My husband and I visited the Ritz-Carlton, Vail the first week of April with our four children for a spring-break trip. We stayed on the residence side of the property. We have stayed at the Ritz in Bachelor's Gulch on five different occasions, so I feel like I have a good understanding of what a ski resort should be like.
Off the beaten path. Though the drivers at the resort took us wherever we wanted to go, I never felt as though I was where anything was in Vail Village or Lionshead Village. The Ritz in Bachelor's Gulch is like this too, but it has bars and restaurants that make you feel like you do not have to go anywhere else. This is not so at the Vail location. You have to leave, but that is another subject.
Very nice, large and well decorated. We were in a four bedroom unit with a nice view of the pool. Only complaint is that the walk was very, very long from the elevators. Why there is only one elevator location per side of the property is beyond me. If one has trouble walking, request a unit near the elevator. We walked the stairs often, from the 5th floor to the 3rd floor, in order to get to our friend's condo. Oh, it was really hot in the units too. No matter where I set the air conditioning, it was hot. We left doors and windows open in every room night and day to get close to comfortable.
Excellent. No complaints. Great attitudes and very helpful. The ski valet is housed in a ground floor condo near the shuttle for easy access. (it will move downstairs when a new gondola is built in the area in 2014)
Food and Entertainment:
Non Existent! This is why I can not give this location five stars. I found this to be a real problem. The Ritz puts out coffee and tea in the morning, along with a tray of fruit and awful pastries. You must cook breakfast or take a shuttle into a village. I cooked because everyone wakes and dresses at different times. That was fine but the problem continues......there is a limited menu available throughout the day and until about 9:00 in the evening. It is very, very limited and the quality is not good. I never saw anyone dining in the living room. I fed one of my children one afternoon what amounted to noodles with tomato sauce poured over it.
When I vacation, part of the joy is to sit back, relax, and have someone else do the cooking for me. One can not do this at the Vail location, so be prepared to trek somewhere for every meal. While staying at the Ritz in Bachelor's Gulch, the food and drink is so good, we rarely leave the property. Oh, forget room service too!
Because there really is not a bar or restaurant available, I often felt as if I was at a retirement home! It is very quiet and few people are ever around. We did order wine two afternoons for apres ski. It was $25 per glass, and it was so quiet, we felt like we had to whisper! Do not plan on having after-dinner drinks with your group either. It is not available, as the bar is closed at 9:00 p.m.. Everyone just goes back to their condo.
Pool, Gym and Spa:
Pool was nice and the children enjoyed it. Gym is nicely appointed. Spa, again don't plan on having a typical Ritz Spa experience. The only service available is massage. The Ritz will call and have someone come over for this. The "spa" area is not staffed. I had to trek over to the Four Seasons for spa services (very nice) with a friend who was staying there.
Staff did a nice job, other than we did not get turndown service on two nights of our five night stay. One night we called and they came relatively quickly. The other night it was after 10, and I was too aggravated to call the second time. This is not what I expect from Ritz service.
With all of this being said, if we return to Vail, we will not stay at this location. I would recommend this location only to a family who wants a lot of quiet and does not like to go out to dinner, does not want room service, does not want access to a bar or entertainment, and does not expect spa services. The condos are fantastic and the staff was friendly and very service oriented, but I was just missing too much to feel like I was at a resort or on vacation. We toy with the idea of purchasing into the Ritz Club, but it would never, ever be at this location.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.