Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch: The Crown Jewel of the Colorado Rocky Mountains
Tucked away on a quiet Colorado mountainside ideally situated between Beaver Creek and Arrowhead in the heart of the majestic Rocky Mountains is the exclusive enclave known as Bachelor Gulch. The village is aptly named for its original settlers---seven pioneering, single men who came in search of wealth and a better life. Today, the crown jewel of the village is the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, which is a Readers' Choice Nominee for Best Ski Hotel.
The property opened in 2002, is reminiscent of the architecture of the grand lodges of Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. This unique style, known as parkitecture, features a variety of indigenous natural materials such as logs, timbers and stone. The hotel has 180 guestrooms including 40 suites (with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms) and the 1,800 square foot "Ritz-Carlton Suite". No fewer than 95% of the guest rooms offer spectacular mountain or resort views and 77 have fireplaces.
Bachelor Gulch is the centerpiece of Beaver Creek's village-to-village ski experience. More intimate and removed than its Beaver Creek or Arrowhead neighbors, Bachelor Gulch proved to be the perfect setting for a family-oriented ski resort that combines privacy with authentic Rocky Mountain luxury. The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is situated right at the base of the Bachelor Gulch chairlift, a high-speed quad chairlift, providing unparalleled ski-in, ski-out access. The daily Fire Pit Lighting Ceremony starts at 3:15 pm and is a favorite amongst guests and locals, with hot chocolate, cookie and s'mores.
Guests can literally hit the slopes and finish up the day right from the resort's back lawn. There is a wide array of other winter outdoor activities available to guests at the resort, including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, and hot-air ballooning. During warmer months, guests can enjoy more than a dozen world-class Colorado courses in Vail Valley and have exclusive access to the Red Sky Golf Club, which was recently rated in "Top 100 Courses to Play" by Golf Magazine.
Other nice amenities offered by the hotel is its Ski Concierge and Ski Nanny services. The Ski Concierge provides valet service to securely store and dry skis, boards and boots for overnight hotel guests. Guests have the option to have their equipment waiting slope-side, or the Ski Concierge staff can assist with loading equipment onto the Beaver Creek shuttles. The Ski Concierge can also assist with booking lift tickets; private lessons and facilitate equipment rentals. The Ski Nanny program enables parents to enjoy their morning and hit the slopes for a day of skiing or spa, at their leisure. The Nanny will make sure the resort's young guests get on the ski school bus that takes them to Beaver Creek Village for group lessons. After a day on the slopes, the Ski Nanny will meet children at the Ski School drop-off point and escort them into Ritz Kids for munchies and a movie where parents can pick up their children at the end of the day.
The resort also boasts a 21,000-square-foot, Mobil Four-Star rated Bachelor Gulch Spa featuring 19 treatment rooms, a luxurious separate manicure/pedicure salon, and men's and women's locker rooms offering sauna/steam and water therapies. A unique feature to the Spa is the rock-lined Grotto with a lazy river hot tub. There's also a year-round heated pool and three hot tubs.
A state-of-the-art fitness center boasts beautiful views of Beaver Creek Mountain and the Vail Valley and offers a cardiovascular room with top-of-the-line Precore elliptical trainers, treadmills, step machines and stationary bicycles. All cardio machines are equipped with flat panel screens, DVD/CD players and iPod station docks. The Fitness Center also offers a full line of Cybex equipment and free weights. Certified personal trainers are on hand to assist during workouts or to provide customized one-on-one training. Classes are available in the center's aerobics room daily with classes such as Step Aerobics, Body Sculpt, Kickboxing, Yoga and Pilates.
The Ritz-Carlton offers a bevy of dining options including Spago, the only Colorado outpost of Wolfgang Puck's renowned flagship restaurant, which features imaginative, seasonal American cuisine with Asian accents in a sophisticated, warm environment. For those seeking a more rustic ambiance , there's Anderson's Cabin, which is situated just above the resort and boasts sweeping views of the surrounding National Park. There's also outdoor dining, year-round, both poolside and mountainside at The Mountainside Terrace which offers grilled Colorado specialties.
Another unique feature to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is its resident Labrador Retriever, Bachelor, who is available for guest walks via a Loan-a-Lab program. Available Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. and on select weekends, Bachelor can accompany guests on a 30-minute or one hour hike or snow shoe out the backdoors of The Ritz-Carlton on two designated trails.
Standard room rates vary by season and range from $195 per night for a single or double occupancy in the spring/fall to $450 in the summer and $725 in the winter. Suite rates begin at $540 per night in the summer and $950 in the winter.
Vote now for what you believe is the best of breed for each of the Winter Travel categories. Readers' Choice Awards for the Best in Winter Travel will be announced on January 31st.