A seriously mixed and costly experience--it would seem East West lapsed this year, both in terms of property upkeep and some *shocking* customer service incidents. In my case, minor maintenance problems did not seriously impact the overall experience; instead, it was East West's failure to return nearly $3,000 in unauthorized charges to my card that ruined the stay and sullied their reputation. I can only imagine the tough snow season impacted the resort and forced them to use an unskilled accounting service. Below I review the lodging & incident separately:
The Highlands Slopeside Property: The property is not Beaver Creek's newest, but has been recently renovated. The price may mislead some into expecting inclusive service; think self-sufficient--there is no doorman, baggage, or assistant--but you get privacy. If you want a more pampered service, Ritz/Park Hyatt Residences may be better, but be prepared to pay.
--Pros: The kitchen is fabulous (think: stainless steel everything/granite counters). Bathrooms well decorated but in keeping with lodge. Fast washer/dryer. Ample closet space. Ski in/ski out is maybe the closest you'll get from a lodge (vs. hotel) with a *competent* beginners way down. The two story great room with fireplace was excellent! Small deck and BBQ--very appealing.
--General pointers: Conditions tips--late March can = limited ski-out and intensive all-night-long grooming under your window (snowfall-dependent). Distance--leave ample time to get into town as you will need to wait for the shuttle; it's not that fast to get in walking!
--Cons: Master toilet temperamental; showers backed-up; no air con (high 80s upstairs); linens were abrasive; ski locker did not lock. Basic and annoying problems that jeopardize the high-end feel and experience of the lodge.
Service: "If we make a mistake, tough luck!" Friendly at first upon check-in--verified the entire stay was pre-paid in advance, confirmed 0 balance due, and took my card for incidentals--there were none at check-out. However, they demonstrated incompetence and customer disregard after conducting an unauthorized transaction of nearly $3,000 to my card a week after leaving the resort, refunding the amount to the wrong person, and then failing to remedy the situation when all they had to do was a simple reversal. The end result of my vacation: tying up the money in the wrong financial institution for months. Very unfortunate.
Conclusion: A difficult review. On one hand, the property is pleasing--I recommend it, GIVEN some of the fixes that shouldn't have been left for me to discover. More serious, however, was their mistake and consequent attitude. Serious managerial action is necessary in order to maintain the standards that Beaver Creek advertises--otherwise this review will be the least of their problems. The resort has strong potential, and previous reviews attest to this, but, given high-end hospitality with an equally high-end price, I shouldn't have to be writing a review at all. I should be eagerly booking my next trip to the resort! A vacation is meant to be fun--the Park Hyatt achieved that twice this year and exceeded my expectations--it's a shame East West were unable to follow suit.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Highlands Lodge features ski in and ski out condominiums, a ski room, underground parking, and on-site outdoor pool, hot tubs, front desk, and concierge desk. East West guests have access to the fitness center at Allegria Spa. Condos range in size from 2 bedrooms to 4 bedrooms, and have full kitchens and wood burning fireplaces. ... more less