Taylor-Bachelor-Gulch8

A woman enjoying a ski trip to Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Winter is a magical time of the year and is best enjoyed by doing outdoor activities and taking a ski trip. Colorado skiing is special, especially in the Vail Valley. From the snow-covered Rocky Mountains to charming resort villages, Vail and Beaver Creek are two of the best mountain resorts to enjoy a luxury ski trip in the Centennial State.

Also known as “Little Switzerland,” Vail is an idyllic mountain town nestled between the Rockies and within White River National Forest. It’s famous for winter sports, hiking trails, five-star mountain lodges and celebrity spottings from the Kardashians to the Obamas. The base of Vail Ski Resort, which opened in 1962, is 8,022 feet above sea level and the summit is 11,470 feet.

Another reason why Vail, Colorado is considered one of the most popular ski resorts in the world is because it holds the Burton US Open; Bravo! Vail music festival; Vail Farmer’s Market & Art Show and more. It’s located less than two hours from Denver, the capital city.

Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado.

Beaver Creek is part of Vail Resorts and is known as one of North America’s best luxury ski resorts. It’s renowned for its incredible ski terrain for skiers and snowboarders, five-star lodging, renowned dining options, high-end boutiques and kid-friendly activities. It opened in December 1980 and hosts the Birds of Prey World Cup.

The base elevation of Beaver Creek Mountain is 8,100 feet above sea level and the summit is 11,440 feet. If you’re deciding between Vail or Beaver Creek for where to stay and ski, Beaver Creek Resort is the better option for less crowds.

In January 2024, I traveled to Vail Valley on a girl’s trip with Britny of Our Globetrotting and Ashley of World to Wander. In this article, discover all the best things to do in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado during a luxury ski trip.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. While in Vail and Beaver Creek, I stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, which hosted me for two nights.


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Traveling to Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado:

A woman in a winter wonderland in Colorado.

The best way to travel to Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado is to fly into Eagle County Regional Airport. (I flew straight there from Newark International Airport in New Jersey through United Airlines.) It’s 37 miles from Vail and 28 miles from Beaver Creek. A great way to get from the airport to the mountain towns is through Go Airport Shuttle.

Since Vail’s local airport is a smaller regional airport, you’ll most likely have a layover in Denver or will need to fly into Denver International Airport first if you’re traveling internationally or from secluded areas. If you fly into Denver, you’ll need to rent a car and drive around two hours to get to Beaver Creek or Vail. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

If you and your loved ones plan to only stay in Vail Valley, you don’t need to rent a car. You can easily get around via rideshare or the local buses. For those planning to venture to other areas of Colorado, it’s best to have your own vehicle. During the wintertime, it’s suggested to rent SUVs with higher ground clearance, all-wheel drive and larger tires since Colorado has a lot of snowy days.

A woman enjoying a hot cocoa at Beaver Creek.

What’s great about visiting Vail and Beaver Creek in the winter is the area offers free buses to get around the valley. Click here to see the bus schedules and to learn more about this convenient public transportation service.

Overall, the Vail Valley is a beautiful area to explore on a USA road trip! Click here if you are planning a road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.

Where to Stay in Beaver Creek and Vail during Winter:

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch by Beaver Creek and Vail Resorts.

Located in Avon, at the base of Bachelor Gulch Mountain of Beaver Creek, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is one of Colorado’s premier luxury ski resorts that makes for the best accommodations in the Vail Valley.

Overall, The Ritz-Carlton, consistently recognized as one of North America’s top hotels, is one of Marriott Bonvoy’s Classic Luxury brands. The Bachelor Gulch property is a gorgeous year-round mountain lodge that offers a ski-in ski-out experience, providing hotel guests with easy access to Beaver Creek Mountain.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch also offers club access, luxurious and modern suites and rooms overlooking the Rocky Mountains, sophisticated dining options, an integrated wellness program, a beautiful spa and access to Beaver Creek golf courses during the summer months.

Staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch:

A woman enjoying a glass of champagne at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

During our time at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, we stayed in a Guest Room with two queen beds that overlooked the ski mountain with Club Lounge Access.

The beds at The Ritz-Carlton are cozy and perfect for a good night’s sleep after a long day on the slopes. Our room also had a scenic balcony, spacious en-suite bathroom and modern amenities.

With Club Lounge Access, you and your party can experience the best personal service. Ashley, Britny and I enjoyed complimentary continental breakfasts, midday snacks, afternoon tea and hors d’oeuvres, desserts, complimentary cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as a dedicated concierge. It was nice being able to grab food and drinks throughout the day.

The three of us loved having Club Lounge Access and what’s great about the one at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is that there’s a fireplace you can warm up to after being on the slopes. There are also breathtaking views of the local mountains to admire.

The other rooms and suites you can book at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch include stone fireplaces, wood accents, fully-equipped kitchens and comfortable living spaces.

Dining at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch:

The Great Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch at Beaver Creek.

Regarding the dining options at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, there are three restaurants, a market, an outdoor bar and The Great Room to enjoy drinks and appetizers.

Buffalos is a sports bar and gastropub right at the base of the mountain for Beaver Creek Resort. At this fun spot, you can enjoy regional microbrews, craft cocktails, renowned wines and delicious American fare. We had lunch at this fantastic spot and shared the albacore poke and Bavarian pretzel for appetizers. I had the grain bowl for my main course and then shared the cowboy cookie skillet for dessert with Britny.

WYLD is a seasonal Colorado restaurant with incredible meat, seafood and vegetarian plates. The three of us enjoyed dinner at WYLD on our first evening at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch and I savored the seared scallops that came with carrot, maitake mushrooms and turnip.

A sushi roll from Sakaba at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

Sakaba is a sushi lounge that gets fresh seafood from Japan shipped in daily. At this intimate restaurant, you can enjoy tasty Japanese appetizers, signature sushi rolls, craft cocktails and fabulous desserts. I loved the tuna crispy rice and salmon roll.

The Market is a grab-and-go counter service shop where you can easily fuel up before you hit the slopes and grab sandwiches and snacks.

In addition to all the great restaurants, you can enjoy in-room dining services.

Experiences at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch:

A woman relaxing in a hot tub on a snowy day at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

What’s nice about staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is that not only can you go skiing or snowboarding at Beaver Creek Resort, but you can also book other fun winter activities like taking a ski and snowboard lesson, enjoying a guided snowshoe hike in a winter wonderland, doing cross-country skiing, going fly fishing and making memories snowmobiling.

If you plan a visit to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch during the holiday season, you can relish all the stunning decorations, enjoy visits from Santa, listen to carolers, make s’mores by the fire, cozy up with hot cocoa by the fireplace in The Great Room and more.

Other things to enjoy at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch are to enjoy the luxurious spa, which includes numerous treatment rooms and a grotto; workout at the fully-equipped fitness center, which features a Pilates and yoga studio; relax in the sauna and steam rooms and go for a swim in the outdoor heated lap pool that is surrounded by three hot tubs overlooking the ski slopes.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch also has meeting and event space, making it a dream venue for a Colorado wedding.

During the summer months, the hotel can organize hiking and biking adventures, a tee time at championship golf courses, whitewater rafting excursions, horseback riding experiences, ATV tours, rock climbing journeys, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking ventures, plus more.

Vail and Beaver Creek Things to Do in the Winter:

Two women enjoying Champagne ona luxury Colorado ski trip to Vail and Beaver Creek.

The winter season is the best time to visit Beaver Creek and Vail, Colorado. Discover the best things to do during a trip to this beautiful area from December through March.

Experience Beaver Creek Ski Resort:

The Bachelor Gulch Express Lift at Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Beaver Creek, CO offers some of the top world-class skiing in the United States for riders of all abilities. Located in the Rocky Mountains, Beaver Creek Ski Resort features 2,082 skiable acres with around 3,340 feet of vertical terrain with beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert runs.

When you stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, you can book lift tickets for Vail and Beaver Creek through the hotel. What’s also convenient about staying at this beautiful mountain lodge is that there is also a Ski Concierge right at the base of the mountain where you can store your ski and snowboard equipment. Additionally, inside the hotel is a store where you can get rentals for Vail and Beaver Creek mountains if you choose not to haul yours from home.

The Ritz-Carlton is in a prime location; you can take the Bachelor Gulch Express Lift from the resort to the top of Bachelor Gulch Mountain. At the top of the mountain, you can continue to ski down the many runs on Bachelor Gulch Mountain or enjoy the trails that lead to the main Beaver Creek mountain, which is what we did.

As I mentioned above, Beaver Creek has slopes for all levels. The green trails are beginner terrain, blue trails are intermediate terrain, black diamond trails are advanced terrain and double black diamonds are expert terrain for the very best skiers and snowboarders. From riders who only ski or snowboard a few times during the year to advanced skiers and snowboarders who are on the slopes every day, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Beaver Creek Ski Resort.

A woman enjoying a ski day at Beaver Creek.

During the winter, Beaver Creek’s chairlift hours are from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. The ski resort opens at the end of November and closes for the season in mid-April.

Since Beaver Creek is part of Vail Resorts, you can purchase an Epic Pass. It’s a season pass that gives you unlimited access with no restrictions to any Vail sister resort like Park City, Whistler Blackcomb, Mount Snow and many more. You can also purchase day lift tickets and multi-day passes for adults ages 13 to 64, children ages 5 to 12 and seniors ages 65 and older.

At Beaver Creek, you can leisurely ride the green and blue trails, challenge yourself on one of the steep drops that the black diamond trails boast, enjoy the tree runs, experience the Toyota Race Center and test your skills at one of the terrain parks. Beaver Creek also has a ski and snowboard school for those who want to learn or sharpen their skills.

When you ride the scenic gondola from the Centennial Express Lift, take the Cinch Express Lift to the top of Beaver Creek Mountain. Once you’re at the summit, you must visit the Cookie Cabin for a comforting hot chocolate and gooey chocolate chip, gluten-free, M&M, oatmeal raisin or traditional sugar cookie. Those riding the Strawberry Park Express Lift can also visit the Candy Cabin for a sweet treat.

Two women enjoying cookies from the Cookie Cabin at Beaver Creek Ski Resort.

Each of Beaver Creek’s mountains has cabins and dining facilities to enjoy lunch or an après-ski drink. There’s also an ice cream parlor and grab-and-go spots.

When you plan to do a luxury ski trip to Vail and Beaver Creek, you must also take the time to explore the resort off the mountain.

Beaver Creek Village is a charming alpine center overlooking the entire mountain boasting incredible shopping, dining and photo opportunities. In the center of Beaver Creek, you and your party can admire oversized ice sculptures, a life-size snow globe and Frost Flowers to take photographs in front of. There are also ice bikes to ride.

Enjoy the Best Restaurants in Beaver Creek and Vail:

A woman at Lancelot Restaurant in Vail Village.

These two beautiful ski areas feature world-class dining, offering something for everyone to enjoy during their luxury ski trip. Below are the best restaurants in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado:

Lancelot Restaurant: Located in a Swiss Chalet in the heart of Vail Village, Lancelot Restaurant is a prime rib house serving delicious seafood and vegetarian options. Lancelot’s Chef-Owner, Werner Schadl, is Austrian-born and serves traditional Austrian-German dishes like wiener schnitzel and homemade apple strudel.

Grouse Mountain Grill: Situated in Beaver Creek Village, Grouse Mountain Grill is an award-winning New American Restaurant known for its renowned wines. It’s a casual restaurant featuring fine dining dishes ranging from fresh fish to incredible steaks.

Alpenrose Vail: Also located in Vail, Alpenrose is an Austrian-German restaurant that will transport you to South Tyrol. At this cozy family-owned restaurant, you can enjoy Swiss fondues, raclette, wursts, potato pancakes, glühwein and Bavarian beers. Alpenrose also offers a private gondola dinner experience where you and your loved ones can cozy up and enjoy heartwarming fondue and raclette.

Mirabelle Restaurant: This Belgian-French restaurant is in a farmhouse in the town of Avon. Belgian-born Master Chef Daniel Joy cooks delicious meals with ingredients from his own garden and greenhouse. You can enjoy seasonal dishes and wines from different European countries at Mirabelle.

Blue Moose Pizza: Situated at the base of Vail Mountain in Lionshead Village, Blue Moose Pizza is a great family-friendly New York-style pizzeria. This fantastic spot lets you enjoy delicious pies, fresh salads, tasty sandwiches, as well as great beer and cocktails. (There is also a location in Beaver Creek.)

Beano’s Cabin: Nestled on Beaver Creek Mountain, at the base of Larkspur Bowl, is a luxurious log cabin that provides guests with a gourmet dining experience. What’s cool about making a reservation at Beano’s Cabin is that you’ll take a sleigh ride or snowcat through the aspen groves in a magical winter wonderland and watch your five-course dinner be made right in front of you. This restaurant serves traditional Colorado fare.

Explore Downtown Vail, Colorado:

Vail Village in Colorado.

Vail is the epitome of a magical mountain town. It’s known as “Little Switzerland of America” and will transport you to the Central European Alps. The center of town is nestled between the Rockies and is filled with charming chalets, picturesque Alpine trees, high-end boutiques, snow shops, art galleries, luxury hotels, outdoor rinks and plenty of photo opportunities.

What’s great about visiting Vail, Colorado is that there is a free shuttle between the different villages: Vail Village, Lionshead Village, West Vail and East Vail. If you don’t have time to visit all four neighborhoods, I suggest exploring Vail Village and Lionshead Village because that’s where most shops and restaurants are located.

In Lionshead Village, you must ride the free Eagle Bahn Gondola to experience the breathtaking views of the valley. You can also grab a drink and snack at Bistro 14. This scenic gondola will also take passengers to Adventure Ridge, where there is snow tubing!

Lionshead Village has an outdoor fireplace to warm up at, an ice skating rink, shops, a café called The Belle and bars to grab an après-ski drink.

From Vail Village, you can ride the free Gondola One and enjoy epic views of Mount of the Holy Cross, one of Colorado’s mountains over 14,000 feet above sea level. When you ride Gondola One, you can also enjoy a drink and snack at The 10th.

While in Vail Village, you must admire the incredible ice sculptures, go shopping, visit the Vail Library, dine at one of the top restaurants and experience an après-ski party at one of the many bars.

Make Memories at an Après Ski Party:

Three women enjoying après-ski at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

There’s nothing like celebrating a successful day on the slopes than at a fun après-ski (after-ski) party. During a luxury trip to Vail and Beaver Creek, you must enjoy at least one après-ski party, especially at the below locations:

Fireside Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch: Situated on the hotel’s Mountainside Terrace and right off the Bachelor Gulch Express Lift, Fireside Bar offers a fun après-ski experience with local beer, boozy hot chocolate, craft cocktails, wine and more. You can also enjoy live music by the fire pit and savor light bites.

Fireside Bar is only open until 5 pm, but the party gets taken inside to The Ritz-Carlton’s Great Room, which is a lodge-inspired lounge with a giant fireplace. While guests and visitors listen to live music, they can also sip on drinks and savor appetizers through 10 pm.

The Red Lion: If you appreciate a good crowd with dancing and live music, look no further than The Red Lion in Vail Village. This 1960s après-ski location is a staple to Vail, Colorado and it’s where you can sing along to classic hits, do a ski shot, enjoy locally crafted beer and make endless memories with friends.

Coyote Café: Located right off the slopes of Beaver Creek, Coyote Café has been a local favorite since the early 1980s. It’s a fun spot to listen to great music, enjoy Mexican and American cuisine, sip a Colorado craft beer or margarita and celebrate a successful day on the slopes.

Garfinkel’s: This fun sports bar is located right off the slopes of Vail in Lionshead Village. This local tradition has been around since the 1990s and serves wings, burgers, salads, along with desserts and offers excellent drink options.

Dusty Boot Roadhouse: This saloon and steak house in Beaver Creek Village is an excellent après-ski venue with great food and an extensive beer list.

The Remedy Bar at Four Seasons Vail: To experience an upscale après-ski celebration, you must visit The Remedy Bar at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. This lovely spot has numerous fire pits, a 165-inch television, incredible cocktails and a cozy vibe.

Treat Yourself to a Spa Day at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch:

A woman enjoying a spa day at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

One of the best things to do in Vail and Beaver Creek when you’re not on the slopes is to book a well-needed spa day. Even though there are plenty of spas throughout the area, scheduling time to enjoy The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch’s Spa is a great way to relax and rejuvenate on your luxury ski trip.

The spa at The Ritz-Carlton is a mountain oasis with 19 treatment rooms, a luxurious nail salon, saunas and steam rooms, a hot and cold plunge pool and a co-ed indoor grotto. You can book various massage services, facial treatments, manicures and pedicures, scalp and hair treatments, eyes and lip remedies, body wraps and more. Click here to learn more about this luxury hotel’s spa services.

Overall, the spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is inspired by its surroundings and its treatments include local plants, minerals and activated charcoal sourced in the Colorado mines. The masseuses and estheticians know how to treat the concerns skiers and snowboarders face.

In addition to the services and treatments this rejuvenating spa offers, you can enjoy the relaxation rooms with a cup of tea and warm up in an outdoor hot tub that overlooks the ski slopes.

Ice Skate in Vail:

A woman ice skating in Vail, Colorado.

Not only are skiing and snowboarding great winter activities to enjoy in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado but so is ice skating!

There is an outdoor ice rink in Lionshead Village and Vail Village that makes both neighborhoods feel more like a storybook.

In Lionshead Village, the Alderhof Ice Rink at the Arrabelle at Vail Square is surrounded by Bavarian-style buildings, making it a great photo opportunity. If you have your own skates, ice skating only costs $5 USD at Alderhof Ice Rink. Rentals cost $20 USD for adults and $15 USD for children 12 and under.

The Solaris Plaza Ice Skating Rink in the heart of Vail Village is a bit bigger than the one in Lionshead Village. The price to skate at this ice rink is the same as Alderhof Ice Rink.

See a Show at Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek:

In addition to outdoor winter activities, you must see a concert or performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in the heart of Beaver Creek Village. You can catch upcoming shows by Johnny Cash to Toto at this iconic event venue. Click here to see who else is performing.

Ski or Snowboard Vail Mountain:

Skiing at Vail Resort.

Recognized as the third largest ski resort in the United States, behind Park City and Big Sky, and the largest in Colorado, Vail has over 5,300+ acres of skiable terrain. It offers some of the best snow for skiing and snowboarding, including trail runs for all abilities, like Beaver Creek.

Overall, there is an average of 354 inches of snowfall per season at Vail. The resort also comprises 3,450 vertical feet, including renowned back bowls, 32 ski lifts and 278 trails. It also features the Riva Ridge, the longest ski run of four miles.

From the front side of the ski resort to Vail’s Back Bowls to the Blue Sky Basin, there’s a reason why this mountain has a well-deserved reputation. Discover all you can do at one of the most perfect places for skiing and snowboarding in the American West.


A woman enjoying a trip to Vail and Beaver Creek.

Check out these other excellent winter articles:

10 Things to do in Denver during Winter

Fun Winter Activities in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Lake Placid Weekend Winter Activities

I hope you all enjoyed discovering all the best things to do in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado during a luxury ski trip in the winter. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.  

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., CO State Capital: Denver, Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Winter Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on February 1, 2024 at 11:15 pm

    This blog makes me want to go to these beautiful ski resorts! The Ritz Carlton looks like such a stunning mountain resort! The restaurants look like they had delicious food! Your hotel room had breathtaking views! The spa and the grounds look so serene ~ what an amazing ski trip! Thank you for sharing ~ love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo ❤️

    • Taylor Deer on February 1, 2024 at 11:20 pm

      It really was an incredible ski trip!

Leave a Comment





Taylor-Bachelor-Gulch8

A woman enjoying a ski trip to Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Winter is a magical time of the year and is best enjoyed by doing outdoor activities and taking a ski trip. Colorado skiing is special, especially in the Vail Valley. From the snow-covered Rocky Mountains to charming resort villages, Vail and Beaver Creek are two of the best mountain resorts to enjoy a luxury ski trip in the Centennial State.

Also known as “Little Switzerland,” Vail is an idyllic mountain town nestled between the Rockies and within White River National Forest. It’s famous for winter sports, hiking trails, five-star mountain lodges and celebrity spottings from the Kardashians to the Obamas. The base of Vail Ski Resort, which opened in 1962, is 8,022 feet above sea level and the summit is 11,470 feet.

Another reason why Vail, Colorado is considered one of the most popular ski resorts in the world is because it holds the Burton US Open; Bravo! Vail music festival; Vail Farmer’s Market & Art Show and more. It’s located less than two hours from Denver, the capital city.

Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado.

Beaver Creek is part of Vail Resorts and is known as one of North America’s best luxury ski resorts. It’s renowned for its incredible ski terrain for skiers and snowboarders, five-star lodging, renowned dining options, high-end boutiques and kid-friendly activities. It opened in December 1980 and hosts the Birds of Prey World Cup.

The base elevation of Beaver Creek Mountain is 8,100 feet above sea level and the summit is 11,440 feet. If you’re deciding between Vail or Beaver Creek for where to stay and ski, Beaver Creek Resort is the better option for less crowds.

In January 2024, I traveled to Vail Valley on a girl’s trip with Britny of Our Globetrotting and Ashley of World to Wander. In this article, discover all the best things to do in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado during a luxury ski trip.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. While in Vail and Beaver Creek, I stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, which hosted me for two nights.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Traveling to Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado:

A woman in a winter wonderland in Colorado.

The best way to travel to Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado is to fly into Eagle County Regional Airport. (I flew straight there from Newark International Airport in New Jersey through United Airlines.) It’s 37 miles from Vail and 28 miles from Beaver Creek. A great way to get from the airport to the mountain towns is through Go Airport Shuttle.

Since Vail’s local airport is a smaller regional airport, you’ll most likely have a layover in Denver or will need to fly into Denver International Airport first if you’re traveling internationally or from secluded areas. If you fly into Denver, you’ll need to rent a car and drive around two hours to get to Beaver Creek or Vail. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

If you and your loved ones plan to only stay in Vail Valley, you don’t need to rent a car. You can easily get around via rideshare or the local buses. For those planning to venture to other areas of Colorado, it’s best to have your own vehicle. During the wintertime, it’s suggested to rent SUVs with higher ground clearance, all-wheel drive and larger tires since Colorado has a lot of snowy days.

A woman enjoying a hot cocoa at Beaver Creek.

What’s great about visiting Vail and Beaver Creek in the winter is the area offers free buses to get around the valley. Click here to see the bus schedules and to learn more about this convenient public transportation service.

Overall, the Vail Valley is a beautiful area to explore on a USA road trip! Click here if you are planning a road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.

Where to Stay in Beaver Creek and Vail during Winter:

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch by Beaver Creek and Vail Resorts.

Located in Avon, at the base of Bachelor Gulch Mountain of Beaver Creek, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is one of Colorado’s premier luxury ski resorts that makes for the best accommodations in the Vail Valley.

Overall, The Ritz-Carlton, consistently recognized as one of North America’s top hotels, is one of Marriott Bonvoy’s Classic Luxury brands. The Bachelor Gulch property is a gorgeous year-round mountain lodge that offers a ski-in ski-out experience, providing hotel guests with easy access to Beaver Creek Mountain.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch also offers club access, luxurious and modern suites and rooms overlooking the Rocky Mountains, sophisticated dining options, an integrated wellness program, a beautiful spa and access to Beaver Creek golf courses during the summer months.

Staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch:

A woman enjoying a glass of champagne at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

During our time at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, we stayed in a Guest Room with two queen beds that overlooked the ski mountain with Club Lounge Access.

The beds at The Ritz-Carlton are cozy and perfect for a good night’s sleep after a long day on the slopes. Our room also had a scenic balcony, spacious en-suite bathroom and modern amenities.

With Club Lounge Access, you and your party can experience the best personal service. Ashley, Britny and I enjoyed complimentary continental breakfasts, midday snacks, afternoon tea and hors d’oeuvres, desserts, complimentary cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as a dedicated concierge. It was nice being able to grab food and drinks throughout the day.

The three of us loved having Club Lounge Access and what’s great about the one at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is that there’s a fireplace you can warm up to after being on the slopes. There are also breathtaking views of the local mountains to admire.

The other rooms and suites you can book at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch include stone fireplaces, wood accents, fully-equipped kitchens and comfortable living spaces.

Dining at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch:

The Great Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch at Beaver Creek.

Regarding the dining options at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, there are three restaurants, a market, an outdoor bar and The Great Room to enjoy drinks and appetizers.

Buffalos is a sports bar and gastropub right at the base of the mountain for Beaver Creek Resort. At this fun spot, you can enjoy regional microbrews, craft cocktails, renowned wines and delicious American fare. We had lunch at this fantastic spot and shared the albacore poke and Bavarian pretzel for appetizers. I had the grain bowl for my main course and then shared the cowboy cookie skillet for dessert with Britny.

WYLD is a seasonal Colorado restaurant with incredible meat, seafood and vegetarian plates. The three of us enjoyed dinner at WYLD on our first evening at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch and I savored the seared scallops that came with carrot, maitake mushrooms and turnip.

A sushi roll from Sakaba at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

Sakaba is a sushi lounge that gets fresh seafood from Japan shipped in daily. At this intimate restaurant, you can enjoy tasty Japanese appetizers, signature sushi rolls, craft cocktails and fabulous desserts. I loved the tuna crispy rice and salmon roll.

The Market is a grab-and-go counter service shop where you can easily fuel up before you hit the slopes and grab sandwiches and snacks.

In addition to all the great restaurants, you can enjoy in-room dining services.

Experiences at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch:

A woman relaxing in a hot tub on a snowy day at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

What’s nice about staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is that not only can you go skiing or snowboarding at Beaver Creek Resort, but you can also book other fun winter activities like taking a ski and snowboard lesson, enjoying a guided snowshoe hike in a winter wonderland, doing cross-country skiing, going fly fishing and making memories snowmobiling.

If you plan a visit to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch during the holiday season, you can relish all the stunning decorations, enjoy visits from Santa, listen to carolers, make s’mores by the fire, cozy up with hot cocoa by the fireplace in The Great Room and more.

Other things to enjoy at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch are to enjoy the luxurious spa, which includes numerous treatment rooms and a grotto; workout at the fully-equipped fitness center, which features a Pilates and yoga studio; relax in the sauna and steam rooms and go for a swim in the outdoor heated lap pool that is surrounded by three hot tubs overlooking the ski slopes.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch also has meeting and event space, making it a dream venue for a Colorado wedding.

During the summer months, the hotel can organize hiking and biking adventures, a tee time at championship golf courses, whitewater rafting excursions, horseback riding experiences, ATV tours, rock climbing journeys, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking ventures, plus more.

Vail and Beaver Creek Things to Do in the Winter:

Two women enjoying Champagne ona luxury Colorado ski trip to Vail and Beaver Creek.

The winter season is the best time to visit Beaver Creek and Vail, Colorado. Discover the best things to do during a trip to this beautiful area from December through March.

Experience Beaver Creek Ski Resort:

The Bachelor Gulch Express Lift at Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Beaver Creek, CO offers some of the top world-class skiing in the United States for riders of all abilities. Located in the Rocky Mountains, Beaver Creek Ski Resort features 2,082 skiable acres with around 3,340 feet of vertical terrain with beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert runs.

When you stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, you can book lift tickets for Vail and Beaver Creek through the hotel. What’s also convenient about staying at this beautiful mountain lodge is that there is also a Ski Concierge right at the base of the mountain where you can store your ski and snowboard equipment. Additionally, inside the hotel is a store where you can get rentals for Vail and Beaver Creek mountains if you choose not to haul yours from home.

The Ritz-Carlton is in a prime location; you can take the Bachelor Gulch Express Lift from the resort to the top of Bachelor Gulch Mountain. At the top of the mountain, you can continue to ski down the many runs on Bachelor Gulch Mountain or enjoy the trails that lead to the main Beaver Creek mountain, which is what we did.

As I mentioned above, Beaver Creek has slopes for all levels. The green trails are beginner terrain, blue trails are intermediate terrain, black diamond trails are advanced terrain and double black diamonds are expert terrain for the very best skiers and snowboarders. From riders who only ski or snowboard a few times during the year to advanced skiers and snowboarders who are on the slopes every day, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Beaver Creek Ski Resort.

A woman enjoying a ski day at Beaver Creek.

During the winter, Beaver Creek’s chairlift hours are from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. The ski resort opens at the end of November and closes for the season in mid-April.

Since Beaver Creek is part of Vail Resorts, you can purchase an Epic Pass. It’s a season pass that gives you unlimited access with no restrictions to any Vail sister resort like Park City, Whistler Blackcomb, Mount Snow and many more. You can also purchase day lift tickets and multi-day passes for adults ages 13 to 64, children ages 5 to 12 and seniors ages 65 and older.

At Beaver Creek, you can leisurely ride the green and blue trails, challenge yourself on one of the steep drops that the black diamond trails boast, enjoy the tree runs, experience the Toyota Race Center and test your skills at one of the terrain parks. Beaver Creek also has a ski and snowboard school for those who want to learn or sharpen their skills.

When you ride the scenic gondola from the Centennial Express Lift, take the Cinch Express Lift to the top of Beaver Creek Mountain. Once you’re at the summit, you must visit the Cookie Cabin for a comforting hot chocolate and gooey chocolate chip, gluten-free, M&M, oatmeal raisin or traditional sugar cookie. Those riding the Strawberry Park Express Lift can also visit the Candy Cabin for a sweet treat.

Two women enjoying cookies from the Cookie Cabin at Beaver Creek Ski Resort.

Each of Beaver Creek’s mountains has cabins and dining facilities to enjoy lunch or an après-ski drink. There’s also an ice cream parlor and grab-and-go spots.

When you plan to do a luxury ski trip to Vail and Beaver Creek, you must also take the time to explore the resort off the mountain.

Beaver Creek Village is a charming alpine center overlooking the entire mountain boasting incredible shopping, dining and photo opportunities. In the center of Beaver Creek, you and your party can admire oversized ice sculptures, a life-size snow globe and Frost Flowers to take photographs in front of. There are also ice bikes to ride.

Enjoy the Best Restaurants in Beaver Creek and Vail:

A woman at Lancelot Restaurant in Vail Village.

These two beautiful ski areas feature world-class dining, offering something for everyone to enjoy during their luxury ski trip. Below are the best restaurants in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado:

Lancelot Restaurant: Located in a Swiss Chalet in the heart of Vail Village, Lancelot Restaurant is a prime rib house serving delicious seafood and vegetarian options. Lancelot’s Chef-Owner, Werner Schadl, is Austrian-born and serves traditional Austrian-German dishes like wiener schnitzel and homemade apple strudel.

Grouse Mountain Grill: Situated in Beaver Creek Village, Grouse Mountain Grill is an award-winning New American Restaurant known for its renowned wines. It’s a casual restaurant featuring fine dining dishes ranging from fresh fish to incredible steaks.

Alpenrose Vail: Also located in Vail, Alpenrose is an Austrian-German restaurant that will transport you to South Tyrol. At this cozy family-owned restaurant, you can enjoy Swiss fondues, raclette, wursts, potato pancakes, glühwein and Bavarian beers. Alpenrose also offers a private gondola dinner experience where you and your loved ones can cozy up and enjoy heartwarming fondue and raclette.

Mirabelle Restaurant: This Belgian-French restaurant is in a farmhouse in the town of Avon. Belgian-born Master Chef Daniel Joy cooks delicious meals with ingredients from his own garden and greenhouse. You can enjoy seasonal dishes and wines from different European countries at Mirabelle.

Blue Moose Pizza: Situated at the base of Vail Mountain in Lionshead Village, Blue Moose Pizza is a great family-friendly New York-style pizzeria. This fantastic spot lets you enjoy delicious pies, fresh salads, tasty sandwiches, as well as great beer and cocktails. (There is also a location in Beaver Creek.)

Beano’s Cabin: Nestled on Beaver Creek Mountain, at the base of Larkspur Bowl, is a luxurious log cabin that provides guests with a gourmet dining experience. What’s cool about making a reservation at Beano’s Cabin is that you’ll take a sleigh ride or snowcat through the aspen groves in a magical winter wonderland and watch your five-course dinner be made right in front of you. This restaurant serves traditional Colorado fare.

Explore Downtown Vail, Colorado:

Vail Village in Colorado.

Vail is the epitome of a magical mountain town. It’s known as “Little Switzerland of America” and will transport you to the Central European Alps. The center of town is nestled between the Rockies and is filled with charming chalets, picturesque Alpine trees, high-end boutiques, snow shops, art galleries, luxury hotels, outdoor rinks and plenty of photo opportunities.

What’s great about visiting Vail, Colorado is that there is a free shuttle between the different villages: Vail Village, Lionshead Village, West Vail and East Vail. If you don’t have time to visit all four neighborhoods, I suggest exploring Vail Village and Lionshead Village because that’s where most shops and restaurants are located.

In Lionshead Village, you must ride the free Eagle Bahn Gondola to experience the breathtaking views of the valley. You can also grab a drink and snack at Bistro 14. This scenic gondola will also take passengers to Adventure Ridge, where there is snow tubing!

Lionshead Village has an outdoor fireplace to warm up at, an ice skating rink, shops, a café called The Belle and bars to grab an après-ski drink.

From Vail Village, you can ride the free Gondola One and enjoy epic views of Mount of the Holy Cross, one of Colorado’s mountains over 14,000 feet above sea level. When you ride Gondola One, you can also enjoy a drink and snack at The 10th.

While in Vail Village, you must admire the incredible ice sculptures, go shopping, visit the Vail Library, dine at one of the top restaurants and experience an après-ski party at one of the many bars.

Make Memories at an Après Ski Party:

Three women enjoying après-ski at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

There’s nothing like celebrating a successful day on the slopes than at a fun après-ski (after-ski) party. During a luxury trip to Vail and Beaver Creek, you must enjoy at least one après-ski party, especially at the below locations:

Fireside Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch: Situated on the hotel’s Mountainside Terrace and right off the Bachelor Gulch Express Lift, Fireside Bar offers a fun après-ski experience with local beer, boozy hot chocolate, craft cocktails, wine and more. You can also enjoy live music by the fire pit and savor light bites.

Fireside Bar is only open until 5 pm, but the party gets taken inside to The Ritz-Carlton’s Great Room, which is a lodge-inspired lounge with a giant fireplace. While guests and visitors listen to live music, they can also sip on drinks and savor appetizers through 10 pm.

The Red Lion: If you appreciate a good crowd with dancing and live music, look no further than The Red Lion in Vail Village. This 1960s après-ski location is a staple to Vail, Colorado and it’s where you can sing along to classic hits, do a ski shot, enjoy locally crafted beer and make endless memories with friends.

Coyote Café: Located right off the slopes of Beaver Creek, Coyote Café has been a local favorite since the early 1980s. It’s a fun spot to listen to great music, enjoy Mexican and American cuisine, sip a Colorado craft beer or margarita and celebrate a successful day on the slopes.

Garfinkel’s: This fun sports bar is located right off the slopes of Vail in Lionshead Village. This local tradition has been around since the 1990s and serves wings, burgers, salads, along with desserts and offers excellent drink options.

Dusty Boot Roadhouse: This saloon and steak house in Beaver Creek Village is an excellent après-ski venue with great food and an extensive beer list.

The Remedy Bar at Four Seasons Vail: To experience an upscale après-ski celebration, you must visit The Remedy Bar at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. This lovely spot has numerous fire pits, a 165-inch television, incredible cocktails and a cozy vibe.

Treat Yourself to a Spa Day at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch:

A woman enjoying a spa day at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

One of the best things to do in Vail and Beaver Creek when you’re not on the slopes is to book a well-needed spa day. Even though there are plenty of spas throughout the area, scheduling time to enjoy The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch’s Spa is a great way to relax and rejuvenate on your luxury ski trip.

The spa at The Ritz-Carlton is a mountain oasis with 19 treatment rooms, a luxurious nail salon, saunas and steam rooms, a hot and cold plunge pool and a co-ed indoor grotto. You can book various massage services, facial treatments, manicures and pedicures, scalp and hair treatments, eyes and lip remedies, body wraps and more. Click here to learn more about this luxury hotel’s spa services.

Overall, the spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is inspired by its surroundings and its treatments include local plants, minerals and activated charcoal sourced in the Colorado mines. The masseuses and estheticians know how to treat the concerns skiers and snowboarders face.

In addition to the services and treatments this rejuvenating spa offers, you can enjoy the relaxation rooms with a cup of tea and warm up in an outdoor hot tub that overlooks the ski slopes.

Ice Skate in Vail:

A woman ice skating in Vail, Colorado.

Not only are skiing and snowboarding great winter activities to enjoy in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado but so is ice skating!

There is an outdoor ice rink in Lionshead Village and Vail Village that makes both neighborhoods feel more like a storybook.

In Lionshead Village, the Alderhof Ice Rink at the Arrabelle at Vail Square is surrounded by Bavarian-style buildings, making it a great photo opportunity. If you have your own skates, ice skating only costs $5 USD at Alderhof Ice Rink. Rentals cost $20 USD for adults and $15 USD for children 12 and under.

The Solaris Plaza Ice Skating Rink in the heart of Vail Village is a bit bigger than the one in Lionshead Village. The price to skate at this ice rink is the same as Alderhof Ice Rink.

See a Show at Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek:

In addition to outdoor winter activities, you must see a concert or performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in the heart of Beaver Creek Village. You can catch upcoming shows by Johnny Cash to Toto at this iconic event venue. Click here to see who else is performing.

Ski or Snowboard Vail Mountain:

Skiing at Vail Resort.

Recognized as the third largest ski resort in the United States, behind Park City and Big Sky, and the largest in Colorado, Vail has over 5,300+ acres of skiable terrain. It offers some of the best snow for skiing and snowboarding, including trail runs for all abilities, like Beaver Creek.

Overall, there is an average of 354 inches of snowfall per season at Vail. The resort also comprises 3,450 vertical feet, including renowned back bowls, 32 ski lifts and 278 trails. It also features the Riva Ridge, the longest ski run of four miles.

From the front side of the ski resort to Vail’s Back Bowls to the Blue Sky Basin, there’s a reason why this mountain has a well-deserved reputation. Discover all you can do at one of the most perfect places for skiing and snowboarding in the American West.


A woman enjoying a trip to Vail and Beaver Creek.

Check out these other excellent winter articles:

10 Things to do in Denver during Winter

Fun Winter Activities in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Lake Placid Weekend Winter Activities

I hope you all enjoyed discovering all the best things to do in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado during a luxury ski trip in the winter. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.  

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., CO State Capital: Denver, Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on February 1, 2024 at 11:15 pm

    This blog makes me want to go to these beautiful ski resorts! The Ritz Carlton looks like such a stunning mountain resort! The restaurants look like they had delicious food! Your hotel room had breathtaking views! The spa and the grounds look so serene ~ what an amazing ski trip! Thank you for sharing ~ love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo ❤️

    • Taylor Deer on February 1, 2024 at 11:20 pm

      It really was an incredible ski trip!

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