I checked out of the Westin Snowmass mid-morning as the snow continued to fall and drove the few miles over to my home for the next week, The Crestwood. While there are a few more properties higher up the mountain on the same road, this road is not one of the ones in Snowmass Village that is heated so you’ll want to be sure your vehicle is properly equipped if you plan to drive here in the winter.
The Crestwood parking lot is heated, however, and while it was having trouble keeping the parking lot snow-free, it was doing the best it could. The Crestwood has several shuttle vans that will take you wherever you need to go within Snowmass Village. The Village Shuttle, the free bus system for Snowmass, actually has a stop on The Crestwood’s property and there’s even a small indoor waiting area, which is terrific.
The front desk is in a centrally-located building. Walking through the front desk area and out the back door you’ll find the heated pool and two hot tubs. Downstairs is the small gym and a massage room. More about those later.
I had to wait a little to check in. The snow was still coming down and a number of flights out of the Aspen Airport (ASE) had been cancelled, stranding people overnight so there were folks who’d stayed here last night trying to find a place for another night or two. I wasn’t bothered about a slight wait as I knew there was a good chance my condo wouldn’t be ready anyway and that turned out to be the case. Since I still had no luggage I was just able to leave my carry-on behind the desk and catch a ride in the shuttle over to the Mountain Mall (basically right where I’d been at the Westin!).
The Tylenol, breakfast and cool air had really helped to alleviate my headache and I stopped by one of the ski shops to put a pair of demo skis on hold for the next day as I was anticipating my luggage arriving later that day. By now I was getting hungry so I enjoyed a leisurely lunch. The restaurant I selected was fairly quiet as so many folks were out enjoying what was shaping up to be the largest single snowfall of the season so far.
I eventually got a call from The Crestwood stating my condo was ready so I took the Village Shuttle back to the property where I checked in and got my key.
2 BR/2 BA Condo
We were in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo with a couple in the master bedroom and my roommate and I on the twin beds in the smaller bedroom. In so many condos in ski country the folks in the second bedroom get the shaft. It seems that unless the second bedroom can be locked off into a hotel room, the second bedroom is more suitable for children than for adults and our quarters were definitely a tighter squeeze.
Each of these condos is individually owned, so the decor varies. Ours had a western/cowboy theme to it, starting with the entry hall. I liked the hardwood floor in the hall and it extended partially into the bed & bath area of the second bedroom. On the wall was a set of clothing hooks shaped like horseshoes. This was actually quite clever as it provided double the number of hooks that it might appear to at first glance. Just above those hooks were a number of smaller, less-rugged hooks that was great for accessories like hats and gloves, etc. Above that was a high shelf where some of us left our helmets each day.
There was also a hall utility closet with a couple of folding chairs, broom & dustpan, a vacuum and similar household needs.
To the left off the hallway was the large master bedroom. I believe this was a queen-sized bed but the room was large enough to accommodate a king. Nightstands were on both sides of the bed and to the left of the bed was a love seat and ottoman.
Across from the love seat the TV sat on a shelf tucked into a strange indentation in the wall.
Next to that was the compact master bathroom with its walk-in shower. I found the design of this bedroom/bathroom a little strange as there’s just so much space in the bedroom and, by contrast, so little space in the bathroom. I’d have changed the design somehow to give up a little bedroom space and expand the bathroom a bit.
Next to the bathroom was the closet though one side was locked off for the owners.
Beside the bedroom door was a dresser with a number of drawers that would be plenty for a week-long trip.
Across the hall was a doorway with a pocket door. To the left, the hardwood floor continued into the sink area of the bathroom. The vanity had plenty of counter space for two people and we split the drawers between us. There was also space in the medicine cabinet though we didn’t have to use it. The hair dryer was wall-mounted by the sink.
Past the sink area was a room with the toilet and the shower tub. It was fairly compact but it was nice to be able to separate the sink from the rest of the bathroom.
The toiletries were Lord & Mayfair but I really didn’t care for them at all. The hand soap was fine but the shampoo and conditioner were too perfume-y for my taste. The lotion was so runny that I didn’t even bother with it after trying the first time.
Turning right from the hallway was the bedroom. We had twin beds with buckskin and fleece comforters. They were extremely warm and the first half of the week I didn’t even need them at night but as the weather got colder later in the week, they felt really good. The bedroom did have its own thermostat to control the wall heater and it was nice to be able to crank that down and sleep in a cool room after the warm night at the Westin.
There was one night stand by the bed on the left. It would seem more logical to put it in the middle to me but that might have pushed that left bed too close to the closet, I’m not sure. There were electrical outlets available both between the bed and on the wall beside the bed on the right, which was nice to have.
Across from the beds was a 6-drawer dresser and the TV was wall-mounted in the corner. I loved that both bedrooms not only came with humidifiers but that housekeeping refilled them each day. They made a big difference in our sleep quality.
Like the master bedroom, half of the closet was locked off which meant we really didn’t have anywhere to store our luggage. My roommate just put hers on the floor and lived out of it. Once my luggage finally arrived I filled up the drawers and closet shelf and put my empty luggage in the living area.
Our condo had a galley kitchen with a wide faux-marble countertop separating the kitchen from the living area. We had four bar stools and that was where we ate breakfast, which was the main meal we ate here. A full-size refrigerator, stove, oven and microwave were all put to use at one time or another. Housekeeping ran the dishwasher each day, no matter how few dishes we had in it. There was a coffee maker as well and we had received a welcome gift that included coffee, tea and some snacks. At least some of the condos our group was in had an island instead of a full-length counter. I guess it just depends on the condo you’re given.
Beyond the kitchen was the living area with a sofa against the left wall and two soft leather chairs opposite that. In the corner was a gas fireplace that was controlled by a thermostat on the wall.
Not visible in the photo above is a small wooden table tucked into a niche below some built-in shelves to the right of, and behind, the leather chair on the right. It might have been nice to have pulled it out for a meal but that floor space under the metal wall decoration was where my luggage ended up staying for the duration so we never did try it out.
I wished there had been some sort of hearth as that’s a great place to leave gloves to dry at the end of a ski day. As it was we ended up taking a coat hanger and hanging it on the edge of the cutout in the wall behind the TV and then hanging our gloves on that. It was crude, but effective.
Our particular condo was on the lower level and to reach it we had to go down a half-flight of steps. We didn’t have much of a view, only of another one of The Crestwood buildings but if we stood on our balcony we could turn our heads to the right and see the slopes and the gondola. While the condos themselves aren’t ski-in/ski-out, the property is.
And Speaking of the Luggage….
The rest of the group had made it as far as Denver, only to have their Denver-Aspen flight cancelled due to the snow. They ended up securing a party bus for the drive. So instead of arriving at ASE by 2 PM, they were just leaving Denver at 2 PM.
Around 4 PM I thought it was getting to be time that I should be hearing from the airline about my luggage. The info in the app had not changed since the morning so I called the toll-free number and pushed 0 to talk to a person. I got a terrific gentleman who I could hear typing along, then a pause, then more typing, then an “oh, my!”. Not good. Sure enough, despite being labeled “Priority”, my luggage had decided to take a vacation to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Now, I’m not a genius but the luggage tags have bar codes in addition to the actual airport codes on them. These bags were supposed to go to the Vail/Eagle County Airport. That airport code is EGE. Instead, they went to San Juan, whose code is SJU. Those codes are nothing alike! And one would have hoped that the handheld scanners had beeped furiously when they sent my bags the wrong way. So frustrating. My only thought was that the bags had the wrong tags on them. I didn’t see the tags when they were put on the bag so that was all I think of that could have been the problem. The good news was that the bags were already en route to Newark, NJ and from there would be on the early Sunday morning flight to Vail. Though it seems out of the way, that routing would actually get them to Vail faster than going back through Houston.
Hanging up from that call I knew I had to go get a few new pieces of clothing to get me through the next 24 hours so it was back to the mall where I got a t-shirt on clearance and some shorts to sleep in and I found a decent sweater on the half-off rack so I was pretty pleased, considering.
Around 8 PM my friends finally arrived from Denver. By car, in good weather, the drive from the Denver airport to Snowmass is 3.5-4 hours. In the snow, on a bus and including a stop at McD’s for food and the liquor store (priorities, you know) it took around 6 hours. And like me, they didn’t have their luggage. Fortunately for them, the airline bused their luggage to the ASE airport and the staff at the Crestwood sent one of the vans down and picked it up.
After another day of missed skiing my luggage finally arrived around 4 PM on Sunday, over 48 hours since I’d checked it in Memphis. It had an updated set of airport codes on a sticker over my original routing codes but when I peeled that back I found that the original tag had the correct MEM-IAH-EGE routing. I have no idea how that luggage went to San Juan.
Pool and Hot Tubs
As I mentioned earlier, to reach the pool just walk past the front desk and out the back door. The deck was kept free of snow. The Crestwood provides bathrobes in the rooms that are perfect to wear between the condo and the pool or hot tub.
There are two hot tubs in this location, one is behind that group of rocks at the far end of the pool and the other was reached by walking down a short flight of stairs just before reaching that first hot tub. There was at least one more hot tub and it was located at the far end of the parking lot in the same area that housed the ski shop.
Gym and Massage
Taking the elevator down from the front desk area was the easiest way to reach the gym. It wasn’t huge and that wasn’t a surprise, but it did have enough cardio machines to help get loosened up in the mornings. There was a universal machine in the corner and a stand full of hand weights. A small sauna (or steam room, not sure which) was tucked away on one side. Near the entrance was another door that led to the massage room and the front desk folks can assist with getting massage appointments.
The end of our building was beside the slopes so we didn’t have a far walk at all. But between us and the slopes was a small ski shop. One of my condo-mates rented powder skis one day and it was so convenient. They also had several rolling stands where we could leave our skis each night and we didn’t have to haul them back to our condos. Our condos did have ski lockers outside our doors, but the instructions indicated we had to insert a quarter to be able to lock it and the quarter would be returned once the key was used to open the door again. That might work if everyone skied together all day but when there are potentially four adults skiing with different people all day it’s a little silly. We ended up just using that to store our poles and we didn’t even bother locking it.
The ski shop also allowed you to store your ski boots overnight on the drying racks if you wanted, and you could leave your street shoes there during the day so you could walk to the shop in your street shoes in the morning, put on your boots, ski all day, then change back to street shoes for the walk back to the condo. This is a great idea and I really liked it.
All in all The Crestwood worked well for our group. I’m told that some condos are bigger and, naturally, cost more but for what we paid, we did pretty well. The condos were not as large as those we had at Top of the Village last year but the location is better. As our club has now been to Snowmass three years in a row we’ll take a year or two off before returning but we’ve enjoyed our time here and The Crestwood would definitely be a place our group would consider returning to.