Hidden Jewel in Beaver Creek, CO

Highlands Lodge
P.O. Box 5480
Avon, CO. 81620
Local Phone: 970-949-5071
Toll Free: 866-282-7056
Highlands Lodge- Vail Beaver Creek
 
A Bit of History
 
Vail/Beaver Creek was a Ute Indian hunting ground long before European settlers pioneered the Gore Creek Valley. In the 1800's, fortune hunters looking for gold and other moneymaking resources settled in the area. For the next hundred years, Vail was mostly a sheep pasture until expert skiers of the Army's 10th Mountain Division trained in Leadville in the 1940's and went on to fight in the Alps during WWII. Some of the army buddies of this famous Rocky Mountain skiing squad returned here after the war and built their dream - Vail Resort. Beaver Creek, opposed by environmental groups, opened in 1980.
 
Accommodations:
 
Highlands Lodge is a lodge/condominium complex located slope side at Beaver Creek Resort. It is ultra-elegant, yet comfortable offering beautifully appointed one to four bedroom condominiums with drop dead views of the ski mountain. Each unit has a balcony, a fully equipped kitchen, washer dryer, and a floor to ceiling wood-burning fireplace. The units are all uniquely furnished with a western flair. The lodge is equipped with many extras like, concierge service, plush terry robes, ski lockers with boot dryers, Internet access, free shuttle service, spa services for a fee, and three pools. It has many hotel amenities, but exudes the comforts and privacy of home. As soon as I walked in the door, the floor to ceiling windows that afforded me a larger than life view of Beaver Creek astounded me. The kitchen had granite counters and state-of-the-art appliances. My three-bedroom/three bath unit had clean, beautifully furnished and inviting rooms.
 
What to Do:
 
WINTER: The Highlands Lodge is literally steps away from the mountain. The mountain has 1675 acres of skiable terrain with 16 lifts, including two gondolas and 10 express quads. The mountain terrain is very spread out and there is something for everybody as far as runs go. The Beaver offers easy beginner trails and challenging moguls on the infamous "Birds of Prey" lift.
 
Aside from skiing, every winter activity imaginable can be done here with the beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. The resort has extremely amenable staff members who are more than happy to arrange any outing for you and your family, from dog sledding to ice climbing. Unusual adventures include hut-to- hut snowshoe/cross country ski trips and backcountry snow cat skiing. Cross Country ski or snowshoe at McCoy Peak Park. For a more relaxing day spent, try the Allegria Spa located in the Park Hyatt.
Right in the middle of the village, there is a lovely ice skating rink with really comfortable couches and chairs to sit on to watch the show. There are gas-lit fires scattered about to keep you warm. Skate rentals are really reasonable too.
 
SUMMER: Hiking, (an understatement) biking, golf, (12 golf courses located around the valley) jeep and hummer tours (beautiful views) zip line adventures (kids love these) and fly fishing - the Alpine River Club offers conservation minded fly fishing in private areas. Also, try river rafting and kayaking or hot air ballooning. (A different perspective)
 
Shopping:
 
The concierge at the front desk will call a shuttle to go down to the village to shop. These are special shuttles that come quickly and take you right to your destination with few stops. If you love to shop, Beaver Creek is for you. It offers a pleasant, jovial atmosphere reminiscent of old Europe. Visit the plentiful array of sport shops that dot the village. There are art galleries, jewelry shops, clothing boutiques, shoe stores, gift shops and gourmet food places galore. Two of my favorite places are Gorsuch, an upscale furniture and clothing outfitter, and the General Store - a crowded, fun food/clothing/dry goods/gift shop/ice cream and sundries hole in the wall that has just about one of everything. Interested? Click here. www.eastwestbeavercreek.com/beaver-creek-shopping-p91.aspx
 
Food and Drink:
 
Après Ski: After a full day outside, most people gather at the foot of the mountain (outside in the Rocky Mountain sunshine) near the Centennial Express Lift to unwind. There are a myriad of choices to sit and chill, but my favorites were the Chop House, where the Bloody Marys and hamburgers were excellent and large, and the Park Hyatt, where, at 3:30 the staff hands out FREE hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. There are several musicians placed strategically about strumming your favorite oldies. Another must is to take a shuttle (or ski) to Bachelor Gulch to visit the Ritz Carlton après ski for delicious, but pricey drinks and hors derives.
 
Dining out: In Beaver Creek alone, there are 27 dining establishments ranging from casual to chic. This number does not even include nearby Avon, Edwards, Minturn or Vail Village. Technically, you could probably spend three months in this area and most likely never hit the same restaurant twice. Some of my favorites were:
 
Casual: The Blue Moose - a casual pizza/sandwich place next to the ice rink, The Broken Arrow Cafe serving fresh soups and sandwiches, The Dusty Boot Steakhouse and Saloon- fun and family friendly serving burgers, Mexican and seafood - Good Margaritas. For a tasty Asian lunch, try Foxnut with sushi and Asian fusion dishes. Try the lunchbox special. The Chophouse - Colorado beef at its finest. Minturn Saloon an authentic and reasonably priced old west saloon in nearby Minturn with Mexican food and raucous fun all in sight of the Gore Creek.
 
Upscale Fine Dining: Try the Grouse Mountain Grill - a cozy mountain grill serving fine meats and fresh fish, great mountain views and nightly jazz. Mirabelle - classic French food in a restored farmhouse.
 
Upscale Family Dining: There are several upscale restaurants on and off the mountain, but I urge you not to miss Beano's Cabin. To get there you must take a moonlit sleigh-ride in the winter or horseback, wagon or van ride in the summer to a lovely, rustic log cabin located mid-mountain at the Larkspur Bowl. I took the winter sleigh ride covered in a wool blanket and surrounded by a blanket of stars. The dining area has a roaring fire, live entertainment and a sumptuous and delicious five-course meal. It is five star dining in a unique and inviting atmosphere. The staff is impeccable and so is the food. Don't miss it. To choose your own eating establishment, click here. http://www.eastwestbeavercreek.com/dining-and-restaurants
 
DON'T MISS:
 
  • Beano's Cabin
  • The Colorado Ski Museum at Vail
  • Cross Country skiing or snow shoeing at McCoy Peak Park at the top of the Strawberry Park Express.  
  • Reading the trail sign explanations - Every trail sign explains its name. For instance - Gold Dust: "the particles and flakes (and sometimes small nuggets) of gold obtained in placer mining."
  • Taking a moonlight snowshoe.  
  • Learning how to telemark ski on tele-Tuesdays,
  • Taking in a summer rodeo on Thursday nights at the Beaver Creek Rodeo Listen to the music at the Beaver Creek Music Festival
  • Beaver Creek Film Series
  • Ice Skating
  •  
What I Think:

 

The Highlands Lodge was a homey, cozy place perfectly situated on a beautiful mountain. It offers the best of everything - comfortable accommodations and easy access to do what I love best - play in the snow. Don't overlook its possibilities in the summer, when ski trails turn into hiking trails and icy rivers turn into highways of fun. The rates to stay plummet in the warmer weather too.