How to Spend a Weekend in Aspen

Come for the fresh new trails; stay for the superstar DJs



PHOTO: Rising Sun Photography.

Hero’s Chairlift
Aspen Mountain is growing. Not literally, but a new high-speed quad chairlift opened up 153 acres of new terrain this season. Called Hero’s, it marks the first significant expansion since 1985, adding 19 runs for the more dashing skier and daring snowboarder who crave an hourly dose of adrenaline. It extends Walsh’s, Hyrup’s, and Kristi’s ski runs, eliminating the need for arduous hikes back up, which makes the adventure that much easier on the legs and lungs. Hero also means you get breathtaking panoramas of the North Star Nature Preserve: Look for Independence Pass and the Roaring Fork River as you schuss your way down to town. aspensnowmass.com.

The Snow Lodge
What’s the best way to après after a long, hard day on the slopes? Partying with the world’s finest DJs, obviously. Now in its fifth season, The Snow Lodge — like its East Coast cousin, The Surf Lodge — is the place to dance and dine as the likes of Diplo take to the decks. This year, founder Jayma Cardoso has partnered with L.A.-based design firm Harbour, who have brought their signature coastal-modern aesthetic to the St. Regis courtyard, kitting out the yurts and VIP tables. Indoors, the louche and decadent Jade Room awaits with its velvet banquets, ostrich lamps, and the ceramic cheetahs on the DJ booth. Come for the Petrossian caviar and espresso martinis; stay for the truffle tortellini and tiramisu. And don’t miss Ibiza favorites Guy Gerber on February 18 and Black Coffee on March 24. thesnowlodge.com.

Madame Ushi
Follow the likes of snowboarder Shaun White and singer Justin Bieber to Madame Ushi, which is only in its second ski season. The exquisite hand-painted volcano mural provides the backdrop to an unforgettable Japanese culinary journey, mapped out by Nobu alumnus chef Jake Eaton. Each meticulously crafted dish tastes as good as it photographs, with Kurobuta ribs, Wagyu ramen, and tomahawk Katsu making ideal choices for winter. A sharing highlight is the Shabu-Shabu hot pot, served with five meat cuts of ultra-premium A5 Japanese beef. Wash it all down with cocktails such as the Winter Remedy, made with vodka and ginger beer, and the M-Ushi M-Ushi with tequila, blood orange, and chocolate bitters. Did we mention the nightclub? After dessert, head downstairs to Gala and dance until your legs give up. madameushiaspen.com.

PHOTO: Bjorn Bauer.

Bottega Veneta, Hermès, Stone Island
Bottega Veneta made its Aspen debut on East Hyman Avenue this season with a store decked out in snowy tones, display shelves evoking pines trees and rock-shaped seating covered in cozy bouclé. In conjunction with the opening, the brand has partnered with the Aspen Art Museum (AAM) on a series of events including the exhibition John Chamberlain: The Tighter They’re Wound, the Harder They Unravel, celebrating the sculptor known for his use of discarded automobile parts, and curated by California-based Swiss artist Urs Fischer. Meanwhile, Hermès opened its three-floor chalet-like store, taking design cues from the local landscape by using blue-gray Aspen stone and larch wood as a mise-en-scène for its 16 métiers, including women’s, men’s, and equestrian. And Stone Island has teamed up with Kith on a shared retail space housing its outdoorsy Marina collection, a store exclusive sure to be snapped up by both jet-setters and residents alike. bottegaveneta.com, hermes.com, kith.com.

PHOTO: Billal Baruk Taright.

Sant Ambroeus
Sant Ambroeus, the Milanese restaurant turned Manhattan institution, has opened a coffee bar in Aspen with its own adjoining restaurant on the way. At the helm is pastry chef Guido Mogni, who has spent two decades at Sant Ambroeus as it expands stateside. Serving breakfast bites such as panettone French toast to mouth-watering panini, it’s a perfect pitstop for any time day. A morning Montecarlo espresso with thick hot chocolate and an après-ski martini affogato are some musts on the coffee and cocktail menus. Designed by Los Angeles’ Giampiero Tagliaferri Studio, the sleek “Alpine Modern” bar sees vintage Italian classics such as Mario Bellini’s Le Bambole sofas alongside 1950s Carlo Ratti chairs and 1970s wall sconces. Operating year-round, it is a welcome addition to the culinary (and shopping) scene on Hyman Avenue. santambroeus.com/location-aspen.

The Spa at The Little Nell
At the base of Aspen Mountain, The Little Nell needs no introduction. Its new spa, however, is noteworthy for many reasons: It is ski-in/ski-out, which is a godsend after long days on the gondola; it has traditional and holistic treatments that help recover, rebalance, and replenish; and it has partnered with skincare experts such as Dr. Barbara Sturm and Seed to Skin Tuscany on products. Indeed, the focus here is as much about skincare as muscle repair. Plus all three treatment suites have an infrared sauna, and if you’re not planning to ski, there’s a state-of-the-art gym where you can shed those extra Aspen calories. thelittlenell.com.


Portions of this story originally appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of C Magazine.

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