How the Other Half Skis: Four Seasons Vail

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On the majority of ski trips I’ve been on in the past, we’ve stayed in kitschy 80s-style cabins or big chain hotels or, in the very rare case, a multi-room family condo, as we did in Mammoth two years ago and Keystone last year. So this season, when we booked a trip to Colorado and found ourselves in the Four Seasons Resort Vail, SVV and I were introduced to a whole new ski world of luxury mountain resorts—one we could easily get used to, I’d say.

Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

The Four Seasons Resort Vail sits right in between Vail Village and Lionshead, a quick eight-minute walk to the lifts on both sides. It’s massive as one might expect and encompasses an entire block, and I got a bit lost wandering the interior when we first arrived (and subsequent times trying to find our room)—good thing, there was someone on hand to lead us to our quarters when we checked in!

Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

We were in a mountain-view room, which was the standard level but it was huge at 575 square feet (which is about double the size of many city hotel rooms) and was outfitted with a very spacious bathroom, soaking tub and shower stall.

Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

SVV and I are going to be apart this Valentine’s Day (not that we’ve ever been the types to celebrate it, but still)—I’m staying in Denver for my work, while he flies back to Nashville today for his—and we’ll also be apart on my birthday next week when I head to BlissDom for three days. So I suppose this mini-getaway to the Four Seasons served as a bit of a celebration of both occasions.

Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

I’m now sort of regretting not using that fireplace.

We had a pretty killer view of Vail Mountain and, in typical Colorado fashion, there was a bright sun and bluebird skies to illuminate the slopes beyond.

After Semester at Sea and sleeping in a twin bed for four months—and now sharing a queen back home with a six-pound dog who likes to hog half of it—I am never going to take a king bed for granted again.

Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

I’ve stayed at a couple Four Seasons properties before in San Francisco and Sydney, but this was just…different. This was a property that prides itself on offering the utmost service and convenience to its slopes-bound guests. For starters, there’s an entire Ski Concierge service: Not only can you rent your gear directly from the shop in the lobby, but there’s a three-floor storage facility (and shop) right beside the Vista Bahn chair lift at Vail Village where you can valet all your gear after you come down from the mountain.

And you can leave all your belongings in the climate-controlled lockers there, too, while you’re out skiing. I can’t tell you how nice it was not having to haul our skis, boots and board to and from the hotel each of the three days we were on the mountain. From 2 to 4pm daily, there was a Four Seasons representative at the base, too, who would wheel your equipment the 100 feet or so to the concierge center and store it for you. Excessive? Maybe. Convenient? Definitely.

Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

Also? The concierge center not only had the most amazing coffee machines that whipped up cappuccinos and lattes for us as soon as we came in frozen from the slopes, but also freshly baked muffins and cookies daily. I took full advantage of this.

Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

And an oxygen machine.

Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

Yep, I could definitely get used to this.

Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

COMMENTS
  • February 13, 2012
    Ris

    Wow that looks like an amazing place to stay! How are you ever going to go back to the ubiquitous cabin-rental-with-a-bunch-of-friends-model?! 😉

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      Haha, we still have a cabin share in Tahoe, so I will be going back to that model next time we see. I like cabins, too, because you can cram all the people you love into one cozy, fire-lit space! This stay at the Four Seasons was definitely a treat (and not the norm for us!).

  • February 13, 2012

    Wow….the view is so beautiful. I wish we had snow here in Bali :p

  • February 13, 2012

    And I thought we had it nice because as season pass holders we can get $1.25 coffee, cappuccino, and hot chocolate. Swanky!

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      I wonder how a normal person goes about procuring such an espresso machine, because I need one at my home, of course. French press coffee and cups of Via will no longer suffice! =)

  • February 13, 2012

    Wow, an oxygen machine. So crazy over the top!!

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      I think we might actually use it today, as both Scott and I have been mighty out of breath and wheezing ever since we flew into Denver. We’re not used to altitude at all!

  • February 13, 2012

    Holy crap, am I jealous! I chuckled at the concierges I saw wheeling people’s gear around Vail Village, but secretly I was envious.

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      It is SUCH a huge convenience. I’ve decided I need a concierge with me anytime I go skiing from now on 😉

  • February 13, 2012

    I’ve never seen snow!!! I was recently looking for long weekend trips to Colorado but I didn’t think it was worth it for the choices I was getting. Everything was so expensive. I refuse to pay a lot for an old looking cabin. I would lie to stay at that hotel someday! When is the low season? Probably when the snow has melted… It looks like a fun trip. Enjoy that view! 🙂

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      Probably at the very end of the season. Spring skiing is actually my favorite–we came out to Colorado for the last week of the season last year (end of March/beginning of April), and the crowds were few, the weather was warm(er) and the snow was awesome.

      • February 13, 2012

        Good to know!!! maybe next year! I’m trying to plan a trip in may and i will be out of vacation days. when I go, I need to ask u for a shopping list for the appropriate clothes!

  • February 13, 2012

    Gorgeous view outside the room! It’s good to see snow SOMEWHERE these days. 🙂 Also, a lot of your photos lately seem to have a really cool tint or film to them. Can you share how you’ve been processing them? (Example, the one above of the long stretch of hallway.)

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      I have a bunch of free Lightroom presets I’ve downloaded from the Internet over time. Google “vintage Lightroom presets,” and you should find something you like that looks similar!

  • February 13, 2012

    This is kind of amazing! I have yet to stay at a Four Seasons (it’s on my bucket list), but when you say that this one is even set apart from the others that’s saying a lot. Now you’re never going to want to slum it at any other ski resort! The property looks beautiful though. I can’t believe you didn’t use the fireplace!

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      I know–what we were thinking? It didn’t even occur to me until I was looking through our photos *after* we left!

  • February 13, 2012

    This is over the top amazing!! We are supposed to do the cabin/condo thing next month and I am overly excited and, also, a little nervous. I haven’t ever stayed the night in snow before and am even more nervous to be so close to home and not going back home for a few days.

    Hey, have you ever done Squaw Valley? We are staying right near there and usually do North Star, but I am curious if any of the other skiing places are good around there, especially Squaw Valley since it’s a tiny bit closer.

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      In terms of the slopes and the glitz factor, Squaw is supposedly the best. Yet, it’s one of the few in the Tahoe area I’ve never done! I’ve skied Heavenly, Northstar and Sierra the most, though we’ve also done Alpine Meadows and Kirkwood. Honestly, I don’t think you could go wrong with Squaw OR Northstar. Have fun!

      • February 13, 2012

        Oh, boo, I was hoping you’d done Squaw so I could get a first hand opinion.

        What are your personal favorites from the ones you mentioned? I *love* Northstar and don’t want anything less, but I haven’t ever been elsewhere either so maybe I don’t know what I’m missing!

        • February 13, 2012
          Kristin

          Northstar and Heavenly are my favorites as they’re so big and have such varied terrain. I really like all of the places I’ve been, though. Kirkwood is way too far from where you guys will be, so I’d rule that out. I like Sierra as it’s less busy usually (and lift tickets are much cheaper, always a plus), but again, it’s a bit of a trek from the North Shore. Alpine Meadows was really fun, but it was one of my first Tahoe resorts and I wasn’t a very good skier then, so I can’t honestly say how it would compare to the rest. For convenience, I’d stick to Northstar and Squaw. If there’s not much snow and the roads are OK, it would be worth going down to Heavenly for a day–the mountain is huge, it has great offerings for kids, and they make their own snow, which I don’t think many of the other resorts do.

  • February 13, 2012

    Looks like an awesome place to hang out. Love that tub!

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      if we ever get the good fortune of going back, I’ll be sure and actually use that tub =) Of course, now, after three days of skiing, all I want is a soak….

  • February 13, 2012
    Sara

    This place is great! After being Vail locals for years, we came back this summer and stayed in the Arabelle in Lionshead, such a fun time, being right in the middle of it all!! Plus having a plush bed right at your doorstep never hurt anyone!! That concierge part sounds AMAZING!!

    • February 14, 2012
      Kristin

      I’ve heard the Arabelle is awesome, a must-stay in Vail. We didn’t actually make it over to Lionshead at all, as three days is far too little time for Vail…we spent most of our days on the slopes, and there are just so many shops, restaurants, etc. in the Village to explore!

  • February 13, 2012

    It sounds like heaven! I never really got the hang of carrying my skis without them scissoring every which way at random moments, so having someone to spare me the embarrassment of trying to un-spazz my skis would be a great touch.

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      I’m terrible at that, too! We had to take off our gear and walk about 15 minutes on top of the mountain from the lift to the lodge, and I was clanging around like I had zero motor skills.

  • February 13, 2012

    Love “Mrs. Luna”! Again, a true pleasure meeting you (finally) in person!

    • February 13, 2012
      Kristin

      Haha, it’s true! I didn’t change my name after all, and when we travel Scott just smiles and accepts the “Mr. Luna” bit =)

      So fun hanging out with you guys, too!

  • February 13, 2012

    Wow, now that is amazing! Usually getting in and out of the hotel for skiing is a chore, but this seems to be anything but…

    • February 14, 2012
      Kristin

      And I found out after the fact they even have a car service that will drive you to and from the concierge center from the hotel! We walked, as it was only eight minutes max, but still, that’s service for you.

  • February 13, 2012

    Swanky! That looks like a great winter getaway. Thanks for sharing!

    • February 14, 2012
      Kristin

      It was probably the closest you could get to feeling like you’re in Europe during the height of winter while still being Stateside!

  • February 13, 2012

    Don’t post pictures like that! It makes me miss Colorado too much. Just kidding, glad you guys enjoyed your stay!

    • February 14, 2012
      Kristin

      And it makes me regret never having lived in Colorado, the best state in the country! (That was always my pre-college plan, then I moved to Holland and fell in love with a Californian at 22 instead. Plan thwarted.)

      • February 14, 2012

        That doesn’t sound half bad, either… haha. And it’s never too late to move to Colorado — at least for a season!

        • February 15, 2012
          Kristin

          Now that Scott works in the corporate world, that probably won’t happen until post-retirement, ha =) Also, I’m a wuss when it comes to the cold!

  • February 15, 2012

    Well, thanks for the insight for I fear this is the nearest I’ll ever come to living the high life.

  • February 15, 2012
    courtney

    wow i love the pictures ! seems a nice cozy place to spend the winter . I always arrange vacation rentals to enjoy winter holidays but now this is giving me second thoughts , specially the chocolate picture! yummy!

  • February 16, 2012

    Now THAT is a hotel room! Love the last shot.

  • February 16, 2012

    It is funny how quickly you can get used to those luxuries…

    • February 20, 2012
      Kristin

      It makes it hard to go back to “normal travel,” for sure!

  • February 17, 2012

    Looks absolutely gorgeous! I especially want to eat all the things on that lovely little slate. Looks amazing!

    • February 20, 2012
      Kristin

      Even with my impressive aptitude for consuming chocolate, I couldn’t finish the platter…so naturally, I put it all in a Ziploc and took it with me! =)

  • February 17, 2012

    See, I wouldn’t mind trying high end skiing as well, knowing such a room is waiting for me after a long day in the slopes instead of a bunk bed…

    • February 20, 2012
      Kristin

      Personally, I steer clear of bunks in general as I have a tendency of falling out of them. I remember my very first time staying in a hostel dorm room when I was 19 and traveling through France solo, and I woke up in the middle of the night sitting in the middle of the floor after rolling out of the top bunk! Embarrassing…not to mention, painful.

  • February 19, 2012

    My least favorite part of a ski trip is having to lug your gear to and from the lifts. Being at resort right by the lifts is well worth the splurge.

    • February 20, 2012
      Kristin

      Agreed. I’m a total girl when it comes to hauling around my gear–I’d much rather have someone else do it for me! =)

  • February 19, 2012

    Oh. My. God. What bliss!!!

    • February 20, 2012
      Kristin

      You’re not living too far from Colorado. You should pop on over and pay a visit… 😉

  • February 20, 2012
    Diego

    We are right now talking about your blogs in my Travel Writing class in Indiana University. There were a lot of different opinions about your writings! I said that I liked them.

    • February 20, 2012
      Kristin

      Well, thank you–I appreciate the nice words =)

  • February 21, 2012

    What a gorgeous looking place to stay 🙂

  • February 25, 2012

    That TUB… that TUB… OMG.

    Kill me, I’ve gone to heaven.

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