Although many think of Vail exclusively as a winter destination, it is also a summertime favorite for those in the know. Vail has world-class skiing and winter tourism down pat, but the warm weather, blue skies, and stunning mountain setting make summer another fantastic time to visit the Colorado Mountains. From whitewater rafting to biking to farmers’ markets and free open-air concerts, there is something to keep everyone in the family happily occupied and engaged in Vail. The Sebastian -Vail, centrally located in Vail Village, is a great base for a family vacation any time of year.
The Sebastian perfectly combines modern with mountain and posh with family-friendly. The hotel has 84 stylish rooms that have been thoughtfully configured to provide an option for families of any size. I highly recommend the Executive Suites for families, especially for an extended stay. These spacious suites, which consist of 1 to 2 bedrooms and a full living room, give everyone a bit of space and offer a place to gather and relax without having to pile on the beds.
There are also seven Residential Suites available for those looking for a full kitchen and fireplace as well. Every room has a complimentary mini-bar stocked with water, sodas, Nespresso coffee service and packs of The Sebastian’s delicious signature trail mix. House-baked treats are also delivered nightly with the turndown service — we devoured ours immediately upon sight and gave them a thumbs up.
For a boutique hotel, The Sebastian is loaded with amenities. There is a fitness center, a swimming pool and a full-service spa onsite, as well as a restaurant and bar. The restaurant, Lenora, serves up sophisticated food in a warm, family-friendly environment. We found the food to be excellent and the service superb.
In addition to room service, The Sebastian has a nice “service anywhere” option. Food and drinks are offered wherever you may find yourself in the hotel, so go ahead: let the kids stay in the water and enjoy lunch poolside.
Vail has activities for all ages and interests. The concierge staff at The Sebastian are top-notch and can provide assistance (even pre-arrival) with organizing activities, including whitewater rafting, fishing, horseback riding or services at the spa. The Sebastian has a “base camp” at the bottom of Gondola One. In the winter, a ski valet will have your skis and warmed boots waiting for you, and in the summer they can set you up for a hike or assist you with your biking gear.
As if this wasn’t enough, The Sebastian -Vail also offers a supervised Tykes Room for the toddler set and a daily kids program for 7- to 12-year-olds. The program is seasonal and changes daily. In the summer, activities may include kayaking, horseback riding, rock climbing and cooking classes. Best of all is the Friday Night program. While the adults enjoy a night out in Vail, the kids enjoy pizza, movies and games with others in their age group.
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TIP: Take a scenic ride on the gondola to the top of Vail Mountain. The views are outstanding and there is a bistro and a BBQ option for lunch. This also is home to Adventure Ridge, which has summer activities for all ages: ziplines for kids and adults, summer tubing, ropes courses, disc-golf and guided mountain bike and hiking tours.
The gondola is available for a return trip, or you can hike or bike down one of the many trails heading down the mountain. The gondola does require a ticket to ride and all-day bike-haul tickets are available for those who want to bring mountain bikes and ride down.
Vail is about a 40-minute drive from the Eagle-Vail airport and just under 2 hours’ drive from Denver International Airport. A car is rarely needed after arrival, so arrange a car service or shuttle to make your way to the hotel. The Sebastian is well-situated in Vail Village, and is within easy walking distance to a wide variety of restaurants, shops and year-round events.
Lionshead, the neighboring village in Vail, is about 1 mile away and offers further options for dining, shops and activities. My family’s favorite way to get between villages and enjoy Vail is via bicycle, easily rented from various locations, but a free shuttle runs throughout Vail as well.
CB! Vacation Consultants specialize in helping families book travel to top destinations around the world. Our expert consultants do everything from recommending and booking accommodations (including qualified options not featured on Ciao Bambino) to developing comprehensive multi-stop itineraries that include activities and vetted guides. For more information and to request assistance, go to the CB! Vacation Consultants page.
Editor’s Note: The Sebastian -Vail provided Ciao Bambino with a media package to facilitate a review of the property. As always, our opinions at Ciao Bambino are our own. Photos by Leslie Rich except where noted.
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