REVIEW: HOTEL TALISA VAIL, LUXURY COLLECTION BY MARRIOTT

This post is specific to the Hotel Talisa while my other post reviews activities in Vail.

I’m gonna start this post with saying my first impression of Hotel Talisa was not a favorable one. However after 6 days the hotel grew on me, I enjoyed my stay and I would go back.

Our family knew we wanted to ski over the holidays. I had originally booked the Doubletree by Hilton Breckenridge on Points. I have stayed there before and it’s a good solid hotel, close to the lifts, and a steal on points during the high season. However I then found the Hotel Talisa in Vail open up on points and I booked 5 nights for 200k Marriott points. 50k points per night with 5th night free. Rates for holidays were over $1,100 a night. 200k points or about $7k makes it an easy decision to go with points.

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After a 3 hour drive (some traffic) from the Denver Airport to Vail, we pull up to Hotel Talisa around 4pm. (I traveled with the kids while my wife took a late flight the next day because of work) It’s easy to find and an impressive driveway.

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Front entrance to hotel during the day
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Front Driveway during day
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Front driveway during night
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Front entrance at night

Valet and Bellman welcome us and get all of our luggage on a cart and they go park my car as I go check-in. (Longest wait for Valet was 5 minutes. They were always running in the ice to get cars and working hard) After a long day with 2 kids, all I want to do is get settled into my room. I am informed my room isn’t ready but will be soon and they take my number and will give me a call. We walk around the hotel for about a 1/2 hour and take in a few activities. I then go back to the front desk at about 4:30 and my room isn’t ready still. So I go back to valet and decide we will go into town a little bit. We get ski’s from a cheaper off site option , get some groceries and drinks and still no phone call. So we get some dinner and come back to the hotel around 7:30. Go up to the front desk lady and she tells me that my room is now ready. Not sure why I didn’t get a phone call….

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Front desk during morning
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Main entrance during morning.

 

I am assigned room 247 and walk down the hall to my room. I noticed that the room is 2 doors down on the main floor from the lobby and main area which is very noisy. I walk in, look at the room and immediately walkout and back to the front desk. I tell them I need a different room as that room is very noisy due to its location. The front desk person informs me that is the only open room they have but can move me the next day, so I say fine. I end up going there the next day asking what room I am being moved to and they say the same thing and are unable to move me. While the room was loud during the day, it wasn’t that bad at night. Note there was also rooms across from the ski shop that were probably even nosier.

The room itself was nice and pretty normal hotel room. I was having some problems with my camera because of the cold and the room pictures didn’t upload. It was a hotel room, 2 queen beds (I did not like the original pillows and asked for softer pillows), decent amount of storage space, good amount of outlets, small but bright bathroom, and had a small mini fridge. Our room also had a nice balcony. Because it was so cold, the balcony could also double as a fridge to keep drinks cold.

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Keep water and beer cold outside during winter
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View from balcony of room

As a platinum member, I received a coupon good for 2 free full buffets or $70 of credit at the Gessner restaurant. The food was very good there and it was nice to be able to get the buffet or get a unique breakfast dish. The full buffet is $34, continental is $24, kids full buffet is $19. Most unique dishes were around $20-$25, and you could get kids breakfasts for about $12. My wife an I typically shared a unique breakfast and kids got the buffet and it was all covered and we left a $10 tip. What was annoying though is that each day I showed the coupon and they would say that only coverers 2 adults buffets. I would inform them at check-in I was told I could use it as $70 credit and each day they would have to go and check with their manager…

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Lots of hot options, eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage and more
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Cook to order eggs
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Lots of breads and yogurts
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Fruit, cheeses, and meats
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Eggs benedict were delicious

The hotel had a on site workout room which was brand new. They also had free access to the Aria Health Club that was across the street but attached via an enclosure. Aria was great and had a basketball gym, lots of classes, workout rooms, spinning, racquetball, outdoor pool and hot tub, and a nice locker room.

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Aria gym also had a foosball and pool table

The best part of the hotel is its location. When we were walking around our first night we walked out a door and the lift was 10 feet from the door. My son was worried that wasn’t safe as it was so close. There is also an onsite ski shop. My kids and I got our skis offsite since we had more time, and my wife got her ski’s onsite. There is also a ski valet here (included in the resort fee.) The lift isn’t for newbies though. It’s easy to get on the lift and you can end up on greens. However to ski all the way in there are some medium blues. There is also a way to take the lift down from the mountain to the hotel but that requires a short blue as well.

 

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Ski lift area onsite
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Vail Ski Ticket office just 20 feet from hotel door. By online for bigger savings.
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Ski rental info

The resort has a lot of stuff to do each day. While it is nice, you are paying for it with the $38 resort fee, and it can me more of a pain than what it’s worth. I went over the holidays so it was always busy and felt like work just to get a hot chocolate.

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Best item was make your own cupcakes for kids
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Line to get hot chocolate one day. This was also right outside our room. They also had cookies, but those were gone before the plate ever made it to the table
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Waiting in line again
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Had smores one night. Some other nights we went to make smores but they were already out before the time ended
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Schnapps not included in resort fee 🙂
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They had a daily champagne toast but be there at 4:30 before its all gone. One day they even had a Moet tasting from 4-8, but by 6pm they were out of glasses.
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Dailey Activities

A few other Pics and captions

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Shuttle was great. Usually a 5 minute wait. Very nice but crowded. Took ya from hotel, to Lionshead, to Vail Village,
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Concierge area. Some of them were great and others not so much. I was disappointed as we asked the concierge for a dogsledding or snowmobiling activity. She called one place and left a message and that was it and said sorry…. We booked our own. Also we contacted the hotel ahead of time as we wanted a cake for my daughters 8th birthday. They forwarded the note to the concierge to get back to us and never did. We found our own bakery as well.
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Common area during morning
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Common area at night
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Gessner restaurant was reservations only while we were there for dinner so we never ate there. Luckily we had a car or would have been annoying that you cant even eat at the hotel restaurant without a reservation.
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NYE balloon drop ready!

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Don’t see this kind of vending machine everyday

A few other notes.

They have a small food market onsite. Its good for a quick (expensive) bite. It also has a microwave and you can warm up leftovers there as there are no microwaves in room.

I didn’t like the pillows so we asked for some softer pillows and they brought us 4 more pillows while we were gone, meaning we had 12 pillows in our room. I left $5 and stacked up 4 pillows with a note saying please take these the next day. The pillows were still there when we returned from skiing, but $5 gone and I had to call housekeeping to get them out of the room. 12 pillows in a hotel room just gets in the way.

One day our room wasn’t made when we returned at like 4pm. All we really needed was towels to take showers and get ready for dinner. We called housekeeping and they said they would have some in just a minute. 20 minutes later we call again and they say there are some on the way. Then they call us saying they have no clean towels and are washing some now. I tell them this has to be a joke that there are no clean towels in the entire hotel. We got towels 5 minutes later.

Since our room was not an ideal location, I wanted to have some white noise to drown out the hallway noise. The thermostat fan only went up to low and was nice but not loud enough. I asked the front desk if there was a way to override it. English was not her first language and she didn’t know what I meant and said she would send someone to look at it. That person came and his first language was not English either and did not know what I was asking.

If you had to checkout before you leave you can store your bags there as well as use the facilities and the health club. Our last day we ski’d in the morning and then all took showers and got ready in the health club. It wasn’t too bad.

Checkout.  I asked several times before our last day for a late checkout and each time was told to check back the morning of checkout. As a platinum member, I usually get late checkouts and since I couldn’t check in until 4 1/2 hours after check-in time, I figured that shouldn’t be a problem. Well the front desk lady said they are at capacity and no exceptions for late checkouts. I asked to talk to her manager who tells me the same thing. However she says she will reimburse my resort fees for my inconvenience. Even though I stayed on points, I knew I had $190 in resort fees, so that was a fare deal. Now when I actually checked out, she also refunded the $190 in parking fees as well. So I was very happy with getting $380 back and having to use the health club to get ready and shower instead of our own room.

Overall I would return. I felt like everyone at the hotel tried, but not everyone hit the mark. I expected a little more polish for a 5* Luxury Collection Hotel in Vail. I would use points again during the holidays in a heartbeat, but I would not pay the $1k a night they were charging. During off weeks I would go back and pay maybe $400 a night.

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