When you think about the best luxury ski hotels in the US, what are the first destinations that come to mind? Beaver Creek… Deer Valley… Of course. Aspen Snowmass has to be on that list, hands down. Depending on what you’re looking for, there is plenty to choose from, and all of these properties offer convenient ski access.
Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort
One thing to note about Aspen before diving into the luxury ski hotel scene. Lots of people think of “glitz and glam” when it comes to Aspen as a ski vacation destination. Sure, you have that and you have the people who spend more time planning their outfits than their ski lines. But then you have the local Aspen diehards who have been skiing there for 40 years. They are just SO passionate about the laidback lifestyle, the skiing, and simply enjoying life for what it is. They also know exactly when the sun is going to hit the Bingo Glades in the afternoon to make those turns super soft and enjoyable, even without a fresh dump of snow.
I lied. There’s one more important thing to note about Aspen when considering your luxury ski vacation. It’s called “Aspen Snowmass” for a reason. It’s actually one resort with four separate mountains that make it up. To get between the four mountains, you can either drive or take the super convenient (and free) bus system that runs regularly between them.
- You have Aspen Mountain (or “Ajax” as the locals call it), with the town of Aspen lying in its shadows. There is no beginner terrain here. I repeat, there is NO beginner terrain here. Only blue and black trails.
- To your immediate skier’s left, you have Aspen Highlands, the locals’ secret. This is where people come from around the world to hike the Highland Bowl. This is also where people dance on tables and spray champagne over lunch at Cloud Nine, giving skiers an authentic European Alpine vibe with no passports required (for Americans).
- Next is Buttermilk, which offers the perfect playground for kids and beginners to learn the basics before graduating to one of the surrounding mountains. Ironically, this is also where the world’s best freestylers come to compete yearly in the X Games.
- Finally, Snowmass is a beast. You have more terrain here than the other three mountains combined! What’s nice about Snowmass is while there is so much terrain, it’s also widely varied. Whether you are looking for steeps, glades, bumps, or groomers, you’ll find it here. This is also where you’ll find Snowmass Village and ski school (one of the best ski schools around).
Ok, so where should you stay? Well, it depends what you are looking for. We will talk about some of the best luxury ski hotels in Aspen and Snowmass, but let’s start with Aspen, where it all began…
The best luxury ski hotels in Aspen
This is Aspen’s only Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond, ski-in/ski-out property. This is one of the most modern and luxurious hotels in Aspen, and offers guests a very cozy, residential feel. When you say you are staying at “The Nell”, it turns heads.
Right at your fingertips, you have a plentiful selection of dining, après ski, and nightlife options. For dining, you have Ajax Tavern and Element 47, featuring local ingredients and creative preparations. The wine cellar at Element 47, featuring over 20,000 bottles of wine(!!) is a perennial nominee for the James Beard Most Outstanding Wine Program award. Then you have the newly renovated bar featuring DJs spinning vinyl records and a lounge-style ambiance, The Wine Bar (formerly Chair 9).
If you are looking for an even more residential feel and additional privacy, look no further than the Residences at The Little Nell. This property is located a few steps away from the hotel and has a similar feel and aesthetic. But, there are no restaurants or bars and it offers 2, 3, and 4-bedroom options for guests. What it lacks in bars and restaurants it makes up for in views from the rooftop and rooftop pool!
Located right next to The Little Nell, this modern day mountain chalet and member of the W Alpine Escapes collection is the only other true ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel in Aspen. Offering guests a combination of hotel rooms (some with double queen over queen bunk beds), suites, and residences, the W Aspen showcases the tried and true funk that the W brand is known for while embracing the spirit of Aspen.
The hotel itself offers amazing views of the mountain, and many of the accommodations have this view. But, bear in mind that some of the lower level rooms have very small windows and a view of the parking lot. That being said, guests staying in these rooms can easily venture to the rooftop WET Deck. Here, you’ll enjoy a front row view of Aspen Mountain, a heated pool, hot tub, fire pits, and food and beverage service.
Located about a 5-minute walk from the base of Aspen Mountain, the St. Regis welcomes guests with one of our favorite lobbies in Aspen. A warm mountain lodge feel with the elegant western touches you would expect of a St. Regis in the Rockies, complete with a cozy double sided fireplace, large leather couches and chairs, a welcoming lobby bar, and lots of natural light. When you walk in, you’ll feel a vibe that has life, but it’s sophisticated and not over the top.
Guestrooms and suites are nicely appointed with soft leather touches (couches, chairs, headboards) and stunning marble bathrooms, but the rooms are not quite as modern in aesthetic compared to The Little Nell or the W. The residences are a touch more modern, but still carry through that rustic mountain west feel that you experience throughout the rest of the property.
This is an Aspen OG (built in 1889), about a 10 minute walk from the base of Aspen Mountain. It has the most unique character out of any of the properties we will discuss in this article. While it was completely renovated in 2012 and has been well maintained since, it still holds a very true to form old western mining town aesthetic. You feel it immediately when you walk up to the front door and into the lobby. From the artwork dressing the walls, to the fireplace, to the huge couches, cozy chairs, and the light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. All of it! You feel transported back in time, but in an elevated, modern-day way.
This unique feel runs true for the rooms and suites. So, similar to the St. Regis, the decor is not as modern or contemporary as the likes of The Little Nell and the W. But it is luxurious, it is unique, and you’ll know you are in Aspen, that’s for sure.
Being part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, you can expect the highest level of personalized service and an excellent selection of food and drink on property. Our favorites:
- J-Bar, where you’ll belly up to craft beers, vintage-inspired cocktails, and some of Aspen’s best elevated bar food.
- Bad Harriet, one of the newest additions to Aspen’s nightlife scene. Playing homage to the wife of the hotel’s original proprietor, expect an intimate but vibrant atmosphere at this speakeasy style bar.
The best luxury ski hotels in Snowmass
The newest addition to the Limelight Hotels collection and second of its kind in the Aspen Snowmass area (the first being in Aspen), this property is one of the best all around family friendly luxury ski hotels out there. It’s located in the heart of Snowmass Village, with easy walking access to the slopes and one of the best ski schools around.
When you arrive on property, you feel like you’ve entered a sophisticated family friendly haven. You have multiple outdoor pools, an indoor climbing wall, and a wide open lobby featuring games for the kids and fireplaces and a bar for the adults. This way, kids and parents can play under one roof, but in distinctly separated areas. Snowmass Village continues to grow and add more offerings for all ages, including an outdoor ice skating rink, s’mores, dining, shopping, and entertainment.
Bonus: Viceroy Snowmass
For guests who don’t need all of the family friendly amenities of Limelight Snowmass, the Viceroy provides one of the best full service luxury hotel offerings in Snowmass. The property is ski-in/ski-out, but it is situated about a 5-minute walk from the heart of Snowmass Village. Guests can choose from residential accommodations ranging from studios to fully appointed 4-bedroom condos, all finished with the distinctive Viceroy style. Arguably the best dining option in Snowmass, TORO Kitchen & Lounge, is right onsite.
When considering your next luxury ski vacation, put Aspen Snowmass on your list. There is no shortage of luxury ski offers, from dining and experiences to terrain and ski school. And of course, 5-star luxury ski hotels.
There’s a lot of pressure on your precious time away, and it’s hard to be sure you’ve made the right choices and covered all of the details. Luxury ski travel with Journey Bound will put an end to that anxiety and make sure your time on the mountain is well spent.
Schedule a call today to discover a new level of luxury ski travel!