Cordillera reopens after four-month renovation |

Cordillera reopens after four-month renovation

Shannon Armstrong
Left to Right ... Matt Baily VP Fandango Resorts, Bob Nelson VP The Lodge & Spa, Howard Huang VEF Advisors, Bill Shoaf President Fandango Resorts, Harry Rosenthal Pharos Group, Nick Calise President New Club Board

The Cordillera Lodge and Spa reopened two days before the Fourth of July, welcoming summer guests to what is surely one of the more impressive renovations in the valley – and one that was made in record time.The lodge closed March 29 and in four months every area of the resort was enhanced.”There isn’t a surface in or around the lodge that has not been touched and improved in some way,” said Bob Nelson, the lodge’s vice president and managing director.The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera first opened for business in 1989 and at the time was one of just a handful of structures in the upscale, gated neighborhood. Although the building is still in great condition, the interior of the lodge had grown worn and a little tired, Nelson said. “It was time for some improvements,” said Nelson.The lodge sold last December to VEF Advisors and is now under the direction and management of Fandango Resorts, headquartered in Park City, Utah.

Nelson said the new ownership and management intends for the Lodge to retain much of its former charm, catering to the sophisticated traveler who enjoys golf and the luxuries of a four-star hotel, but also piquing the interest of the sophisticated “spa” traveler. “We’ve always offered an intimate atmosphere for our guests along with a variety of spa treatments,” said Nelson. “But now we’re stepping this up, providing guests with the comfortable feeling one has when in his or her own home.”The normally quiet and secluded Lodge and Spa at Cordillera found its self tossed into the national spotlight last June following the events surrounding then-guest Kobe Bryant. But the renovation of the lodge was planned well before the media circus converged on the valley and, he says, so far the media frenzy has had no negative impact on the resort, Nelson said. Mike Grass, press manager for the lodge, said, as far as he knows, no guest has even requested the infamous room in which Bryant is accused of raping a then-19-year-old woman who worked at the front desk.

Nelson, who came to the Vail Valley last spring solely to over see the lodge’s renovation said he is pleased with the final results and the new management company will take service to the next level. “We’re a unique hotel with a character we believe well defines Cordillera’s style of hospitality,” he said. “No other property can offer the privacy, exclusivity and personal service we can. It’s a perfect mix of modern amenities with a classic, comfortable chateau environment.”

The Mirador restaurant, created by executive chef Fabrice Beaudoin, replaces Picasso and offers an entirely new menu, featuring fusion of a variety of international styles. Mirador is also less formal than Picasso. “We want our guests to feel as if they are at home and that they can move freely around the lodge in their robes, going from a spa treatment to the restaurant comfortably,” Nelson said.The new management group has three main focal points for the lodge. First, they plan to focus on the spa which, he says, eventually will offer hiking and fitness regimes, personal spa treatments and spa cuisine, Nelson said.

Secondly, the lodge will continue to improve its golf courses. Nelson said guests have access to any of Cordillera’s four premier golf courses throughout the valley. Thirdly, managers want to bring more executive meetings to the lodge. “We’re the perfect place for businesses to host executive-style meetings. We offer exclusivity, privacy and security,” Nelson said. In the winter the lodge will open the “Cordillera Club at Beaver Creek,” providing door-to-door skier services, ski valets and a luxury shuttle service between the two resorts, Nelson said. Although the new entrance to the lodge is brighter, more spacious and draws lots of oohs and aahs, the larger windows of Mirador gives one a greater sense of bringing the outdoors in. Perhaps the most dramatic changes are to the spa, which has been expanded from 14,000 square feet to 20,000 and now features twelve treatment rooms – twice as many as before – and a much larger weight room and fitness center. Grass says the managers are eager to show the lodge off to the public. “We want the public to know they are welcome here,” he says. More information For more information the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera call 1-800-877-3529

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