I’ve stayed at some very luxurious hotels and resorts over the years. After being spoiled for so long with these traditional vacation rooms, I was a little hesitant to try something a more non traditional, more specifically a condo rental. Although I’ve had many friends and family members rent condos and rave about it, somehow I had this idea that condos were just not as nice as resorts that are full of helpful staff and amenities. However, my mind changed this summer after staying at the Ritz Carlton Residences in Vail, CO.
When booking our trip to Vail this summer, I had every intention of staying at the Four Seasons (where we stayed previously) or another upscale property near Vail Village. However, the cost for a hotel room at these properties was beyond what I wanted to spend and what I thought the room was actually worth ($600+ a night for 1 room with 2 beds). Therefore, we broadened our search to include condo rentals, with an emphasis on the word “luxury”. Several properties popped up on VRBO and similar rental sites showing that the Ritz Carlton Residences in the nearby Lionshead Village actually had availability. And, to our surprise, the cost was less (~$500 a night) than the other luxury hotels in Vail Village and included much more space.
My husband and I quickly snatched up one of the available properties before it was too late, using credit card points as a bonus (I didn’t know you could do that with condo rentals). However, immediately after we booked, I had renters remorse that maybe we had made a mistake. I looked at the beautiful photos of the condo provided online, but I was concerned that they were “stock” photos and not reflective of what we would really get. I was also concerned that there were not many reviews of the place, which can help calm or escalate my fears depending on my mood. Fears aside, we charged ahead.
Arriving at Vail Village is always exciting – seeing the little Swiss-like buildings nestled between the mountains. There’s something so calming and yet exhilarating about being there. What was even more exciting this time around was checking into the Ritz Carlton property. In fact, the whole experience made our trip even better than I could have imagined….and here’s why:
Ritz Carlton Residences, Vail – A Few of My Favorite Things
Furniture and Decor Style – The residence we rented was two-bedroom, three-bathroom property with a full kitchen, dining room, bar area and living room with a fireplace. I’m happy to report that the photos provided on the website, while lovely, didn’t do the condo justice. The decor and furniture could have easily been on showroom floor a Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and Restoration Hardware – I know, because I checked the tags! From the art on the walls and sideboards, to the books on the shelves, to the light fixtures, and Bosch appliances – everything about this place was high-end and lovely!!
Clean, Cozy, Classic – Not only were the furniture and decor items posh, but even more so, each room felt cozy and classic – with darker woods, dark marble, stone accents and rustic features. Plus, there was no less than 5 throw blankets in the main living area which beckoned me to snuggle up with each night after dinner, and made me feel right at home!
Room with a View – Not only did the main living area have a very nice size balcony with an awesome view of Vail Mountain, but the two bedrooms also had lovely views. You know you’re in for a treat when you can sit with your feet up on a cushy ottoman while sitting by the fireplace, looking out the balcony French doors at the mountains.
Hotel/Resort Amenities – For a property that is technically a “condo” the whole place felt more like a classy lodge, complete with superb staff, a beautiful pool, a game room, a cool bar and plenty of cushy chairs to lounge in and around the lobby area.
Spa-like Bathroom – The master bathroom was something that most people would dream about having in their homes – completely with a double sink, large soaking tub, separate glass and marble shower with a steamer setting, and heated floors. And that was just ONE of the bathrooms! The other two full bathrooms appeared just as fancy, but I never really assessed them fully because I spent so much time in the master bath! Side note – my children really enjoyed having their own bathrooms!
Housekeeping – The housekeeping was stealth-like and fast – which is nearly impossible to achieve in a normal year, let along during COVID times. We never once saw a housekeeping staff member or a trolley, yet our entire condo was immaculately cleaned every day we were there, and not just the towels! Well done Ritz Carlton!
Little Extras – Like most of the top-tier hotels and resorts, the Ritz Carlton Residences knows how to focus on the little things that matter, whether they are inside your actual room or around the property. Here are just a few examples….Bottled water was provided complimentary around the property and in our room. Each night, the lobby showcased live music, complimentary chocolate chip cookies, and a bourbon toast. There were also opportunities for wine tastings and fitness classes, not to mention the well-thought out running guides, well-placed sunscreen at each exit.
To be fair, I want to point out a few opportunities where the Ritz could improve – but believe me, there were not many. One caveat is that the property is not located in Vail Village proper, but rather Lionshead a neighboring village. However, a shuttle runs every 15-20 minutes all throughout Vail Village and Lionshead making it super convenient to get back and forth. Although the well-lit pathway between the two Villages is beautiful and takes only 15-20 minutes to walk. But as a bonus, the property is just steps away from one of the main gondolas that take you up the mountain.
As for other opportunities, the property has no coffee shop, yet the hotel next door (a 3 minute walk) had one, and there was no true pool service (you could order food inside the hotel and bring it out to your pool chair). And as for the condo itself, I would highly suggest adding a ceiling fan to the bedrooms and a nespresso maker and milk steamer, but again, these are stretch goals.
I think it’s safe to say that after staying just 3 short days at the property, I’m a huge fan and would highly recommend the Ritz Carlton Residences in Vail to anyone who’s looking for a bit of luxury, a lot of space and all at a great price.
Ciao and Happy Travels!