Hotel Finds: Aspen & the Western Slope
There’s no shortage of luxury hotel accommodations in Aspen. But they often come with rates that are as knee-weakening and precipitous as a black-diamond-mogul-filled run! The good news? After ski-season, prices are gentler, with endless warm-weather activities to enjoy. Or check out some of the exceptional accomodations listed here that are outside of Aspen.
330 E. Main Street
No hotel in Aspen can match the historical presence of the Jerome. The original property was built in 1889 by Jerome Wheeler, a Macy’s Department Store executive who succumbed to Aspen’s mountain beauty. The infatuated Wheeler had Rocky Mountain High expectations as well. Nothing less than London’s Claridge and Paris’ George-V were the basis for his hotel blueprints. During the same period he built Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House.
The opening for the Hotel Jerome was sensational. One of the first buildings in the West to have electricity, running water, steam heat and an elevator, the Jerome drew a posh crowd. A few years later, however, the Silver Boom collapsed and the Aspen population dwindled away. The one hotel that remained, however, was the Jerome.
When war broke out in the 1940’s, the U.S. Army’s Tenth Mountain Division began training at Camp Hale. The Hotel Jerome quickly became a favorite for the soldiers, who would literally ski down to the hotel from their training exercises.
After the war, industrialist Walter Paepcke founded the Aspen Skiing Company and hired Austrian Bauhaus architect Herbert Bayer to renovate the neglected hotel. Celebrities of the day flocked to the property. Gary Cooper, Lana Turner and John Wayne helped to establish Aspen as a celebrity draw.
Now a member of the prestigious Auberge Resorts, the Hotel Jerome was completely remodeled in 2012, while preserving the venerable site’s historical character. Architect Sarah Broughton, whose specialty is historic preservation, returned the hotel lobby and atrium to the original layout. The beloved J-Bar, Aspen’s favorite watering hole, retained its treasured Chippendale chinoiserie bar. Chef Rob Zack is overseeing dining at the Prospect restaurant.
The hotel’s 93 guest rooms feature contemporary artwork by regional artists, as well as archival pieces reproduced from Aspen Historical Society collections. An Auberge Spa offers a range of massages and skincare services.
So, a legend continues, with many new chapters to be added…
675 E. Durant Avenue
Located at the base of Aspen’s main gondola, Little Nell has one of the most enviable locations in the city — truly a ski-in and ski-out property. More importantly, Ski Concierges manage everything: lift tickets, equipment rentals & storage, ski lessons and the all essential boot warming!!! Little Nell works hard to spoil their guests.
The newly-opened restaurant, Element 47, will charm visitors as well. For those who skipped geology class, element 47 is silver, and the restaurant is an homage to Aspen’s mining origins. Local produce and livestock, as well as sustainable seafood, are featured. The restaurant’s Wine Spectator Grand Award cellar continues to offer outstanding vintages.
For summer visitors, the hotel’s terrace dining is the most sought-after spot in Aspen. Dogs lovers will be pleased to know that the four-legged family members are welcome and special menus are available for them too.
Rooms at Little Nell are especially notable, with fireplaces and sumptuous down comforters. Large marble baths are perfect for après-ski. A gym and pool are also on the property.
ST. REGIS RESORT
315 E. Dean Street
The St. Regis collection of hotels excels in providing upscale, luxurious accommodations. The Aspen property is yet another stunning example. The 153 rooms and 26 suites feature enormous, leather-frame beds and plush throws. Glamorous bathrooms include towel warmers and Remède toiletries.
Chef Thomas Riordan creates decadent Italian cuisine. Live jazz and “spirited refreshments” are offered in the Shadow Mountain Lounge. Guests can also enjoy one of the “World’s Best Spas.” Travel + Leisure named The Remède one of the top ten spas in the world. With 15 treatment rooms, guests are assured of personalized service. Also unique, is an oxygen lounge to help visitors adjust to the high altitude.
233 West Main Street
A perfect spot for vacationing families or couples, the Innsbruck condominiums provide spacious living areas with attractive leather furniture, accent pieces and gas fireplaces. Fully-equipped kitchens feature granite-topped bars and gourmet appliances. A washer and dryer is also available. Roomy closets accommodate sports equipment and have extra room for any new souvenirs.
A heated pool and cookout area offer entertainment options. The property is within easy walking distance of Aspen’s ski lifts, restaurants and shopping. Staff at the Innsbruck are especially accommodating and helpful.
300 Carriage Way
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Snowmass, the Stonebridge Inn is a welcome retreat. The property maintains 88 rooms, 5 suites and 28 condos — all of which are nicely furnished.
The Artisan restaurant serves up fresh, seasonal dishes in an attractive dining room featuring spectacular views and a roaring fireplace. A full breakfast buffet is available, and guests have a pool, gym and laundry facilities at their disposal as well. The Stonebridge Inn is one of Aspen’s great values in lodging.
526 Pine Street
Glenwood Springs is located a relatively close 50 miles from Aspen, and many of the city’s residents commute daily to the ski area. Visitors have picked up on the option as well. In the process, they’ve discovered a vibrant community, with good shopping and dining, as well as the incomparably charming Hotel Colorado.
A National Historic Landmark, built in 1893, designs for the Colorado were based upon the Villa de Medici in Florence. Not surprisingly, the hotel quickly became known as the Grand Dame of the Rockies.
Drawn by therapeutic hot springs and hunting, many dignitaries and presidents visited the hotel. Theodore Roosevelt spent so much time at the property it came to be known as the “Little White House.” At this same time, the world’s most beloved stuffed toy was invented. If the stories are true, Hotel Colorado staff presented Roosevelt with a stuffed bear after an unsuccessful day of hunting. Roosevelt in turn, gave the toy to his daughter Alyce, who immediately called it “Teddy.”
Historical significance aside, the Hotel Colorado has spacious, comfortably furnished rooms with high-tech conveniences. Affordable suites with three or four beds are ideal for families. Baron’s Restaurant still serves the legendary local Rainbow Trout, Colorado Lamb and Denver Steak. And If you decide to sleep in one morning, instead of driving to Aspen, you can always catch an afternoon of skiing at nearby Sunlight Mountain.
WINE COUNTRY INN
777 Grande River Drive
Located within a 20-acre vineyard facing the Palisade Bookcliffs, the Wine Country Inn provides a picture-perfect setting. With 80 rooms, 6 suites and many amenities, the property is easily the largest and most upscale lodging in the area.
An expansive lobby and broad terrace add to the hospitable atmosphere. A row of comfortable rockers provide an ideal spot for sipping during the daily wine tastings. Although some might argue that the fire pit or heated pool and hot tub are equally appealing.
Guest rooms are quite large and include small refrigerators, microwaves and coffee pots. Many rooms have private patios attached as well.