St Regis Aspen, Colorado [Master Thread]

Old Jun 30, 07, 9:57 am
  #1  
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Arrow St Regis Aspen, Colorado [Master Thread]

I'm planning a trip in February to the St. Regis Aspen (peak season!) and am trying to decipher how they treat Plats.

Has anyone received room upgrades, or club access - or even breakfast at Olives? I'm sure people have had different experiences, but the postings I've found so far on here have been very unclear - one poster said there are no Plat benefits at the St. Regis in Aspen.

Please share your experiences as a Plat in Aspen if you've been. Should I book a Jr. Suite, or Club Access - or will a Standard room suffice for further good treatment? Thanks.

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Jun 28, 09 at 10:29 pm Reason: 2001-2007 thread at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starwood-preferred-guest/969691-st-regis-aspen-colorado-2001-2006-master-t
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Old Jun 30, 07, 4:04 pm
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No Club access for Plats. SPG T&Cs only promise this benefit for Westin and Sheraton.

When my wife and I were there in early March 2005 (peak peak season, IMO), we did not get an upgrade, but we did get a wonderful free breakfast buffet (or equivalent value for a la carte) in Olive's.

We also took advantage of the opportunity to dine at the Caribou Club on the hotel's corporate membership. Any guest can do that on one night -- not just elites. The cost of dinner there was $75 per person (not including drinks).

Other than the free breakfast, I don't recall any significant recognition of my Plat status. We were given the option to get a late check-out, but we didn't need it.
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Old Jul 1, 07, 2:17 pm
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definitately book on the club floor. It's a great experiance. While the service is pretty good,the turnover is very high with their staff so they won't remember any of your needs. The St Regis hires many foreigners on J1 visas and they usually only there fro one season
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Old Jul 1, 07, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by lanemckenna View Post
Looking forward to my trip Dec 23-28 on an award stay! 5 nights for 48K points (A value of more than .16 per point).
I'll be there the same time 12/23 thru 12/29 and I booked a King Suite (upgrade) for around 72 or 74K points (can't remember the upgrade charge) when the room rate is around $1950 per night. That's a sweet value of around 16cents per point!

Last edited by ldsant; Jul 8, 07 at 11:06 pm Reason: irrelevant to the rest of the post
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Old Jul 8, 07, 10:22 pm
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The Wall Street Journal (Friday edition July 6) slammed this property.

If someone can copy/paste the article, it would be appreciated.
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Old Aug 15, 07, 8:39 pm
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Upgraded to Suite

We just got back from St. Regis Aspen. We booked the standard room for 20k points through spg.com. I was very surprised when we checked in and were told that since we were platinum guests that we were being upgraded to a 1BR suite. The room was very nice especially since we were traveling with our 2 & 4 year olds. We did not get a free breakfast buffet but they only charged us for one kid instead of two. They also pressed 2 garmets and shined my shoes for free. Overall we had a great stay!
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Old Aug 16, 07, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by dhammer53 View Post
The Wall Street Journal (Friday edition July 6) slammed this property.

If someone can copy/paste the article, it would be appreciated.
Ask and ye shall receive I have excerpted in order to comply with TOS.

Reclining on a couch in the darkened, serene oxygen lounge at the St. Regis Aspen's Remede spa after a soothing afternoon massage, I'm inhaling the O2 from a plastic tube -- and trying to catch a few winks.

I may sleep better here than in my hotel room, where for three nights running the air-conditioning system has been clanking on and off like an industrial cooling plant, no matter how many times I get up to fiddle with it. Between sleep deprivation and my need to adjust to the altitude, it's not exactly the Rocky Mountain high I was hoping for. On the other side of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide property, meanwhile, some friends are happily ensconced in the spacious fractional-ownership lodging they use for four weeks each summer, and I'm wondering if I should have taken up the offer to bunk with them.

In a growing number of resort areas around the country, a shift that started a couple of decades ago is accelerating: More Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons and Starwood properties are offering fractional-ownership apartments, not just hotel rooms. So when my friends raved about their Residence Club experience, I decided to meet them recently in Aspen -- and get an inside view of the difference between being a hotel guest and a fractional owner.
***
But in Aspen, at least, the residence-club owners had the better deal by a ski-country mile -- and of course, they paid considerably more for the privilege: The average summer price for four-week ownership is $350,000 and in winter it jumps to $600,000. (A spokeswoman says the property is sold out.) My friends had a two-bedroom apartment, bright and sun-filled, with attractive furnishings such as a leather couch and a grand dining-room table. The suite had a separate entrance and came with its own concierge.

As for my own room, besides its exasperating air conditioning, I could barely see what was in it even with all the lights on. Perhaps it was better that way: Dark brown paint, heavy curtains and dull fabrics may have been meant to give the place a lodge-y feel in winter but felt downright depressing in the summer. The contrast in quality was particularly notable since St. Regis hotel rooms average $650 per night in summer and $900 in winter. (Booking online in April for June, I paid roughly in the middle of that range.) The hotel spokeswoman says the hotel used a different designer for the Residence Club, where the rooms are larger, and that the hotel's décor was created "with a mountain-inspired design palette, keeping true to the look and feel of the region."

With its fitness center, pool and meeting rooms, the St. Regis Aspen, nestled at the base of the stunning Ajax Mountain, is the largest full-service resort in this swank former mining town, where several new projects are going up, including fractional-ownership properties. Built in the early 1990s and originally run by Ritz-Carlton, the property was converted to a St. Regis in 2004 and after a $40 million overhaul emerged with 25 fractional-ownership apartments and 179 rooms including 24 suites, the first of several such residence clubs St. Regis owner Starwood has been opening in existing and new hotel properties around the country.

Rocky stay in the mountains: An entrance to the St. Regis Aspen in Colorado
The hotel impressed me by calling several times to confirm that I was coming and to see if I needed anything, like spa reservations or an airport pickup. When I arrived at the airport, I thought the hotel had forgotten me. But it was just that the staffer wasn't holding up his sign; he overheard me calling the hotel to find out where he might be and identified himself.

In fact, staffing overall posed some problems at the St. Regis. Like many big resorts that import workers for seasonal posts, the hotel was using young trainees and temporary help from various international destinations. While some were helpful and competent, others, including those manning the phones, had a less-than-perfect command of English -- an issue I've experienced at other resorts that import seasonal workers. The St. Regis spokeswoman, to whom I spoke after my stay (as usual I don't disclose my Wall Street Journal affiliation before or during my stay) said, "We are very proud to have associates from around the world. St. Regis is a global brand with global guests and it is truly an asset to have such a diverse talent pool."

We arrived by van with other guests at the entrance to the hotel, marked by a giant statue of an elk. A front-desk clerk told me I could upgrade to a loft suite from my double-bedded room at no extra charge. I had to choose the lesser of two evils. One unit was dark, with a large terrace overlooking the courtyard with a direct view up at the mountain, and small; the other was dark, in a wing connected to the main part of the hotel by a sweltering passageway -- and big. I decided to go for space, because I'd invited a friend to join me for a couple of nights. While the suite still didn't come close to the space of the residence rooms, it had a bedroom, a small living room, an upstairs loft area with two double beds, two full baths and a powder room. I figured if I wanted to see the mountain, I'd head outside

*** The hotel's own pool, in the center courtyard, was surprisingly small.

It turned out I was right to pass on the courtyard room for another reason: The courtyard was noisy, first as workers took down a massive tent after the Aspen Food and Wine Festival, then as they wheeled scaffolding around to work on chimney flues -- noise that my residence-club friends said went on all day in their courtyard-facing rooms.

For reservations and arrangements, I let my friends use their concierge, who immediately snagged us tables at the top restaurants in town on short notice and set up our rafting trip. The hotel includes an outpost of the chain restaurant Olive's, which was OK for breakfast, but dead at night. So we dined at local hot spots such as Cache Cache, where we had the best meal of our stay. including king crab and avocado salad with cantaloupe and cilantro brown butter vinaigrette; osso bucco with French lentils in a Marsala sauce; and a fresh apple tart with vanilla ice cream.

Though one hotel concierge took a lot of trouble helping my friend set up a golf game and another knew a lot about attractions and activities, I had less luck retrieving a message or calling for housekeeping or the front desk. Invariably, I got a young man who sounded befuddled and asked if he could call me back. Invariably, he wouldn't. It took a couple of tries to make it clear that I wanted housekeeping to make up the room after 7:30 p.m. when I went out for the evening -- instead of showing up at 5 before I'd gotten back from the day's activities for a shower.

We left plenty of time for treatments at the Remede Spa, part of the Bliss Spa group Starwood acquired a few years ago. It was a little strange to sit in the co-ed waiting areas in nothing but a robe. Still, the complimentary Champagne, truffles and other snacks offered with a selection of teas proved a nice distraction. The oxygen lounge had plenty of others like me catching catnaps with clear plastic tubes stuck in our noses, hooked to bubbling carafes ostensibly delivering pure oxygen. My fine masseuse, Michelle, was worth booking a second time during my stay. The subterranean fitness center impressed us less, with its so-so equipment and dank smell.

As for the air-conditioning problem, on the first couple of nights in the loft suite, the clanking started in the wee hours, turning over every half hour or so; I was so zonked from my active days that I crammed pillows over my head and tried to sleep through it. I called the second morning to complain and was told the problem would be investigated. But on the third night it was even worse. I couldn't find any way to turn the A/C off. First thing the next morning, I visited the front desk and carefully outlined the problem to two young fellows; when I returned later that day, I found it, mercifully, fixed.

The St. Regis spokeswoman says a switch on the unit was stuck between two points, causing it to malfunction. She adds that the hotel should have responded in a much timelier manner, and the delay was "very uncharacteristic of St. Regis's service commitment."

My room did offer free Internet access, products from the Remede spa such as facial cleanser and moisturizer, plenty of fresh fruit and bottled water delivered daily and little bags of delicious trail mix I packed into my backpack. It's true that my view of the street and the front of the hotel wasn't very exciting, but if I opened the curtain wide, cranked the window open, and pulled up a chair, I could lean out and look right up at the mountain.
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Old Sep 5, 07, 2:41 pm
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Upcoming Stay St. Regis, Aspen 9/8-9/15

I will be staying at the St. Regis 9/8-9/15 to celebrate my anniversary. I am a Starwood Platinum Member and am very much looking forward to the trip and will report back my opinion of the stay and service. I am staying on a mix of 5 nights points and 2 paid nights @$314. I'm hoping as a Platinum that we'll get upgraded (crossing my fingers on that).

If anyone has any suggestions for restaurants, activities, points of interest or can't miss, I would appreciate it. We are planning a couple of activities, such as mtn biking, hiking and maybe a hot air balloon ride.
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Old Sep 6, 07, 12:29 am
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Thanks for posting the WSJ article.

Aspen...June....Air Conditioning. That would be the first clue. She adds a few other gems to confirm the obvious.
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Old Sep 6, 07, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by hedoman View Post
Thanks for posting the WSJ article.

Aspen...June....Air Conditioning. That would be the first clue. She adds a few other gems to confirm the obvious.
Its always amusing reading what reporters write ( or more to point ramble on) when they are staying at places one has also visited.

The main complaint seem to be that the place was furnished like a winter lodge (which it primarily is) yet her visit was in June.. well duh.
Also in June you got to be pretty dumb to end up paying much more than $300/night ( we were there last in early May and the rate was closer to $200)

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Old Sep 20, 07, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by emarsh_us View Post
I will be staying at the St. Regis 9/8-9/15 to celebrate my anniversary. I am a Starwood Platinum Member and am very much looking forward to the trip and will report back my opinion of the stay and service. I am staying on a mix of 5 nights points and 2 paid nights @$314. I'm hoping as a Platinum that we'll get upgraded (crossing my fingers on that).

If anyone has any suggestions for restaurants, activities, points of interest or can't miss, I would appreciate it. We are planning a couple of activities, such as mtn biking, hiking and maybe a hot air balloon ride.
Was hoping you might offer some insight regarding your recent stay. I have a stay booked here for early October, and am hoping that it's still off-season enough to be able to score some sort of upgrade. Got a great rate of $267/night prepaid for a weekend stay.
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Old Sep 20, 07, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Anglo Large Clawed Otter View Post
Was hoping you might offer some insight regarding your recent stay. I have a stay booked here for early October, and am hoping that it's still off-season enough to be able to score some sort of upgrade. Got a great rate of $267/night prepaid for a weekend stay.
I'm not the previous poster but we just returned from a stay at St. Regis Aspen. I am SPG Gold. We had booked a weeknight "fall special" rate of $205 for a Superior (standard) room, which was upgraded to a Deluxe room. The only difference in the room descriptions is the view -- "partial view" (of what, I don't know) for Superior; courtyard or town view for Deluxe. Our view was of the brick walkway surrounding the pool (which was above us), some trees, and the mountain above. Not unpleasant, but nothing special.

Quite honestly I doubt many rooms at this hotel have great views. The architecture is to blame. Overall the rooms (even the public rooms) in the hotel don't have enough windows and the atmosphere is dark. I'm sure this seems cozy in the winter. In other seasons it's not great, but there's nothing they can do about it.

The location is great. The hotel is in easy walking distance to shopping and restaurants, and right up against the slopes.

The guest rooms are just not 5* quality. The headboard and the overstuffed leather chair are pretty nice but the rest of the wood furniture seems cheap, with a dark finish that is looking very worn around the edges. It's probably not old at all -- it's just not wearing well. The linens are very nice (Pratesi sheets, Matteo bedspread). Bathroom amenities are fine.

The bathroom itself was just okay. It was pretty spacious, but the standard tub/shower combo didn't speak "luxury" to me. The plumbing hardware was noticeably low-quality. I thought the water temp control in the shower was going to come off in my hand!

There seem to be some physical plant issues. Our shower had poor pressure and constant changes of temperature ranging from scalding to freezing. Our room was always hot and stuffy unless we turned the A/C to 65 -- I now understand why the WSJ reporter was using her A/C in June! Oddly, the hallway outside our room was always cold. These are the kind of issues you expect in an historic building, which this isn't.

We had a maintenance issue (water intrusion through the window, which left the carpet very wet), which they handled very efficiently and pleasantly. They offered to move us to a different room, but we didn't want to bother packing up again, since we were only there 2 nights.

Our room had a fan running in it all day in order to dry out the carpet. We were out most of the day, so that wasn't a problem. When we returned in the afternoon, it was still going, so they comped us some drinks because we decided to hang out in the bar and read. We received one written apology and THREE phone apologies! I really can't see how they could have done more.

We ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant (Todd English's Olives) twice and dinner once. The food and service were excellent, except for the "cappucino" I ordered at breakfast the second day. Yuck. It was literally undrinkable. I should have complained but we were on our way out of there.

The service standard throughout the hotel was outstanding. Everyone greeted us by name. Honestly I think this might be the best service I've experienced anywhere other than the Park Hyatt Tokyo. (Of course, there were probably only 20 people staying in the whole hotel -- this is the *extreme* off-season!)

In summary: location is good; rooms are subpar and not worth high-season rates; food is very good; service is outstanding.

Last edited by free101girl; Sep 20, 07 at 5:33 pm Reason: fixed punctuation
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Old Sep 21, 07, 7:27 am
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Thanks very much for the detailed response. Am hoping that Plat counts for something at this hotel in the off-season, but my only other experiences with a St. Regis property have been horrific (the abominable St. Regis Houston, which has caused me to avoid the brand altogether, instead opting for Luxury Collection or Le Meridien when available).
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Old Sep 21, 07, 4:46 pm
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Remember, this place was once a Ritz Carlton.
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Old Oct 8, 07, 9:28 am
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My stay here on Saturday was pleasant. Though there was no Junior Suite or Suite upgrade available, I received an upgrade to a corner deluxe room on the top floor with a nice view of the mountain-side. Apparently, this hotel does not offer points as an amenity, but does offer other perks, such as free Spa access (usually $25 per person), and free morning coffee downstairs.

I gave the Spa a try, and was quite impressed. Very nice changing rooms, excellent robes, nice hot-tub, cold plunge pool, warm pool w/waterfalls, and good steam room. Also, Spa access included access to a quiet lounge with snacks and drinks, as well as access to an oxygen lounge. The oxygen lounge had extremely comfortable couches, as well as the option of hooking oneself up to an oxygen generator.

The deluxe room itself was not huge, but was fair-sized (perhaps 300-350 sq. ft.). The bed was quite comfortable, but not as comfortable as many W beds I have slept on. I hate to say it, as I hate the St. Regis Houston...but that hotel actually has far comfier beds than the St. Regis Aspen. The bathroom was also very nice, with much marble, and a tub-shower combo containing a very nice extra-wide showerhead. The LCD TV on the Bureau was also very nice, as were the excellent dark chocolates provided by the hotel.

The one odd portion of the stay occurred when I inquired about emptying the mini-bar or having a separate fridge sent up. I was informed that the hotel levied a $100 charge for such services . Instead, I just called room service and had a champagne bucket of ice sent up to ice down the beer we had purchased in town (all for a cost of $0). Charging $100 to empty a mini-bar and issue a receipt is simply ridiculous.

At the off-season rate I booked, I thought I received a great deal for my stay at the St. Regis. I doubt I would pay to stay here during the high season (would likely use points). The rack-rate posted on the closet door for the deluxe room I stayed in was $805 for summer, and $1,850 for winter. No way I would stay at those rates. However, the shoulder-season turned out to be great, as trees in town were displaying fall colors, and it even snowed whilst we were there (about 1/2" accumulation).
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