The Vail Valley is known for its fantastic slopes, walkable downtown district and luxury shopping. And its fine dining establishments, annual festivals and concerts bring a worldly crowd to this mountain oasis. In the hustle and bustle city, The Sebastian hotel debuted back in January 2011, and this year re-emerged as the a boutique hotel and private residence club.
As member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the Timbers Resort property is noted for its extensive art collection and welcoming public spaces. Following a renovation completed in December 2014, the young hotel received a facelift late last year. Adding seven residential suites, 36 villas and 16 executive suites, the new accommodations offer a much more contemporary feel.
I had previously been to the Sebastian and hadn’t liked the small, dark and lackluster rooms. I did, however, enjoy the Library, living room and Frost bar, so it wasn’t a complete wash. However, the newly imagined rooms give the property a huge improvement. The lighter color palate and increased room size greatly affect the overall aesthetic.
“We can’t wait for our guests to experience the modern comforts that come with our new guest rooms, especially those who appreciate art,” said Robert Friedl, general manager of The Sebastian. “Throughout the property’s guest rooms there are an exclusive series of prints designed by the prominent abstract Mexican artist Manuel Felguérez Barra. We hope these touches that reflect The Sebastian’s passion for art will resonate with new and returning guests to the hotel.”
Among the changes, the old Block 16 restaurant became Leonora, a wine and tapas bar named after late artist Leonora Carrington whose artwork can be found throughout the property. Here guests can enjoy small bites such as tuna crudo, lamb osobucco, seafood stew and diver scallops. The wine pairings I experienced were just as delicious as the tapas-style bites for dinner.
One of the best perks of staying with The Sebastian is Base Camp powered by Venture Sports. Upon check-in, your ski gear is whisked away to the base of Vail Mountain. When you’re ready to hit the slopes, you’ll reunite with your pre-warmed boots, skis and poles at the lodge, courtesy of the hotel’s adventure concierge. This all makes for a seamless ski-in and ski-out process.
After a day on the snow, the Sebastian Signature Hot Chocolate is a must. First, a molten chocolate is poured over a hard-shell chocolate ball inside your mug. As it melts the ball, square marshmallows and chocolate-coved crispies are revealed, spectacular way to end the day. For adults, head to Frost and order the Rosemary Lemon Drop, which is excellent and not too sticky-sweet. Inside, the décor is colored in shades of blue and faux sparkling icicles rest above the bar, creating a cool and elegant atmosphere.
I am certainly glad to have re-experienced The Sebastian. While still a relatively young hotel, the reinvigoration has helped bring this boutique property back into the spotlight. And just in time for the last couple of months of ski season.