The Little Nell Hotel personifies my belief that Aspen should be known not for its “glitz and glamor”, but for its “elegant and sporty”. Not that glitz and glamor doesn’t exist, it just doesn’t prevail.
Aspens top, five star, ski-in, ski-out hotel:
One only has to enjoy a stay at this hotel, as I did with my family this past Friday over Winterskol, to catch a glimpse of the elegant and sporty clientele that frequent Aspen’s top five star, ski-in, ski-out hotel.
As I love people watching, I had plans to take advantage of an early check-in and get there before the rest of my rogue (not so elegant) family showed up. The plans included writing by the heated outdoor pool with a chilled glass of white wine, wearing nothing but the hotel’s plush bathrobe and a bikini. Then I would stroll down to the school bus and pick up my excited boys and we would dive in…to everything.
In denial about the realities of my life I spent the day working and arrived at the hotel at 6:00pm with the van packed to the brim with kids, skis and bags in preparation for come what may on our mini-staycation.
Spilling out of the van the boys whizzed by the friendly dedication to service staff and through the sea of beautiful people, and their children and dogs, who were enjoying apres-ski in the casually sophisticated hotel lounge and the adjacent Terrace Lounge. If Aspen is suffering from a poor economy, it was not obvious.
Curious to see the $18 million room renovation designed by Holly Hunt, we raced upstairs to check out our rooms. Described as having a modern Aspen Aesthetic, the rooms were warm and inviting with exclusive Studio H furnishings, Belgian wool carpeting, closet barn doors, comfortable wide leather lounge chairs set in front of the stone-clad gas-burning fireplace. The bathroom had two sinks set in marble finished vanities in the bathroom, just in case you are one of those who doesn’t like to get too snuggly with your roommate.
The boys immediately found the three delectable snowmen cupcakes waiting for them as a thank you, but were only allowed to lick the heads made out of whipped cream and sprinkled in sugar, so as not to ruin their appetites. Tucker wanted to slip into his little bed made just for him, but dinner was awaiting and we hustled him out the door.
Our dinner reservations were at the Ajax Tavern, to enjoy a bistro menu. Located at the foot of Aspen Mountain, The Ajax Tavern focuses on using locally grown seasonal produce and is popular for its great out door dining and après-ski.
My husband and I shared oysters on the half shell and I had the lamb meatballs along with the Farro and Apple Salad with quinoa, kale and roasted squash. He enjoyed the Steak Frites as the boys devoured the mac and cheese with melted gruyere. We all shared the chocolate fondue for dessert with home-made marshmallows.
After dinner, our oldest son was dismayed to find that we had missed the dancing in the streets, but our walk around town amongst the twinkly lit trees was magical and sufficed. When we returned back to the hotel Axel quietly asked me to run him a warm bubble bath, hoping for his own spa. But soon he was crowded in with his two naked brothers, and like baby birds with their mouths opened for their mama to insert food, they extended their limbs and feet out to me to scrub with the provided loofah sponge and animal bath mitts and my husband studied the high-end bar. How surprising that he didn’t open the official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve. Instead, we put the boys to bed, slipped into the soft Italian Sferra sheets, and discussed our chaotic weekend that lay ahead, packed with freestyle competitions and travel to Steamboat Springs.
As we drifted off to sleep I thought of Kay Thompson’s book, Eloise, and tried to do the math to see if living in The Little Nell Hotel would be cheaper than our mortgage. As we didn’t much fit into the “Elegant and Sporty” description, would The Little Nell even have us? We decided that staycations were probably enough for the time being.
For information on how The Little Nell takes their commitment to the environment seriously, click here.
**Disclaimer: We received comp rooms and meals for this stay, but the opinions are still all my very own