If an alpine vacation beckons then it’s time to book that long awaited trip to ski, Après Ski & play in the mountains. I relish in everything the alpine culture has to offer. I’m that gal who counts ski days and beckons for all the accoutrements that come with the high-mountain lifestyle. There’s no place better to do it all Stateside then Aspen, CO.
My boyfriend Sean and I recently indulged in our yearly winter escape to Aspen. As always, our expectations were exceeded in every way. Aspen is a unique ski resort in that the town is a historic gem mixed with rugged athletism and steeped in luxury. For skiers, the four mountains (Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Snowmass) offer diverse terrain for all levels of ski enthusiasts and snowboarders. We love the easy access of Aspen Mountain, the piste is perched right above the town and our favorite ski-in/ski-out hotel The Little Nell. Our trip was late January, at the tail end of the X Games, Gay Ski Week and the exciting send off of three Aspen locals heading off to Beijing to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Another not to be missed event was a visit to the Aspen Art Museum to see the fantastically curated Andy Warhol exhibit: Lifetimes.
This time around we were able to get rooms at both The Limelight Hotel and The Little Nell. With two nights at each, we enjoyed the distinctly different vibes at each hotel. Both being spacious, wonderfully accommodating and within walking distance to the excellent shopping, nightlife, restaurants and skiing. They are also pet friendly if your precious pooch craves a pampered vacay too!
The Limelight Hotel
I’ve always been curious about The Limelight, but had never stayed there. It’s in a great location, located right next to Wagner Park which is a lively place to walk your dog if you bring one. The park is also a really fun social hub, a great place to connect with other dog owners & locals. The hotel is a quick walk to the Silver Queen Gondola, which whisks skiers up Aspen Mountain. Aspen’s epic shopping, bars, restautants are all walkable as well.
It was a great time to check into The Limelight as the entire hotel just went through major renovations. I was surprised by how big the rooms are and the contemporary alpine design is fresh, spacious and very inviting. We stayed in a Grand Deluxe Room which offers tons of room to spread out. I got such a kick out of the open-concept closets. I had fun styling all of my clothing & accessories to look like a chic boutique! Our first night in Aspen, we went to Belly Up to see a show (Louis The Child) and didn’t get home until 1am. We sunk into our comfy king bed and slept in!
The bright, high ceiling Living Room is the perfect place to curl up with a book & is a great meeting spot for groups. Grab a cocktail at the bar and Aprés on a cozy sofa near the fire. The bar transforms to a delicious breakfast buffet in the morning. There are plentiful pastries, bacon, eggs, quinoa pudding, yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit, juices and the coffee never stops flowing. There are brown shopping bags and to-go containers if you want to enjoy breakfast in your room. The perfect fuel for a busy day of skiing!
There’s a convenient storage room to keep your skis located at ground level, but this is not a full service ski valet.
The Little Nell
When it comes to slopeside luxury no one does it better than The Little Nell. This is the only five-star, ski-in/ski-out property located at the edge of Aspen Mountain. The Nell has carte blanche access to everything Aspen has to offer right at your fingertips. If you need help planning the best vacation ever, the outgoing, super freindly concierge team at the hotel will point you in the right direction. AspenX is defining the way nature, luxury and bespoke experiences can be curated with your most memorable time in Aspen being their priority. We’re looking to hit up the super chic Snow Beach Cabanas during March for a spring ski trip. This concept brings the beach to the mountains and was created in partnership with fine art photographer Gray Malin. Snow Beach is accessible for non-skiers as well as it’s located right near the top of the Silver Queen Gondola. The new hot look on the slopes is the limited-edition collab between AspenX and Prada, a well worthy investement.
The moment we checked into The Nell we hit the slopes for a few runs for just enough of a workout to to jumpstart our appetites. We handed our gear over to the freindly ski valets (this is a full service ski valet) and hit up Ajax Tavern for two orders of our favorite Wagyu Bolognese. My BF knows better then to ask to share this with me! With a glass of chilled Veuve Cliquot, great people-watching and bubbly conversation Ajax was on point as always.
Not to be missed is the ultimate meet-up lounge The Wine Bar also located in the hotel. This is a sultry place to gather with friends and to enjoy a large selection of wines from all over the world.
After Ajax, we went to our room, lit the fireplace and I settled in with a bubble bath. Wrapped in a delicious Nell robe, I was swooned into make the executive decision…we were staying in for the night! Our room was so cozy, comfy and well appointed it made most sense to indulge in more Champagne enjoy the fireplace and catch up on Netflix. The complimentary mini-bar with a great assortment of snacks had us feeling like kids in a candy store. There’s nothing better then sinking into a luxe plush bed with all the time in the world to unwind and relax. We slept like babies wrapped in a Fili D’oro down comforter and cloud-like white goose-down pillows.
Waking up at The Nell is very exciting as well! A big breakfast beckons and has us jumping out of bed bright eyed and ready for another day on the sunny slopes. Whether the choice is in-room dining or breakfast at Element 47, get ready for a culinary treat. The full menu is available for both options. We opted to get dressed and & out the door. When it comes to breakfast, I love to indulge in a combo of sweets and savories. Our order included the following:
– Avocado Toast 🥑
– Lemon Soufflé Pancakes🥞
– Apple Pastry 🍎
– Warrior Pudding 💃🏼
– Pretty Lattes ☕️
Shopping & Dining Notes
As always, Aspen delivers big time when it comes to high-end boutiques and diverse dining. A few of my retail favorites that I always pop into are Dior, Performance Ski, Gorsuch, The Nell Boutique and Kemosabe. It was a treat to also visit the Love Shack Fancy pop-up at the St. Regis. Cowboy boot brand extraordinaire, Miron Crosby also opened an outpost in town, it’s always hard to choose which pair of boots to add to my collection! For excellent collections of fine jewelry & watches family owned Meridian jewelers is always my first choice!
The restauants and bar offerings in town are plentiful and fabulous as well. This trip we had a wonderful dinner at the French Alpine Bistro, indugling in their Salade de Chèvre Chaud (a heavenly & hearty goat cheese salad) the Raclette as a main, paired with wines chosen by our very knnowledgable server. We also did a few stops at Clark’s Aspen for Après oysters and cocktails. For sushi cravings I always end up at the Kenichi sushi bar. Aspen is a bustling town, reservations are always recommended.