There is so much to love about vacationing in Aspen, Colorado. From the world class restaurants to the most elegant, full-service hotels to the shopping, nightlife and culture—and, oh, wait, skiing—there is something for every kind of traveler and sportsman.
Where to Stay:
With rooms recently renovated by designer Alexandra Champalimaud of the eponymous New York City firm, The Little Nell has cemented its five-diamond, five-star status once again as the crown jewel of Aspen 30 years after it opened. To celebrate the anniversary, the ski-in/ski-out property partnered with photographer Gray Malin to create some quintessentially Aspen, vintage-inspired vignettes in and around the property and the mountain. “My goal was to capture a vintage perspective on the undeniable glamour of this iconic location while conveying the sense of exclusivity that is synonymous with Aspen’s ski community,” says Gray Malin. The photographs will be displayed on property and sold online and at the hotel’s boutique. “We could not think of a better way to bring visions of the past to life than with this collaboration,” says the hotel’s general manager Jonathan Fillman.
The first W Mountain Escape in North America, W Aspen is the new game in town. The Rocky Mountain landscape is proudly on display inside and out and nothing feels out of place in the mountain town. The W Living Room has become a hot après ski spot and the WET Deck has fire pits, cabanas, hot tubs, a heated pool and DJ booth all set to the stunning, panoramic mountain backdrop. The spacious and comfortable bedrooms, which come in a variety of sizes good for families, are dotted with splashes of color like orange over-dyed carpets and blue accent chairs.
Where to Eat:
Chefs Club Aspen at the St. Regis Hotel changes seasonally and this winter its 4-month residency is highlighting the culinary treats of the Amalfi Coast with a pop-up of famed Italian restaurant Conca Del Sogno. The restaurant known for its sea-to-table fare is bringing its signature treats like homemade pastas (spaghetti alla nerano), eggplant parmesan and whole branzino baked in a salt crust to the mountains for a change.
Betula is garnering lots of buzz for its French Pan-American cuisine and its cozy 130-seat dining room is constantly packed. French chef Laurent Cantineaux and Venezuelan restaurateur Juan Carlos Pérez Febres (owners of beloved St. Barth’s restaurant Bonito), came to Aspen on holiday and decided to open a sister restaurant here while Bonito was closed following Hurricane Irma’s devastation of the island. “We have an old style rotisserie that we brought from France,” Cantineaux explains. “It’s the centerpiece of the kitchen, visible from the dining area, and where we prepare most of the hot dishes.” Escargots, bluefin tuna tataki and duck magret are some of the fan favorites.
Bear Den Cafe & Bakery is a new all-day café and bakery that serves everything from pastries and breads to breakfast sandwiches, coffee and cocktails. It’s the perfect spot to grab a coffee and an egg sandwich en route to the mountain or to unwind after a day of skiing with a glass of Côtes du Rhône and a cheese and charcuterie platter.
Where to Après Ski:
The Snow Lodge, an offshoot of the popular Montauk resort, popped up at the base of Ajax Mountain this year and has fast become one of the hottest après spots in town. The venue features retro decor and live music programmed in collaboration with BellyUp Aspen.
Miami transplant Casa Tua and its owner restaurateur Miky Grendene have created the chicest two-story ski chalet right in the center of town. Its restaurant, bar and second floor private members club is always a scene and classic Italian favorites like grilled octopus, veal ragu ravioli and bucatini cacio e pepe are always a welcome treat after a long day on the slopes—or shopping!
Fresh off a renovation by Colorado design firm Rowland + Broughton, Ajax Tavern is the original slopeside après spot. The interior of the venue, at the base of Ajax mountain, was brightened, lightened and made more cozy and is now the perfect place to chill.
Where to Shop:
We checked out a bunch of great gear while in town on the slopes. Here are some of our favorites. Salomon S/PRO 120 Ski Boots and Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Women’s 2020 Skis. We loved the prototype we tried of SCOTT’s Shield goggles, which will be released this fall. Until then, this semi-frameless style works just as well! Aspen-born skiwear brand Aztech Mountain launched its first women’s collection of jackets and pants this season (available in Aspen exclusively at Performance Ski) and we loved the fit and flattering styles. Arc’teryx’s perfectly-cut Sentinel AR Pant and slimming jacket were other favorites. Kari Traa’s Fair Isle midlayers are where it’s at for stylish long johns and Wild Rye’s base layers are the perfect long underwear layering pieces. Le Bent’s Le Socks are the hottest new ski socks on the market. Woolx’s merino wool turtleneck and Icebreaker’s Merino sweaters like the Waypoint Crewe style are a must layered under a parka, or with leggings for après ski.
What to See:
On view through the end of may, the Aspen Art Museum presents a solo exhibition of American artist Lisa Yuskavage. Co-organized in collaboration with the Baltimore Museum of Art, this show will explore the painters landscapes with a selection of almost fifty works. Yuskavage’s outdoor scenes feel familiar but are decidedly not. The mystical, romantic and moody quality of her canvases add a seductive quality to everyday terrain.