Hotels can be aspirational: you can actually aspire to a hotel in the same way that you might covet a car, or a bracelet, or a house on the beach.
There was a time -- in a galaxy far, far away -- when a person could live in such a hotel. I know it's so because my very own father used to live in a very fine hotel in New York City known as The Hotel Elysee, home to the famous Monkey Bar. Back in the day -- the 1940s -- my paternal ink-stained wretch could share said hotel with the likes of Joe DiMaggio and the actress Tallulah Bankhead, may they rest. You didn't have to be a millionaire to live like one.
Nowadays very rich folk live in hotels like The Plaza and The Carlysle in New York, and very poor folk live in Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels. There's really nothing in between the rich and the poor when it comes to hotel living -- and please spare me any edifice that begins with the words "extended stay."
Sorry Cholly Knickerbocker: nobody aspires to an extended stay in an extended-stay hotel.
Which brings us to the hotel in Beaver Creek that I'm more than happy to aspire to, The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek in Avon, Colorado. Here's what I mean: first of all, you actually can live there, in one of the condominiums with all the amenities that implies, starting with room service and Starbucks in the lobby; living there also means fresh laundry, fluffy bathrobes, and a staff that caters to your whims and wishes without becoming cloying or obsequious. If you lived there, you would have access to a great workout room, a heated swimming pool, hot tubs with mountain views, and a spa that can leave your mind, body, and spirit spic and span.
But let's not forget the obvious: by living in The Westin Riverfront, you would also have direct gondola access to the aforesaid Beaver Creek resort, home of the Birds of Prey run and some of the best skiing in Colorado.
So there's that -- but that ain't the half of it.
The Westin Riverfront is way cool in a way that makes the demonstrably uncool (moi) feel like at least there's hope in the slip-and-slide slipstream of popular culture. I'm not sure that I can put my finger on the whys and wherefores, but I think my comfort level has something to do with the bang-zoom combination of old world comfort and new world taste. The lobby, for example, has just the right level of lushness and plushness without feeling like your grandfather's Oldsmobile, and the fireplaces and fire pits bring in the warm far beyond the creature comforts a thermostat might imply.
The hotel is LEEDS-certified and almost belligerently green in its maintenance and operations, but that's not what I'm talking about, though that does give the patron the sense that the moral tax on consumption is being paid off elsewhere.
At the end of the day -- and every year that we go -- The Westin Riverfront provides the ultimate feeling that any hotel can aspire to: that we've finally come home to the place where we were meant to be. And that's something worth coveting.