Review: SPG Lakeside Terrace Villas, Beaver Creek, Colorado

Earlier this week we attended the wedding of some friends in Avon, Colorado, home of Beaver Creek, arguably the top-rated ski resort in Colorado. The wedding itself was at the chapel on the resort, which was absolutely lovely, while the reception was over in Gypsum. Despite the fact that people fly in from around the world to get married here, this was not a destination wedding — both the bride and groom were more-or-less locals, as were most of the guests.

Given that Avon is a couple hour drive for us, we decided to make a little getaway of it and spend the night. That seemed to make the most sense, especially since we’d have the kiddos along. It didn’t hurt that it’s the off-season for lodging in the Vail Valley, so there were some incredible deals to be had. In fact, the deals were so good that it actually made deciding where to stay challenging since there were so many enticing options.

Although I really wanted to try the Park Hyatt, we went with the Lakeside Terrace Villas which are a vacation ownership property adjacent to the Sheraton Mountain Vista.

All of the Lakeside Villas are monstrous two-bedroom 1,400 sq feet units, complete with a full kitchen and dining area. This turned out to be perfect given that we had decided to bring along our part-time nanny and her husband — both of whom are personal friends — to watch the kids while we attended the reception. The added space allowed us all to stay in the same unit, which was ideal.

Lakeside Terrace Villas Check-In

The check-in for the Lakeside Villas is actually at the Sheraton Mountain Vista. We passed the Sheraton as we were driving to the Lakeside Villas, but didn’t realize that’s where we needed to be until we were over at Lakeside. Oops.

I found it. Sort of.
Found it. Sort of.

The official check-in time at Lakewide is 3pm, though I had requested a noon check-in when making the reservation. We arrived at 11:45 AM knowing that nothing would be guaranteed, but hoping that maybe they weren’t that busy on a Monday in the off-season.

Well, they were.

In fact, the associate at the front desk informed me that the previous guests had just left the unit we were assigned, and that they had been full the previous night and didn’t have any other units immediately available. He said that it’d probably be 2 PM at the earliest since those big units take about an hour to clean. I knew this could happen, and didn’t really say anything at all, but I probably did look a bit disappointed. I nearly thought about playing my “I’m an SPG Gold member — you know, Gold, as in one level up from nothing” but thought better of it. Instead, he offered to take my phone number and give me a call when it was ready.

We headed out to get some lunch doubting we’d ever get that call. So you can imagine my surprise when 20 minutes later the phone rang informing me that they had a villa ready. We drove back over and within a few minutes had our room keys.

I inquired about getting the 4 PM check-out that SPG offers to Gold members, but was informed that as a vacation ownership property, the Lakeside Terrace Villas don’t honor those benefits. They did offer me a noon check-out, which was clearly better than the standard 10 AM. I said that would be fine since it was really all I was looking for anyway. With that, we drove back over to Lakeside to find our place.

Map of the area
Inside your villa is a map of how to find….. your villa.

Lakeside Terrace Villas Two Bedroom Villa

The villas consist of a cluster of about three buildings. They mostly look like the rest of the condos that dot the Vail Valley.

The buildings look just about like any other condo in the area
The buildings look just about like any other condo in the area

We used the door opener to access the garage, which comprises the first floor of the villas and found the 15 spaces perhaps half-filled. We had been instructed to park our second vehicle in the lot outside, which was fine. The free parking is a nice perk, especially compared to the $25-50 that the Park Hyatt charges.

Free covered parking
Free covered parking

Our villa was on the second floor, just around the corner from the elevator. All of the villas seemed to be accessed from exterior walkways.

The door opened into a short hallway.

The hallway
The hallway

To the immediate left was the main bathroom:

Second bathroom
Main bathroom

Which even had a jetted Jacuzzi tub:

Jacuzzi tub
Jacuzzi tub with shower

A full laundry room and broom closet were off the hallway as well:

Laundry
Laundry

The smaller of the two bedrooms was on the right. It featured a queen bed, and a window that looked out on the exterior corridor.

Queen bed in second bedroom
Queen bed in second bedroom

The main space was on down the hallway. There was a living room on the left with a coach and coffee table. The coach converted to a pull-out bed.

I thought this space was slightly odd, in that it was located just off the kitchen, but somewhat disconnected from the main living area. If there had been a wall and a door, it could have just as easily have been a (windowless) third bedroom.

Either a second living space or a quasi-bedroom, just off the kitchen
Either a second living space or a quasi-bedroom, just off the kitchen

Opposite this space was an open floor plan living area, including the kitchen, dining area, and living room.

The main living area with a mostly open floor plan
The main living area with an open floor plan

The kitchen featured a full-sized refrigerator, electric range, dishwasher, and plenty of counter space.

Kitchen
Kitchen

It was reasonably well-stocked with cooking equipment, though all we made was breakfast.

Kitchen equipment check list
Kitchen equipment check list

Just past the kitchen was an awesome lodge-style dining table. You could probably fit 8-10 people around it, and I could imagine serving up a giant pot of spaghetti after a long day skiing.

Past the dining table was the main living area. It had a leather couch (that also converted to a bed), two chairs, and a large coffee table. This furniture was big, rustic, and comfy, much like you would expect in a ski lodge. In fact, the ceiling in this main area even had fake logs to give you the idea you were in a cabin.

Lodge-style living area
Lodge-style living area

A sliding glass door opened out onto a patio which contained a table with chairs as well as a propane grill.

Patio with propane grill
Patio with propane grill

To the left of the living area was the master bedroom with a king sized bed and master bath:

Master bedroom and bath
Master bedroom and bath

The bath area was huge and had a Jacuzzi tub, just like the other bathroom:

Lakeside Terrace Villa master bath tub
Jacuzzi tubs for everyone

Then there was a separate shower and two sinks:

Lots of sinks. And mirrors.
Lots of sinks. And lots of mirrors.

The toilet was in a small room off the bath area, but otherwise there was no door or wall separating the bath from the bedroom. The bedroom also had a door for accessing the patio directly.

The view from the villa wasn’t anything special, possibly because we were just on the second floor. You’d probably be able to see Nottingham Lake, the namesake of the villas, or maybe even the mountains, from a higher floor.

The view wasn't so exciting, at least from the second floor
The view wasn’t so exciting, but you probably came here to be outside, not just look at the outside

It’s worth noting that the villas do not have air conditioning. I’m sure that for most of the year this is not a problem but it was rather stuffy when we arrived. The thermostat showed 76 degrees, which is on the warm side for me in an enclosed space.

A tad warm for the summer....
The choices are Heat or Off. We chose Off.

The layout of the unit also makes it difficult to circulate the cool mountain air into the villa.

The only windows are in the bedrooms, and then of course the patio screen door. They do provide several box fans, though one of ours was a broken. We only succeeded in getting it down to 74 degrees overnight, which is kind of sad given that it was probably in the 50’s outside.

Not so useful....
Not so useful….

The temperature wasn’t a problem for us at all, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you are there the one hot week of the summer.

On the other hand, the villa has two gas fireplaces, one in the living area and one in the master bedroom. I’m sure they can make you feel all cozy in the winter.

Not much use for these this time of year...
Not much use for these this time of year…

Guests at the Lakeside Terrace have unlimited use of the Avon Rec Center, which is just across the street.

Avon Rec Center
Avon Rec Center

We were issued a pass when we checked-in which is scanned when you enter the facility.

Lakeside Terrace Villa Rec Center pass

My son and I went over to play around in the pool while my daughter and pregnant wife napped. The rec center features a multi-story water slide, kiddie play area with smaller slides, aqua climbing wall, lazy river, lanes for lap swimming, and a large hot tub.

In other words, there’s enough here to keep you and your kids occupied for awhile.

It'd take a Rec Center over an average hotel pool any day
I’d take a Rec Center over an average hotel pool any day

The guide to the villa also states that you can partake in the activities going on at the Sheraton and use the game room (foosball, ping pong, etc.) though we didn’t have time to look into that. There is a small coffee shop / deli in the Sheraton, as well as a sporting equipment store, but I didn’t notice a restaurant which is probably to be expected from a vacation ownership property.

Indeed, the lack of dining and shopping in the immediate area could be a bit of a drawback if you don’t want to cook all the time. There’s a Walgreens nearby, but that’s about it. The bigger commercial plazas are still within walking distance, but would take 5-10 minutes or more I think. I actually don’t know what the access is like to the slopes in the winter. We drove up into the resort to attend the wedding and it was maybe a mile to the resort entrance, and then maybe three more up to the church.

Beaver Creek Chapel

Oh right, there was a wedding. How could I forget? The Chapel at Beaver Creek was beautiful.

The Chapel at Beaver Creek
The Chapel at Beaver Creek

It’s nestled in among the trees with the creek gurgling right outside. Really a lovely spot to tie the knot. I’m sure that the early evening light made for great pictures, though all I had on me at the moment was my iPhone which really didn’t do it justice.

I wish I'd brought a sword to my wedding....
I wish I’d brought a sword to my wedding….

Conclusion

Overall, the Lakeside Terrace Villas were perfect for our stay. The layout of the space is good for larger groups in that the two bedrooms are at opposite ends — two couples could share the unit and still have some amount of privacy. There aren’t a lot of services offered, but that’s kind of what you should expect from renting a vacation home. The staff, on the other hand, were superb, especially in that they were able to get us a room three hours before the official check-in time.

I booked the AAA rate which was $138 for the night ($155 with taxes). I’ve never really thought of it this way before, but that’s about 10 cents per sq foot of living space. The rates for the winter appear to be around $250 per night, which still seems really good considering that you can legitimately sleep eight people in beds, with a bunch more on the floor.

For those looking at ski condos but still want to earn or redeem SPG points, this seems like a good option.

Anybody ever stayed at Lakeside Terrace Villas, particularly during ski season?

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Comments

  1. David — Aw, I knew that, but got mixed up anyway. Corrected now. Thanks.

    I guess the point is that I haven’t stayed at the Park Hyatt, and still haven’t.

  2. when I first saw the headline I was thinking what the hell is lucky doing in Beaver Creek? He’s allergic to the outdoors and beaver…

    Surprised the rates are so low in the winter. It must not have any slope access. Places in vail village and beaver creek are rarely under $500 a night and more typically $1000. Glad you had fun. I’ve been wanting to check out the area in the summer for a while.

  3. We stayed at the park hyatt beaver creek about 3 weeks ago. the resort is top notch. I felt like I was being taken care of by the staff. However, ultimately it’s still just a hotel room unless you shell out big bucks. I would never consider paying $600+ a night for a standard room in the winter. The summer rates were $300+ during our stay, but we redeemed chase points. I think you did well to get a condo for so cheap.

  4. “home of Beaver Creek, arguably the top-rated ski resort in Colorado” I would gladly take the opposing position on that statement. Though, BC is nice.

  5. Slope access is easy, if a bit convoluted.

    There’s a free shuttle route around the valley that’s the option that requires the least walking. I prefer to walk over to the Westin and catch the gondola from there. It’s about a 1/2 mile, so totally doable, even in ski boots.

  6. @Colin,
    Agreed, BC is nice, but it suffers from the same problem as Vail. There really isn’t anything that is super steep or challenging at either place.

  7. Nice view of our unused timeshare…had that thing for 25 years, back before the points game came along, and now we rarely use it as we live in the Vail Valley now! Any buyers out there?

  8. You’re not missing much at the PHBC. Staffed by kids who would rather be smoking pot. I gave up after my fifth stay last year and five complaints to management.

  9. @Tom – Did you check out the Birds of Prey Men’s Downhill course? It’s too steep/icy for me. Also, they seem to be rating the resort as a whole and not just the slopes.

  10. Dani — Yep, it’s SPG category 5. I earned all of the usual points, including the 250 Gold gift and the 50% point bonus. In fact, this was my 10th SPG stay credit of the year, which re-qualed me for Gold.

    Redeeming points here in the summer probably doesn’t make sense as the rates are just too low. Winter might be different.

  11. A warning to anyone heading that way this time of year: In my several summer trips to Colo. ski resorts, none are air conditioned “because it doesn’t get that hot here.” Every time I’ve been there, it’s been in the 80s and unbearably hot in the condos during the day. We bought out the Walmart’s box fans for our units when we spent 5 days in Steamboat for my cousin’s wedding. It DOES get hot out there!

  12. Arguably the best ski area? Maybe for a 5 year old in ski school….

    Otherwise:

    Aspen
    Vail
    ….
    Steamboat
    Breckenridge
    Winter Park
    Crested Butte

    Wolf Creek
    Copper Mountain
    Arapahoe Basin

    Beaver Creek
    Keystone
    ….
    Monarch
    Eldora
    ….

    not rated:
    Telluride (too far and to expensive from the front range for what’s there)
    Silverton (people talking about park hyatts or starwood would die on those slopes)

  13. @ Coldagglutanin — Hahahahaha! Where is @Tom to award comment of the day? That’s like comment of the year! 😉

  14. Hey Travis, you mean couch not coach yeah?

    “The main space was on down the hallway. There was a living room on the left with a coach and coffee table. The coach converted to a pull-out bed.”

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