Drafting your winter travel itinerary for Aspen? Don’t allow perfectionism to distract you from living in the moment before—or during—your winter holiday: You don’t need to. Here’s a launchpad for how to embrace the best ski vacation in central Colorado. Now you can dance as you organize your bags, and order a glass of champagne on the flight to the valley. We’ll take care of the rest.
Day 1 – Arrive in Style
Freshen up in your room, unpack your wardrobe, and order a morning wake up. Capture an arrival photo on your patio or in the lobby. Head to Chair 9 at The Little Nell to celebrate your arrival: one of the best and award-winning après-ski lounges in the country. Aspen Mountain is home to eight chairlifts, so this watering hole became the resort’s ninth stop. Live music spins daily from the DJ’s turntable (3:30-7:30 p.m.) and football is always playing on gameday.
Relax with a libation then stroll for 10 minutes to The Wild Fig, a charming European brasserie-inspired restaurant with a menu inspired by French, Spanish, Italian, and Grecian cuisine. Begin with the Butcher Board sampler followed by the Fig Salad and the Steak Tartare. Cheers with a New Fashioned: cherry-infused Bourbon, Angostura Bitters, mandarin syrup, and orange twist served on the rock.
It’s only night one.
Day 2 – First Tracks
Start the morning off with a warm wakeup: Grab a shot of espresso or cup of coffee at Victoria’s Espresso Wine Bar & Gourmet Grazing (doors open at 7 a.m.). Don’t linger, though, because your dream is about to come true: first tracks on the mountain’s corduroy or powder. Head to The Little Nell Ski Concierge at 8 a.m. to upload Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola, before Aspen Mountain opens to the public.
Ski your morning’s heart out then stop to reboot with lunch at the Sundeck, where you’ll be enveloped by 360-degree views of heaven: the Elk Mountains and Aspen Valley. Be sure to visit the Lavazza Lounge with freshly brewed coffees by our baristas and specialty drinks from blended, frozen concoctions to espresso shots.
Enjoy a handful—or a boatload—of afternoon ski turns and then head down to the room to relax and transition to the evening’s decadence.
Stroll around Downtown Aspen and spontaneously select a location for dinner, or make a reservation for Maru: a local’s favorite spot with creative contemporary and traditional Japanese dishes. Order the Miso Soup and Seared Brussels sprouts to start. Choose your sushi roll by preference—they’re all delicious—or dive into a warm bowl of the House Made Ramen Colorado Short Rib.
Day 3 – New Skiing Experiences
It’s nearly impossible for skiers to feel satiated from the snowy hills. Wake up early to take turns on Aspen Mountain or head over to Aspen Highlands to explore a new area. If you choose the latter, make a lunch or ski après reservation at Cloud Nine Bistro, an iconic European-style cabin that serves classic fondue and apple strudel with views of the Maroon Bells.
Walk over to the Aspen Art Museum to explore its rotating contemporary exhibits. Or, visit one of Aspen’s countless other locations of fine arts such as the Harvey Meadows Gallery or Christopher Martin Gallery.
Finally, take a seat for dinner at element 47. Chef de Cuisine, Patrick Dunn, offers an innovative, farm to table menu, in a casually elegant space. With Master Sommelier, Carlton McCoy, to assist you in pairings, your pallet will be pleased.
Day 4 – Relaxation
Embrace a morning of luxury. Let the alarm clock go, call for room service, and then head to the spa—o2 Aspen—for a Pilates class, massage, and skin treatment: a package well-earned after soaking up the high-elevation elements for three days. In the afternoon, mosey around town without a timekeeper.
After the sunsets, head over to The Nell’s sister hotel for dinner at The Lounge—the menu is full of delicious Italian fare—and live music. Leave room: warm cookie-bake topped with salted caramel gelato is in line for desert.
Buona mattina and bon voyage! Before your journey home, begin the day with breakfast at element 47. The Nell provides luxury transport to your next destination.