A Family Stay at The Limelight Hotel
Every spring, the Lilac trees infuse the air with that deliciously sweet scent of roses mixed with milky almonds and perhaps a bit of clove, and the Cherry Blossom trees splash the landscape with bursts of pinks and white. On these days I dream of mountain biking as I carve through heaps of paper that need organizing, and I attack computer problems that have annoyed me all year. Somehow, I manage to forget every year that time does not slow down in the spring but that the pace picks up with end of the year outdoor ed trips and lacrosse tournaments every weekend leaving less time to pack in the play before school gets out for the summer.
Ready to burst open like the buds on the trees, I felt the need arising for a staycation. With the Aspen Lacrosse Shootout coming to town I checked us into The Limelight Hotel, a family and dog-friendly favorite boutique hotel in Aspen.
The last time we stayed at The Limelight was back in 2010 when it was called The Limelight Lodge, a name created by the Paas family who bought the Limelight Bar in 1962 and eventually turned it into the lodge, the first in Aspen to install televisions, telephones, air conditioning and refrigerators into the guestrooms. It was also the town’s first pet-friendly hotel.
In my article, I lamented that the 126-room hotel was to soon be bought by the Aspen Skiing Company. I loved the family aspect of the hotel and hoped it wouldn’t become too corporate.
Rest assured, the hotel is still efficiently run and retains its laid back demeanor. The difference now is that there are waiters ready to serve you at the pool with drinks and pizza made in the on-site pizza oven and the decor is more contemporary in the lobby where you can hang out with the doors open to the outside, and play board games or sink into over-stuffed lounge chairs, or lime green wrap-around sofas and become one with the scenery on the roof-top terraces or the outside lounge.
Entering the hotel I approached the front desk with trepidation. I had forgotten to tell them that not only were we packing the room with our three boys, but we also had our wolf in sheep’s clothing, our Spanish Water Dog, Muki.
Since the hotel was full they had to do a little bit of shuffling to get us into a room that was dog specific but they couldn’t have been more gracious, making it clear that dogs were very loved and welcome at the hotel. The dogs, and their owners, made for good conversation as they passed by resembling Rod Stewart, The Beatles and even Beyonce.
In the morning, since the nearby Wagner Park was closed in preparation for the Food and Wine Classic to be held in Aspen, June 15-17, I headed directly over for a hike up Aspen Mountain with Muki. The Limelight is in a great location where everything is accessible by foot.
The mountain was so beautiful in the early morning crisp, sunny light I could have hiked forever but not wanting to miss precious family time, Muki and I ran down, passing families hiking straight uphill in flip-flops as they sipped out of their Starbucks coffee cups, their children racing ahead.
In the afternoons we made friends as we hung out at the heated pool and the two hot tubs. Visiting with Lacrosse families from Vail and Eagle, and with other locals who were having their own staycation, I realized that had I the time to hang out for a while I would have to start a new, anonymous blog. But instead of going deeper and possibly getting myself into trouble by being unable to resist telling you the stories, I chose to walk with my boys in the early evening light around the outskirts of Aspen and revisit my favorite trails that I stumbled home on when I lived in the Hunter Creek Condos, in my pre-family days…or, a more apropos description would be, my “Single life in Aspen debauchery days “.
Although I live twenty minutes down the highway, it was so nice to hang out at The Limelight Hotel and not have to drive anywhere and I made the decision to make this an annual tradition at this time of year, only, next time round I’m requesting the Penthouse Suite with over 1,300 square feet of space and I’ll be sure to have some of you over for dinner. Sound like a plan?
**For party ideas, or just gathering together with good friends, check out their package deals.
***During the winter, a three-night stay may include 4 free lift tickets, complimentary ski/snowboard guided tours, and always highly coveted: First Tracks on the hill.
** Disclaimer: Although we may have received complimentary rooms, all of my opinions are my own.