cost of US ski vacations is so high as to make it possibly cheaper for American families to fly to say Sweden and go for a week-long ski vacation for a fraction of the cost of skiing in a major ski resort in the Rockies.

    • The cost is insane and the percentage of Americans who ski is very low, but I think there are ways to make it doable and I’m more than happy to spread the word. It is such a good family outdoor activity that can be available for middle-class families if you are willing to learn ways to make it cheaper. Hyatt Place Keystone is the easiest way to make it happen!

  3. I’d just like to caution everyone 2 things (having just stayed there last weekend). PARKING IS EXTREMELY LIMITED. While they do indeed offer complimentary valet, it’s a pain to wait on your car for every little thing. This hotel isn’t close to the “main” base, so you’ll really want your car on hand…unless you have kids who are literately just learning to ski, then it’s not a bad walk.

    2nd item: those red wagons are supposed to be used only if you’re transporting little kids as well. Don’t just use them for ski equipment…there are only so many and those wagons, and those of us with little kids have a VERY hard time when we’re depending on using those wagons and can’t find them.

    • Good point on parking – it didn’t seem like there were a ton of spots so I wasn’t sure where the cars go when things are busier. Red wagons were in easy supply on our trip, but you would think they could just buy more if there is such a shortage. Along those lines, why doesn’t every ski resort have these – they are amazing!

      • Sounds to me like you were able to visit mid-week. Lucky you. I agree, more ski areas should have them (cough, Copper/Winter, cough)…but Keystone is the only one outwardly friendly to families w/ young kids. Probably a marketing scheme due to how they usually don’t get great snow compared to other Colorado resorts.

        • It was midweek – allegedly during a ‘spring break week’, but it did not seem like a busy spring break week at all to me. Keystone is indeed the most ‘family centric’ resort we have visited.

    • Yes, plan to write about the 18-19 passes this week. Short answer is leaning towards Snowmass and Copper at least, but we’ll see.

  4. Great article and thank you for the focus on families. Question if you have some thoughts: Would this be a good option to go in the summer – we love hiking, taking the gondola up to the top of a mountain and walking down; just relaxing and enjoy cooler weather than we would have here in Texas in say late July.

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