Aspen, Aspen, Aspen…
Late March 2021 I crossed Aspen, Colorado off my bucket list. As you know, I am Canadian. I spent 10 years in Vancouver and skied Whistler too many times to count. I also spent 18 months in Banff and Lake Louise, so I thought I experienced skiing at its best in North America until I spent the weekend in Aspen. You would also assume I am a decent skier too but it’s like golf, if you don’t practice, you aren’t great. It’s not like riding a bike… I stayed on the blue runs, but loved every single second of Aspen’s vibe and enjoyed its top-notch ski hills.
Don’t get me wrong, Whistler has my heart, but Aspen has a whole different feel. It’s full of energy and luxury for sure, but it has this “beyond cool factor” that I can’t explain. You will just have to experience it yourself. You do not need to rent a car. I suggest flying right into the small Aspen airport and shuttle to your hotel or VROB (it’s a 3.5 hour drive from Denver so check flying right into Aspen it is much better). The public transport around town and to the ski hills is efficient, free, and easy.
We stayed at The Little Nell and by far it is the best location in Aspen. The concierge team is the best in town. You just basically need to show up! The ski concierge team will put your equipment on a transport shuttle or private SUV and will take you to Snowmass, Highlands, or Buttermilk or you can ski right out the backdoor of the Little Nell and get right on the gondola to ski Apex/Aspen. They were also very helpful suggesting dining spots and walking trails.
If you like wide-open, all level skiing, head to Snowmass – I LOVED it! If you have a family with younger kids who are just learning, Buttermilk may be a better option. We skied two days: one at Snowmass and one at Apex. Apex is much narrower and is covered in black and double black diamond runs but you can find blue runs off the Apex chair. Both glorious, both different, both perfection! The sun was shining, there was powder, groomed runs, and excellent conditions.
You can rent ski gear at the W Hotel or at head to Four Mountain Sports. We were fitted for gear the day before we hit the slopes so you don’t have to waste time on a ski day. You want to get out as soon as possible when the hills open at 830 or 9am. Don’t miss a second; especially if you are only able to ski a couple days.
Spend one day walking the village, shopping, people watching during après ski, and walking or snowshoeing the trails. Some resorts have snowshoes you can borrow for the day.
Here are some of my favorites.
~Betula – Yum, yum, yum fun exciting atmosphere, phenomenal cuisine
~Steakhouse 316 – Fabulous, can’t go wrong here
~7908 – Don’t miss this hip joint for dinner and cocktails. It’s raucous, regal, exclusive, and it turns into a dance club at 11pm
~Clark’s Oyster Bar – Best seafood I’ve ever had and that includes eating coastal
~Poppycocks for breakfast – Fresh avocado toast and poached eggs, and the staff is the best!
~Ajax Tavern at the Little Nell – Upbeat music and the truffle fries… don’t get me started
~W Hotel – Hip, live DJ, and the best outdoor fireplace seating
~Wyld Blue – Just go, really, just go and experience this Montauk, NY staple, with its second location in Aspen
~Perch – Hidden gem, amazing curation of designers, and one-of-a-kind pieces and home décor
~Peri. A – Eclectic, unique and super chic
~Pitkin Country Dry Goods – The latest and best brands (think mini Neimans or Saks) but with a boutique feel
~Kemo Sabe or Nick Fouquet – One of a kind chic Aspen’s signature hat that you create on site!
I can’t say enough about Aspen, Aspen, Aspen…