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A modern $40 million makeover with a dose of Vail history: A look inside The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort

March 04, 2022
18 min read
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Whether you have your favorite Back Bowls already memorized or are a newer skier still mastering the basics of green runs, Vail, Colorado, is an iconic winter destination that is high on many powder chasers' lists.

While Vail as a ski destination has existed since 1962, it's constantly evolving to attract both skiers and discerning travelers. It's not just the destination itself that is changing with the times, though. One of its legacy properties has recently emerged with a new look that celebrates Vail's two founders, Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton.

Located within walking distance of Vail's Lionshead Village, which Seibert and Eaton helped bring to life, The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail dazzles with its new design. The 382-room Marriott outpost is fresh off an extensive (and impressive) $40 million renovation that transformed the property from its previous life as the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort into the modern alpine-chic resort that it is today.

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This hotel is upscale, but it's not just another pretty face in the mountain crowd.

It's a pretty face that goes deeper, incorporating much of the natural aesthetic that makes Vail special while also paying homage to the Colorado town's history and culture. This includes the area's early years in the 1960s and ties to the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, which had a training camp in nearby Leadville.

From the Northern Italian food served in Margie's Haas to the local photographs, books and art on display throughout the property, The Hythe tells the story of Vail's past and present while putting you close enough to the action to easily create your own moments and memories.

Related: How to plan your ski trip using points and miles

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Quick take

If location is everything when it comes to ski-friendly properties, then having easy access to apres-ski amenities to enjoy after schussing down the slopes is a close second.

The renovated Hythe is a solid choice whether you crave a convenient, cozy spot for post-ski drinks or proximity to the first chair up the mountain — or both, if you're like me and value on-site amenities just as much as location.

Although The Hythe is not a true ski-in/ski-out hotel like, say, the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, the property is a quick walk (via its back exit) from the slopes. In fact, with gear, it took me less than five minutes to get to the first lift.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Another highlight is The Hythe's affiliation with Marriott. As a member of the Luxury Collection brand, The Hythe participates in the Marriott Bonvoy program, so you can earn and use your Marriott points and elite status perks to make your stay more comfortable and a little more affordable. Keep in mind, though, that this is definitely not a budget-friendly resort, as it currently falls within Marriott's priciest Category 8 redemption bucket.

Getting there

The Hythe is nestled in Vail's Lionshead Village, which is about a 35-minute drive east of Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE). If you are instead flying into Denver International Airport (DEN), expect about a 120-mile (or two-hour) journey from the opposite direction.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Given that this is snow country, the drive time, especially from Denver, can be dramatically affected by both the weather itself and favorable skiing conditions on the mountains. As snow accumulates in Vail, more locals and tourists flock to the town to hit the slopes. To avoid potentially encountering bumper-to-bumper traffic while heading to Vail, try to fly directly into Eagle County Regional Airport, if possible.

Also consider using Epic Mountain Express, a relatively affordable way to get to The Hythe from either airport. From Eagle County Regional Airport, the shared airport shuttle prices start at $59, but you can save 20% if you have an Epic Pass. From Denver International Airport, a test search displayed a one-way price of $149 per adult before any discounts.

When it comes to getting around the Vail area, I've had great success with Vail Black Car. While using this car service isn't cheap at about $250 each way from the Eagle airport, including tip, it can help you safely get through snow, even when others are not on the roads due to inclement weather.

Related: What to know about Colorado's new traction law

Booking details

Situated on prime Vail real estate, The Hythe is an expensive place to stay during ski season, whether you plan on paying with points or cash.

Currently, the points rates for this Category 8 Marriott property range from 70,000-100,000 points per night, depending on the dates chosen. However, most ski nights will set you back 100,000 points per night. Not to mention, you'll incur a $50 nightly resort fee.

If you want to pay with cash and earn points, you may want to sit down on the faux fur-lined chairs after entering the lobby and remember what you shelled out for a stay here, as the resort's standard rooms cost an eye-popping $800-$2,000 per night during the winter months.

For my two-night stay, paid rates were at that $800-ish range with award rates costing 100,000 points per night. Neither of those options was cheap, but we paid cash and earned around 27,000 Marriott points when all was said and done. TPG values those points at about $216.

My attempt to apply Marriott Suite Night Awards earned with my Platinum Elite status failed, but I was able to inquire about an available upgrade a few hours before check-in via the Marriott app's chat option. I couldn't talk my way into a suite, but I did ultimately get upgraded to a Deluxe Larger Guest Room with a fireplace.

Application link: Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Standout features

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
  • I loved the fresh, high-end alpine design of The Hythe that leaned into natural colors and textures. It's the type of place where you wanted an excuse to sit in the lobby sipping an included drink from the afternoon hot chocolate bar.
  • The on-site food options, especially from Margie's Haas and its connected lounge, are also above average. Don't forget to enjoy the complimentary s'mores.
  • There's an included house car that will take you around the Vail Village at no charge. Since Lyft and Uber rides are scarce in the area, this was an incredibly useful way to not only get dropped off in another part of the village, but also be picked up by the hotel within a matter of minutes.
  • Location was another obvious strength of the property, not only in proximity to the lifts but also to restaurants, some shops and the outdoor ice skating rink.
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Related: How to enjoy Vail on a budget

Drawbacks

The Vail Marriott Mountain Resort in 2020. (Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
  • Highlighting that a prime ski property in Vail is expensive feels akin to ensuring you're aware that snow is cold, but the price in points or cash to stay at The Hythe is definitely a barrier to enjoying the property more frequently.
  • The rooms, while nicely appointed, are a bit small, especially if you are in a standard room with a family as I was on a previous visit a couple of years ago. Not only is the square footage not all that abundant, but double beds are rough for a family once you get past the youngest years.
  • While the location is mostly great, it lacks the ski-in/ski-out access you get at the similarly priced Ritz-Carlon, Bachelor Gulch and The St. Regis Deer Valley. Although you'll enjoy free use of a ski valet, to get to the mountain, you're going to have a walk a little way in ski boots, which could be a touch annoying for the price, especially if you have little kids and all their gear in tow.
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The vibe

While this is without question a nice hotel, it is by no means a stuffy one. It's a place where you're going to fit in whether you're wearing your runway best or your base layer with fuzzy boots.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

During my visit, there were plenty of families, plus groups of friends, couples and even solo travelers. I stayed midweek in February and found that the property was neither overcrowded nor hauntingly abandoned.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The room

As mentioned above, I was upgraded from a standard room to a deluxe room with a fireplace after I unsuccessfully tried applying some Suite Night Awards to my stay and inquired about available accommodation options.

My upgraded room featured a mix of modern and rustic elements, including wooden window trim, metal light fixtures, a sleek leather-upholstered headboard and a stone fireplace with antlers mounted above the mantel. It offered ample space and amenities for one person, but if I was traveling with multiple people, this room would not have been large enough to accommodate everyone and their ski gear.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Fortunately, there were some hooks, nooks and crannies available to keep your cold-weather attire organized.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

I also appreciated having access to multiple outlets by the king-size bed, which was topped with crisp white linens and plenty of pillows to drift away on while dreaming of the next day's runs.

A small living area with a loveseat, a table and a pouf with a basketweave design was conveniently located next to the fireplace and window, which featured a few cushions beneath it for additional seating.

Shortly after arriving, I decided to try ordering room service for lunch. It was not only tasty but arrived within the stated 30-minute window, which is really all you can ask for from room service.

Although the menu itself was a bit limited, as it only offered a few basics, I thoroughly enjoyed the dishes I ordered. The hummus ($16) was quite delicious, and the burger off of the kids menu ($14) was more than enough for a hungry adult, so plan your order accordingly.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Once I finished my lunch, I popped into the bathroom to round out my look around the room. It was spacious and well appointed, offering a single vanity, a walk-in shower and a separate tub. Several sets of towels sat folded under the sink, and Molton Brown toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel) were provided where needed.

I've already mentioned there's a resort fee of $50 per day, which is quite annoying, but one of the things it included was this Hythe-branded hat that was awaiting me in the room.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Related: Book this, not that: Ski hotel edition

Food and drink

Margie's Haas

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

In keeping with the property's theme of staying true to Vail's origins, Margie's Haas has a backstory. It is named in honor of a woman who used to cook for the 10th Mountain Division.

Open for breakfast and dinner, the main restaurant serves what it describes as "contemporary alpine-inspired cuisine." For those not exactly sure what that means (raises hand), know that the menu offers a variety of sausage, steak, salmon and raclette options.

For breakfast, you'll have access to both a buffet that fills an entire room and an a la carte menu. If you have chosen breakfast as your Marriott Platinum Elite benefit, there is a specific menu of included items such as Belgian waffles, avocado toast, breakfast tacos and muesli, the latter of which I selected, for some silly reason.

Should you decide to upgrade to the full buffet with juice and coffee, which normally costs $42 per person for a non-elite member, you'll pay an $18 upcharge as a guest with Platinum Elite status. I decided against this upgrade since the extra charge felt pricey, especially since that same amount could cover breakfast (minus the tip) elsewhere.

For dinner, I tried the venison and wild boar sausage ($18), raclette cheese ($24), wedge gem lettuce with salmon ($26) and other savory items — all were winners. The service was superb overall, though the main course (a salad) came out slower than expected given the simplicity of the dish and how few patrons were in the restaurant at the time.

Revel

Adjacent to Margie's Haas you'll find Revel, a lounge with an inviting living room-style vibe. This is a great spot for drinks, as the mix of wood accents, comfortable-yet-stylish furnishings and retro skiing-focused artwork create a cool atmosphere perfect for unwinding after a day on the slopes. However, the lounge opens at 11 a.m. and starts serving food at 11:30 a.m., so you can visit earlier in the day should you crave a bite to eat before sundown.

Mountain Ration Grab & Go

I was a huge fan of the quick-service Mountain Ration eatery, as it was a fast, convenient place to use my Platinum Elite breakfast benefit. Pre-ski mornings can be quite rushed, so being able to use the breakfast perk for a drink, an entree and a snack (for up to two in the room) was pretty handy. My heated ham-and-cheese croissant was perfect for a quick bite before heading up the mountain.

Amenities and service

Ski rental and valet

At The Hythe, you'll have access to a full-service ski rental shop and a ski valet who will take your skis from you at the end of your ski day and have them ready for you at the base of the mountain the next morning. You can get a 20% discount on rentals here with an Epic Pass, and there's also a discount for hotel guests.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

House car

The Hythe's provided SUV transportation around Vail deserves its own section. I used the house car four different times — twice from the hotel and twice to get back to the property — and I never found myself waiting more than a few minutes. Obviously, your wait may vary at peak times, but it was an extremely convenient way to get around for cheap. Just be sure to bring some cash in case you want to tip your driver.

There is also a bus system you can use within Vail, but the house car was much faster and more reliable.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

S'mores and hot chocolate

Each afternoon, Mountain Ration offers complimentary s'mores and build-your-own hot chocolate stations. It was all pretty tasty, but keep in mind that the resort's decorative fire pits have signage saying they should not be used for making s'mores. That said, I noticed everyone using them to make their s'mores since the smaller areas dedicated to assembling the treats didn't appear operational during my visit, so know that the setting for s'mores may be different when you visit.

Pool and hot tubs

I love a good post-ski hot tub session, but the pool and hot tubs here were not my favorites, so I didn't end up using them. The ice all around the pool and hot tub deck looked pretty dangerous to me, and the two hot tubs were just far too crowded in the late afternoon hours for my taste. Plus, the nicer of the two hot tubs (the one closest to the gym) was closed the morning of the last day of my stay, preventing me from getting a quick dip in sans crowds before departing.

Hopefully, these amenities are on the property's to-do list the next time it undergoes renovations.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Gym and spa

The hotel's gym was bright, airy and outfitted with everything from free weights and cardio equipment to Peloton bikes. However, I only very lightly used it during my visit.

I wasn't able to check out the spa since it was fully booked during my stay, so if you want to squeeze in a treatment while in town, be sure to book well in advance.

Out and about

While the main reason to come to The Hythe in winter is undoubtedly to go skiing or snowboarding, you'll also find the central location ideal for exploring away from the slopes.

Walk a few minutes east and you'll reach Lionshead Village, which is home to an ice skating rink, Blue Moose pizza (where you can fill up at lunch for only $5) and a variety of apres-ski options. Another few minutes away (by car or bus) is Vail Village, where you'll discover even more shops and restaurants, including the famous Red Lion restaurant, which is known for its laid-back lunch and evening drinks scene.

Accessibility

The Hythe offers a number of rooms with accessible features like bathtub grab rails, roll-in showers, toilet seats at wheelchair height and kits for those who are hard of hearing.

The pool is also accessible thanks to its chair lift, though I did not notice that option for either of the hot tubs.

Checking out

The newly renovated and rebranded Hythe is a great option for Marriott enthusiasts who want to be close to the base of the mountain. While you won't have ski-in/ski-out access here, you won't have to worry about parking on the mountain or trekking far with gear to get to the lifts, making the property a solid place to hang your hat during a ski vacation in Vail.

The renovated common spaces were very well done and perfectly blend the area's history with modern-day touches that feel authentic to the location, so you'll feel comfortable as you enjoy all that Vail has to offer.

Chances are you'll spend a lot of points or dollars to stay here during ski season (the parking and resort fees don't help), but if you value proximity to the slopes and can fit the property into your budget, then The Hythe may be the perfect spot for you.

Now that you've settled on where to stay, all that's left to decide is which runs to prioritize while in town.

Featured image by (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases