Wyndham Resort at Avon
When I made the decision to visit Vail Valley for some fun in the snow this winter, I wasn’t sure where to stay. This trip wasn’t to ski, rather to explore the surrounding area while sampling the local microbrews; so the number one consideration when choosing a resort was being close to I-70. Since skiing was not my priority this trip, I opted for the Wyndham Resort at Avon. There are many reasons to choose this resort: the rooms are spacious, the view is good, and it is easy to go get the slopes using the Riverfront Express Gondola. The resort is exclusively Presidential Reserve suites, meaning you will feel like you are staying at a luxury condo – complete with concierge and valet. Because the resort is outside of the village, I did miss being in the center, but for the purposes of this trip, being close to the interstate was more important.
We arrived after a long, nail-biter of a drive on I-70 from Denver. It took about 3 hours, but we also made a stop. The roads were okay at the time, but we were informed by locals that we were lucky they didn’t shut it down, leaving us stranded. I thought the guy at Tommyknocker’s was joking when he asked if we had food and blankets in the car. (In hindsight, he was looking out for us and we had no idea.) I recommend you make this drive during late night hours if you are not accustomed to driving through mountains while it snows.
Our welcome was warm, and I’m not just talking about the staff, I’m talking about a heated driveway. What a treat to step out of the car and not worry that I’m going to slip. It seems like a no brainer when you know that Beaver Creek Village is paved with heated sidewalks, but I still thought it was a nice touch. Once inside we were met by a colorful staff. They were lively, even given the late hour, and got us checked in quickly. They informed us of the car and ski valet services, invited us to enjoy the indoor whirlpool, and informed us of the breakfast offerings. Had it not been so late, I like to think they would have given us a bit more information about the area.
Our Temporary Pad
Upstairs, on the third floor, our one bedroom suite overlooked a small courtyard with benches and a sculpture. Since we were there in December we got to see it lit up with holiday lights and a blanket of fresh snow – like a winter dream!
When we entered the room we made a beeline for the balcony and sat out there talking about the surroundings for a while, before ever checking out the condo. Upon further examination we discovered a couple things that made the trip quite delightful. First there was the fireplace. That bad boy was turned on immediately, along with the heater, to balance out the -7˚C (20˚F) weather pounding on the glass from outside. Then we checked out the kitchen. Everything we needed was there, along with a refrigerator that has ice and filtered water in the door. We drink a lot of water and loved that we could use that feature in lieu of buying a case. And finally, the extra bathroom. It paled in comparison to the bathroom in the bedroom, but it came in handy a time or two.
I was disappointed there was no tub, as I’ve come to expect at Wyndham properties, but I made do with the huge shower. The resort made all the necessary items available in the bathroom, but I’m picky about the products I use so I didn’t sample any. My only complaint about the bathroom was based on a misunderstanding at check-in. It took me two days to realize that it wasn’t a fluke we weren’t getting hot water in the shower, requiring a call down to the front desk. I explained the issue and the woman on the other end quickly apologized I was not informed I needed to press a button before turning the water on. Apparently, it’s a safety feature to keep people from burning themselves with scalding water. Crisis averted, and hot showers all around.
Above anything else in a hotel, I look for a comfortable bed. For me it can make or break the experience. At the Wyndham Resort at Avon, the bed was huge, surrounded by a beautifully designed room, and an even more impressive view. I did not find it hard to sleep, and woke refreshed each day.
Let’s Get Some Grub
When it comes to food, you can always use the well-stocked kitchen, or explore the area and see what strikes you. The first morning at the resort we scoped out the breakfast downstairs, but it looked as boring as most Continental spreads do these days (and not worth the price tag); so we opted for the staffs’ recommendation, Bob’s Place, located in an adjacent building. If you are looking for a spicy start to your day, I suggest you grab a booth at Bob’s, order the Huevos El Paso, and wash it down with one of Bob’s Bloody Mary’s for a dose of antioxidants. This was the best breakfast we had during the Colorado trip, hands down.
For lunch or dinner there is a low-key taco place called Taqueria No Se Hagan Bolas that will make your tummy happy. It’s also good on your wallet, which isn’t common in that area. I also recommend you stop by City Market and make use of the nice kitchen in the suite.
The Bigger Picture
As for the rest of the resort, we weren’t there much, and we didn’t ski, or use the Riverfront Gondola. I didn’t see the game room, use the gym, or experience the luxury of a ski valet, but I did check out the whirlpool. I was told I had to check it out for one reason – there’s a waterfall button – and nothing says luxury like a waterfall on command.
I would have liked to take advantage of all the resort had to offer, but there is so much to do in Vail Valley that you would be wasting life if you spent too much time hanging indoors. It’s a place that beckons you outside, and with good reason. There is fun to be had around every bend, and the Wyndham Resort at Avon was a good choice to serve as our luxury home base for a few days of exploring.
Overall, I was happy with our stay at the Wyndham Resort at Avon. If you are not looking for the village feel, but still want the luxury and proximity, this resort is a good compromise. And if you were like me, more interested in being close to the interstate, then you will be pleased with your choice.