by Barbara Nevins Taylor
It’s a pleasure to find a beautiful hotel that offers free Wi-Fi. I was genuinely surprised recently when I checked into the Hyatt Grand Hotel in Aspen, Colorado and learned that Wi-Fi was free.
So many hotels add a fee and the charges often come as a shock when you check out.
But the Hyatt Grand offered this unexpected bonus. First of all, the room was large, lovely and comfortable. The beige stone bathroom area had a spa-like shower and tub and everything about it felt luxurious. So I was delighted, but I was even more pleased when I called the desk for the Internet password and asked if there was a fee for in-room use. “There isn’t any,” the receptionist said.
But I didn’t go to Aspen to sit in the room and work online and the hotel provided other pluses. It’s perfectly situated almost at the base of the mountain. It’s built in a horseshoe style around a heated swimming pool and hot tub area that offer dreamlike mountain views.
While the front of the hotel doesn’t look like much, you have quick and easy access to Aspen’s restaurants and pricey stores.
For bike riders, it’s easy to get in and out. That’s why we were there. My sister Hope and brother-in-law Ed were part of a group that rode 60 miles from Dotsero, Colorado to Aspen. And my husband Nick was in another group that rode 30 miles from Carbondale to Aspen.
I was the designated driver and made the spectacularly scenic trip from Edwards through the Glenwood Canyon to join the others so that there would be a vehicle for the ride home.
I rented a clunky bike at the hotel and rode about 10 miles down and back along the Rio Grande trail.
This was a pretty easy ride on the bike-and-hike-only path that begins at about 7900 feet. It starts out paved and then turns to gravel. All the way along, it offers rugged Rocky Mountain views and close up encounters with waterfalls and the river.
I won’t swear to it, but it I think I dodged lumps of big bear droppings on the path.
The next day, while Ed was doing another bike ride, Hope, Nick and I hiked up Ajax, or Aspen Mountain.
We either misunderstood the trail advice we got, or went the wrong way. But this was a tough climb.
Scenic for sure and a little fox crossed our path. But while we got pretty far, we had to turn around before we reached the top where a lift would have brought us down. Instead, we slowly but surely made our back down praying to keep our knees in working order.
It was great two-day trip from our base in Edwards where Hope and Ed live, and I recommend a visit to Aspen and a stay at the Hyatt Grand to all who like the active life.
You can find our list of hotel chain policies and charges in our post Watch Out For Hotel Room Wireless Charges.