This past spring break, we were so fortunate to stay at The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Aspen Highlands because a friend of mine let us use her time-share. I had done research and knew that it was an amazing travel experience, but I didn’t know how lus it truly was. This was the first time that we had spent at a Ritz-Carlton property and it is an unforgettable experience. Below are the reasons why we love luxury travel at The Ritz-Carlton Aspen Highlands:
1. A Home-Away-from-Home. So, the residence is big. It’s actually bigger than our own apartment in New York City! It was a 3-bedroom 3-bathroom apartment with a full-sized kitchen, living room (with fireplace), dining room and the largest balcony overlooking the entrance to the ski area.
What this meant was that everybody in the family had their own space, and the girls had enough room to run around and play when we got home. The extra space gave us a chance to chill out in front of our very own fireplace whether to enjoy a healthy apres-ski snack or just vegging in front of the t.v. (see #7 below).
More importantly, having a real full-sized apartment gave us a chance to start the day off with a calm family breakfast, at the dining room table, in the comfort of our home. Sometimes we even cooked: bacon, eggs and oatmeal were some of the protein-rich culinary delights we made in our own kitchen, which yes, was also larger than our kitchen in NYC.
2. Superior customer service that was genuine. From Alex and John — both drivers, to John and Tammie — our concierges, each of the people we met would go over and beyond their call-of-duty. Alex was always so warm and nice to our girls every day. He held our 1st grader’s hands (and her skis) when he helped us cross the street to get to our RFTA bus. One morning, Alex drove ahead of a Snowmass bus so that we could catch it at the next bus stop so we wouldn’t have to wait for another bus. Tammie and John were great in making sure we had all of the information we needed, for example a list of restaurants that were open (it was off-season by the time we got there). John, another driver, was always so cordial when he drove us, and made sure every morning we had our apples for our bus ride up to Snowmass. I can see why guests keep returning: it’s because of the people who work there!
3. Outdoor Heated Pool and Jacuzzi for après-ski (with heated towels). As you would expect, the amenities at The Ritz-Carlton can’t be surpassed. Because I skied for 100% of our stay (and promptly fell asleep at 8pm every night), I definitely didn’t take advantage of what they had to offer, but we loved the slopeside heated pool and jacuzzi. And if you forgot goggles, there was a chest full of water toys, noodles, goggles, and — get this — heated towels. Truly decadent to the max.
4. On-demand car service. If you wanted to go food shopping, out to eat in Aspen, or simply wanted a ride to the RFTA bus stop so that you can hit the ski resort, all you had to do was call up the valet 5-10 minutes of leaving and your personal car service would take you wherever you wanted to go. We took full advantage of this service and got rides to the bus stop going to Snowmass or to the Aspen Recreation Center. We’d have dinner in Aspen almost every night and we’d call up the valet service at The Ritz-Carlton and they would pick us up right in front of our restaurant! Door-to-door service rocks.
5. Ski-in-Ski-Out at Aspen Highlands. We arrived the day before Aspen Highlands, the ski mountain, closed so we weren’t able to take advantage of this benefit, but it truly is a ski-in-ski-out resort. The chair lift area even has an entrance to the heated pool in the back of the hotel. It’s THAT ski-in-ski-out. (Also, the mountain was too hard for us, especially at the beginning of our stay, although now, after five days at the Snowmass Ski School, our 5th grader could easily ski Highlands.)
6. Daily Chocolate Chip Cookies for the kids (and adults). Every day at 3:30, the kind people at The Ritz-Carlton put out complimentary, warm, big chocolate chip cookies. The girls would have one every day — I would take one too, especially if I knew I burned off a ton of calories while skiing.
7. Free family-friendly DVD Rentals. Every night, the girls would go to the concierge desk and pick out a movie. After their nightly baths, we would sink in to our feather-top beds and watch the movie of the night (which usually was Epic, the movie of choice for the week).
As I write this I’m staying at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead for the Mom 2.0 Summit #Mom2Summit so I get to experience The Ritz-Carlton twice in three weeks! More on that in a future post.
What was your most luxurious vacation? Have you ever stayed at The Ritz-Carlton before? Which one?