This snowy Colorado enclave is known for its gracious service and impeccable snow. And with upgrades and improvements made for the 2015 World Championships, the resort is better than ever.
Mr. Luxury Ski
The emphasis is on you at this tony ski resort that elevates the ski trip at every conceivable angle. In the morning, resort ambassadors will dole out hand warmers or carry your gear from the pedestrian-only village to Centennial Express Lift, a new combination lift where guests choose to load a chairlift by way of a moving conveyor or step into a 10-passenger gondola cabin. On-mountain, ambassadors are strategically stationed to guide you to the right trail or escort you to the lodge.
Beaver Creek is revered for its precisely combed corduroy, but its 1,832 acres also serve up powder-filled bowls and pristine pine glades. For steeps worthy of the World Cup, you can take a plunge down the Birds of Prey racecourse, where the best ski racers on the planet competed in the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and compete every December in the Men’s Birds of Prey World Cup. And no matter where your skis take you, you’re always within sliding distance of a gourmet restaurant. Just be sure to save room: Chefs in white coats welcome guests back to the village every day at 3pm with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
FOR ADRENALINE SEEKERS
Leave the comforts of immaculately manicured slopes for a heart-pumping challenge on the steep mogul runs that spill down Grouse Mountain. Or set an edge to the Golden Eagle trail, site of the legendary Birds of Prey men’s World Cup downhill racecourse. At its steepest, the pitch tilts to 40 degrees.
THE SOFTER SIDE
Mornings are a lark in Larkspur Bowl, where perfect corduroy bathed in sunlight rolls down the eponymous 10,370-foot peak.
Book a treatment at the Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, and while away the day in a subterranean refuge centered around a co-ed rock-lined grotto with a waterfall. Unwind in the steam room, sauna or whirlpool. Or try the Mountain Spa Morning—a snowshoe tour followed by private yoga and a massage.
BACK TO SCHOOL
At this Ivy League of ski schools, consider the new Elevated Ski School Private Lesson, which can be booked by families too. Participants are granted preferred access to the lifts (even bypassing the ski-school lane) and they also enjoy a gourmet lunch at SaddleRidge.
Slide into the new Candy Cabin at the top of Strawberry Park Express Lift for a sweet selection of candy sold by the quarter pound out of barrels and classic Pepsi products made with real cane sugar. Fifth-generation chocolatier and local Michael Mootz crafts artisan chocolates found only here.
Beaver Creek becomes your private resort when you book the new White Glove First Tracks ticket for early access to the mountain (on selectweekend days). As the sun rises, enjoy solitude and untouched slopes. By the time the trails fill, you’ll be at Allie’s Cabin for an exclusive breakfast.
FROM CHUTES TO FLUTES
With a nod to sister resort Lech, Austria, Beaver Creek has launched a daily on-mountain tradition called Prost! Pop into Spruce Saddle Lodge at the top of Centennial Express Lift at 3pm for a complimentary pour of sparkling wine or cider.
Perched atop Bachelor Gulch Mountain, Trappers Cabin is a private four-bedroom retreat that defines mountain luxury. Shoot pool, soak in the outdoor hot tub or sit by the fire with a good book. All guests arrive by snowcat; most indulge with a private chef.
Enjoy a sip of la dolce vita at Toscanini, where the all-Italian wine list has been recognized with a Wine SpectatorAward of Excellence and your meal is prepared in an open kitchen headlined by new Executive Chef Paul Wade.
BEST ROMANTIC MOMENT
Book a reservation at Beano’s Cabin; hop on a snowcat-pulled sleigh; and snuggle under a blanket en route to the exclusive restaurant tucked in the woods off Larkspur Bowl for a fireside dinner. The pork porterhouse with creamy heirloom grits is a menu staple.
Beaver Creek’s Centennial Lift, which opened in 2014, is part traditional chairlift, part gondola. You have the option of riding on a chairlift loaded by a moving conveyor or in a 10-person gondola cabin loaded from a separate lift line.
AFTER THE GOLD RUSH
The legacy of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships lives on. In addition to two new lifts, the event bequeathed to future generations 17 acres of new terrain (created for the new Raptor racecourse) and state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment. Channel your inner Ted Ligety on Birds of Prey, then slide into the new Talons Restaurant, which served as the event’s press center.
NORDIC, UP HIGH
Unlike the scenario at most resorts, Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park Nordic Center is located high on the mountain. Accessed from the top of Strawberry Park Express Lift, McCoy Park is a serene high-alpine meadow with spectacular Gore Range vistas. Glide through aspen groves, or book a naturalist for a three-hour snowshoe tour of local flora, fauna and folklore. The free Nature Valley Family Snowshoe Tour (3pm daily) is perfect for families with kids ages 6 and older. The tour ends with cocoa and cookies.
Let teens hang with peers with Beaver Creek Loves Teens Too, which hosts events like a twilight snowshoe and pizza party. Or sign them up for the Teen Trick Class @ The Anti-Gravity Center in Edwards, where they can perfect their mute grabs and 1080s by launching off trampolines into foam pits. Sessions wrap at the local ice cream parlor.
This article originally appeared in Epic Life.