Nestled in the heart of the Rockies, a charming ski village equipped with timber lodge hotels, cosy knitwear boutiques and contemporary art galleries emerges from the snow. Aspen is a long-time favourite of many as a honeymoon ski resort, yet despite having constant attention it has not lost its appeal by becoming overly touristy. In fact, it remains a stunning escape for those who love vigorous outdoor activity, fresh air and a richness of culture and authenticity. As far as the terrain goes, the slopes range from beginner to expert double blacks, so no matter what level you are, there is a mountain for you to conquer. For non-skiers, the spa and food scene are world-class, so rest assured, you won’t feel left out of the fun! That’s really what makes Aspen stand out as the skiing capital of the United States: it’s a perfect cocktail of stimulating conditions, a flair for artistry and delectable cuisine. Plus, it is undeniably beautiful and romantic!
STAY: HOTEL JEROME
Step inside the Western chic Hotel Jerome, a landmark in Aspen built in 1889 that has just gone through an enticing revamp. Its history is as fascinating as its clientele, who over the years have included legends like John Wayne, Gary Cooper and Hunter S. Johnson. The J-Bar is an excellent stop for an upscale burger and Prohibition-era spiked shake known as the ‘Aspen Crud.’ Don’t miss their mountain spa, the perfect place to après-ski.
From world-renowned Chef Nobu comes new-style Japanese restaurant Matsuhisa Aspen, housed in an 120-year-old Main Street blue Victorian house. There are two sushi bars as well as table seating in the main dining room replete with luxurious finishings like bamboo covered ceilings and a natural walnut cocktail bar. Chef Nobu expertly fuses his traditional training in Tokyo with South American influences, so be sure to try specials like the Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño, Black Cod Miso and White fish Tiradito.
For the past 68 years, Aspen has played host to a fantastic four day cultural festival called Wintersköl. Always held in January, the celebration of winter originally began to highlight Aspen’s unique Nordic lifestyle. Today, it includes ice sculpture carving, a dog costume competition, concerts, fireworks and more!
With four separate mountains linked by one free shuttle bus service, you have plenty of slope to choose from in Aspen. Having been to all of them, we have a special place in our heart for Buttermilk, particularly if you are at a more novice level or want to warm up before you hit the other slopes. There are plenty of green and blue runs plus some more hidden gem slopes that are usually nice and powdery because not as many people know about them. In fact, the ‘Tiehack’ side of Buttermilk offers long gorgeous black runs that often haven’t been groomed!
Written by Kristie Landing