Particular Travel Guide: Aspen, Colorado

Since my teenage years, Aspen has held a special place in my heart. The breathtaking scenery, delicious food, and welcoming locals make it an unforgettable destination. Each visit with my family feels like coming home, especially with the added bonus of reconnecting with my childhood best friend and enjoying endless laughter over glasses of wine.

I highly recommend experiencing Aspen during the winter months, as it truly (and literally) shines in the snow. This guide is tailored to the snowy season, but even if you're more inclined toward warm vacations, I assure you there's something here for everyone.

Where to Stay

While Aspen may be a quaint ski town, it features some of the best hotels, both large and small IMO. Of course, there are condos, vacation rentals, and additional hotels in neighboring towns like Snowmass, but here is a roundup of my favorite hotels.
The Little Nell – The location doesn't get better than this. It's at the base of AJAX (Aspen Mountain, for those who don't know!) It is 5-star all the way. The concierge team is beyond, and if they can't get you a dinner reservation at the hottest place, well, then no one can. The rooms are spacious and have been redone to elegant mountain modern. This year, the spa underwent a complete renovation and added facials by Barbara Sturm - my mom raved about them. One of the best parts of this hotel is the lobby lounge area. It's first come, first serve, even if you are staying in the hotel, so get there early and snag your table to be seen! The hot chocolate and truffle fries are a must. If you have the budget to splurge, this is the place to stay.

The Hotel Jerome
- This is part of the Auberge Resorts and plays into the cowboy mountain vibe. The décor is super eclectic but totally fits its surroundings. The rooms are each super unique, and the bar is the must-stop for a hand-crafted cocktail. I recently booked the curling experience for my kids, and they loved it. You curl while you sip champagne, nosh on some truffled grilled cheese, and watch your kids have some winter fun.

– The MOLLIE is the newest hotel to Aspen. It went through a complete renovation, or, should I say, demolition and rebuild with new branding, and a name update from Molly Gibson to just MOLLIE. This super cool modern yet vintage boutique hotel opened in December 2023. It's comprised of suites and regular rooms with cute names like Cozy King and Smuggler Rooms. The minibars and bathroom products have all been expertly curated with brands you won’t find anywhere else. The lobby is the spot to be where you can dine for breakfast, lunch, apres and dinner. The pasties and coffee in the morning hit the spot, and the breakfast sandwich is always my go-to! The menu is modern American feel-good fare. The rooftop terrace of the hotel is the place to grab light bites and cocktails while looking out to the mountain tops. Also, the oversized jacuzzi is the best place to rest your post-ski muscles. IMO this is the place to stay if you want something that feels like home!

The St. Regis – We used to stay here often several years ago, but the service has gone down drastically, while the prices remain unchanged. The rooms and hotel spaces need upgrading and remodeling. It's very expensive but I do not think it's worth it.

Little Nell Residences – These are all privately owned residences right on Aspen Mountain. They are mostly modern in décor. I loved staying here when my kids were little because each residence has a full kitchen plus room service options. There is no full-service restaurant attached, but they do offer an incredible small buffet breakfast spread, a lunch spread, and an apres spread, so you are never without something. They have a small kids' game room, and the front desk team is always eager to help with any reservations. It's pricey but, again, worth it if you have a larger group or family with kids.
Particular Travel Guide: Aspen, Colorado - The Particulars
Particular Travel Guide: Aspen, Colorado - The Particulars

Where To Eat & Drink

If there's one thing Aspen is not short of, it's restaurant options for all price ranges. Not to mention, it has some of the best food from around the world. Here is my list:
White House Tavern – If you love Hillstone Group, then you will love White House Tavern. It has some of their familiar favorites, like the fried chicken sandwich, but also new and exciting options. Their margaritas are some of my favorites, too. It is first come, first serve, but the bar is a great spot to pop into and grab a quick lunch.

Meat and Cheese—This deli is the spot to grab a quick bite and some incredible cheese and meat, no pun intended. If you need to make a killer charcuterie board, head here.

AJAX Tavern – Found at the base of AJAX Mountain and conveniently connected to the Little Nell Hotel. My go-to order? Truffle fries and a glass of white wine – a timeless combo, IMO. But here's the best part: it's not just a restaurant, it's a massive après-ski scene, complete with a DJ most days of the week. Just a heads up: they frown upon dancing on the chairs/tables (trust me, I learned that the hard way). Be sure to make reservations in advance to secure your spot!

The Big Wrap – We love this quick-serve spot for, you guessed it, wraps. They are fresh and hit the spot. I just ordering ahead to skip the lunch lines - it can get super busy.

CP Burger – Three words: shredded kale salad. I know, I know, "Salad at a burger joint?" But trust me, it's a match made in heaven when paired with a classic cheeseburger, tater tots, and an Oreo shake. My mouth is watering... Plus, there's a skating rink to keep the kids entertained. And here's a fun twist: instead of asking for your name when you order, they assign you a celebrity name. So keep an eye on your ticket – who knows, you might just be dining as Beyoncé next time!
Cache Cache – This is an institution in Aspen, and you must make reservations well in advance. The menu is super classic: think fresh fish, foie gras, and short ribs. The cocktails and wine list are out of this world.

Casa Tua –This classic Italian restaurant is filled with gorgeous black and white photos and feels rustic yet modern. The pasta and bread are made fresh daily. A great spot for families and groups of friends. The top is a membership club, so this is the time to find your friend who is a member and head up with them.

Catch Steak—Yes, this is the same restaurant group as Catch Seafood. Their steak offerings are large and extensive, so it is another great spot to go with friends. We got the Wagyu tasting, and wow - rich and delicious.

Matsuhisa – If you are in the mood for your classic Nobu dinner, head to Matsuhisa. You will find all your classic Nobu dishes and more in a busy, bustling, loud environment.

Campo d’ Angelo – This classic Italian is always on my list. My go to order is the buttermilk salad, fettucine Bolognese and parmigiana veal. My mouth is watering again.....

Monarch Steakhouse – Super classic steakhouse located next to the Limelight Hotel. I love the tableside Caesar and the simple steak.

Steakhouse 316- Another great classic steakhouse.Tthink lobster mac and cheese, rib eye, and seafood tower.

Ellina – This Italian-American restaurant has something for everyone, from artichoke heart burrata to a taco section to chicken Milanese.

Betula – Aspen is filled with Italian and steakhouses, so this French Pan-American menu is a nice change. There are many crudo choices as a well-rounded menu of fish and meat.
Going Out
Sterling- If you are looking for a late-night party, check out this basement spot. You can get bottle service, dance on couches (without getting yelled at…..), and listen to pumping music. It's so much fun!

Caribou Club - This is another hot spot and institution, but a member has to put your name down on the list, so get socializing! z
Particular Travel Guide: Aspen, Colorado - The Particulars
Particular Travel Guide: Aspen, Colorado - The Particulars

What To See & Do


Aspen has no shortage of shops, especially luxury boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, and more. While I enjoy popping-in into a designer shop, I also adore exploring the unique boutiques that Aspen has to offer. Here are some favorites:
Particular Travel Guide: Aspen, Colorado - The Particulars
Particular Travel Guide: Aspen, Colorado - The Particulars
O2 Aspen – O2 Aspen combines retail with wellness and beauty wrapped into one place. I come for the hot yoga and do some major athleisure shopping post-sweat. The owner carries all the brands I love, from Splits 59 to Beyond Yoga to everything in between. They recently launched a shop-in-shop with Knockout Beauty. This highly curated beauty shop has the best skincare and makeup products. Plus, you can book their signature knockout facial and get a list of products that are specifically for you.

MAX – This boutique is filled with some of the best designers. Think quiet luxury at its best. The Row, Celine, Isabel Marant, and many more.

Pitkin County Dry Goods – They have just about everything here, from denim and sweatsuits to cute furry hats and all the best ready-to-wear brands like Ulla Johnson, Agolde, EF Collection jewelry, and Golden Goose. They also have a great men’s section (great way to keep them distracted!

Performance Ski – This is the most luxurious ski shop, filled with its own brand of ski gear, Aztech, from outer to inner layers. It's expensive, but it's both technical and fashionable.