When you think Aspen you think of excellent skiing—thanks to its four unbelievable mountains: Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Highlands, and Snowmass. But there’s a lot more to the town than winter sports, and I was lucky to experience a different side of Aspen when I celebrated my birthday there last month. Aspen is home to one of the country’s best contemporary art museums, fabulous restaurants and great shopping, great yoga, and some of the most scenic hiking trails I’ve ever hiked on. Once you visit, you can’t help but fall in love with it, making it a year-round destination! These are my favorite spots to stay, eat, exercise, and shop. Enjoy!
WHERE TO STAY
If you’re traveling with a large group I highly suggest renting a house on Airbnb. Aspen properties are some of the most beautiful you’ve ever seen, and being in a house allows you to experience life as a local. It’s also the more affordable option in this town.
ST. REGIS: In my most recent visit I stayed at the St. Regis. Loved their rustic-meets-modern decor and their service was on point. If you’re a foodie, their in-house restaurant is the Chef’s Club, which brings the best-up-and-coming chefs from all over the country to consult for a menu that is endlessly changing. The spa here is a must!
THE LITTLE NELL: Famously the most luxurious of Aspen’s resorts. Cozy fireplaces, mountain views, heated marble bathrooms, and home to a legendary collection of contemporary art, which is displayed all over the hotel. Home of two of the best restaurants in town, Element47 and Ajax Tavern, making this hotel the see-and-be-seen spot in town. Oh, and don’t forget their epic wine cellar!
W HOTEL ASPEN: Just when you thought Aspen had it all, came the W Hotel to take things to the next level. Literally. The W Aspen & The Sky Residences at W Aspen, recently opened its doors to the public. Nestled slope-side on Aspen Mountain, the resort provides ski-in/ski-out access to some of the world’s most coveted slopes. Stunning mountain views and striking architectural and interior design make this hotel the desired place to stay. W Aspen brings a luxurious and modern style to the historically-rich town of Aspen.
WHERE TO EAT
Clark’s Aspen: Fantastic raw bar, delicious cocktails, and a great lunch or dinner spot. Loved their grilled tuscan kale salad, roasted cauliflower, and the smoked gravlox salmon plate!
Betula: French pan-American cuisine brought to you by chef Laurent Cantineaux of St. Barth’s Bonito. So, if you’re familiar with Bonito’s menu you’ll feel right at home here.
Casa Tua Aspen: The perfect mix of bohemian-mountain-chic style and delicious Italian food, a combination that only Miky and Leticia Grendene, owners and founders, can bring to life. Making Casa Tua the perfect spot for lunch, dinner, and a fun night out.
Matsuhisa: Like Nobu, but better! Consistent, fresh, and cozy vibe.
If you’re an avid yogi like me, Aspen has an amazing yoga community. My favorite studios were Shakti Shala Yoga & O2 Aspen—both have great teachers, beautiful studios, and great retail stores. In the summer, you can hike all the mountains and enjoy of the most scenic and beautiful views. Grab a bite at the Farmers Market after your hike! The Maroon Bells trail is one of the most popular ones, but very busy so make sure to wake up early.
In the winter, pick your choice of green, blue, or black mountains to ski and make sure to stop for aprés ski at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro.
Around town? Make sure to visit Aspen’s Art Museum and pick up a custom made cowboy hat down the street at Kemo Sabe—very mountain chic! Or relax with a bomb foot massage at A1 Foot Massage. End your day with some live music at Belly Up. Can’t wait to go back. xx