Booked two rooms with American Express’ Fine Hotels & Resorts program for Platinum cardholders as a quick fall getaway with a group of friends. By all accounts, this time of year is the calm before the storm: Summer well past, but no snow yet and ski season hasn’t begun. My review, therefore, doesn’t reflect what this place would be like during the height of the winter season given its lower capacity and some reduced property functions (ski services, Club Level, &tc.) - but I hope it will give a sense of what the property is like generally.
Got a steal of a deal on the rate; seriously, at this time of year it was fire-sale level - even more so when considering that I scored Amex upgrades to suites. The other amenities (b-fast, late checkout and F&B credit) just sweetened the deal.
We arrived after dark and navigated thru the various security gate houses up to the lodge - and really, it does look like a giant European ski lodge. You drop your car off in the porte cochere ($35 for overnight parking - an amount normally I would find ridiculous, but with our low hotel rate I didn’t mind) and proceed to check-in. All our details were confirmed and we headed off to our rooms, 613 and 619. The Residential Suite room type is 900 sq. feet and has a small (but full-service) kitchen, a living/dining room combo, and is separated by a set of wooden doors to the bathroom and bedroom areas. The set up is logical and pleasant, and the décor exactly what you would expect: Ski/mountain-lodge themed furnishings. Not to everyone’s taste, but the overall effect makes sense and isn’t overbearing. Room 613 had the added amenity of a small stone balcony off of the living room and view of the mountain and valley below.
After unpacking we walked down to level 4 (the main level where reception and the restaurants are located, as well as the exit to the fire pit where they were toasting s’mores and where the ski lift is located). We stopped first in Spago to make a reservation for the following night, then headed to the Buffalo Bar (the resort’s casual eatery and bar) for a ‘casual’ $400+ meal. Everything was tasty and the service was both friendly and efficient, but the bill was seriously eye-popping when you consider we were eating burgers and the like. Just be forewarned that in order to eat well on-property, bring scads of cash – you’ll need it.
We had brought some wine and champagne with us (great that we had the kitchens in the suites with full-sized refrigerators), so after dinner we retired to one of the rooms to play cards and have some after-dinner drinks before heading to bed. We had forgotten cards (as well as some lip balm) - but a call to room services had someone bring up both items (Ritz-Carlton branded) within 10 minutes, and at no charge except for a tip. Rooms had been freshened and turned down while we were at dinner - and it was nice to see that even though the rates were at low-season level, there hadn’t been any degradation of room/cleaning services.
Breakfast the next morning was in Spago. While nice, there wasn’t anything especially great or unique on the menu, and - again - it was expensive. We had $80 in Amex breakfast credits for the two rooms - and we still managed to overspend that amount by $50. A $125+ breakfast is a bit over the top when you’re not doing anything more extravagant than coffee, bagels and pancakes.
After taking a short walk around the property (no snow, as mentioned, but it was muddy) we lazed around in the lobby great room to read and relax before heading down to level 3 for our spa appointments. Unlike other resort spas where it’s obvious that the men’s facilities are almost an afterthought - the RC Bachelor Gulch has large and inviting facilities, for both the men’s locker room area (complete with an awesome water-therapy ‘circuit’) as well as the relaxation/waiting room. I had a 60-minute massage that was excellent. Spa personnel play up the grotto area (a mixed-sex area that’s basically a large hot tub), but we found this overcrowded and not all that amusing when compared to the steam/sauna/hot tub/cold plunge set-up in the locker room. The place must be a zoo during high season given its small size.
We had dinner that night at Spago, which was a treat. We did the Autumn prix fixe tasting menu: Five courses with wine pairings. Both the food and the ambiance were greatly improved at night, and we enjoyed a long leisurely meal including pre- and post-dinner drinks. Again, the bill was high ($500+) but for this dinner (which was more like an event) it didn’t seem inappropriate. An excellent way to cap off an otherwise great and relaxing day. The restaurant seemed filled to the gills - so I would imagine that during high season reservations are imperative and must be made well in advance of arrival.
The final day we took advantage of the Amex 4p late checkout to enjoy a lingering breakfast and to use the spa locker room facilities (the water circuit really is fun and refreshing - and we did the cold plunge even though I don’t think I have ever submerged myself into such cold water in my life) before heading out.
All in all - one of the most pleasant Ritz-Carlton resorts I have experienced. I would imagine this place has a special and extra charm during ski season – but potentially could be massively over-crowded and extremely expensive.
Enjoy your stay here - we did.
Happy and safe travels!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.