Vail Valley hotels take five of top 10 spots on list of best Colorado hotels, Aspen takes 3 | PostIndependent.com

Vail Valley hotels take five of top 10 spots on list of best Colorado hotels, Aspen takes 3

Scott Miller
Vail Daily
The Sebastian hotel in Vail recently landed in the third spot in a U.S. News & World Report list of best hotels in Colorado. In all, five Vail Valley hotels are listed among the top 10 hotels in the state.
The Sebastian Vail | Special to the Daily
The top 10Here are the state’s top 10 hotels as ranked by U.S. News and World Report:1: The Little Nell, Aspen.2: The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs.3: The Sebastian, Vail.4: Four Seasons, Vail.5: Four Seasons, Denver.6: The Sonnenalp, Vail.7: The St. Regis, Aspen.8: Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.9: Park Hyatt, Beaver Creek.10: Hotel Jerome, Aspen.Source: U.S. News and World Report

EAGLE COUNTY — The Vail Valley is already a well-established brand. But a recent list of the top hotels in the state may put a little more shine on that marketing halo.

A recent survey by U.S. News & World Report rated the state’s top hotels, and five Vail Valley hotels landed spots in the top 10.

The Sebastian in Vail was the top-rated local hotel, landing in the third spot on the list. The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail came in at No. 4, with the Sonnenalp at No. 6, The Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch at No. 8  and the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa at No. 9.

The top rated hotel on the list was The Little Nell in Aspen, followed by The Broadmoor at No. 2.

Ivie Parker, of the sales and marketing team for The Sebastian, said people at the hotel are thrilled.

“It’s always an honor” to land on a best-of list, Parker said. “It puts us among some really great company.”

Landing on lists like this one can be a validation that people at a hotel are treating guests well and providing a great experience.

“It helps give it a little more credibility than if we say it ourselves,” Parker said.

Boosting brand awareness

That recognition can be important for an independent hotel, Parker said. Landing on a top 10 list can boost brand awareness for lodges that don’t have the cachet that international brands carry.

At the nearby Sonnenalp hotel, sales and marketing director Esmarie Faessler said holding a prominent place on a well-known best-of list can help beyond marketing to individuals.

The hotel will put its spot on the U.S. News & World Report list on its website and social media channels. But the sales team will also use the ranking when pitching the Sonnenalp to groups.

And, while the Vail brand is already strong, Faessler said having so many hotels on a best-of list could pique the interest of someone considering where to spend a winter or summer vacation.

“For someone who typically visits Aspen (the list) shows them there are places in Vail that are great,” Faessler said.

Good for everybody

In addition to its role as the regional chamber of commerce, the Vail Valley Partnership also works on group sales and other reservations to the valley. Partnership CEO Chris Romer agreed that being on a top 10-hotels list can be a boon for an independent lodge.

“The people who are loyal to brands are going to be loyal to those brands,” Romer said. “If you have points (with a major hotel brand), you’re going to stay there.” But Romer added, people who aren’t brand-loyal may use best-of lists to aid their decisions.

At the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, sales and marketing director Vince Vito said that even a hotel with a recognized brand can benefit from appearing on a best-of list.

“Recognition from independent sources … any kind of unsolicited feedback, adds credibility,” Vito said.

And, he added, that appearing on a top-hotels list might also help push the Vail Valley as a summer brand.

Having one area dominate a top 10 list can be good for the rest of that destination, too.

“It’s a big deal for the community,” Romer said. “It raises the tide for everybody.”

Romer noted there’s a kind of peer pressure element to best-of lists, with other properties looking to try to keep up.

“People will say: ‘We need to increase our levels,'” Romer said.

At the Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, marketing manager Stefanie Shirley said being on a top hotels list can reinforce buying decisions.

“It shows our guest they’re picking a great place,” she said.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com and 970-748-2930.