St. Regis, Aspen

St. Regis hotels have a rich heritage dating back 100 years to the opening of the St. Regis in New York by the Astor family. Many of the early traditions remain; fresh flowers in the rooms, the English style butler service, afternoon tea and midnight suppers. Another tradition, started by John Jacob Astor has guests gather at 4:15 each day for the ceremonial champagne sabering to celebrate the transition from the day into night. St. Regis Aspen also celebrates the “Bloody Mary”, invented at the NY hotel, with the Bloody Mary Ritual where samples of the Downhilll Snapper are served from 11am-noon. I just love tradition!

Aspen is a beautiful, quaint village that charms in any season. Winter brings the jet set for skiing and other cold weather sports and summer offers the Food & Wine Classic, a myriad of warm weather activities and gorgeous weather.

Nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain between the two most popular ski lifts, the hotel is ideally located in reach of everything the town has to offer. Rich wood paneling, stone fireplaces, gorgeous fabrics and carpeting create the feel of a luxury hunting lodge. Views of the mountain from the hotel are breathtaking. A $40 million renovation in 2011 was completed in time for the 2011-2012 ski season. This is true luxury where design, service and accommodations create a wonderful sense of well-being.

There are 179 rooms and suites, 20 with fireplaces, yet the hotel has a small, intimate, boutique feel to it. Starting at 690 square feet, the rooms are huge by any standard and are decorated in warm grays with splashes of gold, green and red accents. Pillow top beds are covered in Pratesi linens with a down comforter and down pillows and a faux fur throw. A leather trimmed headboard and writing desk were designed by Ralph Lauren. Large gray marble baths feature a soaking tub, a rainforest shower and Remede bath amenities. Floor to ceiling windows that actually open afford great views of the mountain or the town. Antique oak floors with a dark stain are covered with an accent rug completing the luxurious mountain lodge feel.

The Shadow Mountain Lounge is a lively spot for cocktails and a light menu. Excellent selection of martinis, craft beers and wines by the glass. Comfortable seating around a granite fireplace with stunning mountain views and live jazz or piano make this a cozy spot for après ski or for a nightcap.

Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE at The St. Regis Aspen Resort, the flagship restaurant under the Chefs Club USA brand, brings the FOOD & WINE brand to life through their signature Best New Chefs awards platform honoring the country’s most promising up-and-coming chefs. Each year, FOOD & WINE selects from their coveted list of Best New Chefs to consult and curate new menu items in collaboration with the culinary team at the restaurant to create an epicurean experience beyond expectation.

FOOD & WINE Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle oversees the wine program, while Beverage Director Anthony Bohlinger creates the innovative cocktail program.

Trecento Quindici Decano serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a contemporary Italian/American style. Bold flavors, handmade pastas and artisan pizzas highlight the tasty fare.

Great effort has been made to anticipate guest needs and the hotel has succeeded on every level. The staff is friendly and helpful. There are excellent children’s and pet’s programs, a ski valet service, twice daily housekeeping, complimentary morning coffee and newspaper, complimentary Aspen airport transfers, 24 hour room service, business center and fitness center. They’ll even press two items of clothing upon arrival and each room is outfitted with a humidifier for that dry mountain air.

The only negative is that the hotel still charges $15 per day for wireless access when virtually no other hotel does. This is as much of a pet peeve for me as overpriced wine lists.

From $500 lower in Spring and Fall.

AAA Four Diamond Award
Get the “royal Aspen treatment” at this “ terrific” ski resort with an “amazing location” at the base of the mountain and “within walking distance to everything in town”; expect “excellence in every respect” from the “faultless service” and “luxurious” rooms to the “amazing amenities” that include a “sexy coed spa and grotto” and “live music in the bar” (“lots of jet-setter sightings”); although…..penny-pinchers pout over “absurd” rates, most say this one “has it all” ZAGAT

On the property you’ll find the luxurious 5,000-square-foot Remede spa with 15 treatment rooms, a heated outdoor swimming pool and three outdoor heated spas and a fitness center. Aspen Outfitting in the hotel can arrange fly fishing, clay target shooting, pistol shooting and bird hunting. Aspen Sports, also in the hotel, rents ski equipment and bikes.

Winter activities include, snowmobiling, snowshoe tours, winter fly fishing, ice skating and dog sledding. Summer activities include: tennis, fly fishing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, hiking, hot air ballooning, paragliding, clay target shooting, rock climbing and off road jeep tours. Hotel guests have golf privileges at the private Ironbridge Club.

Denver: 3 hours, 38 minutes
Grand Junction, CO: 2 hours, 21 minutes
Colorado Springs, CO: 3 hours, 47 minutes