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A stroll through the parlor

Shauna Farnell
Special to the DailyThis is only the parlor ... The Rial Oxford Suite is the premiere pick at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. Guests are welcomed with chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne, and the deck is the largest in Beaver Creek.
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We all know that the Vail Valley fills with the rich and famous at various times of the year. But what exactly does it mean to be a Very Important Person around here?Months before their arrival, VIP Manger Kendra Leyh at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa begins researching the needs of the resort’s VIP clientele. If a child in the family has a birthday coming up, she finds out what his or her favorite toys are, and will have something waiting. If there are certain bath products needed, she finds them. If there is a missing link of any sort, a solution is on its way.

“Once you rent the VIP suite, from chartering your jet to meeting every possible need until you leave, I take care of that,” she said. “When we check them in, they’ve had all of their dinner reservations, spa reservations, ski instructors and nannies arranged. That’s part of the VIP treatment. There’s a full bar set up. They get turn-down amenities. I’ll send hot chocolate kits or champagne. We’ve had specific requests for certain brands of sheets. We’ve changed out showerheads if they don’t like them. People usually go the spa at least once a day. Anything that’s legal and moral, the answer is always ‘Yes.'”Like the other resort accommodations in the valley, the Park Hyatt has five luxury suites which run, Leyh said, between $2,500 and $4,500 per night. The Rial Oxford Suite, which faces Beaver Creek Mountain and is surrounded by a deck that Park Hyatt representatives claim is the largest in Beaver Creek, is the top ranking in the house and is bigger than most people’s apartments. The parlor has a gigantic L-lounge, a myriad of paintings, sculptures and log furniture, fresh flowers, a big screen TV, a dining table necessitating raised voices to hear one’s neighbor at the other end, a mini bar full of imported liquors, vodka and single malts, a king-sized, pillow-top bed that induces narcolepsy and its own sauna, complete with hot stones. A different world, right? So much as a look around would prompt anyone to ask, “Who are these people?””We have a clientele that’s not exclusively celebrities,” Leyh said. “Many are big business owners. We personalize all of their stays. We have such a repeat clientele, a lot of their kids have grown up here. It’s our focus to make sure they get the 7 O’clock table, their preferred newspapers, a helicopter in from Aspen … In our top suite, you come in to chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne and personalized amenities.”

Amenities are not scarce in the local VIP world, to the point that the elements of “luxury” are something that require some serious fine-tuning, which is what guests have come to expect.”I would say luxury in the Vail Valley is making sure the guest is always happy and is always catered to,” Leyh said. “And, with the kind of money that comes through this valley, people are used to being waited on hand and foot, from the time they land at the airport, to the time they take off form the airport.”

Staff Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or sfarnell@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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