Vail Family-Friendly Winter Activities

Vail family-friendly winter activities

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel loves families! Our spacious studio to four-bedroom condominiums are perfect for families of all ages and sizes. And, we even have pet-friendly lodging for those who don’t want to leave that important member of the family at home. Our location is perfect for those looking for something to do instead of – or in addition to – skiing Vail. Here are our family-friendly top five ways to have winter fun outdoors – including stepping out in the snowshoes that we provide free for guests.

Make like Bigfoot: Those who’ve never tried snowshoes might worry about learning curve, but the sport really is as easy as strapping them on and walking outside and the Antlers recently added snowshoes to the many complimentary amenities the hotel provides for guests. We love catering to families, and snowshoes are an easy family-friendly activity – and a great spontaneous way to enjoy Vail’s snow and scenery. Vail golf course has good beginner trails – and snowshoe rentals for those not lucky enough to be staying at Antlers – or just stroll along the Gore Creek path right outside our door.

"Arches" by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

“Arches” by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

Frozen Arches: Travel through undulating walls sculpted from 36,000 pounds of ice by Vail artist Paul Wertin along the Gore Creek Promenade in Vail Village. Inspired by the work of Christo, Wertin’s “Arches” is illuminated by programmed LED lights, and is the second Art in Public Places ice sculpture installation of this year’s Triumph Winterfest – on display until the ice melts.

The New Home Movies: Capture winter outdoor adventures as they happen with a GoPro camera. Playing in the snow is just that much more fun with a video record to share with friends and family. To help guests remember Vail’s epic snow, the Antlers at Vail provides complimentary GoPro loaner cameras at the front desk – and might just post your first-person video debut on its Facebook page.

Tube Time: Nothing says hair-raising fun in the snow like flying down a mountain on an oversized inner tube. Adventure Ridge on Vail Mountain offers a multi-lane tubing hill with an easy-access surface lift for a quick ride back to the top. And the perfect for families tubing hill is only one of the winter activities at Adventure Ridge, which also include ski biking, kids’ snowmobiling, and a new winter zipline.

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Holiday on Ice: Vail Valley has several facilities for ice skating – both indoors and out – with perhaps the most picturesque experience to be had at the outdoor oval Alderhof Rink in the heart of Lionshead’s Vail Square, just steps from the Antlers. Ice skate rentals are available at the rink, which is open daily from 1:00 – 8:30 p.m.

With a policy of “The answer is ‘yes,’ now what was the question?” the Antlers offers a famously personalized guest experience. Want a cappuccino machine in your suite awaiting your arrival? Need a babysitter for a parents’ night out without the kids? Want groceries delivered before your arrival or during your stay? Just ask.

Families of all ages appreciate the Antlers at Vail’s comfortable condominium suites. Full-service kitchens allow families to serve homemade meals – with additional amenities including gas-fired barbeque grills and a “lending library” of upscale appliances from that cappuccino machine to a breadmaker. Large families can reserve a spacious multi-room suite, while smaller families may want to take advantage of the Antlers’ cozy one-bedroom condominiums – with a separate bunkroom included at no additional charge.

Check out special rates on an Antlers’ stay – including the opportunity to book a spring night April 7 – June 15, 2014, for $99 with any night’s stay during ski season.

Featured Antlers at Vail Residence and Homeowner Q & A

One of the joys of staying at the Antlers at Vail is that the condominiums are true vacation homes. Each homeowner has put forth the effort to make their condo a comfortable home for guests to enjoy. This fall these owners made a renewed commitment to overall property excellence and set the goal of reaching a platinum rating, with 50% of owners already having made plans for significant improvements to their residence.  Some of these are already rated platinum, and others are soon to be. In this new blog series we will feature an Antlers at Vail homeowner, let them tell you a little about what it is they love about the Antlers. And, we’ll tell you about the improvements they are making to their home at the Antlers.

Antler at Vail Homeowner Q & A

Antlers at Vail homeowner, Catherine Michela

Antlers at Vail homeowner, Catherine Michela

Catherine Michela

What motivated you to make the Antlers at Vail your home in Vail?

My husband and I sold his family home in Carmel, CA in 2002 and immediately started looking for a new “2nd home” in Colorado, as we had been totally in love with Colorado skiing for years.  We were fortunate that our looking coincided with the offering of several condominiums from the Antlers 2000 project and were so excited to be able to buy a new place at the Antlers at Vail, after looking at everything available in Vail and Beaver Creek and Aspen.  As everyone told us, you come to Vail for the winter and stay for the summer.  What a delight that we have enjoyed both winter and summer activities at Vail!

What is special about your Antlers vacation home?

Of course, I had a spreadsheet of all of our home buying criteria (I know – don’t laugh) and top on my list  was – close to the slopes, new if possible and good on-site management.  Not only did the Antlers come out on top of that list, it has been an absolute pleasure to become part of the “Antlers Family”.  Our guests often comment in our Guest Book “that they were so pleased to stay in our place” – “that it was beautiful and felt so much like home”

About the Michela Residence

4-Bedroom Antlers at Vail Kitchen: Recent upgrades include stainless steel appliances, durable tile flooring and custom lighting

4-Bedroom Antlers at Vail Kitchen: Recent upgrades include stainless steel appliances, durable tile flooring and custom lighting

Ms. Michela is consistently improving upon an already beautiful 4-bedroom home in the “Antlers 2000″ section of the resort. Last year she had new high-end stainless steel appliances installed. This year she selected a durable porcelain tile that looks like gorgeous hardwoods to be installed in the entry and kitchen, new wall-to-wall carpeting throughout, new living room window treatments and added custom LED lighting in the kitchen and bathrooms. This luxury home was not in need of significant improvements, but these upgrades complimented its elegant personality and also raised the rating to high platinum.

Why choose between wine or yoga? Enjoy both at the Antlers at Vail!

Yoga

The Antlers at Vail hotel offers complimentary yoga classes for guests Tuesday and Fridays from 4 to 5 pm.

Winter and snow brings back the return of some fantastic complimentary amenities to enjoy during your stay at the Antlers at Vail hotel. Complimentary yoga for guests began this past Friday. Classes are held every Tuesday and Friday from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm in the Whitetail room, and are appropriate for a wide range of ability levels.

Our guest wine & cheese receptions also returned last night. Approximately 25 people mingled and enjoyed wine and delicious food from Chef Barry last night. We were very happy to welcome some friends from the Vail Marriott. The wine & cheese receptions are held every Monday from 5:00pm to 6:00pm in the Millie Barela Board Room.

Your Antlers condominium comes with a fully equipped kitchen. If there is something that you would like, but is not already in your condo, please contact the Front Desk. We have spices, aluminum foil, saran wrap, crock pots, mixers, food processors, cappuccino/espresso makers, rice cookers, real tea pots and other small kitchen appliances available by request. If we don’t have something, and it seems like there’s a chance that other people will appreciate it too…we’ll go buy it! (How do you think we wound up with a cappuccino maker?)pdp_image_HERO3Plus_silver_45

Want to capture your epic ski day? Starting Friday, January 10 we will have GoPro cameras available at the front desk.

For those of you who may not have had the chance to meet the Antlers’ General Manager, Rob LeVine, or to have asked him a question, you may not know that you will consistently hear him say, “The answer is “yes”, now what is the question?” The culture at the Antlers is to do what we can to make sure that our guests feel welcome and at home during their stay with us. We offer many complimentary amenities, but if there is something we don’t yet offer that you would like to see, please let us know.

Linden Hill Boys Ski Trip

In 2009 I was working at a school in Northfield, MA called Linden Hill School. It was the oldest boarding school in the country for Middle School aged boys with Learning Disabilities. My father had worked at Linden Hill School for 30 years and was the Asst. Headmaster; my mother was the Academic Dean. I had been a part of the Linden Hill family for 32 years. I loved the school, faculty and the boys who were there working on their education. Every year there were always a few boys that could not go home for the Thanksgiving week due to distance. The school did its best to place these boys with a classmate’s family or faculty member for the week.

That year I took a cross-country trip in an RV from Massachusetts to Colorado with three students from Abu Dhabi, visiting many tourist sites and states along the way. On this trip we drove through Vail and I realized I really wanted to visit in the winter to ski. After this 19-day 9000-mile road trip, I started to develop a plan to ski at Vail.

I planned to bring a group of students, so I had some important criteria for the Vail hotel where we would stay. The hotel accommodations needed to accommodate the entire group in one condo. It had to have a kitchen so I could cook and prepare meals for the group. It needed to be within in walking distance of a ski lift so we could just dress and go. And, it needed to be affordable. After searching and searching I found the ANTLERS AT VAIL, WHICH MET ALL OF THE CRITERIA!

As I was planning the trip for myself and 3 other boys, word got around that I was planning a ski trip to Vail. Parents started calling me and telling me that their son was also asking to spend Thanksgiving with me in Vail. I ultimately ended up bringing 8 students on the trip. 2 boys were from Abu Dhabi, 2 from Saudi Arabia, 3 from Mexico and 1 from Costa Rica.

The weekend before Thanksgiving we boarded a plane and flew out to Colorado. After landing and getting our rental vehicle we headed to Vail. Out of the 8 boys 4 had seen snow before, 3 had seen it once and 1 had never seen snow or skied before! While driving to Vail the boys were so excited to see the spectacular Rocky Mountains and to go through the tunnels. We loved the views. But I will admit that driving in the snow gave me white knuckles (though more from the precious cargo I had in the car then from the snow)!

When we arrived at Antlers at Vail the boys thought it was amazing! Our accommodations were awesome with a small condo that fit us tight but well. There was a complete kitchen and plenty of space for them to relax. The location was perfect. We were close to all of the attractions Vail has to offer, and we were less than 5 min to the lift! It was a great week and I know the boys loved it.

The memories I have with these boys at Antlers and Vail are priceless. Even more these days because the school I had called home for 32 years has now closed. The Antlers hotel is a fantastic lodge for groups. It allowed me to have this great time and give these kids an experience they and I will never forget!

Thank You Antlers at Vail

JP Sanieski, 2010 Antlers at Vail guest

Nothing But Platinum Rated Condos

We used to just be in the condominium management and short term vacation rental business, but now we find ourselves in the construction business as well.

Like every vacation condominium property in the world, we wrestle with individual unit decorating and variance of quality.  After forty plus years of non-stop pleading with some owners to “fix it up”, we have just instituted a formal Unit Quality Improvement plan.  Now we are not only encouraging and rewarding those condominium owners who invest the most, but now we also have some sticks to go with those carrots.

As a result, 43 out of our 88 rental units have made, or are making, upgrades to their property.  Some are big projects, some smaller, but all are meaningful improvements.  And that’s in just this year … we expect to have that much and more, in the next couple years following.   Which brings us to the construction business.  If we’re going to become a completely Platinum rated property, as is our goal, we can’t just tell our condominium owners, “You go figure it out.”

Rather, it’s our job to facilitate everything from new furniture and soft goods, to new flooring, windows, appliances, cabinets and some major renovations.

Tom c

Antlers at Vail Chief Engineer, Tom Schlader

David Collins s

Dave Collins, the newest addition to the Antlers engineering department

Fortunately our Chief Engineer, Tom Schlader, is an accomplished contractor in his own right.  It’s a good thing, because coordinating and implementing this many simultaneous but diverse projects is way more than a handful.  So much so, that we just brought on long-time local Dave Collins to help Tom in that role.  Dave has worked as a project manager for projects large and small so his skills are exactly what we need.

The Antlers commitment in this regard is enormous … in both time and money.  That’s okay though.  Like so many others, our business model is changing and we can either embrace that change, or get run over.

Happily, we plan to be the runner, not the runee.

Actively Green for 2015

AG_Certified

The Antlers at Vail once again is taking the lead.

The Antlers, along with The Wren (East-West Resorts) and the Sonnenalp, are the first resorts in Eagle County to be certified by the Town of Vail and Sustainable Travel International (STI) as “Actively Green for 2015“.

Actively Green is the brain trust of Kristen Bertuglia, the Sustainable Director for the Town of Vail, and Kim Langmaid who chairs the  Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability.  The goal is to certify 100 businesses in the Valley before the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships which are scheduled to be held in Vail and Beaver Creek. The process is rigorous and the intent is to show the world that our Valley is in harmony, not only with the environment, but with each other with regard to business operations.

The process began back on September 4th when the Antlers hosted the first STI Educational  Seminar with 20 other business’s.  The training for certification is an intense exercise that covers 21 steps that need to be addressed and adopted as policy.

The criteria range from educating employees and guests about green practices, tracking waste, energy and water use, monitoring green house gases, responsible purchasing and simply pledging to be a good neighbor in our community.

The certification is a “living document”.

Data is gathered and documented into categories on a monthly basis.  This information is then used to determine the environmental impact we are having as we operate our business.  Hopefully, we will see savings in water and energy use and demonstrate to employees and clients the importance of our efforts.

We are proud to be on the forefront of this effort and are excited for the all the businesses that will be joining us soon.

2015 and the World Ski Championships just aren’t that far off.

Greg

 

PS – Without our own Sustainability Coordinator (Greg Ziccardi) the Antlers wouldn’t be in the leadership position we are, both in terms of this Actively Green certification, as well as all of our ongoing efforts.  -Rob

 

Congratulations to Magda King as VVP Hospitality Professional of the Year Finalist

Magdalena King, Antlers at Vail Assistant Manager, is a finalist for the VVP Hospitality Professional of the Year

Magdalena King, Antlers at Vail Assistant Manager, is a finalist for the VVP Hospitality Professional of the Year

Magdalena King came to work at the Antlers at Vail as Conference Services Manager six years ago, and shortly thereafter moved into the position of Director of Sales. She has been our assistant manager now for just over a year. We are so proud to share the news that she has not only been nominated as the Vail Valley Partnership’s (VVP) Hospitality professional of the Year, but last week was named as one of three finalists vying for the final honor.

Magda is originally from Ecuador, speaks four languages fluently, and until recently served on the board of the local chapter of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). She is a wonderful mother of two charming children, and she still manages to find time to teach English to and lead a book club for our housekeeping staff. We receive many lovely thank you notes from guests specifically thanking Magda for her warm welcome and assistance. And, perhaps most importantly, she challenges us all to be better.

We are so happy to have her as a such an integral part of our team and hope she receives the recognition she deserves and is named Hospitality Professional of the Year. We’re cheering for you Magda!

How Soon we Forget

Maybe it’s 9-11, Katrina or Sandy.  Maybe it’s Columbine or the fires in Colorado in recent years.  Maybe it’s the floods that ravaged Colorado just a few months ago that were called “Biblical in proportion”.  Whatever your memory of a disaster, unless you are completely immersed in the tragedy at hand, we have a tendency to move on and forget there are people who have been maimed, displaced or emotionally altered for life (and in all likelihood, all of the above).

Most recently, Boulder County was battered with nearly 17 inches of rain in 3 days and thousands of people were effected.  The majority of us moved on with our daily lives while they had to put theirs back together.

We here at the Antlers had the opportunity to help one of these victims.  His name is David and he lost everything. It was his girlfriend Denise (a former school teacher in Eagle) and the United Methodist Church in Boulder that spread the word.   David needed help.  She reached out to her friends and the Antlers donated a place for him to stay for a month (free of charge) until he got back on his feet.

I had the pleasure of getting to know this young man and he shared with me some of what he had been through.  This is a short account of his pain and pleasure:

After a week, he was permitted to inspect the damage the rains had caused.

….”For the next 7 days I watched this waterway flow through my unit.  During those 7 days I thought of why this had happened?  How it could have happened to me?  Who’s fault was it that this building was destroyed?  How would I be compensated?  etc.  I built up anger, dealt with sadness and the realization that while it was just stuff, it was everything….photos and heirlooms…childhood collections….dishes and furniture…everything.”

“Most of my things were buried in 4 feet of mud and raw sewage that had solidified as hard as concrete.  I simply could not dig it out.  Everything else was gone.  It had floated down the St Vrain River with everyone else s stuff.”

“The insurance companies were quick to point out that I had coverage on every imaginable event; but not a flood.  So starting from scratch is where I found myself.  It was lonely and scary.”

… “In the end, more than anything,  it was a lesson in kindness” he told me.  “Folks sweated and worked themselves to exhaustion without regard for why.  They did it out of pure kindness.

“Then I met all the good folks at the Antlers.  From their kindness and that of the owners of the condominiums, I had found a home base from which I could put together a game plan and get back on my feet.”

He continued.  “That time was a turning point for me, a very positive one at that.  From the Antlers I was able to secure a full-time job in the mountains (he had been working as a part time contractor) and locate a fully furnished apartment in Steamboat.”

Maybe a lesson for all of us is what he said as he was packing up his truck to move on and settle in his new place.

“I may never have a nice collection of pots and pans again (or need them), nor will I get to sit back and look at pictures of my grandpa standing by his WW II fighter plane, but I am moving to the mountains to realize a dream.  Best of all, I have a greater appreciation of what can happen to ones mindset or state of being if you lend a hand to a person in time of need.”

“The people in Boulder and the folks at the Antlers helped me see the positive in a rough situation that could have easily brought me to a dark place. ”

“So thank you…thank you to all those that made the effort to lend a hand.  The impact was greater than you’ll ever know.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

David at “home” in one of his temporary accommodations at the Antlers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Loading up the few items he had and on his way to Steamboat.

Best of luck with everything moving forward David.  Glad we could help.

Greg

 

 

Setting the Standard for Condo Improvements: Reaching Platinum Ratings

In 2000, 70 individual Antlers homeowners came together, agreed on a plan, collectively assumed risk and then successfully completed a $22 million renovation and addition in 2002. A billion dollar new dawn of Vail followed. The Antlers is once again setting the sights high for property improvements. At the last Antlers homeowners meeting there was an overwhelming consensus to embark on a plan to become a platinum rated property within the next four years. The majority of improvements are to the interiors of the condos and require the individual owner to make a considerable investment. 39 owners have agreed to make significant improvements to unit quality in the coming year. Garo and Val are one of the first Antlers homeowners to make those improvements to their unit and reach the goal of having a platinum rated unit.

Garo & Val

Garo & Val nearing the end of their remodel of the home at the Antlers.

Garo & Val nearing the end of their remodel of the home at the Antlers.

In April, 2013 Garo and Val received their unit rating of 89 – high gold. Upon receiving their Lodging Quality Assurance (LQA) report, they researched what it would take to reach a platinum rating, and help the overall Antlers goal (of becoming a Platinum Rated Property).  They met with the LQA agency, and took notes of everything they could do to improve their home at the Antlers.

Kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, flooring, faux wood beams and new lighting.

Kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, flooring, faux wood beams and new lighting.

Before photo of the kitchen.

Before photo of the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking on the project themselves, and working hand in hand with their own contractors from Denver, they turned their home into a signature of beauty and creativity. Faux wood beams were installed on the ceiling. Beautiful and durable porcelain tile floor that looks like hardwood was installed.  The kitchen was upgraded with new stainless steel appliances. They installed a monster new flat screen TV with a stunning sound system.  And, they did all of this in just over a month!

New living room with beautiful flooring accented by faux wood beams, and a flat screen TV with stunning sounds system.

New living room with beautiful flooring accented by faux wood beams, and a flat screen TV with stunning sounds system.

Before photo of the living room.

Before photo of the living room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now their home is a Platinum Rated Unit (93 is their new rating). We are very proud of Val and Garo. Their tremendous effort, time and investment to make their Antlers condo the ultimate mountain lodging experience is greatly appreciated and we look forward to seeing which other Antlers owners will take on the challenge, as many already have.

To see photos of their newly remodeled home at the Antlers, click any of the thumbnails below.

The Best Place for Families to Stay in Vail

Storytime

To relax after a fun day of skiing or other activities, cozy up by the fire with a book.

What is the best hotel in Vail for families to stay? Well, first I will fully admit that I am somewhat biased on the answer to this question. But, as a parent of two young children I am very particular about where we stay while on vacation. And, the Antlers at Vail meets and exceeds all of those requirements. So, here is why the Antlers is the best hotel for a family vacation in Vail, in my biased but expert opinion.

#1. Okay, it sounds basic, but… The Antlers’ multi-room condominiums all allow for separate living space, so that the adults can stay up and enjoy a glass of wine or the cozy fire after the kids go to bed. Even the studios have a privacy screen that can be pulled closed between the living area and bedroom. The one bedrooms with bunks are a perfect option for families with young children. The Antlers has so many different room, bedding and bath configurations that we are sure to be able to meet your needs.

Antlers at Vail 1-bedroom with bunk condos are the perfect configuration for families.

Antlers at Vail 1-bedroom with bunk condos are the perfect configuration for families.

#2 The one meal that I really don’t want to have to eat out every day on vacation is breakfast. The Antlers’ condominiums all have full kitchens that are so convenient for making breakfast while still in your PJs. The kitchens can accommodate a simple breakfast of cereal to pancakes, eggs, bacon and more. Feeling inspired and want to make waffles? If your condo doesn’t already have a waffle iron, the front desk has a loaner for you, and many other one-off items as well. Don’t feel like brewing coffee? You can just saunter up to the lobby and grab a couple of cups of freshly brewed coffee to get the day started.

#3 All Antlers units are condominiums, but we offer all of the amenities of a hotel, including daily housekeeping service. Okay, again basic if you are at a hotel. But, if you are renting through a site like VRBO don’t count on it.

#4 No extra fees or nickel and diming! As a family, extra fees add up fast. Buying anything for 4 or 5 people adds up much faster than 2 people. The Antlers prides itself on not charging for extras. There are no resort fees, no charge for parking, complimentary hot chocolate and apple cider in the lobby, and even free DVD rentals.

#5 Location. The location of the Antlers really can’t be beat. The hotel is located right on Gore Creek. The view from your room may include Vail Mountain, the bike path along Gore Creek, the spectacular pool or some lovely green foliage giving you the feeling of seclusion. The gondola is 150 yards away. The free in-town bus is just footsteps away and will drop you right at the multitude of activities and savory dining awaiting you. The Lionshead gondola takes you directly to the newly improved Adventure Ridge.

The entire family is sure to enjoy the Antlers pool and two hot tubs located on Gore Creek.

The entire family is sure to enjoy the Antlers pool and two hot tubs located on Gore Creek.

#6 The Pool. So, I know I’ve already mentioned the amenities, but the Antlers has a fabulous pool area that includes two large hot tubs. You will be hard pressed to keep the kids away regardless of the weather. Have you ever sat in a hot tub on the river while it is snowing? It is an experience that the kids won’t forget.

#7 The other guests. There is the possibility that your kids might get to see a moose family for the first time, or a fox. We have a moose family that has been visiting somewhat regularly lately. *You will want to watch from afar. Moose are not friendly, but they are magnificent.

#8 The service. Every lodging property in Vail prides itself on the highest standard of service. But, I would argue that the service you receive at the Antlers is different because it is genuine and personal. Employee retention at the Antlers is unmatched–from our General Manager who has been with the Antlers for 35 years to our head housekeeper who has been with the Antlers even longer. In reviews the staff regularly is called out.

Fun to watch the local Moose, but keep your distance!

Fun to watch the local Moose, but keep your distance!

#9 Need I say more? I hope that if you are traveling with a family to Vail that you will consider staying at the Antlers at Vail. We’d be honored to have you be a part of our extended family and discover yourself why our guests return year after year.

Posted by: Liana, the Antlers’ Marketing Gal