I recently visited Aspen, CO for my birthday – and I am officially obsessed!! Aspen has the reputation of being a chic and stylish ski town visited by the glitterati…but that is only half the story. It’s also cozy and friendly and absolutely fabulous! I loved it and can’t wait to return. Here are a few “Womanista Approved” Aspen hangouts!
Where to Stay -
The Little Nell: This cozy resort is nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain (known by the locals as “Ajax” mountain!) It is right at the base of the gondola, so it makes your skiing logistics so easy (but beginner skiers beware…Ajax mountain is NOT for beginners! It’s not even really for intermediate skiers.) The Little Nell has newly renovated rooms (ours was spacious with a fireplace and the most heavenly bed! It was like a cloud!), an incredible gourmet restaurant, and awesome service. Plus, they serve the BEST hot apple cider I’ve ever had in my life! Seriously. The Little Nell is consistently the top of the tops, and there is a reason for that.
The St. Regis: When you are staying at a St. Regis hotel, you certainly expect a level of fabulous – and the Aspen outpost does not fall short of that! The gorgeous lobby area features grand fireplaces, and a chic bar – perfect for sipping a hot chocolate and peering out at the snowy mountains. The service is exceptional, and there is also an incredible spa. The Remede Spa is ranked #6 in the world and it is outstanding (I had a FAB massage followed by a complimentary glass of champagne – plus there is an oxygen bar in the spa that for real made me feel like a million bucks!)
Hotel Jerome: Hotel Jerome is the oldest and most storied hotel in Aspen. It sits in the center of town and rose to its glory during the silver mining days. It was recently renovated and is super-chic, but still embraces the history of the hotel. It’s gorgeous with friendly staff and a lobby lounge that you may never want to leave!
*What to know…There are 4 mountains that you can ski in the Aspen area (Ajax, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass – Buttermilk & Snowmass being the “easiest”). Even though you have to drive to all of them (except for Ajax Mountain if you happen to be staying at The Little Nell), pretty much every hotel has complimentary shuttle service (which is usually in a private SUV!) to each ski destination. Plus they handle all of your ski equipment for you, so it makes it easy.
Where to Eat -
Pacifica Restaurant + Oyster Bar: Eating fresh seafood isn’t exactly “local” on a mountain top in Colorado, but this awesome restaurant features fresh & delicious bites and hand-crafted cocktails. It’s buzzy and warm, and the service is friendly and knowledgable. This was one of my favorite meals in Aspen.
Cache Cache: This French Bistro is “sceney” and buzzing. It’s white tableclothed, but not stuffy. The menu features classic french dishes, with local ingredients and also a few Southern twists (the Chef is from Georgia!) The prices aren’t for the faint of heart, so it’s definitely a “special occasion” meal, but worth every penny. The food is delicious and the service is top-notch. The bar is also super vibey and chic!
Matsuhisa: Located in a cozy victorian house across the street from Hotel Jerome, Matsuhisa serves up amazing Japanese fusion cuisine and fresh sushi. You can enjoy a meal on the first floor, or head upstairs to the bar and relax at a banquet. The food is divine and the ambience is relaxing and chill.
Il Mulino: No one does Italian quite like Il Mulino. Before you’ve even had a chance to order an appetizer, your table is presented with fresh bruschetta on crusty bread, bites of fragrant parmesan cheese, and hearty sopressata. The wine list, pastas, and service are all authentic, mouthwateringly delish, and completely Italian. The Aspen location sits at the base of Ajax Mountain (as part of “The Residences” at The Little Nell) and the views are heavenly.
Where to Sip -
J-Bar: This historic Aspen Saloon can be found inside the Hotel Jerome – the J Bar is cozy, friendly, and features beer and burger specials every day (you can also get a hard cider & lunch for about $15!) The bar is iconic and relaxed and a buzzing hub for apres-ski action.
The Red Onion: Another laid-back bar and restaurant sits in the center of town and is perfect for a bite and a beer. It has been a popular watering hole in Aspen since 1892 and the bar is pretty much exactly as it was then, when the silver miners would pile in after long work days. They offer a great selection of draft beers and stepped-up bar food. It has a relaxed vibe that’s perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail.
Belly Up: Belly up is possibly the best live music venue in Aspen – its a rock club with a Colorado vibe. My husband and I checked out a Martin Sexton show while we were in town, and the place was packed with locals and tourists alike. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day of skiing with some great live music.
Where to Shop -
Max: This gorgeously curated women’s boutique carries everything from Helmut Lang to Saint Laurent. I was drooling over this fabulous Victoria Beckham mini during my visit. You will undoubtedly find the perfect ensemble for a night out on the town at Max.
Moncler: This is the destination for all of the haute ski gear you could possibly want or need. Moncler creates gorgeous outerwear that is both warm and chic. I mean they have a fabulous white ski jacket with a peplum! Seriously. Fabulous.
Yves Salomon: If you are looking for a luxe fur, Yves Salomon is the holy grail. The Aspen outpost of this French furrier carries everything from “pretty” to “fierce” and they will get you outfitted to be warm and chic.
Y’all, Aspen is seriously fab. If you haven’t visited, you should definitely add it to your list!
xo, the Womanista