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The Westin Monache Resort

When we rolled into The Westin Monache, everyone was very nice and welcoming in the pretty mountainside lobby. I arrived with two kids for Easter vacay (hubs would be flying up the next day) and the staff was fantastic. They unloaded my car, parked it and checked our snowboards with the valet. You can have your board/skis sent down to the bottom of the gondola if you like. The same bellman brought our stuff to our room and asked me if I needed anything else. In the past my kids were given little Westin Kid’s Club backpacks with crayons, a coloring book and a toy. They didn’t miss this perk and neither did I, since it means more junk for me to manage in the room. I called ahead to ask about any Easter festivities at the hotel, but there were none. Mammoth Mountain hosted one egg hunt and there was another in The Village. We held our own in the room.

We always book a Deluxe Studio Suite, (425-523sq.ft) which is one large room with a kitchenette, table and chairs, king Heavenly™ bed, full sleeper sofa, gas fireplace (careful not to melt your ski boots!) and flat-screened TV. On our past visits, our room was long and narrow with a wide cushioned window-ledge that one of my children always claimed for a bed. This time we had more square footage and a much larger kitchen – lots of storage for all the food and snacks I brought – but no widow ledge. There was more closet space, too. Overall, I think we liked this new room better, though my kids were not thrilled to share the sleeper sofa. Extra storage makes a huge difference on a ski trip, so I was able to keep the room tidier! There was a handy row of hooks for our gear by the front door, but not quite enough dresser drawers. But there were two plush bathrobes for trips to the pool. We had a “mountain” view, but the range on the other side of the hotel is more spectacular. If that’s important to you, I would request a room overlooking the pool.

Our friends chose a Deluxe One Bedroom Suite, which has a little balcony off the bedroom and a larger dining table. The sleeper sofa in that room is a queen. It was a nice place for our families to hang out together. The bathrooms in both accommodations are small but sleek, with a nice deep bathtub that my daughter and I both enjoyed. Spa soaps and lotions are refreshed each day!

There is a Westin Kids Club in the lobby of the hotel where for $10 an hour per child ($5 for additional child), kids can play and do arts and crafts while you relax. On busy holidays, they offer movie nights, but there is no food served. This used to be included in the $25 per day resort fee. When it was “free,” my kids would go in and play and make a craft while we had a drink. At 8 and 10, they’re kind of too old for it. My son said they should change the name to “little kids club.” But if you do have little kids, it’ sright across from the restaurant and bar, which can make for a happy Happy Hour!

There is very nice large amoeba shaped pool with two separate Jacuzzis right off of the fitness room. When my husband arrived, the four of us took a sublime after dinner dip
under the snowy skies. From 4-7pm it’s usually too crowded for my taste, so this was beyond perfect.  

(You can watch the crowds from a windowed hall on every floor) The jets and hot water worked over my tired muscles while the April snow drifted down.Yes, there was a 22 foot base at Mammoth on April 24th and it was still falling! There are lane lines on the bottom of the pool so the next morning my husband was able to swim laps. He also used the impressive on site gym (to mitigate knee pain!).

The Westin Monache has a full bar and full service restaurant, The Whitebark Restaurant, Bar and Lounge. We have enjoyed New Year’s Eve prefix dinner there two years in arow, both of which were delicious (though the first year was better than the last). Onthis past trip, we mostly cooked meals in our room, but we did order room service the first night. It was reasonable and yummy, especially their insanely good French fries. The Westin Monache is one of only two slope-accessible hotels in town that has a bar/restaurant – so nice for aprés ski.

Skiing and snowboarding are the main activities at Mammoth. The Westin stands atop a hill across the street from The Village Gondola, which connects to the lifts at Canyon Lodge.  

There is a ski school (full or half day) and access to all of Mammoth’s world-class terrain. Canyon has a fairly large beginner area, for which one can purchasea  “beginner only” lift ticket.

Once you park, you never have to drive. If you stay at The Westin, you can walk to the restaurants and shops in The Village, where there is a giant community fire pit to keep you warm.

On holiday weekends, it is especially nice to not have to deal with parking at the mountain. All you have to do is climb into the gondola and away you go. Lift tickets and ski school can be purchased in the hotel or at the Mountain Center at the base of the gondola to avoid lines on the hill.

Not into downhill? The renowned Tamarack Cross-country Ski Center (also great forsnowshoeing) is only a few miles away and can be reached by car hotel shuttle, which,like the valet parking, is included in that $25 resort fee. In summer months, Mammoth is a mecca for hiking and mountain biking. The bike park is one of California’s largest, offering over 85 miles of single-track trails for riders of all levels. Miles and miles of well-maintained hiking trails converge on Mammoth. Rock climbing for all levels isavailable all over the region. The Adventure Center at the resort village offers a 35-footclimbing wall for learning the ropes, plus an exciting zip line. And there’s phenomenal fishing! The town is called “Mammoth Lakes.” The Westin concierge can assist withbooking tours and transportation or renting equipment.

Dogs are welcome at this Westin, so if you are allergic, you should ask for a “pet free” room when you book. Only 20% of the rooms are pet free, so if you don’t ask, chances are you will end up with dander in your carpet. If you don’t mind walking the dog in a blizzard, (or you are planning a summer trip) bring poochie on the vacay!

It is a large hotel with 7 floors. There are only two elevators, so sometimes that means waiting for a ride. Also, because of the vastness, I am less comfortable allowing my kids to roam. Usually we ask to be near our friends (always accommodated), but this time wewere a few floors apart. After a few days, we let them go from our room to our friends’,
but my son has a phone so we could check on them. After late April, the Canyon Lodge at Mammoth is closed, as is the Village Gondola (and group ski lessons) which means, if you’re planning on going later than that – there is skiing till July 4th! – you will have to either drive your car to Main Lodge or take a shuttle.

This is a Starwood property, so if you have them, you can use Starwood points. Being a Starwood member also entitled us to a late check out, which was awesome! They let us stay in our room on our departure day till 3pm! Overall, The Westin is the poshest hotel in Mammoth. It’s insanely convenient and, for Mammoth, trés lux. We have already booked for Christmas!

Room rates begin at $199 a night. Check for mid-week and off-season packages and deals.

Submitted by SoCal mom and Poshbrood contributor, Lindsey Gallagher. Check out her great blog at http://www.iknowbutidontknow.net/

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