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An Aspen escape is not a vacation to take lightly. The pristine mountain town is a leisurely oasis where visitors and locals alike know how to treat themselves. Its rich history is perfectly complimented by its local culture and a modern sense of luxury.
I recently visited Aspen for a weekend stay at the historic Hotel Jerome. Opened in 1889 by Jerome Wheeler, co-owner of Macy's at the time and a major investor in the city, the immaculate structure has a colorful past, from its conception during the city's early years to the Prohibition and the city's boom as a skiing destination. The storied establishment has hosted the likes of John Wayne, Jack Nicholson and Bill Murray.
Rocky is the lobby dog at Hotel Jerome in Aspen. (Photo by Glenn Garner)
As soon as you enter the hotel, its lavish interior feels like a visit to an untouched piece of history - although it was largely renovated after being bought by Auberge Resorts in 2011. The unique design features elements of local Native and miner culture with a Ralph Lauren sense of western chic.
No trip to the lobby is complete without greeting Rocky, the hotel dog. He's the most charming part of the incredibly friendly staff, whose black stetsons are a signature accessory. Don't forget to drink a shot of chloroxygen water, available at the front desk, to help acclimate to the elevation.
Get settled in your room, and take in its modern, yet warm decor. The immaculate bathroom comes stocked with Hermes products for guests who love to pamper themselves. It's almost enough to make you never want to leave your room.
The guest rooms at Hotel Jerome in Aspen come beautifully furnished. (Photo by Glenn Garner)
The guest bathrooms at Hotel Jerome in Aspen come stocked with Hermes bath products. (Photos by Glenn Garner)
No day at Hotel Jerome can start properly without brunch at Prospect. The opulent dining room in the lobby is decorated with a collection of rooster paintings by Mary Sprague, each one inspired by a different ex-lover of the artist. Take in some natural morning light, and enjoy their unique take on Avocado Toast or the Huevos Rancheros.
Follow it up with a walk around downtown or a tour from the Aspen Historical Society. Guides in period clothing will tell you all the city's most interesting stories. Part of the tour takes you right into the Hotel Jerome itself.
The historic Hotel Jerome sits at the edge of Downtown Aspen. (Photo by Glenn Garner)
Return to your room to get ready for the evening, which should start with a trip to the Living Room for a cocktail. The lounge just off the lobby is a perfect place to unwind with its inviting decor and furnishings.
Head across the lobby for dinner at J-Bar, a local favorite as old as the hotel itself. There's a drawer behind the bar covered with signatures from every bartender who's come and gone since its opening. Hunter S Thompson was known to write some of his most memorable works in this bar.
Start off with a shared plate of the Confit Lollipop Chicken Drumsticks. For the main course, you can't go wrong with the locally-renowned J-Bar Burger. Dessert gets interesting with the Aspen Crud, a bourbon-spiked vanilla milkshake created for patrons in the know during the Prohibition.
J Bar at Hotel Jerome in Aspen has been open since 1889. (Photo by Glenn Garner)
Wake up with a serene visit to the downstairs Aspen Spa. It's a perfect place to rejuvenate after a long flight or a hike through the beautiful Maroon Bells. Natural treatments are enriched with local mineral and botanicals.
Now under construction, the pool and courtyard will be Aspen's most popular summer oasis in 2018. Also set to open next summer is a speakeasy below the Aspen Times building, exclusive to guests of the hotel.
With over a century of devoted guests, Hotel Jerome remains a cultural hub for both locals and visitors to the beautiful mountain town. As the establishment continues to strive for the perfect visitor experience while preserving its rich, colorful history, it's the perfect place to enjoy an Aspen stay, come snow or shine.
For more information and to book your stay, visit Hotel Jerome or call (855) 331-7213.