The Little Nell
Mountain Luxe, $$$
The iconic ski-in/ski-out Aspen mountain resort The Little Nell celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year. Since its opening, the hotel has been a beloved second home for well-heeled guests from all over the world, welcoming families of all sizes, couples, friends, and locals — serving as a cozy living room of the former mining town that's still dripping in riches. The five-star hotel lives up to its high-altitude reputation, offering top-notch guest services, luxurious accommodations, the best après ski in town, a great restaurant, and a prestigious wine program, which has graduated more master sommeliers than any other resort in North America. Greeting Aspen Mountain at its back door and the city of Aspen at its front door, the Nell's unrivaled address is walking distance to Aspen's chicest shops, restaurants, live music venues, the Aspen Art Museum, summer walking trails, and winter snowshoeing trails. Whether you've been coming to Aspen for decades or it's your first time, walking through The Little Nell lobby will immediately give you a sense of belonging, excitement, and a champagne-fueled buzz.
Aspen has two peak seasons in winter and summer, when rates are higher. The off-season is between April and May. Click here for reservations. Or contact the Fathom Concierge and we can book your trip for you.
At a Glance
The Vibe: Contemporary yet timeless mountain glamour.
Standout Detail: The location as the only ski-in/ski-out resort in Aspen, nestled between the snow-capped mountains and the downtown action.
This Place Is Perfect For: Affluent first-timers who want top-notch service, skiers itching for first tracks on the mountain, and snow bunnies who love aprés.
Rooms: The Little Nell has 92 guest rooms, with eight junior suites recently renovated by Champalimaud Design and six specialty suites designed by Holly Hunt. Most rooms have a unique U-shaped floor plan, with balconies facing or viewing the surrounding Rocky Mountains. The furnishings are plush, the seating areas are comfy, and the winter white palette of cream, blues, and grays is offset by contemporary artwork. All rooms include gas log fireplaces, LCD TVs, spacious bathrooms with separate tubs and showers, heated marble floors, and luggage unpacking services.
On Site: In the winter season, an on-site ski concierge team tunes equipment, warms boots, stores equipment, and arranges rentals and ski lessons for kids and adults. In the summer, an adventure concierge team arranges off-road Jeep outings and stargazing tours, high country fly-fishing ventures, hikes, cycling trips, and climbing excursions. The outdoor heated pool and jacuzzi soothe sore muscles after skiing and hiking. The health center has steam and massage rooms, as well as a fully-equipped exercise room with treadmills, bicycles, and weight machines. If the sporting life is on the agenda, you won't want for much around here.
Food + Drink: Recognized as one of the best aprés ski lounges in the country, Chair 9 is the place to be seen in the winter after the lifts close on Aspen Mountain. DJs spin from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., tables offer VIP bottle service, and the lively crowd looks the part (cue the fur coats and champagne-soaked ski boots). In spring and summer, the aprés and hiking scene moves to Ajax Tavern, an indoor-outdoor restaurant with a sun-drenched mountainside patio and life-changing truffle fries. It's also a great spot if you're looking for a more laid-back winter aprés scene. Located in the hotel lobby and lined with cozy, leather-booth seating, restaurant Element 47, named for silver on the periodic table, serves an all-day menu of upscale American fare and a wine program with a reputation as rich as its 20,000-bottle wine cellar run by master sommelier Chris Dunaway. Calling all oenophiles: You can take work your way through that collection by arranging a customizable, six-course pairing dinner or casual, single-bottle tastings.
What to Do Nearby
For a town that is comprised of a total three square miles, Aspen offers a surprisingly endless playground for all types in all seasons. In the winter, take a break from the downhill slopes and rent a pair of cross-country skis for an afternoon lunch or dinner at Pine Creek Cookhouse, a magical lodge tucked away at the base of the Elk Mountains that serves Alpine cuisine. The Maroon Bells mountains — allegedly "the most photographed place in America" — are way less crowded in the winter and even more beautiful with snow-covered peaks, accessible by snowmobiles rented by T-Lazy-7 Ranch. For a day of self-care, have a facial or massage at newly-opened West End Med Spa and stretch with a yoga or Pilates class at O2 or Shakti Shala.
What the outdoors does to the body, The Aspen Institute does to the brain. Something is always happening: lectures, readings, fireside chats, as well as the Aspen Ideas Festival in the summer. The contemporary Aspen Art Museum is notable for its constantly rotating exhibitions, community programs, and events, as well as its impressive building designed by Shigeru Ban. Night owls who aren't planning on skiing first tracks in the morning should head for nightcaps at Hooch cocktail bar or the new W Aspen, the only rooftop bar in town.