Aspen Travel Guide – Best Places to Visit and Eat
Ah, Aspen. A place where the mountains are pristine, the scene is lively from day to night, and the beer does indeed flow like wine, especially après-ski. Whether you hit the slopes or not, it doesn’t matter in the sumptuous resort tucked away high in the Rockies, because there’s plenty to do otherwise: post fireside at The Little Nell with a glass of wine in hand, dine at the award-winning restaurant restaurants (just be sure to make a reservation well in advance) and visit lively art exhibits—Andy Warhol: Lives to The Aspen Art Museum recently nabbed The attention of Kendall Jenner. Here’s what else not to miss.
Aspen Art Museum: Andy Warhol: Lives
Even diehard fans of the ubiquitous but elusive artist could learn a thing or two from this traveling exhibition, which kicked off at London’s Tate Modern. Andy Warhol: Lives focuses on the lesser-known details of Warhol’s life, like how he came to embrace his queer identity and defy convention in art and advertising.
Chanel pop-up store
While there’s no shortage of shopping in downtown Aspen, the new two-story Chanel boutique is a must-see, even with a line at the end of the block. With interiors that pay homage to Coco Chanel’s apartment at 31 rue Cambon (think: white and beige with black and gold accents), you’ll covet everything from wool tweed sofas to gloves and goggles. .
A far cry from your average rental store, ASPENX, conveniently located at the base of Aspen Mountain (aka Ajax), has all: designer skis (from the retailer’s limited-edition collaboration with Prada), brand new gear, pastries and coffee to take away whenever you want. A true luxury experience.
For a quick and satisfying meal after a day on the mountain, head to Ajax Tavern, a stone’s throw from the Silver Queen Gondola. Offering bistro fare with a laid-back atmosphere (casual winter boots and sweaters are perfectly fine here), you’ll be indoors and out and very full. Order the lamb bolognese with a side of people watching.
The snow lodge
The team behind The Surf Lodge in Montauk is bringing its cast of spinning, hard-to-enter DJs out west with The Snow Lodge, a new restaurant concept with a seasonal menu inside the St. Regis. Besides the after-dinner vibe in the Red Room, the artist-in-residence program is well worth a look – a recent installation by multi-hyphenated artist Heart Evangelista includes a series of painted designer bags, including Birkins.
Field of Fiori
Don’t let its location on the ground floor of Mill Street Mall fool you: if you want good Italian in Aspen, Campo de Fiori is your best bet. One of the less demanding restaurants in town but nonetheless delicious, the dishes do not disappoint, especially the generous portion of frutti di mare. No frills, no fuss.
Snow Beach is straight out of a Gray Malin photograph, literally. Inspired by the artist’s signature aerial shots, taken everywhere from Miami to the Mediterranean coast, the runway-side venue perched atop Ajax offers sweeping views, cabanas and even bottle service. It’s an experience just waiting to be Instagrammed.
The Little Nell Wine Bar
Wine lovers take note: Little Nell’s world-renowned wine program now has a new home. It’s a solid choice for those who want to kick back and relax over happy hour, though later in the night the vinyl DJ booth and champagne trunk are in full force.
If you manage to land an invite to Caribou, Aspen’s premier private members-only club, you’d be remiss not to try it. Before or after dining, grab a cocktail by the fire in the Great Room, an ultra-luxurious alpine lodge that looks straight out of Twin peaks-and savor the fact that you’re seated in one of the city’s most exclusive haunts.
The creme de la creme of resorts, The Little Nell is not only the first five-star, five-diamond hotel in Aspen, it offers ski-to-door access, a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, Three restaurants, and hospitality second to none (truffles at turndown service? We don’t mind if we do!). It’s no surprise that Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Justin Bieber and Paris Hilton are all regulars.
The Limelight Hotel Aspen
The Limelight, which recently underwent a six-month renovation, is a great place to book if you want a central location, modern amenities, spacious bedrooms, a lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a very impressive (and free) breakfast. And let’s be true, who is not it?
In addition to its stunning views of Ajax, this ski season W Aspen has partnered with Select Aperitivo on the Select Slopeside pop-up, so guests can enjoy rounds of spritzes and live music by the fireplace at their way. A bit of Italy in Aspen, why not?