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Take the classic luxury mountain chalet experience, throw in some libertine 70s vibes a la Ziggy Stardust, and add a dash of contemporary architecture. The result: W Aspen, the iconic destination’s first new luxury hotel in 25 years.
Opened in late August, the 88-room property, which also contains 11 residences, is located at the base of Aspen Mountain in downtown Aspen, Colo. The hotel highlights the classic W Hotels’ brand pillars — music, fashion, design and fuel — while also showcasing the area’s mining history and Rocky Mountain lifestyle.
To wit, the property’s exterior features the long, sloping rooflines of a ski chalet, while the lobby features rustic wood furnishings accented by a colorful mural wall, a swirling-blue carpet pattern, and a backlit wall of terrariums depicting seasonal local activities such as hiking, biking, skiing and snowboarding.
Settling in for my multiday stay in early September wasn’t difficult, as staff bedecked in sleek cowboy gear whisked away my bags before I could protest carrying anything myself, and the concierge handed me a glass of fruit-infused water and encouraged me to experience The Living Room and its outdoor area before I tackled unpacking my luggage.
Just one breath of fresh Aspen air will have any sea-level dweller feeling high-society in no time, but W Aspen manifests a sense of accessibility and playfulness not always found in moneyed mountain towns. Throughout the hotel, cheeky artwork is complemented with Bauhaus touches; psychedelic colors and decor display modern takes on Ute patterns (the Ute people are Colorado’s oldest tribe); and references to silver mining dot the furnishings and lighting fixtures. There’s even a suspended DJ booth fashioned after the largest silver nugget discovered in Aspen.
In the retro Living Room lounge, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, I took the concierge’s sage advice and ordered a glass of Sancerre, nestled into some cushions on the sprawling outdoor terrace, and soaked in the Colorado sunshine and views of the changing yellow-gold-orange leaves of nearby Aspen trees.
W Aspen’s other on-site dining option is 39°, an underground cocktail bar and grotto that pays homage to Aspen’s Red Light District legacy. There’s also in-room dining available, as well as W’s acclaimed Whatever/Whenever service, which promises clients it will bring the “best of Aspen to your door,” whether that’s late-night pizza or a pair of running shoes.
And speaking of running, the hotel features a 1,100-square-foot gym with the standard equipment expected, as well as kettlebells and Peloton bikes.
Once I’d had my fill of the funky public spaces, I relished feeling like an old-timey prospector as I moseyed down the hallways, which resemble the corridors of a mine shaft. The brand’s signature range of accommodations — Wonderful, Fabulous, Spectacular, Wow and Extreme Wow — showcase bold pops of blues and oranges against a taupe palette and metallic furnishings.
My 425-square-foot Wonderful guestroom provided more than enough space for me to relax after a day of running around downtown, along with amenities such as bathrobes, a minifridge and well-stocked minibar, a coffeemaker, Wi-Fi access and easy-to-reach outlets and USB ports. A brightly lit, modernistic bathroom — complete with a large rain shower, expansive counterspace and Bliss amenities — was an excellent get-ready spot for each night out
And “out” is where W Aspen wants its guests to be, whether they’re hitting the slopes in winter (the property features ski-in/ski-out access), hiking Smuggler Mountain in summer, taking in the works at Aspen Art Museum or dancing the night away at Bootsy Bellows nightclub. If clients want to shop, hear live music, golf, eat incredible food or get into nature, W Aspen is located close to the action.
But the property is also a hot spot of its own making. Its 8,000-square-foot rooftop Wet Deck — which is open to the public, honoring the spirit of the former Sky Hotel before it, which also left its rooftop open to non-guests — is no doubt poised to become one of Aspen’s best social hubs. It’s certainly an ideal spot to unwind, as I did one evening during an event after-party, cocktail in hand, totally blissed out as the sunset cast everything in a brilliant glow.
Along with the Wet Deck bar, there’s a DJ booth, a heated pool and a hot tub, as well as couches, cabanas and fire pits aplenty for taking in the 360-degree views.
Down to every detail, W Aspen pairs the best of both worlds: the frenetic energy and hip style of an urban metropolis, along with the sanctuary and luxury of a mountain retreat. It perfectly embodies the sentiment “Work hard, play hard” — and so in Aspen, it fits right in.
The DetailsW Aspenwww.marriott.com