Just Back From: Aspen


Andrew Harper’s vice president of product and partnerships, Suzanne Pohl, recently went with her mom to Aspen, Colorado, for a five-day girls ski trip. This is her 21st time visiting the historic mountain town, so she knows it well. On this trip she stopped in at The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome and St. Regis Aspen.

Overall impressions: There’s no place I’d rather be than in the mountains, especially in a place like Aspen. I lived in Colorado ski towns for a few years and love every opportunity to return — in any season!

Favorite moment: Having the chance to travel with my mom again after being grounded and socially distanced this year.

Favorite meals: Ellina was tops this year, especially the artichoke-heart bruschetta with poached egg and truffles, along with a killer dirty martini and the best calamari I’ve ever had. Campo de Fiori is where we always come for our initial welcome-back-to-Aspen dinner. I typically sit at the bar and order the pappardelle Bolognese. Even though the restaurant was more subdued this year, the scene is always lively and fun. For the ambiance alone, I’d recommend the French Alpine Bistro, an adorable spot for crêpes, fondue and raclette.

Favorite museums: I usually spend all my time skiing and hiking, but during breaks from active pursuits, I’ve enjoyed the Aspen Art Museum, the Aspen Historical Society and the John Denver Sanctuary, which is a great place for meditation or a picnic.

Dining area at French Alpine Bistro
Dining area at French Alpine Bistro - French Alpine Bistro

Where or what to drink: Have a glass of wine at The Little Nell, where its newly reimagined bar has been transformed from Chair 9 to the Wine Bar, or grab a drink outside at the base of the mountain at Ajax Tavern. Alternatively, sip a single malt or craft cocktail at Hotel Jerome’s aptly named bar, the Living Room. It feels like you’re lounging in Ralph Lauren’s home and is the perfect place to get cozy and enjoy a quiet drink.

Mountains to explore: A ski trip to Aspen means you have the option to explore four different mountains, depending on your taste: Aspen mountain (aka Ajax), Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk. Free shuttles connect them, and your ski pass can be used at all four.

Day-trip suggestions: From June to September (depending on the snow), I recommend taking a scenic day hike from Crested Butte to Aspen via the Maroon Bells trail. It’s about a 10-mile hike and is as beautiful as it is iconic. It takes roughly six to eight hours to complete, but there is a service that will drive your car from the beginning of the trailhead to the end so your car is waiting for you when you finish the trail near Aspen. In July, the wildflowers are spectacular.

The Living Room at Hotel Jerome
The Living Room at Hotel Jerome - Hotel Jerome

Surprising fact or tidbit: Nonstop flights to Aspen this year (from major gateways) have been, at times, a third of the typical price. It’s one of the easiest mountain towns to fly to, with numerous nonstops, and the town of Aspen is just a 10-minute drive from the airport.

Brought back souvenir: For me, it was a new pair of ski pants. But Aspen is a great shopping town for everything, not only ski gear.

What to pack: Although most ski towns stay quite casual, and the same will suffice here, you can also step it up to any level of expression you wish. Many are here to see and be seen, but most dress casually chic.

Insider’s tip: Checking your skis and boots at the base of Ajax each night with Incline Sports is such a convenient indulgence. You can go straight from the slopes to your après-ski responsibilities. (Note: There are some limitations to this service this year due to COVID-19.)

Anything else? The Remède Spa at the St. Regis Aspen is a real asset, and the hotel’s outdoor courtyard/pool pavilion is a perfect setting for an evening hot tub under the stars.

By Andrew Harper Staff Guest Contributor

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