On June 8, 2013 I was lucky enough to marry my favorite skiing partner in our hometown of Aspen, Colorado. While we planned on taking an extended honeymoon in Europe a few months later, we also needed to get away for a few days immediately after the big day to decompress before getting back to real life. We wanted someplace close, romantic and comfortable. We both agreed that a “mini moon” at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Beaver Creek was the perfect option.
Our first call was to Cuvee Escapes, a partner of Ski.com’s and the company that manages The West Wing, a top-floor penthouse atop the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. After making our reservations, I was contacted promptly by Mike Yerigan, our On-Site Guest service manager (i.e. personal concierge), who wanted to set up a time to speak with us on the phone so that he could make sure everything we were interested in would be arranged. Though our needs were very minimal, Mike offered to set up anything and everything we could have possibly imagined, including grocery shopping, dinner reservations, tee times, horseback riding, etc., etc. Unfortunately, we were really just looking to lay low. However, because I sensed Mike was disappointed he couldn’t be of service to us and because The Ritz-Carlton spa is one of the nicest in the world, we decided to set up a couple’s massage.
When we pulled into hotel’s porte-cochère, Mike was there to greet us and escort us to the 10th-floor West Wing. Upon entering, I was blown away by this penthouse. Working at Ski.com for nearly a decade, I’ve seen some of the most luxurious lodging accommodations at various resorts around the world, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything as impressive as this two-story, four-bedroom, four-bathroom unit. The West Wing offers two private outdoor terraces with dinning/lounging space, a bistro-style gourmet kitchen, a great room with a huge fireplace, heated bathroom floors and a state-of-the-art entertainment system. It also includes a den with a full bar and an impressive wine collection.
Mike took us on a tour of the unit, showed us how everything worked and presented us with a welcome amenity (the name doesn’t do it justice): a bottle of champagne and a full spread of cheese plates, berry bowls and mixed nuts.
That evening we relaxed by the fire and lounged on the comfortable, overstuffed couches. When it was time to eat, we changed our plans from dinner at Spago, located onsite, to room service. When our meals arrived in the room, they were accompanied by more champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries on a plate adorned with more chocolate spelling the word “congratulations.” These weren’t any strawberries, though. They were placed on the plate in pairs, half wearing tuxedos made of dark chocolate and the other half clothed in wedding dresses made of white chocolate. The presentation was so nice we didn’t want to eat them! We did anyway though…
The next morning commenced with our spa appointment, which was one of the many main highlights of our two-night stay. The 21,000-square-foot Bachelor Gulch Spa at The Ritz-Carlton features 19 treatment rooms, a luxurious manicure/pedicure salon, and men’s and women’s saunas. My new wife and I enjoyed a 90-minute couple’s massage that was followed by a long soak in the spa’s rock-lined Grotto and lazy river hot tub. I have to say, this was one of the best mornings I could have asked for. After all, the spa is ranked No. 1 by Travel + Leisure in their 2013 World’s Best list of Top Hotel Spas in the Continental U.S.