The Little Nell exudes understated mountain-town luxury. This five-star property has Aspen’s most coveted location, set at the base of Aspen Mountain, just steps from the Silver Queen Gondola. Interior designer Holly Hunt refreshed the rooms with a stylish yet cozy new look in 2012. The Nell is all about options and offers a range of accommodations, including residences. All come with gas log fireplaces, and most have private balconies. The service is what sets the Nell apart. A team of ski concierges can help with everything from boot warming to tune-ups; in summer, the team connects guests with top guides for fly-fishing, mountain biking, and hiking. Ajax Tavern is the place to be for après-ski, and it’s the ultimate spot to people watch during the annual Aspen Food & Wine Classic. Even pets get VIP service and amenities such as puppy jet-lag kits and epicurean dog treats.
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Set at the base of Aspen Mountain, the Little Nell is steps from the Silver Queen Gondola. The hotel is home to two of the town’s best restaurants—Ajax Tavern and Element 47—but other great eats are walking distance away, including Matsuhisa and Ellina. For a quick jolt in the morning, walk over to Ink Coffee, a local favorite. For a dose of culture, catch a live show at Belly Up or take in art at the Aspen Art Museum. The concierge team at the Little Nell can direct guests to hikes such as the Aspen Vista Trail or the more challenging Ute Trail.
Need to Know
Rooms: 92 rooms and 26 residences. Rooms from $410 a night in summer, $525 a night in winter. Residences from $575 a night in summer, $900 in winter. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Element 47 is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is renowned for its incredible wine program overseen by master sommelier Carlton McCoy. Make dinner reservations in advance to enjoy the seasonal menu of dishes such as dry-aged duck breast with corn pudding and pickled corn or egg yolk ravioli. The bar offers a more casual menu. Ajax Tavern offers an all-day menu from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is an après hot spot for people watching with its location at the base of the Silver Queen Gondola. Don’t miss the killer truffle fries. For post-ski cocktails and live music, head to Chair 9. Spa and gym details: The health center has strength and cardio equipment plus steam rooms. Concierges can arrange Pilates or yoga at nearby studios. The spa features June Jacobs products and offers a variety of facials and massages. The high-altitude facial works miracles on dry skin.
Who’s it for: Foodies, skiers who love to see and be seen, families with a big budget. Our favorite room: The Paepcke Suite, named after Aspen Skiing Company founder Walter Paepcke, spans 2,500 square feet and has a private balcony with views of Aspen Mountain. The suite is decorated with incredible art and design pieces including Mark Albrecht bar stools, and it has two gas fireplaces. Good to know: The Little Nell concierges are some of the best in the business and can arrange everything from First Tracks access on the slopes to private fly-fishing float trips. In the winter, ask about snowcat après excursions up to Maroon Bells.