ONE OF OUR FAVORITE SUITE HOTELS IN ASPEN: nestled on 40 sweeping acres and surrounded by the picturesque Rocky Mountains, boasts versatility through its award-winning cuisine, spacious guest suites, innovative meeting spaces and refreshing amenities.
It was Winterskol in Aspen and I was determined to gather together my family and partake in all of the events celebrating Aspen’s unique nordic lifestyle. The problem was, when one lives half an hour away, being present for everything is a difficult task to achieve. It was time to book another staycation. This time our hotel of choice was the Aspen Meadows Resort, A Dolce Hotels and Resorts property.
With close proximity to the center of town, Aspen Meadows Resort is quietly nestled into a forty acre oasis. On the grounds, mature Aspen trees stand tall, framing spectacular views of the Colorado Rockies, and all four of Aspen’s ski mountains.
Commissioned by Aspen Institute Founder, Walter Paepcke, the renowned Bauhaus architect and artist, Herbert Bayer, designed the resort in the early 1950’s, to create a place where the spirit could be moved by Aspen’s natural setting. And moving it is.
Having lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1990 a common question often arises, “Do you still get moved by the views?” The answer is a confounding yes. The views and the ability to be one with nature sustains our being and is precisely why most of us live here, and why others consistently return. During our stay at the Aspen Meadows, it was the forever changing light, casting its glow throughout the resort and over the mountains that became our soul shine, as the sound of snow crunched beneath our feet and the frost from our breath lingered before floating up to the sky.
As beautiful as a winter scene can be, the frigid temperatures do not bode well on little bodies and our visit to town for Winterskol was short and sweet, overtaken by the intense desire to soak our freezing limbs in the resort hot tub. We called the resort shuttle, in service 24/7, and they came to pick us up.
The shuttles, running to and from the airport and town, make it easy to park the car for the entire stay, for free, in the on-site parking garage. After all, mountain towns weren’t made for driving.
Another added luxury, the resort has free on-mountain overnight ski/snowboard storage and overnight intermountain transfers. Regardless of whether you rent or bring your own equipment the resort’s partnership with 4 Mountain Sports allows guests to have free equipment valet.
In the five minute shuttle ride to the resort, we listened as the driver, long time local and Vietnam Veteran, Doug Severance, told us stories of memories gone by. It is not often that one gets the chance to revisit the Aspen from the 80’s, a place far removed from the Aspen that we all know today.
At the resort, one and two bedrooms suites are available, all renovated in the winter of 2007. With a family of five, we were thankful for the 750 square feet of space that included separate living, working and sleeping areas (a two bedroom suite has 1,200 sq feet). Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows with views and a private patio or balcony. The suites also have High-Speed Wireless Internet, LCD flat screen televisions, a wet bar, under counter refrigerators (larger than your mini fridge), a microwave and a 2 line telephone. The 98 guest suites are spread out on the grounds with one main building housing the lobby, bar and restaurant, Plato’s, where the renowned James Beard nominee, Chef Todd Slossberg, creates contemporary, yet classical, comfort cuisine at its finest.
We were staying in room 104, located on the ground level, which was perfect for our Spanish Water Dog, Muki, who likes to go out frequently, being that she is more of a snow dog than a water dog (dogs are only an added $25 fee). If you do not bring your dog, I recommend staying on the top floors, for although all of the rooms are very light and have both North and South views, the upstairs rooms seem to be more quiet and private.
With enough room for friends to stop by for the NFL Playoffs, they came over to watch the game and the children congregated in the Hefner Lounge around the wood working fireplace for S’mores – complimentary Smores are served daily for Aprs Ski around 3:30pm and outside on the Davis Deck (weather permitting).
Other family activities on the grounds include snowshoeing, complimentary snow shoes are available with both adult and kids sizes, and there is also Anderson Park, with Bayers little earth mounds great for the tiny ones to sled down. There is also lots of space to build snowmen.
With the Broncos loss, spirits were dampened and so we loaded onto the on-site golf cart and were escorted to the newly remodeled, full service, health club. Submerging into the hot tub we soaked away our sorrows and with primo seats, we watched in awe as the fireworks burst through the steam, lighting up the ski trails of Aspen Mountain.
The evening ended by slipping into the softest, silkiest sheets, to sleep the most delicious slumber, in one of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept in. If that doesn’t lure you in, it should!
In the morning, eggs and sausage beckoned from across the walk at the light and airy Plato’s restaurant and we ate a fulfilling breakfast to the flickering flames of yet another fireplace (children twelve and under enjoy the buffet for free).
My husband and I then dropped off the kids at their Aspen Valley Ski Club programs and slipped back into those comfortable sheets, something that we rarely do when given the freedom of playing together outside.
Before checking out, I observed the Franz Berko prints and his black and white abstract photographs and imagined the resort grounds in the summer, bustling with leaders and guests attending the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Writer’s Association, and I made a mental note to return with my notebook, mountain bike and tennis racket, ready to enjoy the resort in the summer.
**All images, other than where stated, 2009-2013 Jillian Livingston
Disclaimer: Although we received complimentary meals and a room for this review, our opinions are our own.