The Bottom Line
- Some rooms have balconies or patios with view of Gore Creek
- Pet-friendly accomodations (with additional deposit)
- Free shuttle every 10-15 minutes to Vail Village
- Not enough seating at outdoor pool
- Vail Cascade Resort & Spa is a ski-in, ski-out resort that also offers accommodations in the summer.
- Vail Village features fun stops for children, from a pirate-ship playground to Fuzziwig's Candy Factory.
- The Vail International Dance Festival, held every summer, draws top-notch talent from the U.S. and abroad.
Guide Review - Vail Cascade Provides a Welcome Getaway
Upon arrival on Friday night, the staff went above and beyond the call of duty in helping my husband extricate a stubborn bike from the car's bike rack. At our room, we were also greeted by a half dozen chocolate-covered strawberries, which helped ease the stress of driving on I-70 from Denver. The spacious deluxe courtyard room featured a balcony overlooking Gore Creek, which provided an ideal spot for coffee the next morning.
At seven months pregnant, simple physics (and swollen ankles) prevented me from partaking in the outdoor adventures in Vail the next day. However, my dog seemed to enjoy frolicking along the Gore Creek trail outside our room, and my husband enjoyed a bike ride along Vail Pass.
While my husband was engaged in his athletic adventure, I walked around Vail Village to learn more about the ski resort's humble beginnings. My first stop was the free Colorado Ski Museum, which is open daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The small one-story museum features displays on the history of the army ski patrol, the town of Vail and the Winter Olympics. The museum also traces the the origins of snowboarding, back in the day when it was known by the name of "snurfing."
The next stop was Fuzziwig's Candy Factory for an ice cream cone. The candy store features a wide selection of gourmet jelly bellies and other confections popular with children of all ages. Outside the candy store, the Children's Fountain allows youngsters the chance to splash around and cool off on a hot summer day. Other activities for children in Vail Village include a playground in the shape of a pirate ship at the base of Vista Bahn.
After returning to Vail Cascade, I reunited with my husband and sat by the saltwater pool in the shade of aspen and pine trees. The resort also has two hot tubs, although one was out of service during our visit. The only downside to the pool was the lack of adequate seating, as we had to bide our time and grab pool chairs when a family was leaving.
We then adjourned to the Atwater Restaurant at the hotel and enjoyed an al freco meal of rainbow trout and New York strip steak. The tender, flaky fish proved the perfect light meal for a summer evening, although I was disappointed to learn the fish had been flown in from Idaho instead of caught in Colorado waters. The highlight of the meal was the triple chocolate cake for dessert, which was garnished with an orchid and sprinkled with toffee crumbles.
After dinner, we caught two shuttles to the Vail International Dance Festival at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Vail Cascade offers free shuttles to Vail Village every 10 - 15 minutes, and the town of Vail also offers free shuttles for special events. The festival attracts top-notch talent from across the U.S. and abroad. The performance we attended included dancers from the New York City Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, among others.
For August 2012, standard rooms start at $161 per night at Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. Both standard and deluxe rooms allow pets with an additional deposit. However, suites and condos do not allow pets. For more information, call the hotel at 800-282-4183.