St Regis Aspen Review
“There’s no place that feels more like Christmas than Aspen.”
This quote perfectly describes the beautiful town of Aspen, Colorado. Set high up in the mountains, it’s a skier’s paradise. Elizabeth and I arrived in Aspen for a 4 day, 3-night stay at the prestigious St Regis Aspen. A luxury hotel nestled right at the base of the beautiful Aspen mountain. A short 13-minute drive from the airport and within walking distance to all the best restaurants and shopping in town. As soon as you walk into the lobby of the St Regis Aspen you are greeted by a warm welcome with guests lounging by the fireplace and handsome dogs enjoying the plush carpet.
Room at the St Regis Aspen service with a view of the Christmas tree in the courtyard.
Our room at the St Regis Aspen held a view of the beautiful mountains and ski lifts, and the courtyard complete with firepits for roasting marshmallows, and a gigantic Christmas tree set up for the holidays. As soon as we arrived in our room we got settled, unpacked, and ordered room service before heading off to meet the group for drinks in the yurt village. A special set up at the EMP Winter House Restaurant which is a pop-up at the Chef’s Club restaurant at the St Regis Aspen. Each yurt is heated and uniquely decorated with vintage snow equipment, old black, and white photos. One of the yurts hosts an intimate bar – a bar that creates the best apple cider cocktail I’ve ever had in my life. Reservations are available to American Express card members for drinks and or dinner with dishes including fondue, fondue chinoise, and lamb roast.
After cocktails, our group walked less than a half mile to the new restaurant 7809. A sophisticated spot with a fun side hidden in a cozy basement. As they say, it’s both inclusive and exclusive all in one. Every appetizer from the menu arrived at our table and within minutes all was consumed. We shared bites of each other’s dishes. The top contenders ended up being the fried chicken and the gumbo.
Skiing with Elizabeth on Snowmass Mountain.
Day 2: The next morning Liz and I woke up to fresh snowfall. Luckily, Liz was able to rent goggles, ski pants, and a ski jacket through a skiwear rental company called Suit Yourself Aspen. They will come right to your hotel. We picked up our ski gear from the ski shop located right across the street from the hotel. (Tip: They serve hot chocolate and cookies in the evening, coffee and pastries in the morning. Make sure to try their peanut butter cookies if you get a chance. )
We headed out to Snowmass Mountain Resort, approximately 20 minutes from the hotel in ideal driving conditions. The St Regis Aspen is within walking distance to Ajax Mountain. However, the level of difficulty may be too much for some. Snowmass is a much easier mountain to ski, especially for beginners. We started out with a short lesson but quickly decided to go off on our own. The bottom of Snowmass mountain is a mix of colorful buildings. As you pass through on your skis, it feels as though you’re skiing through Disneyland with majestic snow-covered mountains all around you.
We came back to the St Regis Aspen from skiing, quickly changed, and met up with local Aspen photographer Alexis Ahrling. She knew all the best spots to shoot and most of the photography in this post is thanks to her creative eye.
The invitation to the St Regis Aspen Midnight Supper.
After the photo shoot, we had about an hour of downtime to edit and take a quick cat nap. (A 15 minute nap for me is always better than a cup of coffee.) Then it was off to the Midnight Supper; An intimate event for the guests and media of the hotel’s World Championship Polo Match being held the following day. Midnight Supper is a tradition started by Caroline Astor, a popular socialite and public figure in the early 20th century, and the mother of John Jacob Astor who founded the original St. Regis Hotel. Karen would tap guests on the shoulder and invite them to her private dinner party.
It was a very special event at the St Regis Aspen. The room was filled with rows and rows of tables with breathtaking tablescapes that made my heart leap. A series of delicious courses were served and the wine flowed. My only regret of the night was not bringing a dress worthy of such an occasion. It was one of the very few times I have ever felt underdressed. From now on, I will always include a semi-formal dress in my suitcase.
Miraculously somehow after a day of skiing, shooting photos, cocktail hour and a 5-course meal, we were able to find the energy to make it out to the Caribou Club. An exclusive members only club approximately a 5-minute walk from the St Regis Aspen. We tore up the dance floor with requests for 1990’s hip-hop. Yeah- that’s how we do it.
The next morning was a rough one due to lack of sleep. But as Liz would say, “You won’t remember the mornings you slept in. You’ll remember the nights and the mornings you went out and explored.” So we rolled out of bed at 5:30 am. Room service delivered with fresh coffee and eggs by 6 am and were outside the hotel in 8-degree weather to capture this beautiful shot you see above. How Lexi managed to stay outside while we ran back inside is beyond me. Must be an Aspen local talent.
We shot until 11 am. We even braved the 19-degree weather to get these shots in the heated pool. Shortly after we warmed ourselves up in the hot tub which also helped to heal our sore muscles from skiing the previous day.
At around noon we headed to the polo fields to watch the 6th annual World Snow Polo Championships hosted by the St Regis Aspen. We met St. Regis connoisseur and star polo player Nacho Figuera. As a polo player myself, watching the game from the comfort of the St Regis Aspen tent was the highlight of my trip! The tent was filled with a great crowd, lots of energy, fabulous winter fashion, and the most delicious food.
The St Regis Aspen brought over their head chef and a team of cooks and bartenders for the event. Tables lined with everything and anything your heart could desire. It reminded me of the polo events my dad used to take me to as a little girl. I wondered if he himself had ever been to Aspen and knew that he would have appreciated an event like this. It made me feel as though he was there with me enjoying this experience and that was really special. After the match, Elizabeth and I headed back to the St Regis Aspen to enjoy s’mores at the fire pit and the tradition of sabering in the plaza. Sabering is the art of uncorking a bottle of champagne with a saber and dates back to Napoleon times, when Russian troops would invade parts of France and often times, would occupy the local wineries. Napoleon and his armies would go liberate the wineries where they would receive bottles of champagne as tokens of their bravery. Caroline Astor would invite her friends over for extravagant parties and would use Napoleon’s sabering as a way to transition her parties from daytime to nighttime. She would have her butler do the sabering while saying Napoleon’s famous quote: in victory we deserve it and in defeat, we need it.”
That evening we laid low in our cozy room editing photos, watching movies, and ordering room service. Literally, everything we ever ordered off the menu was delicious. I would specifically like to recommend the mixed green salad with seasonal vegetables and shrimp. Absolutely divine.
Our last day in Aspen we enjoyed facials at the Remede Spa. It started out with a 60 minute rejuvenating facial and ended with 10 minutes in the oxygen room. A great way to cure a headache, get through a hangover, and simply relax and reset in the higher altitude.
An adorable pink house in downtown Aspen.
Other Places to Explore in Aspen:
It was a quick trip so a few places of interest and recommendations did not make this trip’s itinerary. However, they have already been added to my list of places to visit for next year’s trip:
Aspen Carriage and Sleigh: Take a 20 minute or an hour tour through town in a horse-drawn carriage.
Dog Sledding: Definitely on the bucket list for next year.
The Wild Fig Restaurant: Highly recommended Mediterranean restaurant in the heart of Aspen.
The Little Bird: vintage and consignment shop
Hanging out with a polo pony after the match. I’m always right at home with the horses.
I’ll be publishing a packing guide for what to pack for a trip to Aspen next week. In the meantime, here are a few more things to note about St Regis Aspen:
- The air is quite dry, especially with the use of heaters. Make sure to drink plenty of water. This also helps with any altitude sickness. The St. Regis offers humidifiers in each room.
- Remember that at higher elevations your tolerance to alcohol is lower.
- Always pack a little LBD or dress worthy of a semi-formal occasion
- Pack enough warm clothes. You can always take layers off. Not having enough warm clothes can ruin your vacation.
- United Airlines is very strict about overweight luggage. Invest in a luggage scale to avoid having to repack your bags multiple times as I did. Or just pay the extra $40 fee to check a second suitcase. The overweight baggage fee for your first bag is $100. (First checked back is $30.)
- Hand and toe warmers are lifesavers. I stuffed them in my boots and my gloves every day to help stay warm.
Shop my Aspen Looks:
Photos by Alexis Ahrling and myself