Feel the warm gulf breeze, gaze out at the azure sea and let the sublime feeling of complete relaxation wash over you as you step into the welcoming lobby of our remarkable Clearwater Beach hotel and resort. Balanced between the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway, the only waterfront Hyatt on Florida’s west coast is inspired by classic yet contemporary West Indies style.
The large resorts aren’t having all the fun. Many smaller, exclusive resorts and destinations offer snowshoes to guests as a primary winter activity. Lodges, bed and breakfast cottages, and backcountry inns offer some of the most memorable snowshoeing experiences – regardless of being anchored to a gravity sports resort.
These smaller locations can custom fit a snowshoe outing for their guests. Offering more intimate snowshoe adventures doesn’t necessarily mean it’s costlier; it’s all about location, location, location.
For instance, Yellowstone National Park closes its roads during the winter. The primary mode of transportation in and out of the Park is by snowmobile. The visitors that want to participate in a silent sport, such as snowshoeing, often bed down at a nearby hotel in Jackson, Wyo. However, many winter travelers choose local lodges or dude ranches as their primary launching point into Yellowstone.
Similarly, the Glacier Outdoor Center in Montana is one of many places to stay near Glacier National Park. The locally owned and operated Center is known for its summer activities, including fly fishing and rafting.
“This is something we’ve doing for about 35 years,” says Sally Thompson, Co-owner of the Glacier Outdoor Center. “We decided to expand our year-round operations about 10 years ago. A lot of our guests visit in the summer and the winter.”
In addition to the groomed trails on their property, the Center offers guided snowshoe tours into the Park for guests and passers-by.
“This will be our fourth winter offering a snowshoe program,” Thompson explains. “We first started to rent snowshoes to guests who wanted to go snowshoeing in Glacier National Park. Then we extended our cross-country ski trails to include a snowshoe trail, side-by-side. We wanted to utilize our entire property.”
Glacier Outdoor Center guests can rent a pair of snowshoes for $15 for a full day and $12 for half a day. For guided tours into Glacier National Park, the Center charges $155 a person for an exclusive guided tour for half a day. A full day is $200.
Glenwood Hot Springs unveils multimillion-dollar lodge renovation
It’s a new year, and for Glenwood Hot Springs’ guests that means 107 new rooms. In 2013, guests can relax in remodeled rooms that reflect a tranquil ambiance, while technology upgrades add modern convenience to the surrounding comfort.
The comprehensive, two-phase, $2 million renovation project commenced on April 1, 2011, with the final phase completed on December 24, 2011. Each room received a transformational floor-to-ceiling makeover. When guests walk through the door to their room, they are greeted with a soothing color palette of sage greens and warm neutral hues, combined with invigorating splashes of cinnamon.
“The rooms were designed to echo a serene environment, and at the same time provide our guests with all the extras that make a stay at Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge a truly one-of-a-kind experience,” said Jeremy Gilley, Director of Sales and Revenue for Glenwood Hot Springs and Spa of the Rockies.
Even beds are given the spa treatment, with bed linens as white as snow topped with a waffle-weave comforter cover and a plush throw. A mahogany table and chairs provide ample room for work or recreational endeavors. Sheer drapes on the large picture windows and balcony doors allow for views and the warmth of filtered sunlight when desired, while blackout drapes offer privacy.
Not as noticeable, but every bit as vital to a relaxing getaway, are the technology upgrades. A 42-inch LED flat screen television takes center stage, and is HDMI- and Cat5-compatible for high quality audio and video output. Bedside docking stations for iPods and smart phones help keep these devices charged and always handy.
Built into each side of the mahogany headboard are two LED reading lights. The focused beam provides just the right amount of light for reading while allowing others in the room to drift off to sleep. Custom cabinetry conceals a mini-fridge, microwave and a state-of-the-art safe for storing valuables. Other amenities in each room include a coffeemaker, complimentary wireless internet, an iron and ironing board. Secure ski, snowboard and bike storage is available on the premises as well.
Naturally, spa treatment extends to the bathroom, a modern alcove for rejuvenation. A freestanding, residential-style vanity with granite countertops is topped with the same bath and shower essentials used at the Spa of the Rockies. The shower enclosure, decorated with luminous glass accents of olive, gold and chocolate, channels a vacation state of mind. No need to tote along a hairdryer, one is provided.
New owners and management enhance the luxury experience at Estes Park Resort
At the entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Park lies Colorado’s hidden gem: Estes Park. Established as a resort community in the early 1900’s by entrepreneur and inventor F.O. Stanley, a single visit will secure an unforgettable experience in both mind and soul.
A mere 90 minutes from Denver, U.S. Highway 36 brings you to the entrance of Estes Park and cements the understanding of why many visitors make a return trip every year. Completely surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, the panoramic views in this secluded valley town are unparalleled. A walk along the river can bring you face-to-face with an elk or two, among the many mountain creatures known to frequent Estes Park.
Seated beside Lake Estes, The Estes Park Resort is a reminder of why visitors return time and time again: to escape.
“I fell in love with Estes at 14,” says Chris Carey, general manager of The Estes Park Resort. “I’m an example of how this area can change people’s lives.”
Change Is In the Air
January marked not only a new year, but a new season for the lakefront property. It was a sort of “homecoming” for Chris as he took the helm of the 55-room Estes Park Resort and returned to a place he loved. He was placed at the resort by Ledgestone Hospitality, the management arm of Pacific West Hotels & Resorts.
“Chris Carey is very knowledgeable and caring,” says Executive Housekeeper Julie Monahan. “He understands my position because he's done it himself, and to me that goes a long way.”
New owner Kevin Bierl was attracted to the property’s location, and began reshaping it as a family-oriented destination. Formerly known as The Lake Shore Lodge Hotel & Conference Center, Pacific West renamed the property and began a $2 million renovation in February.
“I’d say we’re about ninety-eight percent done,” Chris explains. “I think we’ve gone from sterile and dated to contemporary with character.”
Personal touches from the property’s owner, such as new carpeting and a wall hanging comprised entirely of cork, bring a sophisticated feel to the mountain resort. Designers worked with both local and national vendors to make the changes possible, and within a few months, they already appear to be paying off.
“We’re booked every weekend for weddings, with space already filling up for 2013,” says Chris. “We’ve even started taking some reservations for 2014.”
Offering panoramic views of the lake and the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Ballroom can accommodate groups up to 300, making it a popular choice for destination weddings.
Wedding planners aren’t the only ones reserving space at the resort. Businesses take full advantage of The Estes Park Resort’s flexible spaces, including a boardroom, mezzanine and outdoor patios, offering both indoor and outdoor space for meeting attendees.
“I feel very comfortable bringing brides here,” says Janice Mason, Group Sales and Services Specialist. “I know they’ll be taken care of, and the space is perfect for those brides who want to get married in the mountains.”
Business Booms and Locals Buzz
“I’m very pleased with our group bookings,” Chris says. From 2011 to 2012, he’s seen an increase of “about thirty-five percent.”
“I can comfortably say that we’re the nicest hotel in Estes,” he continued. “The new ownership and management set a more professional tone, and it’s really had a positive effect in generating buzz around the community.”
Some community members shared that buzz with R+R at the Waterfront Grille.
“It’s better now than it’s ever been,” says one local. He and his wife dine at the resort on a regular basis. “There was a lot of inconsistency before, in both the food and service.
“We haven’t seen the rooms yet, but we’ve heard they really improved!”
Guest rooms were fully renovated, with signature furnishings and décor. Luxurious bedding and white linens make guests feel as if they’re sleeping on clouds surrounding the mountain range just outside their window.
“The rooms before renovation were outdated and dingy,” Julie says. “(The new owners) have taken it from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swam.”
Luxury continues with an addition of spa services to the resort’s offerings. Provided by Riverspointe Spa, guests can receive services in the comfort of their own rooms or in two recently-added spa suites. Find details of the resort’s signature massages and altitude adjustment treatments in the sidebar.
Rocky Mountain Recreation
When guests are ready to come off the clouds and set foot on RockyMountain soil, resort staff stands front and ready. Each staff member at the front desk is armed with knowledge of both Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park, and can help coordinate activities through the resort’s partnerships with local vendors. Chris says these partnerships play a vital role in the property’s ability to become a “one-stop shop” for its guests.
“We wanted to make it as seamless as possible for our guests to do everything from the resort, and our partnerships make this possible,” he explains. “I’ve worked at 500-room properties, and you just can’t offer the same level of quality service.
“With a smaller staff-to-guest ratio, it’s much easier to give individualized attention to each of our guests’ needs, and that’s what we strive to do.”
A grand timeshare resort in a grand destination
Hilton Grand Vacations’ Grand Waikikian is a landmark addition to the world-famous Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa. The all-suite resort primarily accommodates owners, yet provides rental suites to visitors seeking residential-style accommodations.
The 331-unit, all-suite Grand Waikikian by Hilton Grand Vacations Club is the company’s fifth timeshare development in Hawaii. It joined the existing 236-unit LagoonTower and 72-unit KaliaTower at the HiltonHawaiianVillage on Oahu, as well as the 120-unit Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort and 198-unit Kings’ Land by Hilton Grand Vacations Club, both located on the Big Island of Hawaii.
“Waikiki continues to ride a wave of renewal,” says Mark Wang, president of Hilton Grand Vacations. “The Grand Waikikian is an iconic addition to our growing collection of resorts and delivers an unparalleled vacation experience to our owners and guests.”
The 38-story Grand Waikikian evokes the ambiance of a grand hotel, while offering the amenities and comforts of a world-class resort condominium. The resort features luxurious one-, two- and three-bedroom suites designed with serenity and space in mind, including five floors of designated penthouses that offer spectacular views and a separate check-in area, concierge and lounge. Incorporated throughout each suite are a private outdoor lanai, upscale furnishings, modern full kitchen, washer and dryer, luxurious linens, flat-screen televisions, state-of-the-art entertainment system, complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access, elegant bathroom fixtures with deep-soaking tub, and rich woods and stone details. The resort’s 5,000-square-foot pool features a waterslide, waterfalls and swim-through grotto terraces.
The Grand Waikikian complements the surrounding 22-acre oceanfront resort of HiltonHawaiianVillage, which features more than 90 shops and boutiques and a diverse, international selection of restaurants. The Hilton’s beachfront Super Pool is the largest on the island of Oahu and transforms the area into a celebration of Hawaiian culture and entertainment on Friday evenings, culminating with a spectacular fireworks display.
1700 Big Thompson Ave
Estes Park, CO 80517