A Staycation at W Aspen on a Snowy Spring Day - Aspen Real Life


A Staycation at W Aspen on a Snowy Spring Day

Just recently I had a staycation at W Aspen during the off-season. It was the perfect hotel to relax and spend time with my husband and friends over my birthday.

Ask any local how they feel about spring in Aspen, and they’ll snicker at the inside joke that everyone leaves town as soon as the mountains close and the mud comes. My birthday falls in May and I can tell you that Aspen is a truly spectacular place to live, just not so much in the spring, unless you are a writer or a hermit. This is why I usually leave town to party with strangers on my birthday. This year though, I was ready to enjoy the empty streets, so empty that one may see an occasional tumbleweed blowing across the road. I also wanted to be in a place where everyone who remained knew my name. I was ready to turn up the energy and party like a rockstar with the locals and enjoy a staycation at the W Aspen, a Marriott Bonvoy®. Oh, and, I was turning 60.

Birthday Gifts from the W

Whether I’m 60 or 20, I will always do a belly flop onto the bed and kick my legs behind me while resting my chin in my hands, but this time I paused for reflection and stared out the window at the snow falling over Ajax, soaking it all in; the life I have created, the views of Ajax outside my window, the chocolates and flourless chocolate cake waiting for me to gobble down (I’ll just workout harder), the big creamy hoodie stating what’s real and good in the world, “MORE POWDER DAYS,” and the fruit plate.

What also caught my eye were the notecards left by my bed, comically beckoning me to pick up a pen and start writing. I began with the “Flip the Script” card, that took up quite a few cards. I wasn’t ready for the “Stroke of Genius” card so I skipped that one and went on to, “Things to Remember Not to Forget,” that was an important one. I then headed down for lunch and a glass of champagne at 39 Degrees to begin the celebrations.

Best Aspen Hotel Locations

The location of W Aspen couldn’t be better. With a path practically right outside the front door that leads directly to the gondola, and a local’s favorite, The Ute Trail, just a short walk up the street.

Described as “punishingly steep” by AllTrails.com, if you do choose to hike the Ute Trail, don’t curse me out while your hiking up this steep uphill trail. Be prepared. Bring oxygen, water, and your raincoat. You can stop for the views at Ute Rock and hike down if you have good knees, or head to the top for lunch, a beer or bottle of vino, and Bluegrass at The Sundeck. If you are one of those overly ambitious types, hike up early enough for the outside yoga, you’re going to need it! Don’t worry, you’ll be able to take the gondy down (check the music schedule, sign up for the yoga, and make sure that the gondy is open first!)

W Aspen Interior Design

Designed by Rowland + Broughton, a local architecture firm, the “Chalet Architectural Design” of W Aspen incorporates the history of Aspen in a retro and funky manner. You’ll see mining elements, including a large silver nugget DJ booth to represent the largest silver nugget that was discovered, and then stolen, in a railroad heist. You’ll also be taken back to the red light district of the 1870’s & 1880’s. If you think Aspen is wild now imagine it when it was rougher and rowdier with miners and prospectors getting restless, think brothels, saloons, and gambling dens.

Topo map carpets and the Silver Nugget DJ Booth

“W Hotel’s first mountain escape in North America and the first new luxury Aspen hotel in 25 years, 126,000 square foot W Aspen and the Sky Residences at W Aspen builds on Aspen’s rich history and skiing heritage. Inspired by the infusion of a significant number of iconic ski chalets in the area in the 1940s-60s, R+B sought to design a modern interpretation of a traditional chalet. In addition to serving as architect in designing the modern chalet, our team played an essential role in the entitlements process and community outreach.”

Rowland + Broughton website

W Aspen is a great example of how the true spirit of a property can be maintained while elevating the experiences of the next generation of travelers and residents. The iconic chalet style was first introduced to Aspen in the 1940s and, over time, the style has been slowly eroded. The new design as a modern-day translation and renaissance of the chalet architectural style, with its sloping roofs, natural high-quality materials, many articulations and public accessed rooftop, weaves into the fabric of Aspen and contributes to the base of the mountain. The variety of amenities and thoughtfully designed public spaces at W Aspen will provide a venue and place to stay that encourages youth and fun. We are proud to be a part of such an amazing project. – John Rowland, AIA, Principal


W Aspen has four WOW suites and one Extreme WOW, paying homage to Ute Native Americans who originally inhabited the valley and can be seen in the prints and patterns displayed throughout the room. Had we gotten this room, we only would have gotten into trouble so perhaps it’s a good thing we didn’t.

W Aspen WET® Deck

W Aspen WET® Deck

I’ve thrown many an Aspen Business Connect party up on the WET® Deck, and some of my favorite moments were when the weather was lousy. Getting into the elements makes for better connecting when there are fire pits to keep you warm.

It’s also fun to work on the WET® Deck. I mean, talk about an office with a view! Even on vacation, staying connected to work can be a necessity, especially when you do what I do. Lounge poolside and dip into the heated pool and hot tub for distraction rather than checking your Instagram feed.


39 Degrees

We also enjoyed the most delicious dinner at 39 Degrees, W Aspen’s signature restaurant, Chef Alexis Torris from Dubai offers a menu of retro-inspired dishes with a modern twist. The indoor and outdoor dining spaces provide the perfect setting to enjoy $8 cocktails and sliders, making it a must-visit during your stay. I will be dreaming about those fish tacos for months to come. Fernanda took such good care of us and I liked that she shook things up by serving my birthday dessert before the entrees came. Instagram Post.

My stay at W Aspen was nothing short of extraordinary. The hotel’s perfect blend of luxury, adventure, and impeccable service made it a standout destination in Aspen. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo retreat, W Aspen offers an unforgettable experience that caters to every type of traveler. I’m thinking that perhaps I should explore all of the Marriott Bonvoy® hotels around the world, what do you think?

Informative Staff


Locals and visitors alike can enjoy weekly programming, including wellness and sound sessions. The Sunday Pool Party runs from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., providing a full day of fun and relaxation.

Below are a few activations coming up this summer at W beginning with their summer Kick-Off Weekend June 7-9. These are open to locals/ visitors and almost all are complimentary. Visit their website to learn more.

Locals Happy Hour
May 1-June 5
2-6 PM, The Rooftop
9-10 PM, 39 Degrees

Townie by Aperol: starting June 7th. Daily from 11 am to 6:00 pm (closed Monday and Tuesday). This is the W Aspen Trailer park in front of the hotel for light and refreshing drinks (Miraval Rose wine, Champagne Lallier, Aperol Spritz…)

Sun Chasers – Rooftop by Patron Starting June 8th: Daily from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. Cocktails, light bites and unmatched views. DJ every Sunday

After-Dark by Casamigos at Grotto starting June 8th (once a month: June 8th, July 13th, August 17th) from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am. DJ + Live performance and Late-night taco cart. Grotto is the resort Lounge / night club

Magic Mic by Grotto: every Saturday starting June 28th. Show your vocal skills at Karaoke. 9:00 pm onward

39 Degrees Live: Live Jazz, blues, Spanish guitare every Friday starting June 28th from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Open Mic Night by 39 Degrees. Starting June 12th, every Wednesday. First come first sing. 9:00 pm to 12:00 am

Rooftop Yoga
Every Saturday (starting June 8), 10-11 AM
The Rooftop

Full Moon Yoga
Friday, June 21, 8-11 PM
The Rooftop

Floating Sound Bath
Saturday, June 22, 7-8PM
The Rooftop

BMW X7 + X5 Airport Shuttle

W Aspen BMW

From taking a spin in a BMW X7 + X5, storing your skis overnight, to ordering in-room dining at midnight, you will be living like an Aspen local and creating unforgettable moments.


Be careful, you may enjoy your stay so much at the W, that you may buy into The Sky Residences at W Aspen which includes access to exclusive, experiences on the WET® Deck.

The Sky Residences at W Aspen offers 11 W-branded hotel rooms and includes modern interpretations of Ute patterns, inspired by Aspen’s decadent “pleasure palaces” of the 70s. Each one is cozy, warm, designed after Swiss chalets and playfully marked with room plates evoking pop culture icon Bob Ross.


Thank you W Aspen for welcoming me, and my 25 friends, with open arms. We had such a good time on the WET® Deck, and swimming in the heated pool and hot tub as Ryan from the bar fed us and served us cocktails, that we promptly spilled. Thank you for staying charming Ryan!


Townie Trailor: For a refreshing break, visit the walk-up Aperol Spritzer station at the Townie Trailer outside W Aspen.

  • This media stay was hosted by W Aspen. All opinions and experiences shared are my own. Thank you to the W Aspen team for making this stay truly remarkable.

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