Stia celebrated her 30th Birthday earlier this year, but instead of taking her Birthday Trip around her actual birthday, she decided to wait until the middle of summer when the heat here in Dallas can become a little unbearable. Especially if you are 8 months pregnant! After thinking about different options, we decided that heading for the cool Colorado mountains would be the perfect thing to do. Four Seasons Vail became our destination!
We decided that a night in Denver before we headed up the mountain would be fun and a good way to acclimate to the altitude, so we spent our first night at Four Seasons Denver, located downtown just a block from Larimer Square. Four Seasons Denver is in a great location within walking distance of so much that downtown Denver has to offer. Spending a little time at the rooftop pool and enjoying cocktails at Edge Bar before heading to Larimer Square for dinner was the perfect way to kick off Stia’s 30th Birthday trip. The next morning we grabbed coffee and headed up the mountain to Vail and our destination, Four Seasons Vail!
We’ve highlighted our favorite picks from the trip for you in this post! We had the absolute best time. Everyone said it may have been their favorite trip ever and we all agree it needs to be an annual summer getaway. So… see you next year Vail!
Where to stay
Hands down, the best place to stay is Four Seasons Vail. It has the perfect location, amazing rooms, a beautiful pool, the food is delicious and the service is the best. We can’t say enough good things about our stay! Here are just a few of the reasons we love Four Seasons Vail:
- Rooms: The rooms at Four Seasons Vail are so spacious. Our rooms had an entry area with a bar and coffee service area, walk-in closet/dressing room, huge bedroom with gas-burning fireplace and furnished balcony with a view of the mountain. The bathrooms were amazing, with a deep soaking tub, double vanities and beautiful walk-in shower. The staff provided everything Stia needed for William: a crib, toys, toiletries, a humidifier, a robe and white noise machine. They made it so easy to be traveling with a toddler!
- Dining: We could have eaten all our meals at the hotel, the food was so delicious. We had lunch at The Remedy a few times and cocktails at Remedy before dinner, where the views are amazing, with floor to ceiling windows looking out to the mountain and a balcony with fire pits. We also had lunch at the pool where a chef was manning an outdoor grill. And for a special dining experience at Four Seasons Vail, read more about Back of the House Burger Bar below. You don’t want to miss this!
- Pool: We took William for an after dinner swim on our first evening and we were pleasantly surprised to find a heated pool with toys for him and heated robes and towels to snuggle up in after swimming. Service at the pool was as impeccable as it was throughout the hotel
- Concierge: Our trip snuck up on us, but we started emailing with the concierge about a week before we left. They helped plan a lot of our activities, got us reservations at restaurants that didn’t have any reservations and helped arrange bike rentals and our fly fishing trip. They were amazing.
- Spa at Four Seasons Vail: FS Vail is home to one of only two Forbes Five Star rated Spas in Colorado and the only one in the Vail Valley! It’s beautiful and a must do while in Vail.
Where to eat:
- Back of the House Burger Bar: Located literally back of the house, Four Seasons Vail Burger Bar is one of the most fun and delicious experiences we’ve ever had. We had to ask permission to share with you, because it is a well kept secret! There is one table in the kitchen of the resort that serves a burger menu each day from 2-5:30. We had the last reservation of the day at 5:00. When we say “burger menu” that doesn’t even begin to cover it! We were greeted by Steven the resident sommelier/mixologist who promptly asked us our favorite flavors and mixed up custom cocktails and libations. There is also a full wine selection including rosé and rosé bubbly! That was just the beginning… The elk corn dogs come highly recommended and the burger selection included 7X Farms Wagyu beef, Skuna salmon, chicken and white bean veggie prepared with basically any toppings you can imagine. After discussing with Chef Marcus we each came up with our own custom burger concoction. Saving the best for last, the staff repeatedly told us to save room for dessert- handmade milkshakes with toppings for both kids and adults (think Kahlua, Godiva white chocolate liquor, etc.). They were amazing and we did our very best to finish every drop! Next time you are in Vail- make plans to go here!
- Sweet Basil: A Vail institution, Sweet Basil is celebrating their 40th birthday this year! This was our first time there and after all the recommendations and rave reviews by our readers, we were not disappointed. We were so afraid that Sweet Basil couldn’t live up, but the service, the food, the wine and the view over the river were all top notch. And an amazing thunderstorm was the icing on the cake 🙂 For starters we recommend the sweet corn succotash and the tomato tower, for mains order the coulotte steak and the salmon. Amazing!
- Mountain Standard: This is the sister restaurant to Sweet Basil and also absolutely delicious as well. With a creekside location, it has a more rustic and relaxed vibe, with food that lives up to the Sweet Basil reputation. Most of the food is cooked over an open fire. For appetizers we recommend the ahi tuna crudo and the southern pimento cheese (so surprisingly good!), for mains the rocky mountain trout and monkfish curry were outstanding.
- The Remedy: We loved eating lunch here and stopping in for a drink on the way out to dinner in the village. Everything we tried for lunch was wonderful and the cocktail list was so intriguing. We had visions of trying each one of the different house specialties, but we didn’t get very far!
- Flame: Besides dining at the Burger Bar in the kitchen at Flame our first night, we also had breakfast at Flame. Let’s just say the buffet had just about everything you could ever want and the huevos rancheros were to die for. Yum!
- Pool Bar at Four Seasons Vail: This was a great little spot for us to eat lunch before we put William down for his nap. The chef is outside manning the grill and they serve great summer foods. The fish tacos were delicious and William loved the cheeseburger.
- Yeti’s Grind: Thanks to our readers recommendations, we found this little coffee shop on our second morning and went back twice a day until we left! It was some of the better coffee we’ve had, served great breakfast burritos and located in front of the grass covered ice skating rink where William could run off some energy while we ate.
What to do
There is so much to do during the summer in the mountains that we ran out of time! The weather and scenery is beautiful, so other than our time at the spa, we spent pretty much all of our time outside.
- Take the Gondola up to Vail Mountain: Our first day there we took the gondola up to the top of the mountain. There is so much going on up there in the summer- who knew?! They have an adventure park, mountain biking, hiking, restaurants, etc. We did a day pass and spent most of the morning hiking from Vail to Lionshead and taking a few other short hikes. The views are amazing and weather is perfect for a hike!
- Rent Bikes: We rented bikes from Gorsuch (they have a shop in the Four Seasons) and rode all along the base of the mountain. We also went to the Betty Ford Gardens, biked along the river and throughout Vail Village.
- Fly Fishing: We booked this once we arrived in Vail and had the best experience. Instead of doing a wading trip, we opted for a float trip – fly fishing, while also rafting down the Colorado river. Such a great experience! Don’t ask how many fish we caught…
- Shop Vail Village: Vail Village is such a charming town that we could have spent a whole day just exploring the city. We managed to spend a little time here and there, but with so many other things to do that’s all we could fit in! William loved getting into the (freezing!) river and playing in the fountains with all the other kids.
- Vail Farmer’s Market: Every Sunday from mid-June until October there is a Farmers Market and Art Show in the village. We had a great time wandering around and checking out the different vendors. We stumbled upon the cutest handmade basket bags!
- Pool at Four Seasons: We mentioned it above, but at least once a day we found ourselves relaxing by the pool. It is the perfect place to hang out any time of the day and has the best mountain views.
- Four Seasons Spa: One morning the girls had pedicures at the spa. We had the best time relaxing and enjoying some time just the three of us. We made a morning of it and relaxed in the beautiful spa with some bubbly. The spa has a saline pool, whirlpool, steam room, relaxation room and slumber room. Pretty much anything you can think of to make you feel pampered and completely relaxed. We made sure to spend some time at the spa every day.! There is also a coed relaxation lounge which is nice if you’re enjoying the spa with your hubby 🙂
Thank you to Four Seasons Vail and Four Seasons Denver for partnering with us to bring you this post!
Stia, Jean and Katherine