I usually am the one who plans our annual "guys only" ski trip. With 5 guys, there are a few logistics that are specific to this kind of group that I have to consider. Here are some of the things that we wanted to be certain to consider:
1. Guys don't like to share beds - we needed 5 beds.
2. We wanted "true" ski-in / ski-out convenience - not having to pole for 500 yards to get back to the condo, nor lug our skis any distance to be able to start skiing.
3. We wanted a real furnished kitchen so we didn't have to eat out at every meal
4. Hot tub that wasn't overcrowded or inconvenient to access
5. Reasonably priced
6. Great skiing
The final result: mission accomplished - all goals met or exceeded. This was one of the best ski vacations we have ever taken and we have skied all over Utah, Summit County, CO, Montana, Nevada and California. This was a fantastic vacation that everyone in our party agreed was as close to perfect as we had any right to expect.
They made everything incredibly easy for us - on arrival, they accompanied us to our condo to show us where it was and how to get to it, the ski locker and they had even provided a fresh bowl of fruit and had cold beer and bottled water already waiting for us in the fridge!
The condo was beautiful, well maintained, with high-quality bedding and comfortable mattresses; big soft towels in the bathrooms and a big screen TV with Blu-Ray disc player. The master BR had a king-sized bed, the second BR had a queen and a single bed and the third BR had two twin beds - everyone was happy with the availability of individual sleeping! I understand that the property also has 4 and perhaps even 5 BR units available on a limited basis.
Shortly after arriving, the concierge rental ski service called to say they were on the way to DELIVER our rental skis! One of the guys in our group jokingly asked if they would pick us up another 12-pack of beer on the way as a joke - but the tech just said, "Sure! What brand do you like?" WOW! Sure enough, two guys from the rental ski place soon showed up at our condo with a cold 12-pack and with everything they needed to fit us all for rental skis! Once all 5 of us were fitted for skis, boots, poles and helmets, they helped haul all our gear to the ski locker next to the elevator. At the end of our stay, they told us just to leave our gear in the ski locker and forget it... They came and picked it all up for us - NO HASSLE!! I love these guys!
Each day we would simply walk down the hall to our ski locker and put on our boots (lots of benches next to the lockers) then get on the elevator and go to the second floor, stepping out of the elevator, and through the double doors you were immediately slope-side and just stepped into the bindings and went downhill about 200 yards to the Christie Peak Express lift. To ski back to the condo you can ski right up to the door. 100% easy and hassle-free. OH - night-skiing lifts and runs are also just outside the door.
The Bearclaw 2 condo building is where we stayed. It's newer - unit 1 is a bit older. In our building, on the same level where you access the slopes to ski - there is a cash bar that opens every day at 3 and stays open until 10 serving beer, wine mixed drinks and free hors d'ourves. It is also immediately adjacent to the hot tubs (2) and pool and sauna - and the bartenders are awesome and super friendly! (Shout-out to Molly who kept bringing us drinks to the hot-tub even when my slightly buzzed companions kept hitting on her - she was super nice and totally professional.) It was awesome to step out of the hot tub and then inside into the dry sauna to dry off and warm up after emerging from the hot water into the cold air.
Since we didn't have a rental car, I was initially skeptical and concerned about transportation to dinner and how to get groceries, etc. I was VERY surprised and thankful for a wonderful shuttle service run by the condo and staffed by some great drivers who happily ran us on errands or out to dinner and never made us wait more than a few minutes - most of the time when we would call for a ride they were already waiting to take us immediately or within 5-10 minutes. They tell you to call 30 minutes before you actually need a ride, but never did we wait more than 10 minutes.
I made our arrangements through Steamboat Central Reservations, and by booking early (in late September or early October) we were able to secure a deeply discounted rate on a package that included a 3-BR / 2-BA condo that overlooked the slopes and delivered the true ski-in/out that we wanted, also included rental skis, lift passes, and round trip transportation from and back to the Hayden airport. They even mailed us our lift passes in advance so we never stood in line to buy lift passes or get rental skis. They made it SO easy we could only wonder why it isn't like this everywhere?
I loved everything about this vacation - from central reservations and the booking process, to the condo itself, the hot tub, the helpful staff, the fantastic snow and world-class skiing. Everyone in my group agreed this was a top-notch experience and we will definitely come back to this location and this condo facility again!
If I could give 6 stars, I would.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located directly on the slopes at the top of the Stampede ski run, Bear Claw provides true ski-in, ski-out convenience. With all the casual elegance, impeccable service, and enticing amenities you expect from a premier mountain resort, Bear Claw is the perfect place to enjoy the very best that Steamboat has to offer. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bear Claw Condominiums Hotel Steamboat Springs