Aspen – North America
Resort height: 2,399m – 3,813m
Aspen has all the usual facilities on offer at a top resort, a first-rate beginners training program, great gondolas and lifts, fantastic restaurants, but it also goes a little further. Aspen offers events such as yoga for skiers at 3,415 metres. The views from the Sundeck are said to be phenomenal, so you can peer at skiers whilst you work on your sun salutation.
Aspen appears to have it all; with innovative design touches, excellent accommodation options, and a unique approach to après-ski, it’s easy to see why Aspen is beloved the world over. The Winternational takes place here every year where the world’s fastest female skiers will do battle with Aspen Mountain in the only stop of the women’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour in the United States.
Where to lunch
Operated by Aspen’s only five-star hotel, The Sundeck offers incredible food and incredible views in equal measures. Unlike some of its contemporaries, the Sundeck focuses on hearty and healthy food such as stir-fry’s made to order, soups, salads and sandwiches. The décor and restaurant itself is warm and inviting with a 30-foot ceiling, rock fireplace and patio to socialise on.
Where to stay
The Little Nell is Aspen’s only five star accommodation. Holly Hunt began work in 2008 on capturing the aesthetics of Aspen and translating them into the hotel, the result is a space which feels comfortable, yet luxurious and private. A blend of classic and modern touches have been used to decorate the hotel and a mixture of fabrics help to set the hotel’s tone. The Little Nell prides itself on the attention to detail it from, ‘the kitchens to the cellars’, which incidentally house 20,000 bottles of wine. The hotel also endeavours to take all guests from skiing on the slopes to après-ski in a seamless transition.
Alternatively, St. Moritz Lodge offers much more affordable accommodation in more humble lodgings. Friendly and welcoming, St. Moritz Lodge offers comfort and affordability located at the foot of Shadow Mountain in a quiet part of town.
Après-ski takes centre stage in Aspen and is not so much a hobby as it is a way of life. Condé Nast Traveller magazine highlights Aspen as having the best après-ski scene in North America, and it’s not hard to see why. The Little Nell has a bar opening just as lifts are closing, it’s après scene operates in perfect synchronicity with your day on the slopes. Live music and DJ’s are a regular occurrence throughout the week.
Alternatively, Ajax Tavern is the ‘people watching’ capital of Aspen, a glamorous yet relaxed destination; it’s the perfect place to enjoy some truffle fries and beer after a day on the slopes. Serving cocktails on its mountainside patio, people flock to Ajax Tavern for casual fine dining, drinks, and partying.