Latest Vail hotel luxury: personal butlers |

Latest Vail hotel luxury: personal butlers

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Vail Resorts calls the Arrabelle in Lionshead the first new "ultra-luxury" built in town in the last 25 years. (Preston Utley/Vail Daily)

VAIL ” It will have a glockenspiel, Italian-stone floors and walls of cascading water.

It will have fireplaces and personal butlers for your room, which will cost $1,300 or more a night.

It will have a Burton store, a Patagonia store and a Quiksilver store. Oh, and Vail is getting its second full-fledged Starbucks.

It’s all in the Arrabelle at Vail Square, a $250 million hotel-condo project that’s at the epicenter of Lionshead’s “renaissance.”

On Thursday, Vail Resorts officials were showing off the complex, which is supposed to open up starting in December.

“It’s the first, new ultra-luxury hotel in the area in 25 years,” said Jeannette Schulze, general manager of the Arrabelle, standing in the skeleton of its spa.

Schulze described the Arrabelle as a five-star-level “boutique” hotel that will be nicer than the Sonnenalp Resort. The project is at the site of the old gondola building, which included the Kaltenberg Castle restaurant.

The complex is still very much a work in progress, with some 800 workers toiling on the inside and outside of the building.

The Arrabelle is aiming to get its “temporary certificate of occupancy” on Dec. 3, but Vail Resorts, the developer, still has to fulfill several promises it made to the community before it can get that certificate.

Vail Resorts owes the town 144 beds of employee housing, and has offered to buy the town’s Timber Ridge affordable-housing complex to satisfy that commitment. The town is weighing Vail Resorts’ offer along with a similar offer from a Texas developer.

Keith Fernandez, president of Vail Resorts Development Company, said the company is waiting for a response from the town.

“We’re tweaking it a little bit, but that’s pretty much the plan,” he said.

If the proposal isn’t accepted, Vail Resorts would have to find a new plan. One option is to pay the town about $17 million.

Also, Vail Resorts Development Company must establish a plan for a skier drop-off area before it can open the Arrabelle.

The company recently proposed a drop-off on town-owned land, but newly discovered rules prohibit the drop-off from being built there.

Fernandez said the company is considering alternative spots for the drop-off, including the so-called “North Day Lot,” the Ever Vail site, near Concert Hall Plaza or at the redeveloped Lionshead parking structure.

The Arrabelle uses European-style architecture styled off of places like Prague, Innsbruck and Munich, Schulze said. The hotel will have 36 rooms, and there will also be 67 condos, all of which have sold.

The stores, the restaurant and the hotel will open in December, the spa will open in February, and the condos will be finished gradually from December through May.

The rooms will cost about $1,300 to $1,400 per night during the heart of the winter. In the summer they’ll cost about $450 to $500.

Each guest will have a butler that will answer to each beck and call, but perhaps not with a tuxedo and a silver tray.

“It’s not your quintessential British butler,” Schulze said, saying it’s more of a “personal concierge” who could do anything from bring you room service to get your skis tuned.

The 10,000-square-foot spa will be closed to the public during the winter, but could be open to locals during the offseasons, said John Dawsey of RockResorts, the Vail Resorts subsidiary that will run the hotel.

The hotel rooms will also have flat-screen TVs in the bathrooms.

“It just becomes an additional amenity for the level of service we’re trying to offer to the guests,” Dawsey said.

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