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  • Cecily North

The Misadventures of a Travel Agent

Updated: May 8, 2020

I pride myself on my organizational and planning skills. My calendars and itineraries for trips to Disney are quite impressive if I do say so myself. However, last minute trips can be a little more challenging for me. And my SO (I will call him Code Name from now on) usually leaves things to the last minute. So in the summer of 2019 we had some free time together (he travels for a living and I work two jobs and am in grad school so our time together is non-existent) and I wanted to go take a mini trip to the mountains. So we booked one night at a high end hotel in Breckenridge, Colorado. Our plan was to go up one night and if we decided to stay another night we'd find a place at the last minute.

Our first night we stayed at One Ski Hill Place in Breckenridge. This is a hotel and timeshare property and has amazing views and amenities. We ended up watching Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II that evening but that's not important.

View from our room

We had a wonderful time and in the afternoon of our second day we decided we wanted to stay another night. Code Name went for a bike ride and I went in search of a hotel. The first place I wanted to stay at was in Keystone but after trying to find a place to park in their limited parking lot I decided to look elsewhere.

The Grand Hotel, located in Frisco, Colorado was cheap, easy to get to and had a huge parking lot. They won. I quickly booked a room online for a really inexpensive rate and was able to check in without a problem. Per their website they offer free wifi, a restaurant, indoor heated pool and hot tub, exercise room, sauna, a lounge/bar, game room (arcade) among other things. I'm not one to exercise on vacation (or ever) and I don't usually eat at a hotel restaurant unless I have to. I occasionally will sit in the hot tub or swim in the pool but that is also a rare occurrence. Amenities are often not as important to me however, they can be a benefit. Checking in to our room was definitely a downgrade from the night before. The room was very basic and our first floor window looked out onto their back parking lot which had some cars but mostly wrapped boats waiting for use in the local marina. Walking down the hall it reminded me of any hotel built in the 1970's or early 1980's. It was dark, the hallways were long and the halls themselves reverberated noise like no other.

We had gone out to eat and when we returned to the hotel we decided it would be nice to enjoy the hot tub. We walked to find the pool area and to see how busy it was. As we walked towards the pool we noticed that ALL of the workout equipment was in the hallway. Having never stayed here it was concerning to see a treadmill, weights and other equipment in a hallway. We knew this hotel was cheap ... but that cheap? So we wandered down the hallway and found the pool. We saw a couple people in one of the hot tubs but it was empty enough that we went back to our room, changed, and headed back in.

(Side note, the fitness center had just had new carpet laid down and was in renovations, hence the fitness equipment in the hallway. But also, no notice or mention of this before we walked down to the pool).

We got to the pool area. There was a pool, two hot tubs and a sauna. We got in the hot tub without people already in it and enjoyed some relaxation for a little bit. As other families were leaving they let us know the other hot tub had jets but the water was ice cold. Code Name tried the jets on our hot tub and they did not work. So the ultimate choice was do you want an ice bath but with jets? Or an actual hot tub with no jets? We chose the no jet options. As other couples wandered in we let them know their options. We also joked about "you get what you pay for". One couple eventually left to try out the sauna. After a while we decided to head out, but before we left the wife of one couple had tried out the sauna. After less than a minute she came out saying the sauna was only "lukewarm". Which was also disappointing but not surprising.

Overall, if you're looking for a cheap and conveniently located hotel in the Frisco area I could recommend the Grand Hotel but there are several options in the area so if any amenities are important to you, look elsewhere. It was a bed and shower and that was really all we needed.

Lessons learned:

1. Stay at the crappy hotel before upgrading to a fancy hotel

2. Don't believe the internet

3. You get what you pay for

4. Exercising on vacation is overrated

The "Fitness Center"

*All experiences and comments are my own. Your mileage may vary.

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