The worst part about working as a travel writer is that you never stay in one hotel long. The best part of working as a travel writer is that you get to sample le creme de la creme in hotels (and dining and attractions and more) all in the sake of editorial research. Which is why after less than 24 hours at the Four Seasons Vail, we checked out … only to check in directly across the street at the Sebastian.
Just a year old, the Sebastian Vail had barely been open three months when the First Lady came a callin’. The White House travel team—I never even knew there was such a thing! new dream job alert—called up the sales director at the Sebastian, with whom they had worked years before, and asked her about setting up a ski vacation for Michelle and the girls. And so they did—I mean, what hotel passes up the First Family, let alone in their first year?—and all of the staff had a big time ushering them in and out of the hotel, to and from the slopes, surreptitiously.
We were in the base level deluxe plaza room, though there are an array of different accommodation options available from studio to four bedrooms. Compared to several of the other hotels around, it was a much more contemporary option—with bold, slightly dizzying carpet patterns and minimalist lighting—mixed with more traditional ski lodge wooden accents.
One of my favorite features of the hotel was the free DVD rental machine. You simply swipe your card, pick the movie you want on the screen and—voila!—it spits it out for you. I’ve never seen this in any other hotel we’ve stayed in before and, as a movie lover, was pretty in love with the concept (especially after the Grammys that night turned out to be a total snooze).
Though we really just flitted in and out while exploring the grounds, I loved the lobby-level Frost Bar and Library, a popular spot for the Vail apres ski scene (and with $3 microbrews and half off all well drinks, you can see why!).
And though we didn’t eat in the more formal Block 16 Restaurant, we did grab a bite of breakfast at the Market Cafe buffet. An outdoor heated pool and a cluster of hot tubs rounded out the hotel offerings, but we were so busy skiing, we didn’t even have time to take advantage of them.
In retrospect, after staying at both the Four Seasons and the Sebastian—each unique for its own reason—it’s hard for me to choose: intimate boutique experience (though it could hardly be considered small) or a bigger, well-known brand resort.
What would be your lodging option of choice?
So funny – friend and I heading to Sebastian this afternoon for a 24-hour moms’ getaway!
Oooh can’t wait to hear what you think (and see what you write)!
So, so true! We spent our two weeks in Arizona packing, moving to another hotel and unpacking. I just can’t complain though, since we got to stay in completely fabulous hotels – everything from an intimate B & B to huge, gorgeous resorts. I’m a good packer and don’t really mind. But I am looking forward to a week at Tybee Island this summer – and unpacking exactly once! And that DVD machine is the coolest thing ever! I have seen DVD libraries in hotels but that’s a first for me as well.
We’re heading on family vacation in Friday (no work whatsoever! well, other than meeting deadlines I already have), and I consider it such a luxury to get to stay in the same condo for a week straight!
Wow that place is gorgeous! I do love that free DVD option, too.
I believe either would do for me.
I love a cozy boutique style hotel when we’re feeling like swanky travellers!
$3 microbrews! I’m sold!
In retrospect, my only regret from our time in Vail was not drinking more 😉
Free DVDs – way cool! And it sounds like you can’t go wrong with either option, so it sounds like I REALLY need to learn how to ski 🙂
You do! Only take note from someone who’s been there and *don’t* learn on the East Coast/Midwest as the icy terrain will make you way more scared than you should be. It wasn’t until I skied in actual powder out West that I was no longer scared of skiing!
You had me at free DVD rental. hehe I actually really liked In Time! What did you think? The part where Justin and Olivia’s characters are running towards each other made me cry so much. I’m such a sap sometimes. 🙂
Scott and I actually liked it, too! It was a bit “out there” at times, but I’m a huge Amanda fan, and obviously I love JT, being that he’s a home state boy and all =) (Also, I’m a total sucker for that type of sci-fi.)
And agreed: That part was really sad!
wow! that place is stunning – lucky you! my idea of staying in a nice place is finding a relatively new holiday inn express. i may need to venture up to vail soon… perhaps they’ll have a “the snow has almost all melted but come anyway” special.
Do you subscribe to Jetsetter? I actually see Colorado deals on there all the time for ski resorts/hotels. Also, yes, spring skiing in late March/early April after all the Spring Breakers have left is usually when you’ll find the best prices.
Boutique, especially if it looks like that!
I want to work for the White House Travel Team!!
Now that is luxury. I’m drooling over that snack tray with prosciutto on it…
Which sadly didn’t get eaten as I was so full from everything else we’d already had that day!
That’s it, I need your job! I will take White House travel team as a back up option 🙂
We’ll trade for a bit: I’ll live the expat life in Chile, pisco sour in hand; you live the hotel lifestyle out of a suitcase. Sound good?
This is a really lovely place. I love the wood touches and everything. Michelle Obama has such amazing tastes.
Can you even imagine being a staffer there and made to usher the Obamas on and off the slope like IT’S NO BIG DEAL?!
I couldn’t agree more with what you said about hotel hopping! I just hotel hopped 5 times in 10 days. Beyond exhausting. BUT I loved every place I stayed at. That’s so cool about the DVDs, brilliant amenity.
Wow this place looks beautiful and as everybody I love the DVD option such a great idea!
Woah this web site will be amazing everyone loves reading through your content regularly. Keep the beneficial paintings! You are aware of, lots of people want all around due to this information and facts, you might guide these greatly.