Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

Frequent travelers, like myself, live off the mantra there’s no place like home. Somehow, just a few minutes into my visit at the Westin Riverfront Beaver Creek, I managed to completely debunk that myth entirely.

I’ll be the first to admit that the above makes no sense whatsoever. First off, home for me does not consist of round-the-clock friendly staff catering to my every only-child need. Nor does it consist of five-star dining (or anything resembling such). Massive lobby fireplaces, personal yoga lessons, a 25-yard saline-based outdoor lap pool open year-round, ski valet and even more fitness amenities? Nope, home for me doesn’t have any of those grand things.

Yet somehow, spending a few days inside the massively inviting Westin resort in Avon, Colorado I did feel at home. I felt comfortable and welcome; two things I don’t often feel on the road. The property has a residential ambiance despite the 230 guest residences which ranging from studio suites to three-bedroom condominiums. But with breathtaking mountain views, spacious designs, gas fireplaces and full kitchens make one feel right at home.

Named the #1 Ski Hotel in North America by Conde Nast Traveler for the past two winters, it’s absolutely no wonder why the resort achieved such an accolade. Every part of the AAA Four Diamond property was impeccable – even the heat emanating from the gas fireplaces was a perfectly comfortable temperature.

Perhaps one of the reasons this hotel felt so much like home was their recently renovated Athletic Club, a $1 million expansion, which includes three new studio spaces hosting an extensive schedule of daily group exercise classes as well as private lessons and fitness workshops. Again, one would think I belong to a massive zen-like gym back home in Houston, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Working out and staying true to your routine is a very important part of travel, especially those who travel often. Being able to walk into the Westin’s gym and grab a cardio machine or step into a group class and not miss a beat, really kept things on track for me. The gym is usually the one place I feel I belong, so that went a long way for making this particular stay feel homey. Read about My First Pilates at The Blonde Side a fun, relaxing, and rather humorous experience.

The onsite spa, Spa Anjali, was ranked #4 in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2012 Top 100 Resort Spas. The colossal 27,000 square-foot spa offers an extensive menu of services focusing on three healing mountain traditions – the Rockies, Alps and Himalayas which all use local, natural ingredients. The spa also boasts a full-service salon with ample color choices for your mani/pedi, spray-tan and a great spa boutique for lavish souvenir shopping. Oh and don’t forget the three riverside hot tubs that overlook the mountains. Those are pretty nice, too.

Cima is an onsite contemporary Latin kitchen which would only make you miss home-cooked meals if world-class Chef Richard Sandoval is the man-in-charge behind those home-cooked meals. Dedicated to serving only the freshest market produce, sustainable seafood, locally raised meats and specialty products from local purveyors, Chef Sandoval and his team have set out to create the best and tastiest menu for each and every guest throughout each and every experience. Located on the banks of the Eagle River, the outdoor patio (complete with cozy fire pits) allows guests to enjoy a scenic view while dining or enjoying a glass of Chandon. Be sure to check out the daily Hora Feliz (Happy Hour) for specials.

Not only did this become one of my favorite hotels ever, I quickly learned all there is to love about the quaint town of Beaver Creek. Beaver Creek offers the ultimate ski experience for any level skier or boarder, features a World Cup mountain, the cutest and most intimate alpine village, and impeccable attention to detail. As an added bonus, Beaver Creek Resort just added 17 new acres of skiable terrain and 30 new acres of snowmaking in preparation for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. If there ever was a time to go, it would be now.

If it’s true that home is where the heart is, then perhaps my home should be at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa. Something about this visit just got things back on track for me. I stood taller, smiled more often and took the time to relax and take a few deep breaths for the first time in a very long time, too long probably.

In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ll be back.

Ready to visit your home away from home at this grand hotel and take advantage of the brand new snow trails? You can get there even faster and easier than before. United, American and Delta are offering non-stop direct flights from ten cities that fly directly into Eagle County Airport (EGE). For more information, visit FlyVail.

126 Riverfront Lane · PO Box 9690 • Avon, Colorado 81620 ·• Phone: (970) 790-6000

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