Aspen Mountain Lodging and Accommodations
Written by Greg and Heather Burke
Where to stay in Aspen? The world-renowned ski town for celebrities and expert skiers alike has skiing on four separate mountains, Aspen, Snowmass, Highlands and Buttermilk, there’s tons of terrain (5,500 acres altogether) and typically plenty of snow too. Downtown Aspen is where you want to stay if you like the vibrancy and authenticity of a cool western ski town – with Aspen’s legendary après ski, very high-end boutique shopping, Gorsuch, Prada, Gucci, Coach, and an avalanche of trendy Aspen restaurants. Aspen is one of the Top 10 Western Ski Towns for its ski scene and also for its luxury ski hotels. Aspen is home to some of the most posh ski hotels that are located just steps to the ski lifts, the Silver Queen gondola that whisks skiers up Aspen Mountain from the center of town.
Name dropping in Aspen is big, Paris Hilton, Maria Carey, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hahn all hang here… but you need a place to hang your hat on Aspen ski holiday. Aspen has so many luxury name hotels, Little Nell, St Regis Aspen, The Gant, Hotel Jerome, Sky Hotel, Hotel Aspen, St Moritz and Viceroy Snowmass.
We like The Limelight Hotel Aspen, right on Monarch Street in downtown Aspen, with a view of Aspen Mountain (Ajax to the locals) and a beautiful park and Aspen’s pedestrian mall right next door. The Limelight has a fascinating history in Aspen, but it’s very modern with a hip and happening vibe. From the moment you enter Limelight’s spacious lobby with a big fireplace, bar and picture windows overlooking town, you feel like you’ve arrive in the right place, and for less money than other 5 star Aspen hotels.
Everyone is super friendly from the front desk staff to the ski valet, and the nightly entertainers that provide music during après ski in the Lounge. The Limelight is also eco-friendly, pet and kid welcoming too. Limelight’s rooms are modern and bright with a clean alpine décor. Our suite had a great view of the outdoor heated pool and hot tubs, with a glimpse of Aspen Mountain beyond.
Every morning at the Limelight, a bountiful breakfast is served, complimentary to guests, with fresh baked goods, meats and cheese, smoked fish, bagels, a fruit, yogurt and granola bar, great fixings before a ski day at Aspen. You can walk the few blocks to the gondola at Aspen, or take the complimentary shuttle to Aspen, Snowmass, Highlands or Buttermilk, after grabbing your skis from the ski valet. Bonus, as a Limelight Hotel guest you can sign up for “First Tracks” at Aspen Mountain, no charge for this supreme privilege of boarding the Silver Queen gondola at 8:15 ahead of general opening and the public. We did this on our first powder morning and got two laps on gorgeous groomed snow with a few inches of light fluff on top – Aspen heaven.
After skiing Aspen all day, with a stop for at Bonnie’s for a mid-morning warm up, and lunch at Ajax Tavern at the base of the lifts, it's lovely to return to the Limelight to find folks at après ski, 3-7 daily, enjoying drink, pizza specials, listening to live music in the Lounge by the fireplace. Of course, we also walked into town, to see Aspen’s fine shops and have a drink at Aspen’s après ski hot spot 39-degrees at Sky Lodge, before dinner at the Red Onion – an Aspen institution.
The Limelight Hotel Aspen is a great place to stay in downtown Aspen for your Aspen ski trip, near the skis slopes and a short shuttle to ski Snowmass and Aspen Highlands. For a week skiing Aspen, you might consider a few nights in town Aspen and a few nights slope side up at Snowmass village (just 7-miles), at the sophisticated Viceroy Hotel.