Over Labor Day weekend, Matt and I had quite the treat: a trip to the beautiful Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain in Colorado.
Colorado is one of my favorite places in the world, so when the press team from the Westin invited us out for a complimentary stay we jumped at the opportunity. A HUGE thank you to the Westin for having us, for covering our trip expenses, and for sponsoring this post. We were beyond lucky and grateful to have such a cool opportunity.
Matt and I were especially excited for the trip because Colorado is such a great place for couples like us that love active, outdoorsy trips! Pair that with some pampering and luxury at the Westin and you have yourself a seriously the perfect weekend. If you’re looking to plan a romantic but adventure filled trip, I highly recommend checking out the Westin at Beaver Creek, which is located near Vail, just a couple hours west of Denver. It would make a great anniversary long weekend trip or stop on a Colorado hiking themed honeymoon! Fun fact: a recent survey that polled 4,000 people across North America found both mountain and hiking honeymoons are on the rise. Clearly Matt and I aren’t alone in loving active outdoorsy adventures together!
The Westin planned a fun itinerary for us that had us enjoying all that the area had to offer in summertime (in winter, it’s a snow sport paradise). Here are the highlights!
Hiking at Beaver Creek Mountain
Of course the hiking portion of the trip was my favorite – you guys know there’s nowhere I’d rather be than on a trail on a beautiful day with Matt. It’s definitely my happy place.
Our friends at the Westin told us that a hike to Beaver Lake (from the adorable town of Beaver Creek, which is a quick and free shuttle ride from the Westin) in the Rocky Mountains was a must do – and they were right! From the town, we took the Five Senses Trail which links up with the Beaver Lake trail. It’s about 2 or so miles to the lake – but be prepared because it’s almost all uphill. Between that and the altitude (Beaver Creek is at over 8,000 feet – whoa!) our hearts were pumping and our legs were burning!
We had great weather for the adventure – it was in the 70’s during the days. Perfect for outdoor fun!
Made it to the lake! 🙂 Beautiful.
Instead of taking the Beaver Lake Trail back into town we decided to mix it up and take the Royal Elk Trail, which takes you up higher across the mountainside, ending a couple miles away at an operational gondola that we could take back down the mountain. Apparently Matt was hamming it up for the camera in the photo below and I didn’t realize it. 😉
This trail ended up being even more gorgeous than the Beaver Lake Trail because of all the stunning views, both in the forest and then looking out into the distance.
The trail took us right across ski slopes which was fun – we tried to guess what difficulty they were before we reached the signs. Double black diamond – yikes! Count me out for that one… 🙂
When we made it to the gondola we were treated to the most stunning view – a rainbow! What are the odds?!
Taking the gondola back down was cool – it really showed us how high up we had climbed! Guess that’s what happens when you do nearly 6 miles of hiking uphill… 🙂
When we got back into town, Oktoberfest was in full swing – how fun! Clearly we decided to stick around and participate. 🙂 Up a mountain, down a beer! How awesome is the huge stein that Matt bought?! Also, Beaver Creek is so cute – it really felt like a little European town in the mountains!
Plus bratwurst and kraut, obviously!
Running and Walking on the Riverfront Path
One of the coolest things about the Westin, location-wise, was that there was a beautiful trail (the 40 mile long Eagle River Bike Path) mere steps out the back door!
Matt and I took one run and three walks out there (two in the afternoon and one in the early morning with our coffee/tea).
You can either stay on the trail or walk over to the gorgeous Nottingham Lake, which offers paddle boating, stand up paddleboards, and swimming!
All Westins worldwide have a really cool program for runners staying at their hotels – not only do they provide pocket-sized running directions (which are laminated, so they don’t dissolve in a puddle of sweat – there’s a map on one side and written directions on the other), but you can also rent New Balance running gear (including shoes!) for $5 per day – you simply wear it and then leave it behind and they wash it and lend it to someone else! How cool is that?! Love the idea of not having gross, sweaty running clothes and shoes in my bag when I travel!
The running/walking map came in really handy – we walked the 3 mile loop around the lake a couple times, and we also did the 5 mile run along the Eagle River Bike Path on our last morning of the trip!
YOU GUYS – running in 45 degree weather was basically the most incredible thing ever. I’ve been dreaming about this running weather all summer in swampy DC! Views like this certainly didn’t hurt either. 🙂
Fly Fishing with Gore Greek Fly Fisherman
One of the things this area of Colorado is known for is fly fishing, so I was especially excited to see that on our weekend agenda! What a unique and different experience – definitely hadn’t tried that before. 🙂
You stand in the river while fly fishing, so before heading out they got us suited up in overall waterproof booties and pants with big boots on top. We were lookin’ pretty fly (pun intended).
It was a bit of a slow morning out there because it was cold and cloudy so the fish weren’t biting quite as much as usual, and there’s definitely a lot of skill involved in this sport, but I’m happy to report that we both caught one fish each – pretty rainbow trout! Hooray! It’s catch and release (and they don’t use barbs on the hooks) so we said a quick hello and then sent them back on their way. I was mildly terrified to hold mine – he was so slimy and wiggly that I dropped him pretty quickly!
Enjoying the Hotel Amenities
After so much outdoorsy fun we were also treated to some more restorative activities back at the hotel! The hotel pool (which is salt water, not chlorine – awesome!) was gorgeous, and there were three big outdoor hot tubs which we also spent a fair amount of time in. Love that the hot tubs were so big – we never had to wait for a spot!
We were also treated to an amazing couples massage at the beautiful Spa Anjali – we both agreed it was among the best massages we’ve had! Mine did some really great running-specific sports massage which felt awesome on my legs. The spa amenities were lovely, too – very calming and we both loved the locker rooms with saunas.
I was also really impressed with the athletic club at the Westin – it was HUGE and featured a ton of space to work out on your own, as well as a full schedule of classes (over 70 per week). We checked out an AIReal Yoga class – so cool!
Have you guys tried AIReal Yoga before?! You use a hanging hammock as your prop for the yoga poses, which helps you to deepen stretches and invert without compressing the spine. It’s also just plain fun. 🙂
We both loved the instructor, Tanya, who was really welcoming and friendly, and the class was a really cool twist on regular yoga! We did some great deep hip stretches that felt amazing after sitting on a plane, and the class ended with shavasana cocoon-style in the fabric, with Tanya coming around to massage everyone’s calves. Amaaazing!
Of course I can’t talk about a trip without sharing some food photos! We ate at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek for most of our meals, which was cool with us because they have great food. 🙂 The fish tacos and feta, walnut, and strawberry salad below were from the pool bar – not your average lame pool bar fare!
The main restaurant at the Westin is a Mexican restaurant called Maya; we ate there Friday night when they had live music out on the patio and it was quite lively! Delicious food, too – we shared the tuna tartare guacamole and then each got three mini tacos. Love me some tacos – the smoked brisket was our favorite! Love that you can select different tacos rather than getting the same three, too. I also tried one of their Mexican Mules which was herradura blanco tequila, lime, cilantro, and ginger beer. Delicious!
We also ate at Maya twice for breakfast – you can either order from the menu or hit their (awesome) buffet – we went for the buffet, which included the world’s most adorable mini huevos rancheros. How cute are these?! That’s a coffee cup sized plate I have it on for perspective!
I had a mini huevos rancheros both mornings because it was so good – plus some other goodies!
They also had some fun fresh juice options that were more interesting than the usual juice breakfast fare – Matt was really into their orange, carrot, mango, ginger, and turmeric juice, and I enjoyed their celery, lime, cucumber, coconut water juice!
The other food option on site (in addition to a Starbucks on the property) was a cute café called “The Lift” – named so because it’s right by the on-property ski lift that takes you to the slopes in the winter! They offer a more casual and to-go option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which was nice. We had breakfast there our last morning before hitting the airport – egg sandwiches + berries (and a latte from Starbucks next door) hit the spot!
They had a great lunch/dinner menu, too – the same juice options that I mentioned before from Maya, and some yummy salads, sandwiches, and legit entrees, too, like this yummy salmon with lentils and grapefruit!
They also have delicious homemade energy bars which were full of dried fruit, seeds, coconut, and more – we had a couple with us on our hike!
What a fun trip – another big thank you to the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain for spoiling us with such a wonderful long weekend. In case it wasn’t obvious, we had the best time! FYI for those who are interested in a last minute end of summer trip – now through September 30 they are offering a “Hike, Stay, and Play Package” that includes accommodations in a studio suite and a picnic backpack (with a hat and sunscreen) starting at $179 per night (2 night minimum stay). It’s an awesome excuse for a long-weekend honeymoon redo if you’re craving an active but romantic late summer escape! Happy traveling, my friends!
Have you ever been to Colorado? Which part?