This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch – a five star ski-ski out destination in Beaver Creek and they’ve kicked off their big birthday with the debut of a multi-year transformation of guest rooms and common spaces and new dining concepts. The changes are impressive and nicely suited to today’s mountain traveler, but what people are most excited about is the resort’s après ski ambiance.
While standing at the hotel’s valet stand, I overheard a conversation between several women about the best places in Vail Valley for après ski. One of them piped up, saying with a conviction born of years of experience, “I’ve skied everywhere, and the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch is the best one hands-down. They have a DJ or live music and the setting makes it really special. It’s a great scene.”
It is indeed a fine setup. During the summer the large stone patio is set up with table and lounge areas, firepits blaze in the evening and a full bar that runs the length of the patio keeps things busy all day. Park yourself in one of the sofas and enjoy sunny lunch after a hike. In the evening, sip a happy hour cocktail and enjoy the live music. During winter months the lounge areas are so popular they require a reservation, but anyone can sit at the bar and soak up the vibe. Or, find a cozy spot next to one of the fireplaces—the DJ and live music just make it all the more convivial.
If you’d rather nap after a day of skiing, you’ll love the new guestroom interiors. They exude a fresh mountain luxury style with warm toned furnishings and textiles, wood ceilings, and contemporary artwork. Even though the look is completely new, the design team maintained this resort’s rustic integrity as one of the largest wood structures in the state. But, seeing as you are in Colorado – where getting outside is practically a requirement – you’ll spend little time in that shiny new guestroom and more time exploring the new dining concepts or the fetching spa grotto.
The most significant update to the dining program is the elegant sushi lounge, Sakaba. Traditional Japanese dishes are on offer, as well as artisan cocktails and flown-in-fresh sushi, but the four-seat omakase offering, created by the 24 year-old Colorado born chef Adolfo Martinez Becerra, is the restaurant’s signature experience.
Likely the most unique offering here is the resort’s new Indian Nights Dinner Series, a unique dining experience curated by executive Sous Chef Manikandan Ramalingam. The weekly pop-up dinners, offered Wednesdays from now until September 4th, deliver an extraordinary family-style meal of authentic flavors from across the Indian subcontinent.
All of these changes are significant, but the essential rustic log cabin elegance of the property remains the same – as does its reputation as one of Vail Valley’s best après ski destinations.