Family Travel: First Look at the Gaylord Rockies Resort
posted by: Gretchen White
A city-within-a-city has risen on a hilltop overlooking the Rockies. The Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center in Aurora is officially open after two years of construction. The size and scale of this ambitious project are well-known locally. The completed resort is the largest in Colorado and striking in size and scope. It’s one of the most ambitious projects in Colorado’s history and now you and your family can be their guests.
What can you expect to see, do, and eat at this 486,000 square feet of rustic Rockies charm?
The first thing you will notice as you drive up to either self-park or use the valet service is how utterly overwhelming it looks. You might think you’d be a bit lost in such a place. But, every employee we encountered was warm and friendly, which somehow made it feel like a small, welcoming hotel that could cater to your needs with ease.
Once inside, the nine-story-tall window in the Grand Lodge brings an airy lightness to soaring indoor space. It is banked by waterfalls, fountains, a bridge, a full-sized historic caboose, and plenty of intimate and upscale seating nooks. This is the perfect place to have a coffee break, a late night drink, or to just relax.
Five of the eight dining options rim the Grand Lodge. There are possibilities for every palate. We dined at Vista Montagne, a modern take on Italian cuisine with western touches like bison and trout incorporated into old favorites. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Directly across the bridge and through the cave is the big, bright, and colorful Mountain Pass Sports Bar with Colorado’s largest HDTV. Is 75 feet big enough for you to watch your favorite local team hopefully win? Pair that with some burgers and beverages and you have yourself a staycation to remember.
1501 guest rooms, including 114 suites, are now available to book. We stayed in a room with two doubles with a mountain view. The room was decorated like a sleek western mountain home, with whimsical animal artwork, upscale bedding, and all the bells as whistles you’d expect in a modern hotel. We had a movie night with snacks from the Rockies Marketplace, a perfect way to wind down after a day of enjoying many amenities.
These amenities include the Relache Spa & Salon. It has a polished snowy mountain theme, with soothing icy decor in a cozy space. Full services are available for men and women. The Fitness Center is light-filled and boasts the latest in equipment.
What about the kids? Most would not be into getting a facial, but they would definitely be into zipping down a twisty water slide into a pool. There are plenty of ways to play in the indoor/outdoor waterpark. They provide life vests in all sizes for some peace of mind as they splash. Best of all, a lazy river winds around outside. At night, the pools and river are illuminated with ever-changing colorful lights. Several fire pits with seating dot the outdoor spaces for nighttime relaxing under the stars.
Additional outdoor-based fun can be found on one of the basketball or tennis courts, a nine-hole mini golf course, pickleball, and bike rentals. Back inside, a small arcade with video games and claw machines will help your kids get their electronic fix and maybe win a little souvenir of their stay.
Looking forward to 2019, the Gaylord family of resorts presents Summerfest, which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Details for the Gaylord Rockies Summerfest will be coming soon, so make sure to check back to see how you and your family can start planning for summer right here at home. Additionally, in Winter 2019, the Gaylord Rockies will have a winter festival called ICE that promises to bring next-level frigid fun to Colorado for the first time ever!
This December, the Gaylord Rockies Resort has a interactive and innovative lights show inside and outside the Grand Lodge. You can bundle up and walk around through sparkling trees, changing orbs of light, and lighted chimes you can control. Watch giant projected snowflakes flutter around on the sides of the building. Gather around one of the firepits with some cocoa, too.
For more information about the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, visit https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dengr-gaylord-rockies-resort-and-convention-center/. Ask about rates for locals in December.
The Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center hosted our family for purposes of review. All opinions, insights, and experiences are our own.