Which is the best ski hotel in Vail, Four Seasons Vs. Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch Vs. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek? At this point, it’s worth highlighting that Four Seasons is in Vail, whilst the other two hotels are in the vicinity of Beaver Creek, with the Ritz-Carlton a shuttle away from the center and Park Hyatt in the center. These hotels are all very individual and offer a completely different experience, so it’s worth researching these hotels, as we have below, before you make your final decision.
Four Seasons is a particularly outstanding hotel brand and Four Seasons hotels are usually the best option in any resort area. We consider Grand Hotel Cap Ferrat, a Four Seasons hotel, to be one of the best hotels in the world. If you want to pick Four Seasons ski hotel, you have to stay in Vail, Whistler, Megève, or Jackson Hole, which offer the best Four Seasons ski hotels.
Wherever you decide to stay, at a Four Seasons hotel, any Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Fairmont, Park Hyatt, or elsewhere, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks (as well as your usual Marriott Bonvoy Hyatt, etc., points and status benefits). See what our clients say about us and how thrilled they are with the extra benefits we provide.
1. Four Seasons Vail Vs.Ritz-Carlton Vs. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek: Location
Four Seasons Vail is perfectly located for nightlife, shopping, restaurants, and the rest of Colorado’s largest ski resort, Vail. It is right by the highway rather than being village center, although the clever design means that you don’t notice the highway. You can also easily walk the 5-minute stroll into Vail even in the winter as the pavements are heated and therefore not icy, which makes getting around easy, whatever time of year.
Four Seasons is a 5 to 10-minute walk to the slopes, but they have a complimentary dedicated ski shuttle to their Four Seasons ski concierge at the base of Gondola One, where you can store your gear which is hugely helpful, so you don’t need to drag your skis to and from the slopes. The Four Seasons ski concierge is located in a separate building and will help you with equipment rentals, ski lessons, maps, weather reports, ski condition information, and, most importantly, store and dry your gear using special dry lockers imported from Switzerland.
Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is relatively isolated and can be found near Beaver Creek. Even though this is a stunning property, it’s located in a quiet area and offers the worst location of all three hotels, particularly for village access. The advantage of the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch is that, although it is some distance from Vail and Beaver Creek, it’s ski-in and ski-out using its own lift with a wonderful fireside bar at the base of the lift. Because of its isolated location, Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch offers a free shuttle into Beaver Creek (every 10 minutes) and shuttles to Vail Village for shopping too.
The Ritz-Carlton’s mountain is smaller than the mountain you can access from the main lifts at Vail and Beaver Creek, but because the Ritz has its own ski lift, this mountain is quieter, which is always nicer for space on the runs, and also the quality of the snow.
Park Hyatt is in the center of Beaver Creek, right next to beaver Creek’s ice rink, along with restaurants and shops. You can walk around the center of Beaver Creek, whatever time of year you visit, as the pavements are heated. This Park Hyatt has an excellent location to enjoy the vibrance of the village.
A patio with fire pits can be found just outside the back door of the Park Hyatt. This entrance is under 50 meters from the Haymeadow Express lift, which takes you to beginner-friendly tuns. More challenging runs and the mountaintop are accessible by the Centennial lift, which is maybe 200 meters from the hotel.
Four Seasons Vail is fabulously luxurious, as you would expect. The front exterior of the property is discrete rather than noteworthy, with just the Canadian flag and a small bronze plaque near the door indicating that you’ve arrived at a Four Seasons hotel. Inside, long hallways are hung with contemporary art, dark wood, and plush furnishings giving a traditional, rustic but modern ski lodge feel. The look is elegant and informal, and the service is first-class.
Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is relatively isolated but is, again, very luxurious. The staff is not as good as at the Four Seasons, but this very definitely remains an impressive five-star hotel and your best option in this region for true ski in-ski out. The look is an old-world American log cabin with stone walls, exposed beams, leather furnishings, and roaring open fires.
There is a great atmosphere at the Ritz-Carlton in ski season, with vibrant bars and a packed outside terrace with live music. We particularly like how the hotel embraces the outside with its slopeside Fireside bar, which sits at the base of the ski lift. This is a great place to watch skiers return while warming your hands near the flames. It is also worth mentioning that this lift never has any queues as it is only those staying at the Ritz-Carlton who use it. The lifts you use if you stay at the Park Hyatt or Four Seasons are the village lifts, and there can be queues at peak times.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has a mountain feel with lots of oatmeal colors in the rooms. It doesn’t feel as stylized and contemporary as many Park Hyatt hotels around the world and rather embraces the mountain style instead. There are some particularly fabulous features of this hotel which include the sofas sitting around fire pits right next to Beaver Creek’s vibrant ice rink. In the lobby, there is also a superb fire strip, an optical illusion that adds fun to the reception area.
The Four Seasons Vail has newly refurbished rooms. The look is modern, and the rooms are designed in grey tones. They feel more contemporary than the rooms at the Ritz-Carlton, and all rooms uniquely feature a gas fireplace along with glorious floor-to-ceiling windows on the balcony doors. The base rooms here a larger than the base rooms at any of the other hotels in this article, at 575 ft² or 53 m².
The disadvantage of the Four Seasons rooms Vs. those at The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch is that although they are really nice towards Lionshead and the mountains, so you can see the gondola running up the mountain, the views are not unobstructed as you might get at Ritz Bachelor Gulch.
The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch has newly refurbished rooms with natural tones, wood furnishings, and a grey, white, and oatmeal color palette. The mountain is bought into the room with pictures showing mountain deer. The rooms are large, and the look is modern and classy. We particularly like the large windows which lead out onto the balcony. The base rooms here a smaller than those at Four Seasons at 450 ft² or 42 m².
The 190 rooms—including 23 suites at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek are decent, many with private balconies, with picturesque mountain or village views. Features include a down duvet, a work desk, windows that open, a humidifier, and cabin-style wood trim décor. Suites offer a kitchenette and fireplace for a cozy feel any time of year. These rooms are fine but are the least appealing of the three options, with low ceilings and not feeling quite as luxurious as the Ritz or Four Seasons.
At Four Seasons, the heated outdoor rectangular pool is tucked within a sunken courtyard, which makes it feel hidden away and private. The pool is large and is open every season, offering loungers and two spa tubs. This is my favorite pool of these four hotels, not least because the water is kept at a warm temperature so you can relax and enjoy its deliciously warm waters. An outdoor covered hut sits at one end of the pool, which has a large fireplace and an attendant providing heated towels and robes.
The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch has a large lap-style pool that steams in the winter. While the pool is a decent size, it is not particularly original in design or character. There are also four hot tubs, some of which sit right by the ski slopes.
The pool at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek feels less luxurious, but it does have five hot tubs and great lighting if you want to enjoy bubbles into the night.
5. Bar & Restaurant
The Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton both offer an array of indoor and outdoor eating and drinking venues complete with fireplaces and atmospheric settings. There is little to choose between these dining venues. The Four Seasons Vail’s main restaurant is Flame, and there’s also a “great room” bar area with a large fireplace and library.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has its main restaurant, 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill, which is pricy, and the Brass Bear for bar food, so it has fewer options for eating.
For service, the Four Seasons wins, as this brand usually does. If service is your most important differentiator, pick Four Seasons Vail.
7. Club Lounge
There is only one excellent club lounge in Vail and Beaver Creek, the Club level at Ritz Carlton, which has excellent views of the mountains. Food in the Club Lounge here is excellent here, with a full breakfast and superb food presentations throughout the day. The Club Lounge in itself is a reason to stay here, although it obviously comes at the price of a club room which is a bit more than your standard room.
Four Seasons Vail and Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch stand out as being the most luxurious hotels in the area. Park Hyatt is gorgeous and wonderfully located but not quite as luxurious. It somehow misses the mark, but only just, and the Park Hyatt does have its fabulous location by the ice rink in the center of Beaver Creek which is hard to beat.
Our preference is the Four Seasons because of its contemporary style and central location, even taking into account the distance to the slopes. Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is a great option if you want a ski-in, ski-out hotel or a quieter mountain.
Honestly, all three hotels are fabulous, and if you can’t decide, you might want to stay in more than one and make the comparison yourself. We offer free benefits at all these four hotels, so please contact our luxury travel concierge to find out what extra benefits we can share with you.
Image © Parilov / Adobe Stock.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.