W Aspen is one of the country’s most fashionable and stylish ski hotels. Perched at the base of one of the resort’s bustling ski slopes, this property offers convenient access to the ski lift as well city-center accessibility to Aspen’s entertaining downtown. Whether you’re a ski bunny, an apres-ski aficionado or Marriott Bonvoy fan, W Aspen has plenty of promise and possibility for the perfect Colorado mountain vacation.
To learn more about what makes this the spot to see and be seen for the young and young at heart, here are five reasons why W Aspen should be on your vacation to do list.
Much like a Swiss chalet (the hotel is very similar to the W Verbier in Switzerland), this mountain lodge is a beacon of style. Forget the rustic décor here. From the moment the front door team swings open the doors, you’re surrounded in a bastion of cool colors. Unlike the city’s other big-name hotels that lean toward classical style (St. Regis and The Little Nell among them), this property swings the other way.
Colorful graffiti-style art showcases local history and culture along the wall while sleek lounge-style seating fills the small lobby and climbs the stairway to the second-floor restaurant and bar. Instead of a crackling fireplace, you’re greeted with thumping music and friendly, young staff pouring Prosecco for arrivals at reception.
The hallways are decked out in dark wood and dim lighting, and they are quite similar to what you might find in a Colorado mine. In fact, the stairway at the entrance is lovingly known as the “mine shaft.” That similar theme carries throughout the public areas of the hotel with even the colorful carpet meant to show the area landscape’s colorful topography. But, once you open the guest room doors, expect the most contemporary rooms on this side of the mountain.
Fashion and style are key to the W brand, and especially at W Aspen. This winter, a Cynthia Rowley pop-up store is drawing locals and other visitors to the hotel for some of her designer skiwear in a recent partnership with Roxy and Quiksilver.
Speaking of the rooms, these are rather unique in style and décor. The building’s layout means there are a host of different categories for the 88 rooms including some with four bunk beds, perfect for families, bachelorette parties and everything in between. The plush duvets and thick pillows on the beds provide the perfect antidote after a day on the mountain (or by the fireplace).
Like other Ws, the categories have some entertaining names. Wonderful rooms are the entry-level room type, and not all of these have a view. Some face the street and have bunk beds. The next step up are the Spectacular rooms, which come in king or paired queen configurations. The Fabulous rooms are, well, fabulous with more living room space and the option between street and mountain views.
All the modern touches are in place from refrigerators to flat-screen TVs that sync up with your own personal devices. Any room with an electric fireplace is worth the upgrade, and several rooms have a split-level configuration with two beds and living space. The unique configuration is great for friends traveling together.
Bathrooms are stocked with high-quality toiletries, oversized towels, robes, slippers and excellent lighting behind enormous mirrors. Some bathrooms are open-plan to the guest rooms while others have natural light from windows.
If you’re looking to splurge, consider the Wow or Extreme Wow suites, which take things up a considerable notch with beautiful living areas, conversation-starting decor and plenty of quirky W accents (bean bag chairs and funky lighting among them). Another popular option here are the 11 Sky Residences, which are more like apartments with multiple bedrooms, large living areas, kitchens and terraces. These also have access to a private sky deck with its own whirlpool, and some of the residence bathrooms have steam shower options, which are refreshing after a day on the slopes. Families and couples traveling together will appreciate having residential facilities (including laundry machines) at their fingertips.
With so many excellent choices in downtown Aspen worth trying, it’s hard to convince yourself to dine in-house. But, you should.
With one main restaurant and lounge, the menu rotates throughout the day with some tasty meals. Breakfast features a range of healthy dishes including omelets made to order, protein smoothies and heaping bowls of ripe berries. Top Marriott Bonvoy elite members can choose free breakfast as one of their onsite benefits.
Later in the day, the menu switches to salads, burgers and light bites. You can dine in the lounge, enjoy a bite on then rooftop or order up food in the outdoor igloo. Dinner continues the same theme of creative cuisine. Noteworthy favorites include the Eden Bowl with its colorful blend of vegetables and grains. Hearty appetizers or the yuzu and mirin tiger prawns are also crowd pleasers. The food and beverage team works to meet a high bar set by other restaurants in town, and they succeed quite well.
Do make time to walk around town and try some of the city’s hot dining options. Aspen has quite the foodie scene with celebrated eateries like Bosq, a tasting menu restaurant with the option for wine pairings. You might think you’re in London or Hong Kong with the beautiful presentation and attention to detail. The foraged ingredients on the menu are all from the region.
Other regional favorites include Clark’s Aspen, known citywide for its oysters, and supper club 7908 where the “elevated comfort food” menu impresses. Walking through town, you’ll discover high-end dining and shopping on every block.
The après ski
The party vibe of W Aspen, and most W hotels in general, is in full swing here. Starting in the late afternoon through evening, a DJ booth in the lounge kicks things up a notch. Guests sip tasty cocktails and a long list of international wines and local craft beer. The shuffleboard table in the main lounge encourages lingering, but many guests head to the fire pit outside.
Between now and April 11, W Aspen has a special pop-up apres-ski experience, “Select Aperitivo: Select Slopeside.” You’ll only find this in one of three locations (the others being Viceroy in Snowmass and Urban Cowboy’s The Lodge in upstate New York). The Select Spritz cocktail, the Original Venetian Spritz, is available by the fireside or in the lounge. Created in 1920 in Venice, this classical Venetian aperitif rivals other well-known cocktails like the Aperol Spritz. It refreshes with its botanical and well-balanced bittersweet flavors.
The recipe includes 30 different botanicals. Bartenders mix the red liqueur with Prosecco and garnish with an olive to create the signature Select Spritz. Live music and Instagram photo stations are also part of the appeal so come dressed for the occasion. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with this easy-to-drink Select Aperitivo cocktail and begin making them at home all year-round.
The daily resort fee covers a long list of included perks with your stay. This includes bottled water in the room as well as coffee, fresh fruit and scented water in the lobby. In the modern fitness center, you’ll find the latest equipment including Peloton machines and free weights. There are also eco-friendly bottles of water, ear buds, towels and apples.
BMW vehicles whisk guests around town and to and from the airport without charge. This represents a substantial benefit for those not renting cars.
On the rooftop is perhaps the most stunning deck in the city. With a heated pool and whirlpool, the majestic mountains surround you on the Wet Deck. Guests will love the heated closets with towels. There’s also a staffed bar that shakes and stirs cocktails (playfully dubbed “liquid courage”). The lounge area with fire pits offers a light bites menu. This area is open to the public.
Members staying in the residences have their own panoramic deck area with lounge chairs and a whirlpool. Surprisingly, however, the hotel lacks a spa, but the Remede Spa at sibling St. Regis is just a few blocks away. Without a doubt, the W Aspen is a see-and-be-seen resort in one of America’s most glamorous mountain towns.