Much of the skiing on Aspen Mountain is best suited to intermediate and advanced skiers. Snowmass, however, has runs for a range of skill levels, making it ideal for families and groups containing a wide range of skiing experience. Shuttles make Snowmass easily accessible from Aspen, a 20-minute drive away. But for many, it will make more sense to stay in Snowmass Village.
I felt skeptical when I reserved a suite at the Viceroy Snowmass, a 173-room resort at the base of the mountain, because the “village” surrounding it is only half-complete, the 2008 recession having brought development to a halt. However, the finished section is surprisingly attractive, and two mountainview restaurants have opened: the French bistro-inspired Ricard (managed by the Viceroy) and Bia Hoi, which serves upscale Asian street food.
We spent our time hiking among the aspens on the mountain and relaxing in the spa.
The ski-in/ski-out Viceroy Snowmass stands adjacent to the Assay Hill chairlift, which leads to the Elk Camp Gondola halfway up the mountain. Accommodations range from 375-square-foot studios to giant four-bedroom apartments. Our one-bedroom suite came with a full galley kitchen with a washer and dryer, a den with a sleeper sofa, a full guest bath, a living room with a gas fireplace and sleeper sofa, a master bedroom with a king bed, a master bath with a separate shower and soaking tub, and a balcony with somewhat limited views. Colorful abstract prints and cowhide throw pillows enlivened the otherwise simple contemporary décor. Public spaces at the resort display more flair. A cylindrical glass fireplace punctuates the aspen log-lined lobby; an antler chandelier centerpieces the relaxation lounge of the delightful spa; and plush cabanas and lime-green loungers flank the outdoor lap pool.
We spent our time hiking among the aspens on the mountain and relaxing in the spa, dining each evening in the resort’s beautifully designed Eight K restaurant. There, I especially enjoyed a perfectly cooked pork chop with savory-sweet spaghetti squash and cipollini onions. The more casual Nest pub also had many tasty options, including delectable Korean short rib tacos. We returned to our suite each night to enjoy glasses of red wine by the fire. On such occasions, we didn’t mind being outside of Aspen one bit.
AT A GLANCE
LIKE: The spacious accommodations; the ski-in/ski-out location; the dramatic spa.
DISLIKE: The restricted outlook from our balcony.
GOOD TO KNOW: Floors Six through Eight have the best mountain views; the resort is ideal for skiers, hikers and families who don’t mind being away from the restaurants and nightlife of Aspen.
Viceroy Snowmass 91 One-Bedroom Suite, $835; Two-Bedroom Suite, $1,420. 130 Wood Road, Snowmass Village, CO 81615. Tel. (970) 923-8000.
This article appeared in the December 2014 print edition of Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report under the headline “A Surprise in Snowmass.”