The Limelight Lodge is conveniently located next to Wagner Park in Aspen and is an excellent choice when there is an event happening in town.
I picked up the boys from school on Friday and we headed on up to Aspen to stay at The Limelight Lodge.
The hotel was so conveniently located to town that we weren’t going to need a car and so we parked Vini-Man in the heated garage for the weekend and entered the lobby.
It almost felt like home with its light and spacious living room. I plopped my tired and worn out body down onto the comfortable couch in front of the stone fireplace and stared into the flames as the kids raced around like puppy dogs, exploring every niche. I reminded Thumper of what happened the last time we stayed at the hotel and told him to be careful around the pool.
We checked in and Thumper took Hootie-Hoo to race down the hallway and find the room on their own, apparently tweenagers do not need the navigational help of their parents. Hootie-Hoo was elated that he had carte blanche control over the elevator buttons since Feisty-One was staying by my side, happy to get my undivided attention for forty-eight hours.
The room was just as I had remembered from our previous stay, clean, contemporary and comfortable with big leather furniture and a kitchenette.
The boys raced to the window, look mommy we can see the pool and the hot tub, they exclaimed but what I was most excited about was the incredible view of Aspen Mountain that we would wake up to the next morning.
I was antsy to go down and check out the complimentary wine and cheese that was being served for happy hour from 4-6 in the lobby and so I left the boys happily in bed watching television. I told them that I would be back soon.
The Limelight Lodge was hosting Gay Ski Week. A huge annual event that was beginning on Sunday. Beautiful, well dressed men were filtering in to check into the hotel. The lobby was alive and bustling with guests mingling and chatting at the little cafe tables.
Weston Paas, the Food and Beverage Manager and the son of one of the current owners, Dale Paas, greeted me with a welcome smile, a glass of wine and fresh baked cookies. We spoke of the changes that were taking place within the hotel. I told him that what the locals find most appealing about the Limelight Lodge is not only the friendly atmosphere where children and pets are welcome but also that it has been family run since 1958.
He was hopeful that the family would still actively help to run the hotel once the contract closes and the Crown family, who owns the Aspen Ski Company, purchases the property.
I was feeling the pull to go back up to the room when a man with a thick New York accent introduced himself, “How ya doin’,” he asked me and proceeded to buy me a shot of Tuaca. He and his German girlfriend were visiting from Long Island. He had been a firefighter in Aspen for two years and wanted to stay but firefighters out here are all volunteer and he could not sustain that lifestyle.
I was deep in conversation when Thumper showed up at my side totally disappointed that I had taken so long to return to the room. I explained to him that one of the most intriguing aspects to travel is the people one meets. He was not interested.
Baddy had to stay late at work and so I left our drinks at the bar and the boys and I walked across the snowy field of Wagner park to join the crowd and try out the soups at the Soupskol competition.
Finally Baddy called us to come back to the hotel and go swimming, which is really all the children wanted to do, and so we ran back to the hotel, because we always have to run.
Throughout the day, guests had entered the elevator in their bathrobes with “to go” cups of wine in their hands. Baddy and I followed suit, slipping into the hotel’s incredibly soft bathrobes and descended to the pool.
I melted into the hot tub and stared at the stars while the boys launched cannonballs into the heated pool with Baddy. The pool was even warm enough for me and I joined them, playing their favorite dolphin game where they hold on and try not to drown me as I dive under water over and over again.
We took showers in our roomy bathroom and came out smelling like Sicilian blood red oranges from the provided Tarocco products and then we got into bed and watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox on the television.
When the movie was over Baddy and I reached across to each other to touch hands, smiling and secretly acknowledging that hotels may not hold the same sensuous and romantic allure as they did pre-children but it was still wonderful to all be together without the daily stress of bedtime and homework.
The next morning we fueled up on a complimentary Continental Breakfast of hard boiled eggs, deli meats, cheese and bagels while the kids gobbled up cereal, muffins and hot chocolate.
It was sad to check out and Hootie-Hoo repeatedly asked throughout the day if we could go back. I tried to convince him that although our hotel stay had ended we still had Winterskol to explore and that the fun was by no means over.
Business of the Year Award:
Limelight Lodge just won the Business of the Year award from the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and it is not difficult to understand why. It is a hotel that understands the value of appealing to the locals with its affordable rates and 126 rooms. It employs more than thirty-five locals and donates to all of the community and local charitable organizations.
I don’t know if the other hotels in Aspen can toot the same horn but I am determined to find out, I’ll let you know.
**Disclaimer, while it may be true that we received a complimentary room for this review, all views are my own.