Where to Stay in Aspen
Aspen is a Rocky Mountain retreat like no other. Although the town’s elevation (8,000 ft.) outnumbers its year-round population (6,870), it is internationally renowned as a premiere destination for adventurers and tastemakers, alike. Tourists come for the world-class skiing of winter, the ample hiking and fishing in the shoulder season, and the unofficial start of summer at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
And they all need a proper place to stay. On any given day, there are upwards of 20,000 visitors, which is why Aspen hotels are plentiful, catering to a wide range of preferences. Lodging spans cabin rentals and rustic AirBnB options, up to the most extravagant luxury hotels. You can go big at the St. Regis Aspen Resort, enjoying marble fireplaces and chic personal patios, or keep it cozy at Molly Gibson Lodge, a pet-friendly hotel located right on Main Street.
So whether you’re taxiing into Aspen airport in basic economy or in a PJ, appropriate accommodations await. Plan accordingly. Here’s a look at the best places to stay in Aspen.
One of Aspen’s most affordable options, rooms at the St. Moritz start at $75 a night. Standard rooms are fairly basic, offering adjacent double and twin-sized beds. But the amenities aren’t lacking; an outdoor pool/whirlpool, steam room, continental breakfast—all within blocks of downtown and gondola access to the top of the mountain.
This pet (and budget) friendly three-star hotel located directly on Main Street is one of Aspen’s best bargains. For just over $125/night you’ll receive unobstructed panorama, buffet breakfasts, and friendly mountain vibes from the local staff. The town’s best dining and shopping destinations are just outside your door.
No other Aspen luxury hotel serves up nearly as much history as the Jerome—a local landmark since 1889. If these (mahogany) walls could talk, they’d tell tales of cowboys seeking silver riches, bootleggers flouting Prohibition, and Hunter S. Thompson running for local sheriff. Rooms spaced up to 525 square feet are elegantly appointed with cowhide furnishings, taxidermy, and regionally-themed art. Rocky Mountain-chic, tastefully rendered.
The Limelight is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Aspen. But they do things a little different than the rest. The vibe here is hip and boutique, as opposed to stuffy or stately. More than just a place to stay, it’s a lively gathering hall with the town’s best aprés-ski; craft beer and cocktails, truffle fries a plenty, live music extending into the evenings—all just a five minute walk from the lifts. A reliably rocking destination during the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
If you’re in search of good old fashioned Aspen opulence, look no further. The St. Regis provides access to the access: a contemporary manor outfitted with marble fireplaces, walk-in closets, elevated ceilings, and adjoining outdoor patio space. Book the 1900-sq-ft. Presidential Suite and you’ll get your own butler to service your every need. But even the more modest Classic Guest Room is robust in its stylishness. The experience comes at a premium, of course—rooms start at $400/night during the off-season. At the height of the summer the rate more than doubles.
King of the Hills
Few Aspen hotels do après-anything as well as the St. Regis. Heck, even dogs get the VIP treatment here: plush beds, custom menus, baths and robes (no joke). Should you opt for a massage in lieu of your morning hike, a “dog butler” will gladly hit the trails with your pup. From $450; stregisaspen.com.
Courtesy of The St. Regis Aspen Resort Courtesy of The St. Regis Aspen Resort
Aspen condo rentals
At the base of the mountain resort, the condo rental scene is booming. In 2017 the Sky Hotel Aspen was demolished to make way for a new W Residence, which finally opens this summer. But why wait for that? The Alpenblick is steps from the Silver Queen Gondola, taking you to the top of the trails. Its wood-paneled facade delivers the pitch-perfect alpine aesthetic. And inside are all the trappings of your cozy, home-away-from home; fireplaces, full kitchens, flat screens, hot tubs. All you need to bring are friends and family. They’ll take care of the rest.
Looking for the perfect Aspen condo to suit your particular needs? VRBO is where your search begins and ends. It stands for "Vacation Rentals By Owners," and it’s like AirBnB, specializing in the Colorado cabin of your dreams. Just type in your dates and number of guests and it immediately returns hundreds of results broken down by your own search parameters (pet-friendly, family-friendly, great for groups, neighborhood).
If you want all the freedom of condo living while maintaining basic hotel amenities, Aspen Square is a hybrid with your name on it. Book the Fireplace Studio, starting at just over $200/night and you get a fully-equipped kitchen, with sitting and dining areas abutting a private balcony—all at the foot of Aspen Mountain. It comfortably holds up to four people, all just a few blocks from the heart of town. And you’ll still have access to a 24-hour front desk, concierge services and a fitness center. Step into the heated pool amidst the property’s garden courtyard and enjoy that beautiful Aspen weather any time of year.