The Aspen Guide
There’s something about Aspen that’s a little bewitching—meaning that there are very few one-time visitors. It could be because the actual skiing is excellent—thanks to four separate mountains, each with its own unique personality, there’s almost endless terrain. But there’s also a lot more to the town than winter sports: It’s home to one of the country’s best contemporary art museums as well as the globally recognized Aspen Institute, which hosts an annual Aspen Ideas Festival every summer. Throw in some big-city-caliber restaurants and shopping, and you’ll be trying to figure out how to stay year-round. We’ve rounded up our favorite spots to stay, eat, and shop, plus activities for every season.
Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection330 E. Main St., Aspen | 877.725.2074
The historic Jerome has been part of Aspen's story since it opened as the town's first hotel more than 120 years ago. Still housed in the original building (albeit with an updated interior and an expansion), the hotel was purchased by Auberge in 2012. While it retains its small-town charm, it now offers Auberge-style amenities like a gorgeously-decorated bar, in-house ski rentals through Gorsuch, a luxe spa, and two full-service restaurants. As for the décor, it feels warm and stately, with deep greens, rich leathers, and western touches like plaid and vintage portraits throughout the rooms and public spaces. The location, perfectly situated between the base of Ajax and the river, is just the icing on the cake.
The Little Nell675 E. Durant Ave., Aspen | 970.920.4600
The Little Nell is famously the most luxurious of Aspen's resorts, so it follows that it's also home base for the ritzy see-and-be-seen scene the town is known for. Still, it's perfectly possible to have a discreet stay, if only because the rooms themselves—designed by LA-based Holly Hunt and turned out with Fili d'Oro down, heated marble bathrooms, cozy fireplaces, and mountain views—are so exquisite. You'll also be grateful for the impeccable service, which makes every activity from skiing to making a dinner reservation blessedly simple. In the hotel's two restaurants, Element 47 and Ajax Tavern, take advantage of the over-the-top wine list from Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, a relative youngster for the wine world who's already earning top stars for his management of the hotel's deep wine collection. Art lovers, take note: The Nell is also home to a legendary collection of contemporary art, which occupies all of the hotel's hallways, restaurants, and guest rooms.
Viceroy Snowmass130 Wood Rd., Snowmass | 970.923.8000
Nestled at the base of family-friendly Snowmass (and conveniently ski-in-ski-out), the Viceroy is probably one of Aspen's best options for those traveling with kids in tow. Amenities like complementary ski valet and plenty of suite options with multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, and in-room washer/dryers make the arduous process of getting the littles dressed, sun-screened, and out to ski school. If that weren't enough, there's also full-time daycare service in the hotel and a heated outdoor pool that's open year-round. Once kids are out the door, head to the poolside NEST Public House for a miles-long craft beer list and a more grown-up vibe.
St. Regis Aspen Resort315 E Dean St., Aspen | 970.920.3300
Even among Aspen’s supply of extravagant hotels, the St. Regis stands out. It hits you when you walk through the doors and see the giant stone fireplace in the lobby, which has that rustic-yet-polished feeling you get at the best ski resorts in the world. The guest rooms are outfitted with custom leather bed frames and faux-fur throws, and some have marble fireplaces (be sure to request a room with one—it makes a huge difference). And the fifteen-treatment-room Remède Spa is a super decadent spot to recharge after a day on the slopes—or after a day doing anything, really. We’re partial to the Rocky Mountain Ritual, which moisturizes wind-whipped skin.