The Good Life
with a Southern Drawl

Bluebird Days In Beaver Creek

By Amy Bailey — December 29, 2014

The only sport I love involves plush clothes, soft snow, a roaring fire, and an apres ski. Being able to ski with the entire family in one of the most beautiful mountain resorts on earth is a taste of heaven – and with fresh white snow cascading the terrain and bright blue skies overhead you may just think you are in heaven. The locals call them Bluebird Days – those days where the only clouds you see are soft, powdery mounds on the slopes and above are skies as blue as a mountain bluebird. Bluebird Days seem to fill the calendar in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

What better way to enjoy those Bluebird Days than at a mountain resort that exists to accommodate its guests, making sure you have every luxury possible to make your ski vacation one of leisure not work. Imagine a ski lift right outside your resort with a roaring fire, live music, and an apres ski Moet bar. Now imagine the children at ski school everyday getting their feel of the powder while you and your significant other enjoy run after run until about 3:30pm. The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch is a winter wonderland come to life that will enchant the whole family.

At The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch a ski concierge takes care of all your equipment needs by having your equipment ready for you each morning and stores your equipment after your day of skiing, upon departure the ski concierge returns your equipment for you. With the Bachelor Gulch Express Lift just 25 steps from the resort, it makes the easiest slope access you’ve ever experienced. And with a shuttle running every 15 minutes to Beaver Creek Village, experiencing the rest of the area is just a matter of being chauffeured.

Beaver Creek Village claims home to one of the best ski schools in the world – known as the Harvard of ski schools. To get your children to and from Beaver Creek Ski School, The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch offers a ‘Ski Nanny’. Children purchase their lift ticket, ski lessons and equipment prior to meeting in The Ritz Kids room between 7:45am – 8:15am. From there, they are taken to their ski lesson in Beaver Creek Village. A light breakfast and afternoon snacks are included. At the end of the day, the Ski Nanny meets the children in Beaver Creek and returns them to The Ritz Kids room, where they may stay for munchies and a movie at no additional charge.

Every four-legged visitor to The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch is welcome to Bachelor’s Pack, led by the resort’s resident St. Bernard ‘Bachelor’, which includes canine-friendly services and amenities: premium dog bowls and overstuffed beds, Bachelor’s V.I.P. Pack containing treats, toys and a dog-friendly area handbook and guide, all-natural pet food and treats available for in-room orders, and more.

Other perks of The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch:

  • Moet bar set up apres ski
  • Delicious food served on the patio during lunch
  • Apres smores around the fire pit
  • Hot cookies passed out everday at 3pm in Beaver Creek Village
  • Family grotto night in the Ritz spa every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
  • Winter nature programs for the whole family to learn about the ecosystem of the area
  • Craft cocktail classes

Where To Apres And Eat
Beaver Creek is home to wonderful food, as is The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch. Here are my favorites:

Buffalo’s – A casual dining restaurant located right next to lobby at The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Buffalo’s has fantastic fare including a Salmon Kale Salad made with finely chopped kale that may just change your life. After having this dish, we replicated it at home and it became a weekly menu item in our kitchen.

Spago – Oops he did it again, Wolfgang Puck created another Spago that will leave your tastebuds wanting more. From the homemade gnocchi to the roasted elk loin, Spago at The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch serves dishes that support local farmers.

Zach’s Cabin – It is hard to beat the fairytale dining experience that Zach’s Cabin can create. House on the mountain, a sleigh ride takes you to Zach’s where you feast on locally harvested food like elk, duck, jalapeno-crusted trout. With Colorado raised Chef Tim McCaw behind the menu the focus is on local cuisine.

SaddleRidge at Beaver Creek – The setting, a living museum of frontier artifacts such as Geronimo’s tomahawk and General Custer’s hat and canteen is the backdrop to a menu of steak, wild game, and seafood all with a regional flavor. Lunch is served daily from 11:30am-1:30pm and SaddleRidge is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30pm until close. Reservations are required (970) 754-5456.

Fiesta’s – Housed in Edwards Plaza, this festively-decorated Mexican restaurant serves up spicy food and a range of tasty margaritas. From their signature chicken enchiladas in white jalapeño sauce to the carne adovada, Fiestas doesn’t disappoint and is a great choice for lunch or dinner.

Spruce Saddle Lodge – On mountain dining that is sure to satisfy all tastes with everything from sandwiches to burritos to salads to coffee. The views at 10,200 feet with leave you breathless if you aren’t already from the elevation.

Toscanini – Watch Chef Paul Wade prepare individual pizzas, house-made pastas, and fresh seafood in the open kitchen. Stop by daily at 3:00pm for complimentary Tuscan Hot Chocolate and Panforte Cake samples in the lounge. Toscanini is open daily for apres, dinner and late night.

What To Do
Ski – The great thing about Beaver Creek is even at the top there are plenty of green runs so you don’t have to sacrifice views for your experience level. Beaver Creek is home to some of the most versatile skiing terrain making it a great place to learn and a great place to enjoy more challenging runs as well. The green runs are fun and leisurely, but stay clear of the dotted green trails unless you want to go slow. The blue runs are challenging and fun, some of my favorite blues (Gunder’s and Grubstake) are located in the Bachelor Gulch ski area. The blacks, as my husband reports, are hard and exhilarating, and apparently so since Beaver Creek’s black runs are training grounds to many Olympians. Click ‘Ski’ for a ski map.

American Jukebox Skate Night – Every Sunday through April 12 enjoy a light show and listen to a DJ while ice skating at Beaver Creek Village.

Thursday Night Lights – Grab a glow stick and ski down to Beaver Creek Village to music followed by a fireworks finale every Thursday through March 26.

Dogsledding – Offering memorable dog sled rides morning and afternoon at the Lazy J Ranch in Wolcott, just 10 miles from Beaver Creek. Tours last approximately 1.5 hours and cover 6 miles. Pet the dogs, enjoy homemade pumpkin bread and hot cocoa and as always…free dog kisses. Transportation to and from Beaver Creek provided 970.653.PUPS.

Family FunFest – Saturdays through April 11 enjoy free family games and activities in Beaver Creek Village. Last year our little one won a stuffed animal ski dog and it made her trip all the more fun.

Spa Anjali – Located at The Westin, Spa Anjali is a 27,000 square foot wellness center in Vail Valley that will transport you to an unparalleled state of relaxation. Indulge in the Kundalini back treatment which will leave your senses exhilarated and your mind refreshed.

How To Get There

You have the choice of 2 airports: Eagle County Airport which is about 30 minutes away and the Denver Airport which is about 1hr 40 minutes away (depending on if you hit Denver rush hour or weekend traffic). Shuttles are available from both airport as are car rentals. Nonstop flights are available from Birmingham, Huntsville, Nashville and Atlanta.