2020 Update: The Hotel Talisa has changed hands a few times since my visit and as of Winter 2020 is now the Grand Hyatt Vail – same great property just new ownership. I have update the post to reflect the new name and link to the new website.
After 5 years of blogging, all the long hours are paying off! I can’t describe how giddy I was when I received an email from Hotel Talisa last fall about a potential partnership. Of course, my answer was yes, yes, yes! A weekend in Vail at a totally remodeled resort with its own ski lift? YES!! The transformation of Hotel Talisa has been a long time coming. The property was purchased a little over 2 years ago and underwent a complete renovation. I am talking floor to ceiling gut, remodel and full-on interior design makeover. The resort opened just in time for ski season this past November and is now in full swing! Read on to learn more about the resort and watch the video of our weekend at Hotel Talisa.
Vail is the cream of the crop when it comes to skiing in Colorado and really the world. It’s the largest ski resort in Colorado and the 3rd largest in the US with a total of 5,289 acres. Originally, home to the Ute Indians, the valley along Gore Creek became popular for mining in the 1870’s. During WWII, the famous 10th Mountain Division trained in the Gorge Range. Members later returned to the Valley and eventually became the founding fathers of Vail.
Today, Vail is a luxury ski destination for travelers all over the world. It’s not surprising to hop on a lift and hear a few different languages. Vail is modeled after the Swiss Alps and is home to world-class restaurants, local breweries, and one amazing Bama based BBQ joint. While it’s a luxurious place, you are still in Colorado! So cowboy boots, blue jeans, and craft beer are very much “in” and appropriate.
While Vail is home to some of the best skiing, it also offers world-class fly fishing, hundreds of hiking and biking trails, zip line course, horseback riding, and white water rafting! Hence the slogan “Vail, Like Nothing On Earth”!
Grand Hyatt Vail Location
Grand Hyatt Vail sits right on the banks of the Gore Creek in West Vail. Talisa actually stands for beautiful water in Ute! P.S. If you like fly fishing you can fish just a few steps from the pool deck!
During the warmer months, you can walk or bike the path from Grand Hyatt Vail to Lionshead and Vail Village. The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle between the hotel and other villages that run constantly throughout the day.
Ski in – Ski Out at Grand Hyatt Vail
Grand Hyatt Vail is one of the only true ski-in/ski-out resorts in Vail. The hotel is located right next to the Cascade Lift. I mean, right next to it. Walk out the door from renting or picking up your gear at the ski valet and you are in the lift line. On our trip it snowed 9 inches overnight and being right at the lift on a powder day was a dream come true! We were basically the first chair!
Look how swanky this ski valet is!
Grand Hyatt Vail Experience
Grand Hyatt Vail draws on its natural surroundings and history to create a beautiful and unique experience in Vail. The decor blends together the style of the Swiss Alps, Colorado, the Ute Indians and a sense of modern luxury. Every piece of art, fabric, wallpaper and little detail was hand-picked to represent the blend of these styles. From the Indian War Horse paintings to the local ski photography in the hallways, the decor is spot on.
As an avid traveler, I have stayed in many accommodations from grand 5-star resorts to dinky motels. And while a resort maybe very luxurious they are often dated. Hotel Talisa is brand new, everything has been perfectly thought out for the modern-day traveler, like USB plugs built into the bedside table.
The hotel has a few large common areas, each with their own vibe. The Fireside Lounge serves as the meeting and relaxing space with a huge big screen tv and roaring fireplace right off the bar. This is the area to mix and mingle.
Off the lobby are three connecting “Living Rooms” that can be opened up or closed off with more fireplaces, more TVs and of course impeccable decorating. The middle room is a game room with a pool table, board games, and a circular couch. The last room is a quiet study, perfect for the “I just have one last email to send” or “I’m actually supposed to be working but on a vacation” member of the trip.
For those with a large family, you could literally take over one of these rooms. Order food and drinks from the bar, watch tv, relax by the fire or play a game. This would have been my parents dream on our vacations.
We stayed in a great suite on the 5th floor. The decor is just so on point. It feels luxurious but not in the typical maroon and gold kind of way. Its modern, fresh and perfectly Colorado. The wallpaper actually looks like aspen trees!
And yes, that is a tub inside a shower and yes it was amazing.
The Pool & Hot Tub
As a kid, the only thing I cared about whenever we traveled was the pool. If the hotel doesn’t have a pool, then why on earth were we staying here, Mom!?
Well,Grand Hyatt Vail gets an A+ for an infinity pool overlooking Gore Creek and a hot tub, with its own fire pit. After skiing, we hit the hot tub with champagne and had a fun afternoon jumping back and forth from the hot tub to the heated pool.
Oh and the multiple fire pits with rocking chairs? Also A+
Food & Drinks At Grand Hyatt Vail
Breakfast of Champions
Our first of many meals at the Grand Hyatt Vail was the best meal of the day, breakfast! We were up early to hit the slopes but not before totally overindulging and overeating. When on vacation, order the cinnamon roll!
Breakfast did not disappoint! While the cinnamon roll was so so good, anywhere you can get a bowl of berries and not a bowl of fruit that is actually only melon and a berry, gets a gold star in my book.
Après Ski + Moet Champagne Sabering
2020 Update – I have not confirmed if this is something the Grand Hyatt Vail is continuing. After a long day on the slopes (or by the hot tub or in the spa) head to the lobby for hot chocolate & cookies followed by Flutes & Frites. Après Ski begins with a daily Champagne Sabering! When I read this on our itinerary I was so stoked – I had always wanted to see this in person!
The Gessner has a great happy hour menu and their specialty is the Flutes and Frites. Since we had already finished a bottle by the hot tub and had our complimentary champagne toast we opted for an old fashion, a signature cocktail and the Muscles & Mushrooms. Clay and I are both a sucker for anything seafood and anything with mushrooms so these hit the spot for us.
Dinner at Gessner
Where to begin with our meal at the Gessner. Everything was perfect. Our waitress was a doll! Everything on the menu looked so good, it was really hard to decide. I loved that the chef stopped by our table (as he did with everyone’s in the restaurant) and made some recommendations. Like I said, I am a sucker for anything mushrooms so I already knew I was going to order the Black Truffle Tagliatelle no matter what.
Here is what we ordered:
Oysters & Pearls
Warm Goat Cheese Bread & Prosciutto Salad
Pan Seared Salmon + Black Truffle Tagliatelle Pasta
Black Angus Filet + Grilled Asparagus
I will let the pictures do the talking but everything was so so good. The Lobster Crostini, just wow, honestly one of the best things I have ever eaten! We were also treated to a chocolate souffle that was out of this world. Oh and the Black Truffle Tagliatelle, divine. I could eat that everyday!
After dinner, we went back to the FireSide Lounge to catch the end of the Falcons game. Soon after the chef came out and offered us Cognac! You can’t say no to that! I have probably sipped Cognac once or twice in my life before but when it comes from the chef you have to finish it! My face may not look like I am enjoying it (LOL) but I actually really liked it!
Snacks on Snacks
With my constant hunger, I am always on the lookout for snacks. Hotel Talisa offers guest a full market, perfect for a quick meal, snack or any toiletry you might have forgotten. Before hitting the slopes Sunday morning, we grabbed a croissant and yogurt to-go here. I know in the summer this would be our go-to spot for grabbing a snack or a quick bite before a hike!
Lunch at Gessner
On Sunday we had lunch at the Gessner before hitting the road. Since we had been up super early for skiing we were starving. Again the food and service at Gessner was great. When you’re chilly there is nothing like a cup of classic onion soup to warm you up! Clay ordered the Bison Burger and I had the Steak Grilled Cheese.