Friday, August 30, 2013

Westin Riverfront - Full Kitchen

As I mentioned in the prior post, we were given a great surprise when we were upgraded from a regular 400 sq foot traditional room to a stunning 850+ sq ft 1 bedroom suite with a full kitchen.

While having the extra space of a living room is really nice (especially when you're traveling with family), the real game changer on this vacation trip was the fact that we had a full kitchen and dining table.

This photo of the kitchen doesn't do it justice. In addition to the stainless steel refrigerator, stove top, convection oven, microwave and dishwasher, there was a lot of stuff in the cabinets and drawers that really allowed your inner Gordon Ramsey to come alive. First, they had enough china and silverware to host a nice dinner party as well as enough cocktail glasses to hold an amateur bartending class.

They also provided all the pots and pans that you'd have at home as well as a bunch of other things that you'd only have if you got them as gifts from your wedding registry.

No hotel room would be complete without an instant coffee maker, but the Westin really went to the extreme. I mean, who would have expected a Cuisinart, toaster, and blenders?

Plus, when you had to clean up, they gave you a garbage under the sink as well as a blue recycling bin (this is Colorado after all), as well as a stash of soap packets for the stainless steel dishwasher.

So instead of paying for 4 of us to eat each meal at overpriced Vail restaurants just to get an inferior version of a New York strip steak than we could get back in Manhattan, we were able to buy our own groceries and cook all our meals.

Plus, we could buy lots and lots of ice cream!

It would be one thing if we were in Tokyo (amazingly high quality sushi and ramen), New Orleans (authentic cajun/creole food), or Buenos Aires (famous parilla steaks).

But last I checked, Colorado wasn't famous for any dish other than Denver omelettes (blah) and Rocky Mountain Oysters (no thanks!).

But having a great kitchen on vacation would be pointless without convenient grocery store. Fortunately, we could just walk 10 minutes from the Westin to a City Market supermarket that had everything you could want. And trust me, this wasn't a small local market / bodega that had a limited selection. I mean, they stocked Lay's Chicken & Waffle flavored potato chips.

Also, if you happened to be driving home from Vail on I-70, then you could also stop at the nearby Safeway (Exit 173) which I found to be cheaper than City Market and only 10 minute drive from the Westin.

So nice to have home cooked meals, especially if Grandma's cooking her famous ground turkey tacos!

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