Have you booked your 2018 winter ski trip yet? If you are looking for a place to visit then do I have the spot for you….with a mix of rustic charm and cool elegance, Aspen, CO needs to be highlighted on your bucket list.
If Aspen is the destination, then where do you stay if you are looking for true luxury in Colorado?
I’ve got the hotel for you. The Little Nell hotel has been on my haute list for a long time. I have so many friends that have stayed there through the years and I needed to experience this five-star Aspen boutique hotel for myself. Thankfully I was invited to indulge in a winter weekend that proved to be everything I could wish for and then some! This property is part of the Relais & Chateaux collection, which is always indicative of the highest quality experiences.
Aspen, Colorado is well known throughout the world as a top notch, glamorous mountain town that just happens to have really epic skiing. A few years ago I visited in June for the Aspen Food and Wine Classic, which is an awesome foodie event that I highly recommend you attend some day. It’s been a goal of mine to ski Aspen too. At the tail end of the ski season after my home town Telluride closed, I made the welcomed trek to Aspen.
It’s amazing how much you can pack into a long weekend getaway. We skied, shopped, ate, drank and relaxed into the wonderful Aspen lifestyle. We were greeted with a huge snow storm & plenty of Champagne!
Our drive up through the McClure Pass was a beautiful journey.
The Little Nell is centrally located to everything and anything you might wish to do in Aspen. It’s the only ski in/ski out property on Ajax mountain. Once you arrive, everything is taken care of, you will have not a care in the world!
We stayed in a super spacious and cozy Premium Mountain Side Guest Room. There is plenty of room to unwind, a huge soaking tub, separate shower and space to spread out. There is ample storage for all the ski, Aprés and clothing you would want to bring to Aspen.
I love being greeted by my name by the hotel staff, it makes the whole experience so much more friendly and comforting. From the bellmen to the concierge, reception and at the restaurant. There is always a personal touch. They also completely respect a more discreet experience if that is what you wish for.
This beautiful treat tower was waiting in my room upon arrival.
The ski valet is located downstairs right next to the 3rd lift tower. Your gear is at the ready when you need it with your ski boots all warm, cozy and ready to make some turns. Hot cocoa, tea and coffee are also readily available to help you warm up.
The Concierge team is available to arrange your dream experience. I suggest you have them book you a table at Cloud 9 bistro in the Aspen Highlands. It’s hard to get a spot there, so get on it as soon as you can! At this ski in/ski out restaurant you can experience ever flowing glasses of Veuve Clicquot, classic fondue and a full alpine menu. My friend Yanna & made the trek in a big storm & opted for the Cat ride back to base camp.
The food & wine
We enjoyed a delicious breakfast inside the hotel restaurant element 47 (named after the element silver, which was mined in Aspen and put the mountain on the map.) We sampled many of the offerings & gave everything we tasted our upmost approval. After bottomless cups of coffee and glorious nibbles it was time to hit the slopes. This is a 5 star, 5 diamond restaurant, the only one in this category in Aspen.
How tempting is this spread?! Best Scottish smoked salmon ever…..
For lunch we feasted at Ajax Tavern, located right at the base of the ski slope, attached to the hotel. We were smitten with all kinds of delicious flavors. There are lots of options on the menu to suit all appetites. The Truffle Fries are essential as is the Elk Bolognese!
For a lighter option you can go with the Salmon Nicoise Salad….
We also enjoyed a private Cellar Tasting which was so memorable, I highly suggest you book this when you visit. It was hosted by a super friendly and knowledgable sommelier. The wine collection at the hotel is VERY respectable & suitable for many tastes & budgets. Tucked into an underground cellar, lit by red lights, this experience is unforgettable. Don’t forget to sign your names on the walls!
Adventures & activities
The staff at The Little Nell can assist in arranging anything you wish to do in the area. We went on a customized ski tour and got to know the mountain really well. There is skiing for all abilities and there are four mountains to choose from. There are all kinds of adventures you can customize for any time of the year, whether it be fly fishing, snow shoeing, dining, shopping, anything!
There is also a wonderful boutique in the hotel lobby with all kinds of unique, local finds…
Take some time to wander the streets. Aspen is an absolutely beautiful town to indulge all the senses!
I look forward to my next visit to this iconic hotel. They are known for remembering guests year after year & I certainly already feel a part of The Little Nell family!
Also read about these Relais & Chateaux properties on mm blog: