Vail resorts outperform Aspen's in Condé Nast rankings

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenOctober 15, 2010
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon.

Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain was honored as the top resort in the United States in this year's Condé Nast Traveler reader's choice awards.

The Avon resort beat out Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, Calif., Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, S.C., Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, Calif., Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont, The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Calif., The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Ariz., and California's Lodge at Pebble Beach and Montage Laguna Beach resorts (in that order).

Other resorts in the Vail area that made a strong showing include the Arrabelle at Vail Square, which tied for 25th, and the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, which Condé Nast readers ranked 29th.

The five-star Little Nell hotel in Aspen came in at 38th. The St. Regis Resort Aspen placed 62nd.

The Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek landed in the 76th spot. The Sonnenalp in Vail registered 88th.

Other resorts of note include the Wynn Las Vegas (tied for 10th place), the Bellagio in Las Vegas (13th), The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla., (tied for 25th), the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah, (tied for 25th), The Biltmore Four Seasons in Santa Barbara, Calif. (33rd), Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa in Wyo. (54th), Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif, (58th) and the Sundance Resort in Utah (58th).

Bob Trotter, the general manager at the two-year-old Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, told Denver Post columnist Penny Parker that he was blown away by the ranking, and the publicity that followed.

"I'm walking on air in Beaver Creek right at the moment," Trotter told Parker on Thursday. "I saw (the Condé Nast Traveler announcement) live, and to tell you I was over-the-top excited would be an understatement. Any time you start your day with your resort receiving such an honor, and also having Matt Lauer on the 'Today' show say it, your day doesn't get any better than that."

Here's what readers of Condé Naste said about The Little Nell:

A room at The Little Nell in Aspen.

"At the foot of Aspen Mountain, this lodge has direct access to 'some of the best skiing in North America.' The lobby's dual-sided fireplace produces 'a feeling similar to the foyer of one's home.' Rooms, most with 'balconies to better enjoy the views,' were recently revamped by designer Holly Hunt. Ajax Tavern's menu lists Colorado lamb bolognese."

And they said this about the St. Regis Resort Aspen:

The St. Regis Resort Aspen.

"'A welcoming, luxe space' between two ski lifts allows for winter skiing and summer horseback riding. 'The ambiance is elegant,' and rooms in Rocky Mountain style have rustic red tones and Pratesi linens. The Restaurant serves traditional American dishes with Mediterranean touches. The hotel's 2009 solar project will reduce its carbon footprint."


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