The Ultimate Family Ski Getaway
There’s a wonderful indefinable energy about Colorado’s Beaver Creek Ski Resort, something akin to getting a family hug by a destination. Swoosh your way into this easy peasy one-stop spot that has everything you need to build memories and some serious quads from the world class skiing.
Don’t feel chained down by worries over snowy driving, let the pros at Colorado Mountain Express whisk you from the airport to your getaway. Once in the charming village of Beaver Creek, everything you need will be a stroll, snowcat ride or complimentary shuttle away. Even strolling around the European-style village is stress-free. The entire place has recessed heating under the bone-dry pavement, so stroll to the ice rink or President’s Day “Scenes of America” glowing ice exhibit without wet boots or worrying about little ones slipping on ice.
On the Slopes
Although everything you might want in a snowy family getaway is here, the real draw is the skiing. 1,832 skiable acres, a 3,340 foot vertical rise, serviced by 25 lifts and 150 different trails make this ideal for all levels. One of the most attractive aspects for families is the geographic layout of the mountain, with the Green/Beginner Trail loaded “Flats” at the summit, allowing families to get a true full-mountain feeling and enjoy the views from the top, despite skiing with lesser-experienced skiers.
Ivy League of Ski Schools
If you have kids-in-tow, the resort offers one of the top ski schools available, with every level catered to by enthusiastic Ambassadors ready to keep young skiers and boarders happy (and ready to crash at the end of a long day on the slopes!). The Ultimate 4 Ski or Boarding all day lesson ensures no more than four in the group, for great learning potential geared toward different ages and ability levels.
BC<3T2 — Beaver Creek Loves Teens
Designed for kids 13-17, evening activities keep older siblings engaged while younger kids crash early or mom and dad hit the wine bar. A guided snowshoe trek after sundown lets teens meet and mingle as they explore the mountain and get together for pizza in the Nordic Center. (Jealous parents can book an afternoon Snowshoe Trek and Fondue Wine Experience of their own.) Teens can also test their limits at the Anti-Gravity Center in Edwards, a state-of-the-art training facility for ski and snowboard tricks, flips and stunts. Teens warm up on the slack lines or in the foam pit, then join certified instructors for a 45 minute trick class and wind down at a Marble Slab ice cream joint.
Beaver Creek Sports Rentals
Securing gear is just an escalator ride from the main lifts and ski school. Reserve in advance online for up to 20% discount at this outfitter which delivers to the hotel and offers overnight storage.
Off the Slopes
Relax at the friendly and ideally located Osprey at Beaver Creek (ospreyatbeavercreek.rockresorts.com) —the closest hotel to a chairlift in North America, the kids can even hop a few steps to the door in sock feet in a pinch. Families with older kids will appreciate the fact that the hotel is one ice-free crosswalk away from everything the mountain has to offer. Enjoy perks like a free “redbox’esque” rental machine and the convenience of a slopeside ski valet keeping your gear at the ready. Relax under the falling snow from a steaming hot tub or pool, the poolside bar will keep you supplied with hot toddies.
If anyone doubted whether Beaver Creek welcomed children (of all ages), one stroll through the plaza at 3pm would deliciously settle the matter. Platters of the toasty, melty goodies are handed out by smiling, costumed bakers as warm as their treats.
Celebrate the school holiday with a circus, juggling and comedy show; parade, ice sculpture exhibit, ice rink show and Family FunFest Carnival. Interactive storytellers will also perform in the main plaza.
Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt
Unwind from a day on the slopes and give those sore muscles a gift with a visit to Allegria Spa, a European-style luxury day spa with 23 treatment rooms and an Aqua Sanitas water sanctuary. Many visitors to the Beaver Creek elevation discover a sensitivity to altitude issues, including a shortness of breath without much exertion. The 80 Minute Sport Fusion Massage delivers relief from symptoms of exercise at high altitude. A soothing combo of hot stones, sports and deep tissue massage using a wintergreen and arnica body butter is joined by Eucalyptus steam to help restore clear breathing.
The Water Sanctuary
Although you might already be fully ahhh’d out, complete with a shoulder soothing soak under a heated mountain waterfall. Modeled after Roman Baths, the five-step Aqua Sanitas experience includes a natural spring Thermae Pool, Caldarium Mineral Pools, cooling Cascata Rainshower, wintergreen scented Caldarium Steam, and is finished on the contoured heated-within ceramic loungers in the Tepidarium.
Where to Eat
Beaver Valley Candy Cabin
Anyone who has wrestled lunch-lulled kids back into their snowsuits knows it can be a hard sell to convince them back up the slopes for an afternoon of fun. Beaver Creek cleverly provides incentive in the form of the adorable cabin packed with barrels of goodies (don’t worry, they’ll ski off that sugar in no time!). Saltwater taffies, unique gummy candies, locally-made,Mootz Chocolates in the shape of ski boots, snowflakes, and snowmen can be washed down by old-fashioned Pepsi products made with real cane sugar.
Beaver Creek Chophouse
This ski-in restaurant could not be more conveniently located, to the hill or The Osprey across the road. Two of the most tender, tastiest Double-bone Frenched Colorado Lamb Chops earned rave reviews at our table. The manager explained this was due to not only the fresh and local nature of the lamb, but the fact that they only receive the center cuts of the chops — resulting in a far plumper set than you often see plated. The Kobe Tallow Beef Burger with poutine gravy and Lobster Mac’ n Cheese provided the rest of a hearty meal ideal after a long day of skiing.
The adventure starts with a snowcat-driven, open-air sleigh ride up to a remote White River National Forest peak. Once inside, trade those winter boots for cushy slippers and sit to enjoy an delectable five course gourmet meal as a fire crackles and acoustic guitarist entertains. The choices are plentiful and impressive, considering everything from the well trained staff to fresh produce must make its way to the kitchen either by ski or snowcat. We loved the rabbit appetizer and famous char-grilled pork porterhouse.
The Osprey Fireside Grill
The food might be gourmet, but the environment was cozy casual and very comfortable for post-skiing. The kids even got to catch the big game, before we got too distracted by the incredible eats. The apps are referred to as “shareable”, but you might need to do some convincing to pull any of the smoked wings away from the one who ordered them. The eatery is known for its broad menu of upscale spins on Mac’n Cheese, but we thought the Kale and Quinoa Salad with Sliced Elk Tenderloin (and dried cherries, golden raisins, candied pecans and Colorado goat cheese) might have been one of the best salads we’d ever had.