Old Apr 7, 07, 1:30 pm
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,530
PH Beaver Creek - mini report March 2007

The PH Beaver Creek opened (as a plain Hyatt) in 1989, and I made my first visit during the Summer of 1990. Inspired by the awesome location and level of service, I returned (with family) for the 1994/95 Xmas/New Year period. We were so impressed with our winter skiing experience; we immediately booked the following Xmas/New Year. We had such a great time that we returned to Beaver Creek for the following two years; but then our interests changed and we opted for sun and surf for our next Xmas holidays.

I have not been back to Beaver Creek since 1997 and not wanting to waste three (otherwise unusable) FFNs, I managed to snag a reservation using FFNs in mid March. I was interested to see the changes that had been made since major renovations to the property in 2002, and 2006.

The most recent renovations apparently cost $20 million which was spent on room upgrades (roughly $10K per room according to Hyatt) and an expanded/enhanced spa (costing $12 million). I had great expectations for my visit.

The check-in process was smooth and as a Diamond, I was informed that I had been upgraded to a Slopeside King room (in previous years I had always received an upgrade to an Executive King, complete with fireplace). I was given the usual welcome amenity choices, and handed coupons for the special Diamond Members Breakfast Club which entitled me to:

1 Pastry
1 Tropicana Juice
1 Small Coffee or Tea

The above items were only redeemable at the Café (a shop) and in theory substitutions were not allowed. The cashier at the Shop was fortunately a little more flexible.

There was no way to upgrade the coupon to either a continental breakfast ($16.57) or a full breakfast ($26). There were no other breakfast options (coupon, continental or full) and the restaurant, (Bivans) did not offer a la carte options.

The room did not immediately reflect the 10K improvement. The TV was an old analog cathode tube type; the shower was in the bath tub and the furniture and carpet looked old and worn. The bed however was luxurious; there were new wall treatments and a new clock radio with an iPod docking station. So much for the roughly $10K per room.

With regard to the public areas, the renovations seemed largely cosmetic. The main bar had been lengthened and the carpets were replaced, otherwise the public rooms looked much the same as they did in 1997. Where did all the money go?

It had been spent on converting about 80-90 rooms into 15 fractional-ownership apartments. Originally, the Hyatt had 301 guest rooms (and no spa – which was added in 1998); the 2002 renovation reduced these to 274; and the most recent renovation further reduced the rooms to 190. Where did all the space go? Not to larger rooms, or additional public areas, but it was converted to make way for the spa and the apartments.

The money spent on the spa however was very apparent. The new spa is spread over two floors and features a “Water Temple” where water tumbles over stone into a heated, aromatic mineral bath. The spa also features two deluxe treatment suites that offer a private steam shower, changing area, massage tables for two, and more. Apart from looking, I did not try the spa.

The big selling point for the PH Beaver Creek is LOCATION, LOCATION, and LOCATION. The hotel sits in the middle of a village and in addition to a ski-in, ski-out advantage, there is a ski valet to look after your skis; a nearby ski school (offering lessons from age 3 up); an ice skating rink; a rock climbing tower; snow cat tours; bike rental; nearby golf and fishing in season. There is a Camp Hyatt for the kids and (one of the best features) an outdoor pool and hot tubs right next to ski slope.

Diamond recognition was minimal. Service was not memorable and check-in/check-out times are 4:00pm and 12:00 noon. Meals and laundry are expensive and it you want to use one of the PCs in the business center it will cost you $5 for 15 mins.

Visit this hotel if you want to experience the location. Do not come looking for a “Diamond Experience” as you will be disappointed
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