When it opened in 1889, the Jerome lured New York City socialites and European aristocrats with its mix of rough-and-tumble mountain swagger and “modern” amenities (plumbing and electricity). In December 2012, the 94-room property emerged from a five-month renovation overseen by designer Todd-Avery Lenahan. The original front desk remains, and the tile floors have patterns inspired by Ute Indian weavings. The new lobby bar, the Living Room, serves craft cocktails amid mounted deer heads, mining artifacts, and a framed antique American flag. The rooms and common spaces feel inspired by a Ralph Lauren men’s collection, with lots of plaid, leather, and rich fabrics. Even the elevators are lined with old leather belts. Minibars are stocked with complimentary snacks such as organic chocolate peanut butter cups, and downstairs, guests can dine in the Living Room, the signature restaurant Prospect, or the legendary J Bar, which once poured pints for 10th Mountain Division soldiers and Hunter S. Thompson. The new Jerome proves that a hotel can step into the future while completely respecting the past. This grande dame remains the epitome of mountain town luxury.
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The Hotel Jerome has a prime downtown location on East Main Street, walking distance from Aspen’s best restaurants, shops, and the Silver Queen gondola. In summer, no one does July 4 like Aspen, and the Jerome is the perfect base to watch the annual five-mile race and the festive parade. The hotel also hosts some of the most popular events during the annual Food & Wine Classic each June. The Rio Grande Trail is just a few blocks away and is perfect for running and biking. Just off the trail, guests can pay tribute to a great American singer/songwriter at the John Denver Sanctuary.
Need to Know
Rooms: 94 rooms, including 15 suites. From $375. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. (but often flexible, depending on availability) Dining options: The Living Room feels like a friend’s super-stylish mountain cabin and offers breakfast as well as an all-day menu that includes cheese and charcuterie boards as well as heartier dishes like lobster Cobb salad and meatballs with polenta. The iconic J-Bar (a favorite of Hunter S. Thompson) is renowned for its JBurger, and food is served until 1 a.m. The hotel’s signature restaurant, Prospect, feels refined in just the right mountain town way, with oversize leather and plaid chairs, high ceilings, and farm-inspired artwork. The restaurant serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The menus change seasonally, but look out for the excellent Colorado lamb T-bones “caprese” and the grilled Colorado peaches with stracciatella, country ham, arugula, and aged balsamic. Picnic lunches can be arranged upon request. Spa and gym details: The basement-level Auberge Spa is tiny (just three treatment rooms), so call ahead to book treatments. The High Altitude Sports Recovery Massage is a must for hard-core skiers and bikers. A small fitness center offers yoga and Pilates classes, and guests also get free access to the neighboring Aspen Club & Spa.
Who’s it for: Anyone who appreciates history, fabulous design, and excellent service; travelers willing to splurge on comfort and location. Our favorite rooms: The Executive Suites have great views of Aspen, a wet bar in the suite, and corkboard walls in the bedroom. The long, custom-crafted, cream-colored couch that stretches across the living room is perfect for lounging. Tipple of choice: Order an "Aspen Crud" in the J-Bar. This drink goes back to Prohibition, when the J-Bar was converted into a soda fountain. People who would ask for the "Aspen Crud" received the rich vanilla ice cream milkshake blended with a couple shots of bourbon.