Aspen Snowmass is a world-class ski resort in Colorado that’s on just about every skier and snowboarder’s bucket list. You’ll ski or ride on four mountains, all of which are unique, fun and challenging. Aspen Mountain (or Ajax to locals), Aspen Highlands with its legendary Highlands Bowl, Snowmass with its wide open groomers, and Buttermilk, which is perfect for beginners and intermediates. Beyond the slopes, however, Aspen is dotted with some of the most luxurious hotels that you’ll ever find in a ski town. It, plus the incredible food scene, and culture, are among Aspen’s showstoppers. Below, we breakdown the best resort hotels in Aspen.
Best resorts in Aspen
Hotel Jerome, an iconic part of the Aspen landscape since 1889 at the height of the town’s silver boom, is actually the only Aspen hotel to have survived the silver crash. Long before Aspen became a ski town, Hotel Jerome saw cowboys ride through its front doors and 10th Mountain Division soldiers at the bar after a day of training. You’ll find a mix of authentic upscale Western decor, along with contemporary luxuries, from a boutique spa to an outdoor pool and hot tubs to beautifully-outfitted suites. Dine in the Living Room and famous J-Bar, and enjoy dinner at Prospect. Other highlights include pick-up and drop-off at Aspen Airport, complimentary transportation into town, and a complimentary shuttle to all four ski mountains.
Many magazines, including Conde-Nast Traveler, have ranked the Hotel Jerome as one of the top hotels in America, and so while it may not have the name recognition as some of Aspen’s other famous hotels, it’s not to be missed.
The Little Nell, at the base of Aspen Mountain, is Aspen’s only five-star, five-diamond ski-in, ski-out hotel. This is the epitome of luxury, with amenities that include a health center with men’s and women’s locker rooms (each with steam and massage rooms), an outdoor heated pool and hot tub surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, complimentary mini bar, complimentary shuttle, ski concierge services, and even babysitting services for a fee. The Little Nell is so convenient, too, just steps form the Silver Queen Gondola.
All rooms have a unique floor plan, and gas log fireplaces, while most have a private balcony with views that may include Aspen Mountain, the Continental Divide, Durant and Spring Streets, the courtyard, and the pool. The Little Nell has two restaurants and three bars. What’s more, The Little Nell is dog-friendly and warmly welcomes your four-legged bestie.
The St. Regis Aspen Resort exudes elegance in downtown Aspen. Aspen’s mountains are just minutes from the hotel, and there’s nothing quote like strolling the historic streets of downtown lined with luxurious boutiques and fine dining restaurants. The Spa at St. Regis Aspen Resort is award-winning, and considered one of the world’s premiere hotel spas. Luxury rooms, suites, and residences are highlighted by features like 400-thread-count Frette linens, spacious marble bathrooms, and custom furnishings by Ralph Lauren. Need something? The St. Regis Butler Service is ready to assist 24 hours a day. Don’t forget to take advantage of the ski valet.
Additionally, The St. Regis is host to Aspen Food and Wine Classic each year. As such, it’s a culinary destination. Don’t miss the Velvet Buck and Mountain Social for dinner.
The Gant’s collection of upscale condos is located at the base of Aspen Mountain in a five-acre enclave with easy access to the slopes and historic downtown Aspen. The Gant features 140 individually decorated condos, all with full kitchens, living and dining areas, wood-burning fireplaces, and either a patio or balcony. You can choose from standard, deluxe or premier condos. The Gant’s condos range from one- to four bedrooms, meaning that couples, families, and small groups can all find something they like. Amenities include two heated outdoor pools, three hot tubs, complimentary parking and valet service, complimentary in-town shuttle and Aspen airport transfers, and grocery delivery. Full ski services are available at The Gant, including rentals, boot fitters, and overnight storage.
Annabelle Inn came to life in 1948 as the Christmas Inn, and was renamed in 2005 to the Annabelle Inn. However, don’t let the use of the term “inn” fool you; this isn’t your everyday ski town inn. Annabelle Inn, located on Main Street, has 35 guest rooms, each uniquely decorated with a luxurious feel. A complimentary breakfast is included each morning of your stay, while other perks include stunning views of Aspen Mountain and Red Mountain, ski storage, two outdoor jacuzzis, and the lounge where you can enjoy freshly-baked cookies each night by the fireplace. Just walk outside to catch a free shuttle to any of the four mountains.
Snowmass skiers and riders love the ski-in, ski-out Viceroy Hotel, the most luxurious hotel experience at Snowmass. Viceroy’s studio residences, suites and penthouses are all stylish with great views. All rooms have either full or convenience kitchens, though with the Viceroy’s great food options, you’ll want to explore beyond your hotel kitchen. Taste local and international flavors at an eclectic range of on-property restaurants, including the Toro Kitchen and Lounge, Nest Bar & Grill, and Café V. Don’t miss the Viceroy’s sprawling 7,000-square-foot spa, and outdoor pools. Viceroy Snowmass is also dog-friendly.
Limelight Aspen, located on Monarch Street with 126 guest rooms and suites, was recently renovated top to bottom. A mix of “chalet chic” and laid-back comfort come together at the hotel that’s a short walk from Aspen Mountain. Limelight’s lounge is a favorite for its wood-fired pizzas, après-ski specials and musicians from the local live music scene. A breakfast buffet is served daily. Limelight’s rooms and suites vary, but each room is outfitted with stunning views, a wet bar, and modern conveniences. A perk of some of the standard rooms is that they can be contiguous with an adjacent room for families or groups of friends. If you’re flying into and out of Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, the hotel will pick you up and drop you off.
Hotel Durant fits more of the homey, boutique category of lodging. So while it’s not what you may picture in a ski resort hotel, you shouldn’t sleep on it, especially considering that it’s more reasonably priced than many of Aspen’s hotels. Hotel Durant’s 19 guest rooms have custom furnishings and modern essentials, and is therefore a great option for those who plan to do a lot of skiing and want a hotel that serves as more of a base. We recommend splurging for one of the balcony rooms with views of the mountains. Guests enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast in the morning and are greeted with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies when returning from a day on the slopes. During the ski season, complimentary après-ski featuring wine and cheese is served daily from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Take advantage of the hot tub and lobby fireplace, too.
Like the Hotel Durant, The Residence Hotel fits more of the boutique category, but on an even smaller scale. The Residence has just seven individually designed suites, yet each one has a stately interior and extraordinary design features, like European antiques and museum-quality artwork that you won’t just find at any resort hotel. For a real splurge, stay in the 1,700-square-foot penthouse suite featuring two lavish bedrooms and bathrooms, Persian carpets, a 200-year-old neo-classical painting that covers the ceiling, and views of Aspen, Smuggler, and Red Mountain. The Residence Hotel is located in the Aspen Block, and within walking distance of restaurant row and the Silver Queen Gondola at the base of Aspen Mountain.
The Marriott-owned W Aspen is located mountainside at Aspen Mountain, making it one of the few alpine getaways of the W chain. W Aspen boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center, while the Wet Deck is what the W refers to as Aspen’s “biggest outdoor scene,” featuring a rooftop pool, hot tub, multiple fire pits, and 360-degree views of the mountains. W Aspen has 88 guest rooms, 4 suites and a couple “wow suites,” all of which offer modern takes on Ute patterns and furniture inspired by the ‘70s pleasure palaces in Aspen. Interiors have the cozy feel of Swiss chalet architecture.
The Aspen Mountain Residences, as the name presumes, is less of a traditional resort hotel and more of a community of luxury condos, home to more than 50 fractional units. As its website describes it, these are vacation rental residences offering the comforts of home complimented by hotel-like amenities. And the amenities are grand, including an outdoor pool and two outdoor hot tubs, an outdoor fire pit, fitness center, ski valet, equipment rental shop, valet parking, concierge, airport shuttle, in-town shuttle service, and more. All one, two, and three-bedroom residences are fully equipped with full kitchens, living and dining areas, fireplaces, an entertainment system, and either a balcony or patio. The Aspen Mountain Residences are particularly great for families and larger groups, since the larger residences can sleep up to eight.
The Aspen Mountain Residences just completed a lobby remodel, and rooms are being fully remodeled later in 2023.
While many of Aspen’s top hotels are located in the heart of town, Aspen Meadows Resort is more of a secluded retreat. Aspen Meadows Resort is set on 40 stunning acres along the Roaring Fork River in Aspen’s historic west end. Aspen Meadows’ recently renovated guest suites, inspired by classic Bauhaus design and decor, are designed with living, work, and sleeping areas to accommodate every type of traveler. In-suite amenities include pillow-top mattresses, a queen size pull-out sofa sleeper, wet bar, Nespresso coffee makers, and either a private patio or balcony in most guest suites.
Aspen Meadows Resort is described as a Bauhaus-inspired “total work of art,” with incredible outdoor sculptures and beautiful art dotting the grounds. In 2022 it opened the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies, a 7,000-square-foot museum-grade art exhibition space that preserves the legacy of Herbert Bayer, who designed the property. Finally, don’t miss the seasonal ingredients and locally-inspired dishes served at Plato’s Restaurant, the resort’s stunning restaurant with equally stunning mountain views. Aspen Meadows Resort runs eco-friendly electric shuttle buses to/from Downtown Aspen, as well as to/from the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.
Where do celebrities stay in Aspen?
You can bet that when celebrities are staying in Aspen, they’re often staying at the most luxurious hotels in Aspen. The Little Nell is Aspen’s only 5-star, 5-diamond hotel, and a favorite among those who have the money to spend on a 5-star hotel and experience. The St. Regis Aspen Resort is also a 5-star luxury hotel experience. These are the types of resorts you aren’t just going to find in any ski town. Ultimately, the question of the best resorts in Aspen comes down to preference.
Which is better, Vail or Aspen?
When it comes to America’s best ski resorts, it doesn’t get much better than Vail and Aspen. The question of best ski towns though is always subjective, and deciding between Aspen and Vail is no exception. Generally speaking, there are a lot of similarities. They’re both world-class, luxurious ski destinations, and both receive around 300 inches of snowfall each season. However, Aspen has more mountains, higher elevation, and greater vertical drop. Both Aspen and Vail have incredible hotels, restaurants, and après-ski, so you want be left wanting in either town. Nonetheless, travelers enjoy Vail because of its Bavarian-inspired village. Our recommendation: Spend a few days in both Aspen and Vail to experience each ski destination.
Which Aspen mountain is better?
What makes skiing in Aspen so extraordinary is its four distinct mountains, each with their own characteristics. Aspen Mountain, where it all began, is the classic and most convenient choice. Snowmass is massive, with more than 3,000 acres of skiing and the highest vertical in America. Buttermilk is known for playing host to the Winter X Games and being a great mountain for beginners, while Aspen Highlands is known for the legendary Highland Bowl that draws expert skiers and snowboarders.
What is the best month to visit Aspen?
If you’re a skier and want fresh snow, then December to February is your best bet to visit Aspen. To be on the safe side, we recommend visiting in January or February, when fresh snow is more likely. If you’re traveling on more of a budget, and aren’t after powder days on the ski slopes, then mid-spring and fall are a great time to visit. However, you won’t go wrong visiting Aspen anytime of year.