You never forget your first time to Aspen. Mine was at the St Regis as a yet to be jaded ski and travel journalist over a decade ago.
Like most people with a pulse I knew Aspen to be infested with fur laden celebrities and the streets paved in Gucci gold. The Ralph Lauren down vest laid out for me as a gift on the St Regis king sized bed in my swanky room didn’t dim that view.
If this was Aspen then my inner Mary Millionaire (the one with the champagne tastes that my non millionaire bank account pays for) was feeling right at home.
Mary and I became obsessed on that first visit by the 15 000 square foot St Regis Remede spa when I should have been obsessed by the powder slopes. Instead I constantly found myself tucked under a blanket in front of a faux fire, attached to a tank of oxygen delivering the good stuff to my lungs through a discreet tube under my nose. This held both hangovers and altitude impacts at bay when I needed it the most, which was often.
That oxygen room still exists as part of the Remede Spa in the St Regis basement. A den of underground pampering iniquity to make even a Kardashian drool.
Here’s a local tip though – if you book a treatment, even a mini manicure you have access to the entire hydro water therapy rooms including steam, sauna, hot tub, relaxation room, oxygen room and platters of chocolate dipped house made cookies, fruit and nuts, herbal teas and champagne.
The hotel as I first knew it has undergone a $40 million redesign dedicated to the Gilded Age with the kind of in-room decor that will take a fresh dump of powder or a rip roaring party at Cloud 9 on Highlands to leave. Lucky (or not) for me I had an invitation to the latter for Australia Day and took my bags to the St Regis for the second time so I could make the second sitting of Cloud 9 to dance on tables in ski boots to INXS. As you do.
We can thank designer, Lauren Rottet, for creating the new nod to the past age of gilded travel within the four walls of the St Regis brand created by John Jacob Astor back in the day.
“When I design a hotel I create a script like a movie. In this case I imagined that the Astors sought to create a grand manor in Aspen that they would make their winter and summer retreat,” says Rottet in the official redesign press release about the 2011 redesign.
Enter the new guest rooms and dive onto a custom leather bed by Ralph Lauren (clearly better than the down vest from years back, though I can’t wear the bed down the street). Dog lovers will salivate over the montage of snow dogs framed up high above the leather bed head. Though if you love your dog that much you can book a dog friendly suite so Fido can have some Ralph loving too.
If you must work then Ralph has designed a desk for you. While the side tables, ottomans and fittings all nod to an art deco age with antique mirrored glass.
Continuing the theme to the bathing area where Gatsby would feel at home in the white marbled bathroom with freestanding tub and full height french doors separating the boudoir from the parlour. Light sensors mean the bathroom lights up at night should you find yourself stumbling from your bed towards the WC in search of relief. How thoughtful.
Turn down comes with complimentary bottled water to combat the dry mountain air and a humidifier to ensure skin stays hydrated and plump. If you want Butler Service then book a suite for a 24 hour Jeeves.
Skiers and boarders have access to the ski valet service complete with hot chocolates on call then come apres time you can sabre a bottle of champagne in the courtyard daily or down the Bloody Mary de jour (the BM cocktail was created by Ferdinand Petiot at the St Regis King Cole Bar and Lounge). I was too busy recovering from my Cloud 9 Australia Day party to consider either. Bad Rachael.
But I did consider the restaurant. Well, the Chefs Club by Food & Wine to be precise, a curated dining experience held at the hotel. But I only considered it for a moment before belting out another Men at Work song from the dance floor. Why fine dine when you can channel your inner bogan on Australia Day, right? Oh dear.
You, however, can enjoy the delights of Trencento Quindici Decano if you find yourself at the St Regis in Aspen. The hotel’s signature restaurant blends Italian and American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am afraid I was in my Ralph Lauren leather bed with two Advil and a litre of water by 8pm post Cloud 9.
Great location downtown spitting distance from the slopes and rooms to make you feel like an old school Hollywood goddess.
Quality doesn’t come cheap especially during Aspen peak season though we’d hate to quote a rate that goes out of date. Though despite the ski season you can still get deals for this five star hotel. Check their site regularly for packages.
SnowsBest was a hosted guest of the St Regis Aspen.