Vail's Great Escape

The ultra-posh ski-in, ski-out Grand Hyatt Vail is a world unto itself.

By Gina Christman

Photography courtesy of Grand Hyatt Vail.


Although Vail, Colorado, is a destination to be enjoyed year-round, it’s ski season that packs in the most awe-inspiring experiences with the whole family in mind. Its Alpine villages—Vail Village, Lionshead and Golden Peak—are chock full of shops, restaurants, museums, galleries and all, but the crowds can be a bit much. Savvy visitors enjoy all the hustle and bustle of the village but know they can escape just a couple of miles down the road to the more secluded Grand Hyatt Vail.

Skiers and non-skiers will find no shortage of things to do at the Grand Hyatt Vail, a 285-room ski-in, ski-out resort that sits at the foot of Vail Mountain (the largest ski mountain in Colorado) and along the banks of Gore Creek. At the base of the resort’s private Chair Lift 20, Venture Sports stocks the latest in gear and offers concierge and valet services, heated boot storage and an experienced and knowledgeable staff.

Guests can book a snowshoeing excursion to explore the mountain forest or take part in Yoga, Pilates or Barre classes. Rather take a dip in the pool or hot tub or go for a rigorous session in the 24/7 fitness center? No worries. Go it alone or follow the resort’s varied schedule of activities where new adventures appear every day. Kids will enjoy warm cookies or s’mores after skating at the resort’s private ice rink. Custom-fitted ice skates are available in the cozy yurt just outside the rink (the yurt makes a quiet place to read or relax with a cocktail, too).     

Grand Hyatt Vail’s award-winning Spa draws on the surrounding landscape for inspiration and its treatments and ingredients offer the powers of blended essential oils derived from native mountain botanicals. There’s nothing quite as rejuvenating after a day on the mountain as a signature massage followed by a visit to the aromatherapy steam room or salt sauna before stepping out into the brisk Alpine air.

In 2018, the hotel underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation that brought the property and all of the resort’s services to a spectacular level. The popular Fireside Lounge (with its own champagne vending machine) is the resort’s gathering spot and the world-class cuisine and stellar wine list at Gessner are among the best in Vail.  Superb Colorado Lamb Chops are standouts, and other menu selections are suited to each season.

There are several levels of rooms and suites, all of which are spacious and modern. Huge, pristine marble bathrooms with perfect lighting and deluxe Balmain amenities are a welcome surprise.

Shuttles run to-and-from the villages every 15 minutes, but it’s an easy, scenic walk along Gore Creek for the slightly more adventurous.