by: Sarah Gold
A long weekend of skiing (to take advantage of an epic 30-inch snow dump).
Me and a small crew of powderhound friends
Prospect, the Jerome’s restaurant, is locally famous for its hearty breakfasts. (Its refined evening dishes are top-notch, too.)
The in-house ski boutique, Gorsuch, rents gear to guests who need it, and sells gorgeous outerwear from designers like Moncler
The first-floor ballroom, bookable for parties and events, has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the mountains—and, yeah, lots of antler action.
The bedroom in my one-bedroom, first-floor suite.
The façade of the hotel, whose original building dates to 1889.
The Living Room lounge, which fills every evening with après-mountain cocktail-sippers.
The eclectic décor—in the lobby and elsewhere—combines vintage mining-town ephemera with modern resort chic.
Highs + Lows
The staffers here—whose accents hail from places as far away as Australia and South Africa—are almost unbelievably helpful. When I caught a cold, I was, without asking, supplied with a daily-refilled humidifier for my room, cough drops from a nearby pharmacy, and a specially mixed whiskey-lemon morning toddy to bring with me on the ski slopes.
The onsite Auberge Spa offers the hands-down best winter treatment I’ve ever experienced: a High-Altitude Sports Recovery Massage with warming ginger oil. I left feeling invigorated yet completely relaxed—and without a residual trace of the sore legs I’d walked in with.
The breakfast menu at Prospect, deservedly hyped as the best in town, delivers lavish pre-mountain fuel: organic scrambled eggs with turkey-pistachio sausage, crispy multigrain waffles with lemon curd, house-smoked salmon, house-made granola.
Instead of a printed compendium, my room was equipped with a sleek desk-mounted iPad, which I could use to check the local weather, order room service, and read the day’s headlines.
Though it lends a certain sultry, sepia-toned ambience, the amber lighting throughout the hotel is uniformly dim. I found it hard to read the room-number plaques in the hallways—and a fellow guest one day asked me where the elevator was when he was standing right next to it.
- Mini Bar
- Life Changing
- Environmental Consciousness
- Overall Value
- Night's Sleep
- Stealable Stuff
- Refer a Friend
Mining-town lodge turned chic, exclusive mountain retreat.
Super sporty, super friendly, and super affluent.
In the heart of downtown Aspen—i.e. a five-minute walk from every restaurant, club, and pricey designer boutique in town.
In the common areas: swing-era tunes from Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. Inside the hotel cars waiting outside (which will shuttle you to the mountain during ski season): classic rock and reggae courtesy of the favorite local radio station, KSPN.
- Year Opened
Originally debuted in 1889; re-opened after its complete redesign in January 2013.
- Designed By
The hotel’s stem-to-stern renovation (done mostly during 2012) was done by Todd-Avery Lenahan—an Aspen regular whose TAL Studio has designed for properties including W and Shangri-La hotels.
Outside, a heated, lounge-lined soaking pool; inside, a small fitness center. Access can also be arranged to the fabulous Aspen Club & Spa—a vast, state-of-the art facility where local Olympians train.
Prospect, the casually elegant main dining room, serves upscale Rocky Mountain cuisine: mustard-crusted ruby trout, Colorado beef tartare, artisanal cheese and charcuterie boards.
The Living Room, a firelit library-style lounge with Native American rugs and low-slung leather couches, is the place for après-ski cocktails like whiskey and rum toddies, and the “Aspen Crud”—a warming concoction of bourbon, vanilla tea, and cinnamon syrup. There’s also the venerable, much lower-key J-Bar, a beer-and-burger joint that was once the haunt of Hunter S. Thompson.
They’ve got it, and it’s free.
Bring ‘em! There’s tons of outdoor activities for kids in both winter (snowboarding, sleigh rides) and summer (rodeos, mountain biking). And there’s buttered noodles and chicken fingers on the restaurant menu.
Semi-exorbitant. But c’mon, this is Aspen!