Mountain Luxury Family Fun!
I recently read a quip on-line that stated, “You know you’re a mom when a trip to the grocery store alone feels like a vacation and a family vacation feels like work.” I could completely relate when I learned on short notice that my Air Force husband would have to deploy prior to our family trip to Beaver Creek, Colorado. I quickly realized that I had nothing to worry about with our little getaway in the hands of the fabulous staff of the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, where the Beaver Creek motto is “Not exactly roughing it.”
From the very first person we met at the resort to the very last, we were continually impressed by their genuine friendliness, positive attitude and welcoming nature, even at the sight of my very active and uber-talkative 7-year old daughter and 6-year old twin boys. Of course, with daily views like these, who wouldn’t be happy?
My kids and I were excited to visit Beaver Creek. We had lived in Colorado for a while and before our move to Michigan but had never been to this hidden gem of a ski town. We just love exploring the outdoors and like to make note of places that might be fun to return to in other seasons. Beaver Creek was no exception.
While I like to meander around a new hotel and check out the room and amenities, my kids’ first request is always, ALWAYS to find the pool. And find it we did!
My kids and I just love how the Park Hyatt is tucked in at the base of the ski area–it feels cozy and protected in a little world of its own. The hotel is very well organized with everything situated compactly around the base of the ski hill. Handling the three kids on my own, I can appreciate when a place is well laid out and convenient so I can keep an eye on everyone when they decide to head different directions. The pool and five (FIVE!) Jacuzzis are smack-dab in the middle of the open area at the back of the hotel. There is a nice clean playground and beautiful grassy lawn adjacent to the pool area where my kids burned off some extra pent-up energy from our drive.
From the local and organically sourced food at the 8100 Mountainside restaurant, the full range of thoroughly calming spa treatments available at the Allegria Spa down to the cozy robes provided in the rooms, the Park Hyatt is clearly interested in making all the members of your family comfortable and relaxed during your stay. I have to say that I was most impressed by the offerings on the children’s menu at the 8100 Mountainside restaurant. Far from the bland, brown, fried fare you find almost everywhere else, my kids were eager to dive into real, fresh, and healthy offerings such as the kid-size steak and fresh veggies and flatbread pizzas while I noshed on organic Shetland Island salmon and took in the mountain views I’ve missed since moving to Michigan.
We certainly didn’t spend our entire time just splashing in the pool and eating. Our family’s standard vacation mode of operation is to race around like maniacs exploring and cramming in as much fun as we can. After dinner, we ran down the hotel stairs to the Beaver Creek village center where we spied all sorts of fun activities, including skating on the Black Family Ice Rink. Never before in my life have I slapped a mosquito while ice-skating…until now!
The crepe shop next to the ice rink was a big hit with my kids as well as a small children’s museum/play area and the Children’s Fountain, which drew in my kids like moths to a flame. You would think they never go to go in water by the way they hung around that fountain! We went back to it more than once, day and night.
Since the Hyatt’s location is conveniently slope-side, we were eager to explore the mountain and those gorgeous Colorado views. One of the best ways to do that is to get tickets from the Summer Adventure Center and ride the chairlift up the hill to jump in one of High Mountain Adventure Tours Jeeps for their renowned 4×4 trail rides to the top of the mountain. Since my kids are Colorado junkies, 4×4 trips with dad are de rigueur. They talked the arm off of our driver, Travis the entire ride up the hill, but thoroughly clammed up when we finally hit the top, saw some wildlife casually hanging around and the breathtaking views from Beaver Creek summit. Who wouldn’t be stunned by a panoramic vista of 14,000 foot peaks across western Colorado? This beats the pants off of SpongeBob any day! A bonus with your lift ticket purchase is that it also works for the gondola over in Vail that same day. So, you can hit a couple of peaks in one day if you’re feeling adventurous, or if your kids are like mine and can’t get enough of chairlifts and gondola rides, no matter the season.
Again, have I mentioned the view? This is “not exactly roughing it” and that’s fine by me!
As we came down the chairlift, we got quite the view of the ski base area and village. My kids quickly picked up on the fact that we’d been at Beaver Creek nearly 24 hours and hadn’t yet done mini golf, the climbing wall, and the bungee trampoline. I was accosted by cries of, “Mooooom! There’s still daylight! Let’s do it!” So, we did it. All of it. And fun was had by all. Even the poor unassuming teenagers who were mowed over by my boys’ unique round of “speed mini golf.” Sorry, guys!
A dinner at Beano’s Cabin, a gorgeously built wood cabin restaurant set high up in the wood on the Beaver Creek slopes, is one of those “must do” things on one’s trip to Beaver Creak. It is far more than a dinner; it is an experience. Since my kids are of the ‘fun size’ variety, we took a shuttle up to the cabin, while others rode horseback. In the winter, it’s standard to take a large sleigh up the slope. The sounds of acoustic guitar music filled the air as we enjoyed amazing views up the mountain. My kids selected rigatoni with meatballs for dinner while I dithered over the mouth-watering options on the adult menu that included a variety of local game and locally-sourced ingredients. I finally settled on a smooth corn chowder, a mixed heirloom vegetable salad, an heirloom tomato caprese concoction, and Colorado lamb as my entree. The children’s portions were very generous and exceptionally fresh. I oooohed and ahhhhed over my selections more than once, mentally taking notes for my husband who had sadly missed the experience.
We were pretty reluctant to pack up the next day, and managed to fit in just one more round of ‘speed mini golf’ before checking out. As we drove down the mountain, I reflected on what really ‘made’ our vacation at the Park Hyatt at Beaver Creek. First and foremost, I’d have to say that the cheerful attitude of the staff really took the sting out of solo parenting this particular trip. Their go-with-the-flow, mellow attitude was so nice to encounter when dealing with young, active kids. It also helps that there is such an amazing variety of family-friendly activities available right out the doorstep. Due to the wide variety of family fun and positive community feeling of the resort area, we’re excited to return during the ski season and see what fun we can have in the snow. Oh, and we definitely need to head back so we can enjoy the daily gourmet s’mores that we missed out on due to the state-wide fire ban.
Disclosure: Although I received complimentary activities, lodging, and meals, my reviews are always my own opinions and are not influenced by staff or their affiliates.