The Art of Kikubari: A Japanese Term that the Eleven Experience Comprehends


We were excited to write our next blog post on Scarp Ridge Lodge, but Goop beat us to it in their recent post, “What Women Really Want for Valentine’s Day”. Rightfully so. Any holiday, we would gladly revisit this property in Crested Butte, and can only long for traveling to their remaining properties in their portfolio with locations including the Bahamas and Iceland. 

“Kikubari” (pronounced “key-koo-BAH-ree”) is the ultimate in Japanese customer service. This term reminded me of our weekend at Scarp Ridge Lodge in Colorado. The staff at The Eleven Experience was able to anticipate our needs and fulfill them proactively. This is a true art form, as employees were not lingering or ever present, they just arrived at the right place at the right time delivering tips on the slopes as well as drink buckets to the hot tub. Every touch point was seamless and a true reflection of the beautifully designed lodge in historic downtown Crested Butte.

It had been two years since I’ve skied powder. During Apres’ at the lodge, an Eleven Guide came to visit and explain what the Cat Ski agenda looked like for the next days and what the current conditions and terrain were in Irwin, Colorado (10 minutes from Crested Butte and receives 3x more snow than the town). When sharing the excitement with Lauren over handmade craft cocktails made passionately by an Eleven Staff Member, the ski valet arrived and delivered powder skis and boots to my locker. They advised me to get some rest and be ready for an unforgettable day on the mountain.

With Lauren being the urban guest that is adventurous, but does not ski—the art of Kikubari became ever present. The Staff at Eleven knew that Lauren was not interested in skiing, from our pre call, where they dialed in all of our exact preferences that they would later cater to. From this collective knowledge, they put together an itinerary understanding her desires before she ever voiced them. Lauren was informed that she had a snowshoe tour early morning after breakfast. After the tour, the guides made arrangements to wisp her up to the backcountry cabin on the mountain on a snowmobile. At the “movie cabin” we joined our friend, Tyler, and other guides for French Onion Soup and Smoked Trout Salad made on-site. This culinary experience added to the layers of this perfect bluebird Colorado day. We rested, we ate, we joked about how I was potentially the “most challenged” skier in the cat, and we learned more about the property and skiing from our guides. We had grins that were reminiscent of our view—never ending.

The day was incredible and in true Eleven Experience fashion, it only continued to get better and better. Upon our return from the mountain, we were greeted by the hotel staff that put away our gear and informed us that healthy snacks were awaiting us in the Lodge Bar along with a friendly bartender and the perfect mirror TV that was displaying outlandish videos from heli skiing in Iceland. We enjoyed the relaxation and continued onto the hot tub on the lodge roof, while the local celebrity chef began preparing an amazing meal for us (attuning even more to our needs).

Regardless of the point of your trip to Scarp Ridge Lodge, we guarantee that your every need will be met. The cool part about Eleven, is that they do not display their efforts, creating a natural experience for the guests. The whole experience was the perfect amount of casualness and formality. Please let us know if you are interested in learning how good design, expert guides, incredible chefs, and an exceptional staff can impact your next vacation experience. We would love to put you in touch with the team at Eleven, so they can begin planning your next bucket list trip.