Social Distancing. A Vacation to Vail, Colorado

June 23, 2020

Where better to social distance than in the beautiful mountains of Vail, Colorado? We spent everyday adventuring, trying new hikes and new activities together. Many firsts for our family. Normally, I would have chosen an island or a beautiful beach…but instead, we chose a destination in the mountains full of exploration. Vail, Colorado is just magical in the summertime. The silver lining, right?!

We flew Southwest Airlines into Denver, rented a car, and drove to Vail. Overall, I felt the entire experience traveling to Vail was very safe and very clean. Read more about what it’s like to fly now here.

Stay

We opted for the Ritz Carlton Residences in Vail. The accommodations made it perfect to social distance from other guests and the location was fantastic. Our residence was equipped with a full kitchen, living room, dining room, 3 master bedrooms, and 4 bathrooms, full laundry-it was super spacious. We were able to have several meals in our own kitchen which was awesome considering some nights, we were wiped out from our full day of activities. This Ritz property includes access to the pool, spa, fitness center, valet parking, restaurants, and concierge services. I highly recommend this property and if you can use points, the better.  We were able to cover half of the trip using Chase Ultimate Reward points, every little bit helps, right?

The Ritz did a fantastic job of social distancing and face mask protection. Plexiglas dividers were at check-in/concierge desk. Elevators accommodated only one family at a time. There were employees cleaning common surfaces everywhere. The entire staff wore face masks, even at the pool. Housekeeping was quite different too. They do not clean your room daily as we are used to. Instead, you are given cleaning supplies in your room and a daily card for items needed. Each day we hung the card on our door listing items needed like towels, shampoo, water, etc. The card included a delivery time request. The staff removed soiled towels and trash and delivered the newly requested items. Really, it wasn’t bad at all.

some photos provided by the hotel property

Adventures

Whitewater Rafting with Timberline Tours

What an amazing group of experienced guides. We were given wet suits, water shoes, life jackets, and a helmet. We did get wet, very wet…but it was part of the thrill. The rafting trip took approximately 1.5 hours. I was really nervous about this activity, but ended up loving it and would highly recommend this company.

Lake Dillon

There is just something about the view of a mountain meeting the water.  A road trip to Lake Dillon does not disappoint.  Just beautiful.

BearCat Stables

Horseback Riding was the one request our daughter had for this trip. It was her 13th birthday and this was a bucket list gift for her. Our friend (a Vail resident) and the Ritz Carlton both highly recommended BearCat. They were right. Views were breathtaking. Guides were knowledgable and the grounds included several dogs, many horses, and an adorable log cabin.

Hiking Trails

There are so many to choose from, but we selected and would recommend the following hikes for families…

Davos Trail

Gore Valley Trail

Berry Picker Trail- Vail Mountain

This was a difficult hike up, we made it about halfway. The gondolas were not open. Normally, you could take the gondola down, much better on the knees 🙂
Many hiking trails were not quite open due to the pandemic…next time, we’d like to hike: Hanging Lake and Upper Piney River Falls Trail.

Favorite Restaurants

Restaurants are accommodating guests with only 60% occupancy and tables 6′ apart. Menus are replaced by QR codes where you capture the code with your phone and then are prompted to open the online menu using your smartphone. Also, reservations are a must. With only 60% occupancy, tables fill up fast.

Mountain Standard

Sweet Basil

Root & Flower Wine Bar

And as with all vacations we take, we do our best to use credit card points & airline miles.  This trip was very last minute and didn’t allow much time for planning and our normal credit card hacking.  We were able to use Chase Ultimate Rewards for 3 of the 6 nights, so that made our stay much more affordable.  Note: Ritz Carlton Residences are not affiliated with Marriott points.

Ready to book a trip with Hello Sunny Skies?  Want to learn how to travel hack and earn free travel?  Check out our services here.

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Beth S.

Tiffany is truly a credit card point guru. She was very patient and helped my husband and I navigate our credit card point game.

William F.

WE’VE SAT ON THOUSANDS OF POINTS FOR YEARS WITH NO CLUE HOW TO REALLY USE THEM. TIFFANY COACHED US HOW TO COMBINE OUR POINTS, TRANSFER POINTS AND ADD MORE POINTS THROUGH CREDIT CARD SIGN-ON BONUSES. AWESOME SERVICE.

SUZANNE M.

WE OWN A SMALL BUSINESS AND HAVE ALWAYS WRITTEN CHECKS OR USED OUR DEBIT CARD EARNING ZERO TRAVEL REWARDS. WE’VE CHANGED OUR WHOLE WAY OF MANAGING MONEY AND ARE ON OUR WAY TO A FREE LUXURY VACATION THANKS TO TIFFANY.

JANET M.

TIFFANY HELPED MY HUSBAND AND I EARN A VACATION TO CROATIA BY USING SPECIFIC TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS ON OUR DAUGHTER’S WEDDING. WE HAD PLANNED TO WRITE CHECKS TO ALL OF THE VENDORS, SO GLAD WE MADE A 1:1 COACHING CALL.

Liz R.

WITH TIFFANY’S GUIDANCE, we EARNED 400,000 CREDIT CARD POINTS BUT WE DIDN’T KNOW HOW BEST TO USE THEM. WE HIRED HER TO PLAN OUR TRIP USING A COMBINATION OF POINTS, MILES AND CASH (CREDIT CARD). HIRING HER WAS THE BEST MONEY I’VE EVER SPENT. SHE WENT WAY ABOVE AND BEYOND. PARIS HERE WE COME. 

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