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Kids at the Westin Riverfront Resort, Beaver Creek, Colorado

Families on vacation at Beaver Creek Mountain will find a truly luxurious hotel with comfortable suites at the Westin Riverfront Resort







At the Westin Riverfront Resort at Beaver Creek Mountain, the lobby wears an understated and elegant look during the day.



By night it fills with guests - families who come downstairs to socialize and relax.

In short, for a luxury family ski lodge experience, the Westin Riverfront strikes the perfect tone.  




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Winter Lodging Options for your Colorado  Ski Trip with the Kids

From rustic cabins to five star resorts, Colorado offers families a variety of choices for tucking the children in.

See our article about the
Best Hotels for a Colorado Christmas Vacation with the Kids.

Photo: The Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs creates a fairyland of twinkle lights for the winter holidays.










Photo: The Westin Riverfront Resort
at Beaver Creek Mountain offers kids a full range
of recreational activities, all year long.

When you think of hotels with elegant décor and four-diamond hospitality, it kind of clashes with images of little kids having giggling fits as they tramp through the lobby in their bathing suits and oversized bathrobes.  Yet at the Westin Riverfront Resort near Beaver Creek, those giggling kids fit right in. 


It’s a stolen vacation for us in early January. We pull the kids out of school for a quick winter getaway to Beaver Creek, and set up base camp at the Westin Riverfront Resort. Surprise! There are kids all over the place. 


This may be some of the fanciest lodging the Vail Valley has to offer, but when it comes to kids, the Westin Riverfront Resort knows how to get down on the floor with its youngest guests and have a good time. And clearly, plenty of smart parents have figured that out before us. 



Location 

Beaver Creek Ski Area, about a 2½ hour drive west of Denver, is surrounded by three “villages” and two towns, one incorporated and one not. The villages are built up on the the mountain itself, while the towns, Avon and Edwards, lie at the base of the mountain. 


Avon is the largest town, and is a real town, with grocery stores, pharmacies, and an urgent care clinic. Several restaurants offer families a wide variety of options for eating out.  Yet Avon is still a pretty place, laid out with roundabouts, wildflower landscaping, plus statues here and there. 


In the midst of all this, the Westin Riverfront Resort rises from a curve of the Eagle River as it meanders through the municipality. Its nineteen-acre site means the hotel and buildings are surrounded by open space. Its altitude: Just over 7,400 feet above sea level.  


Situated, as it is, on its bend of the river, the Westin has a clear view up the little valley created by the actual stream called Beaver Creek. The creek runs from the heart of the Beaver Creek Ski Resort down to its confluence with the Eagle River just to the east of the Westin. From the back deck of the Westin, your eyes rise up over pines and aspen forests directly to the ski slopes above. 

View of Beaver Creek ski area from the Westin Riverfront Resort


Accommodations


While the Westin Riverfront has lovely traditional hotel rooms with two queen beds, for our family a suite turns out to be the best option. Having the extra space and a kitchen for my teenage son’s late-night snacks makes the experience more relaxing for everyone.


Even the cute little studio suites at this hotel are anything but little. They have entry ways so kids can dump (ahem, hang up) their stuff on the handy hooks and bench. A fireplace warms the room and an appealing little kitchenette has a  two-burner stove, a mini-fridge, a toaster oven, a microwave, and a coffee maker all along one wall. A granite counter and gorgeous wood cabinets lend a feel of luxury. Utensils, pots and pans, dishes, silverware, and glasses show that whoever designed this space thought of everything a family might need.  


The studio suites have king sized beds, comfy chairs, and love seats that fold out into full-sized sofa beds. The feeling is one of marvelous efficiency and coziness, while having plenty of room at the same time. Magic. 


The one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites have full kitchens and dining areas with wood floors. Our kitchen has countertops of satiny, chocolate-colored, sparkly granite and stainless steel appliances. Behind a door, we discover the washer/dryer, plus a little box of laundry soap thoughtfully placed by the housekeeping staff.  


The full living rooms in  the suites come with sleeper sofas, gas fireplaces, and big picture windows to bring the outside in. The big flat screen TV is mounted flush with the wall above the fireplace in our living room. It doesn't stick out, so at first its presence goes unnoticed by our kids. 


That evening my photography-buff son and I go out shooting night images. We returned afterwards to find my littlest snuggled up next to his dad on the couch with the fire going. They are watching TV - a show about gold mining. The cozy, homey feel is pure gold. 


The next evening, my teenager and his dad have fun listening to different kinds of music on the Bose sound system. It's a treat for the tech-heads in the family. 


Every suite has a balcony or patio and I wander out on ours to enjoy the fresh, frosty air.



Bedroom Configurations


The one-bedroom suite has a king sized bed, and a large, five-piece bathroom, while the two-bedroom suite has all of that plus another bathroom and bedroom with two queen beds. For three-bedroom suites, add a guest room with a queen sized bed and another full bathroom. 



Splish Splash


All suites include what Westin calls their “Heavenly Bath”. When I see ours for the first time, I think - it’s almost big enough to play Twister on the (marble) floor! 


Heavenly Baths at the Westin Riverfront all have separate showers and bath tubs. (Our tub is extra deep, with water jets, and the shower has two shower heads.) The long, marble vanities have two sinks, making conflicts over toothbrushing much less likely. A make-up mirror is mounted underneath a wall sconce, making the lighting perfect for applying cosmetics. 



Especially Great for Families


Other great family-friendly features that come with each room include crib availability upon request, and thermostats in each room so you can control the temperature to your taste (or to make things more comfortable for your little ones). Another nice attribute is that guests can actually open the balcony or patio doors and get real, fresh air into the room if they so desire. 


Humidifiers in every room help alleviate the dryness caused by the mountain air. (I have trouble figuring out ours, but a quick call to the front desk sends someone who doesn’t laugh when he shows me how easy it is to fill.) A nice amenity for our asthma boy is that the entire Westin Riverfront facility is non-smoking


Also, if your pumpkin wakes up in the middle of the night, and a cup of chicken soup is in order, at the Westin Riverfront Resort it's on the menu - and room service will deliver it 24 hours a day. And if a sicky kid takes a turn for the worse, you can call the front desk for physician referrals and other help at any time of the day or night. Additionally, all rooms have sprinklers and smoke detectors with lights, and duel-line telephones with speakers. 


Kids, though, may be more interested in the cable TV, in room movies, and dog bed that the hotel provides if they bring their furry best friend along. 




Amenities


As a AAA Four-Diamond resort, the Westin Riverfront is rich with services for its guests. For our family on vacation in Beaver Creek, however, it’s the little gestures that we appreciate. 


From the beginning, we can tell that the Westin Riverfront gets the family circus. The car valet and bell staff are the friendliest bunch of guys as they step up to open our car door. They show us in to the front desk and take care of all that stuff that fills our car. Skis, boots, and poles are delivered to the ski valet, and luggage, coolers, and boxes are delivered to our suite. 


But what if it’s summer and we bring our bikes instead? They are taken to the bike storage area. Cars are delivered to comfy spots in the secure, heated, underground garage. 


After a long drive, it seems like the kids are ready to erupt from the car like cola from a shaken pop can. It’s nice to have the hotel take care of the details while we do our best to wrangle our youngsters.  


It’s also nice to know there is valet service 24 hours a day in case we need to retrieve that cuddly toy left under the car seat. When we do have to make a late night run to Walmart, the valet is able to give us directions off the top of his head, then jots them down on a card for us to take along. I am grateful. 



Good to Know It’s There


Families who stay at the Westin Riverfront when they are on vacation at Beaver Creek will find several  other amenities to make their stay successful.   A laundromat is available for guest use, or you can use the laundry valet service. I just use the handy plastic bag I find hanging in the closet. It’s perfect for gathering dirty socks that seem to be multiplying in the kids’ room. 


The concierges are very tuned in to the needs of parents and kids. Living in the Vail Valley, these folks are are plugged in to the local scene. First the concierge helps us with our first dinner reservations at a posh restaurant. Later he gives us excellent advice for a nearby pizza joint. Somehow he senses that we might need a place where the townies hang out and high school kids bus the tables. It’s like he took one look at our boys and could read their minds. 


Otherwise, the concierge can arrange the purchasing of your lift tickets in the winter or book your hot air balloon trip in the summer. They can even order flowers to surprise your spouse.  



Rest and Recreation


As far as my eleven-year-old is concerned, there is nothing at the Westin Riverfront Resort that can even compare to the fun to be had at their Kids Club. At first the place looks fine to me. Large glass windows from the hall show kid-sized tables and shelves with brightly colored bins. While young guests work on crafts, adults Tony and Margo greet us, and immediately engage my son in conversation. Apparently the activities are focused on educational themes like Colorado history. I fill out a couple of forms and say, “Have a good time, honey. See you soon.”


The trouble begins when we go to pick him up. It may have been educational, but it certainly was entertaining. At dinner that night it is, “Can I go back to the Kids Club after dinner?” While skiing the next day it’s, “Skiing is fun, but can I go back to the Kids Club?” While packing up the last day, “Mom, you gotta write about the Kids Club. Tell people how much fun it is!” I think he could spent his whole vacation there quite happily. 


And of course, the Westin Riverfront teems with other recreational opportunities, from books and board games on shelves around the lobby fireplace, to the mountain peaks rising in the resort’s backyard. 


For my teenager, skiing at Beaver Creek is the absolute highest priority. To get things off to the right start, we begin at Beaver Creek Sports, a ski shop right on site at the Westin Riverfront. Here we rent ski equipment then shop around, looking at the cute wool hats and puffy parkas for kids.  


The boot lobby is a large room with long benches topped with leather cushions. Beneath the seats are cubbies for guests’ shoes and after-ski boots. We drop the ski boots here, and they are stored for us on bendy tubes that dry and heat the boots. In the morning, we’ll stop in here to pick up our ski boots before we head up the mountain. The ski valet, right outside the door, stores all our skis and poles in metal racks. 

Ski valet at the Westin Riverfront Resort at Beaver Creek Mountain

And right next to the ski valet, on the side porch of the Westin, is the entrance to the Riverfront Express Gondola. This short ride carries guests over river and road to Beaver Creek Landing, at the bottom of the ski slopes of Beaver Creek Ski Area. At Beaver Creek Landing, my son has trouble with his ski binding, and we are please to see another outlet of Beaver Creek Sports. We step inside the door and step out a few minutes later with the problem fixed. 


Families with kids ages 4 to 12 in ski school can take advantage of the Ski School Carpool, in which parents can drop their kids off at the Kids Club and the folks there will accompany them to their ski lessons at Beaver Creek. In the afternoon, the Kids Club counselors will pick up the kids and bring them back to the hotel. 


How my kids have the energy, I’ll never know, but after a day of skiing, they want to go swimming. The lap pool is a full 25 yards long, so guests who like to swim for exercise can get in full laps and keep track of their distance. 


But it isn’t very crowded. One or two people pace up and down with steady slap-slap sounds, while my kids slide into the water on the steps and play on the other side of the pool. 


The cold winter air mixes with warm steam rising from the waters in a ghostly dance of swirling steam that blurs the light from the hotel’s windows. 


The real attraction is the set of three outdoor hot tubs near the river. The boys clamber in, and have fun playing with the foam until the heat and the rhythmic jets lull them. A wall of thick towels just inside the building invites us to dry off before we wrap up and head back up to the suite. 



The Service 


Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how you handle them that counts. 


First, let me start by saying that overall, the people who work at the Westin Riverfront are very gracious. Often they know us by name and greet us with a warm,  “How may I help you?”  They are quick to help us with problems silly (how to fill the humidifier) and serious (directions to the closest pharmacy). 


And when they goof up, they are aghast. 


It started like this. We need to get into our car to retrieve my husband’s jacket. At the car valet, the keys aren’t there. This is their discreet signal that the front desk needs to see a guest about “credit card issues” with the security deposit. The keys are kept at the front desk.


So we tromp back inside and, though surprised about a problem with our credit card, we produce another card that goes through just fine. The lady smiles, turns to get our keys, and they are not there. She looks in the drawer, pulling things out, but they are not there. She looks through more drawers, and behind staplers, paper trays, and the potted plants. 


Soon four different people are scrambling. They’ve lost our keys. 


What can we do but give them a break and get out of there? I’m not too worried, and the poor young woman looks like she might faint.  So we head out to dinner. Not twenty minutes later, I get a call from that same young woman. They found our keys hanging on the wrong hook at the car valet. 


When we return to our room, a box of chocolates and a note of apology is delivered.  It was a very nice gesture. We all make mistakes. As I said, it’s how you handle them that counts. 



The Kids are Alright 


As a luxury resort, this place takes care of all its customers, both tiny and tall. And the Westin knows that parents can only truly relax when the kids are alright. 


The babysitting service, Kids Club, Teen Programs, and Night Programs all help to make a spa treatment or a parents' evening date together much nicer.


But it is the atmosphere set by a thousand little details, that makes a family feel at home at the Westin Riverfront. When you first walk in, the materials outfitting the lobby strike you as incredibly elegant. But by evening, the square tables pulled up next to the fireplace are more than just stylish. They are surrounded by laughing kids and their parents playing board games. 


The folks playing live music (folksy, gentle rock songs) nearby grin and nod their heads while little girls dance to the music up front.  Parents call out, requesting favorite songs and the band does its best to comply. Meanwhile, relaxed, joking waiters bring refills on the hot chocolate. 


The lobby is full, guests are slipping off their shoes and tucking their feet up while they chat with folks from other parts of the country, and someone orders a big plate of munchies for the coffee table. Kids hang out together, and their parents smile and sip glasses of wine. Twinkle lights reflect from giant windows at the end of the room.


It’s like being in a big, really nice living room at a super-relaxed, convivial party. I lean back in my overstuffed chair, stretch my aching ski legs, laugh with the couple on the couch next to me, watch the children mingling, and I know, deep down, that the kids are alright. And so am I.  



For information call the Westin Riverfront Resort at Beaver Creek Mountain at 970-790-6000 or check out the Westin Riverfront website.




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