Old Rose is Bringing the (More Neighborly) Buzz Back to the Jane Hotel

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In what was probably the last great flameout of outré New York City nightlife, the Jane Hotel – specifically its opulently histrionic Lobby Bar – arrived on the scene in 2009 and sent the West Village neighbors into an amusing tizzy over all the all-hours fashionista partying. A good deal of it was by those left stranded by the looming demise of The Misshapes – that other last-great-NYC-flameout.

These days, despite the opening of a groovy rooftop bar in 2014, The Jane isn’t causing all that much trouble. And so into the void left by the dissolution of its Cafe Gitane eatery, comes the chic-but-charming, comfy-but-cultivated Old Rose restaurant.

From those purveyors of culinary-cool over at The Smile, it taps the trend of “light Italian” – though we’d specifically recommend the fried egg sandwich with mortadella for breakfast, burrata with house made sourdough for lunch, and clam pizzas for dinner. And like all the best Italian joints, it’s all kept super simple and very tasty.

But seriously, don’t come looking to tear it up – about as wild as it gets is negronis on tap. Which, to be honest, is totally fine with us.

 

Weekend in Stockholm: An Autumn Guide to a Stylish Stay in the Swedish Capital

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As surely the most comely Scandinavian capital, there are always so many reasons to love Stockholm. Picture perfect, and with beautiful inhabitants to match, it boasts 13th century medieval castles and jaw-dropping architecture, spread over an expansive archipelago of islands. Its cutting edge design, vibrant culinary scene and legendary nightlife continue to make it an imperative destination for the style set.

Here are some of the highlights from our most recent visit.

 

ABBA: The Museum

For campy fun, visit the museum that houses the world’s largest collection of everything about Sweden’s most famous musical export. Marvel at the music, films, memorabilia and, especially, those ’70s fashions. It’s a fully interactive experience.

Vasamuseet

Though the 17th century war ship at the center of this maritime museum sank less than 30 minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628, it was dredged up in its entirety 333 years later and restored to its glorious splendor. Predominantly intact after laying underwater for over three centuries, this is a fascinating time capsule of Sweden’s nautical history.

 

 

Djurgarden

The lovely Djurgarden was formerly the royal hunting grounds, and now a national park – where you will feel worlds away from the pace of the city center, which is just across a short bridge. Visit the Rosendals Trädgård, a fascinating biodynamic farm and greenmarket which grows its own flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Relax over a fika – the Swedish version of a coffee break – at their café, which serves casual farm to fork fare. For something a little fancier, book ahead for the opulent 19th century Villa Godthem, which was the former private residence of opera singer Carl Johad Uddman – and now serves classic Swedish cuisine in a plush setting.

Fotografiska

One of Scandinavia’s top photography museums, its current Autumn Salon exhibition focuses on nature and climate change. Its award-winning namesake restaurant is run by notable chef Paul Svensson, whose specialty is vegetarian seasonal dishes built on sustainability – and here, they come with panoramic views.

 

 

Langa Raden at Hotel Skeppsholmen

Greater Stockholm consists of 24,000 islands in a vast archipelago; the idyllic Skeppsholmen is one of the most picturesque, in the heart of downtown, and offering beautiful views. Taking advantage of the scenery is the gorgeous restaurant Langa Raden, located in the Hotel Skeppsholmen. Enjoy trad Swedish fare with a contemporary twist in a lush garden setting, right on the water’s edge. It dates back to the 17th century.

Tak

Offering panoramic rooftop views over Stockholm, this newly opened bi-level hotspot is helmed by Sweden’s rising newcomer Chef Frida Ronge. Trained in the fine art of the cuisine of Japan, she has gained numerous accolades for her Nordic-Japanese creations, which use seasonal local ingredients. When it’s not too cold, the alfresco rooftop terrace turns into an all-night party.

 

Tweed Bar

(To properly navigate Stockholm’s electric nightlife scene, we enlisted the help of Ricardo Dynan, the Global Brand Ambassador for Absolut Vodka.)
Located in the oldest part of the city, Gamla Stan, Tweed resembles a vintage British gentleman’s club, with Chesterfield armchairs set amongst antique nautical décor and plaid-lined walls. Its known for its extensive cocktail list, curated by Hampus Thunholm, who also created the beverage program for Fäviken (recently featured in Netflix’s Chef’s Table series).

 

 

Linje Tio

Recently named the 25th best bar in the world by Drinks International’s “World’s 50 Best Bars.” Has all the proper bells and whistles of a Brooklynesque hotspot, and is appropriately located in the hipster hood of Hornstull/Sodermalm. The creative cocktail menu changes seasonally; expect Negronis made with strawberries and saffron, and a beet-infused Absolut Vodka mixed with coconut, ginger, lemon and nutmeg. The front houses a barber shop which functions as an overflow lounge during peak hours.

Haktet Vänster

Roughly translating to “jail cell on the left,” this stylish “speakeasy” is fitted into two neighboring townhouses off Sodermalm’s busy Hornsgaten. Sip custom craft cocktails in a cozy space decorated in vintage kitsch, mixed with 18th century antiques spread around tufted banquettes. Though the menu features a bevy of original concoctions, the knowledgeable bartenders are always up for mixing something based on your taste preferences. It’s accessible only by an intercom.

 

 

Getting There: SAS Air

The easiest way to arrive into Stockholm is via SAS Airways, who offer the most non-stop direct U.S.-to-Scandinavia flights. They recently redesigned their long haul Airbus 330-300 aircraft with ultra-modern, hi-tech cabins, including SAS Business (fully flat beds), SAS Plus (Premium Economy) and SAS Go (Economy). SAS Plus cabins also feature spacious seats and free WiFi, large entertainment screens, in addition to lounge access, and extra luggage allowance. All travelers can enjoy onboard cell service. The seasonally changing Nordic themed culinary program was also redesigned by celebrated head chef Peter Lawrence. And through a partnership with Danish brewer Mikkeller, passengers can also select from more than a dozen craft beers, brewed with high-elevation in mind. Roundtrips from Newark start at just $549.

Stay: Downtown Camper

Stockholm’s latest hospitality hotspot – located in the downtown neighborhood of Brunkebergstorg – it’s themed around “glamping,” playing to Swedes’ love of nature and the outdoors. The lobby is reminiscent of a hip tech company’s HQ, with design nods to sustainability, and a skylit concrete lobby adorned with usable kayaks. Exuding that invariably chic Nordic minimalist aesthetic, the cozy rooms are awash in a neutral gray with wool throws and a window box couch to stretch out on after a day of exploring. Refuel in their signature restaurant, aptly named Campfire, which serves delicious and unfussy Scandi comfort fare amidst sumptuous sofas and tufted chairs.

 

Italophile Alert: Identità Golose To Bring Epicurean Italy to NYC, Chicago + Boston

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Surely the name could easily pass for a lost Harry Potter character. But Identità Golose is actually a rather prestigious Italian culinary organization, founded in 2004 by journalist Paolo Marchi. They launched an eponymous event in Milan in 2005, and then brought it successfully to New York in 2010.

If you can do the math, you’d know it means that 2017 marks the eighth anniversary – and it will thusly perform a “takeover” of Eataly in the Flatiron from October 10-12. IG will also be marking its fourth year in Chicago (October 7-8), and debuting in Boston (October 13), setting up shop in the respective Eataly outposts in each of those cities.

 

 

The mission, especially dear to lovers of Italia such as ourselves, is to highlight the singular epicurean bounties of each region of Italy. (Seriously, we can barely contain our excitement.)

What to expect?

Six-course “Dine Around” dinners, prepared by exalted Italian chefs the likes of Corrado Scaglione, Massimo Bottura and Caterina Ceraudo; exclusive seminars given by culinary luminaries Ana Roš, Caterina Ceraudo, Enrico Cerea, and even Eric Ripert; a Pizza Master Class; and an unparalleled opportunity to bond with fellow Italophiles over all things commestibili e italiane.

Reserve tickets ahead, spaces go fast.

 

 

The Autograph Collection Hotels Launches the ‘Indie Film Project’ with ‘Gemini’

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Lola Kirke in Gemini

Too many hotels these days are rushing to offer guests some manner of cultural engagement that feels, well…rushed. But The Autograph Collection has just launched a series that will actually send you home with genuine bragging rights.

Indeed, their new Indie Film Project (in conjunction with FilmBuff) will see select hotels in their collection host screenings of high-profile independent films…ahead of their release. And if you’re going to engage the world of indie cinema, who better to kick it off with than Maggie Gyllenhaal – who, despite starring roles in various blockbusters, cut her teeth on small-budget, iconoclastic cult classics like Secretary and Donnie Darko.

She was an honorable guest at a screening at the Envoy Hotel in Boston last week of Gemini, the neo-noir crime thriller directed by Aaron Katz, and starring Zoë Kravitz as a hot young starlet, and Lola Kirke (from Mozart in the Jungle) as her personal assistant.

 

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 19: Louise Roe, from left, Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, Franklin Leonard and Amanda Altree at Autograph Collection Hotels’ exclusive screening of “Gemini” on September 19, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images for Autograph Collection Hotels) *** Local Caption *** Louise Roe; Maggie Gyllenhaal; Franklin Leonard; Amanda Altree

“There is an inherent synergy between independent film and our hotels,” says Amanda Altree, Senior Director, Autograph Collection Hotels. “Indie filmmakers and screenwriters tell stories that inspire, provoke and connect us; while immersive storytelling is part of our DNA, enabling travelers to connect with each other and their destination in a memorable way.  Through the Indie Film Project, we have become unexpected patrons of the arts and are thrilled to support this dynamic and important industry.”

The series will continue at Autograph Collection hotels including the Adolphus in Dallas and The Camby in Phoenix.

 

 

 

The Redbury Hotel NYC Gets a Stylish New Italian Cafe

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Despite the fantastically successful rebirth of his very American Union Square Cafe last December, Danny Meyer’s sights have ostensibly been set squarely on building a new Roman Empire along a tight stretch of, let’s call it, “Lower East Midtown.” (LoEMid?)

His Maialino has, of course, been a sensation (behold the regular parade of celebs from Louis CK to Khloe Kardashian to Barack and Michelle) since it opened at the Gramercy Park Hotel in 2009. That was followed by Marta at the exceedingly trendy new Hollywood-export Redbury Hotel in NoMad. And this week it got a little sister in the form of Caffe Marchio, a cool, casual cafe and wine bar in an adjacent space.

With its patterned floors, marble countertops and towering columns, it looks like it could have been airlifted from Roma’s Via Del Corso. And with Exec Chef Joe Tarasco and Pastry Chef Jess Weiss helming the kitchen, it serves up tastily authentic sandwiches and pastries – accompanied by Italian beers and wines and, best of all, Old-Country-strong espressos…meant to be enjoyed standing up.

Surely, it’s a good time to be an Italophile in NYC.

 

 

The Coolest European Cities You Don’t Know, Part I

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We’ve been plenty busy in 2017, museum-hopping in Paris, flirting in Rome and clubbing in the Berlin Kreuzberg underground. But cultivated Europhiles that we are, we’re always feeling the call of some of our less-trodden, yet still favorite cities on the Continent.

Nothing beckons us to Europa quite like the turning of autumn, with its exhilaratingly crisp evenings, stylishly scarfed locals, and those transcendently evocative fragrances that fill the air of each city (the latter a particular treat for those forced to breath the noxious fumes of New York and LA every day).

Part I of our sojourn takes us to fashionable Antwerp (Belgium) and sophisticated Maastricht (The Netherlands). Take note, if you’ve yet to fall for the charms of the Benelux, a couple of days in each city will cure you of that straight away.

 

Antwerp

Clockwise from top left, The Jane Restaurant; Antwerp architecture; Hotel Julien; MoMu

 

If fashion has held a central place in your life and you haven’t yet been to Antwerp, you should readily acknowledge a slight tinge of embarrassment. From the Antwerp Six on to today’s new guard of Belgian design, the exalted Royal Academy of Fine Arts continues to turn out some of the most astonishing talent, whose creations can be found in the vanguard boutiques in and around Nationalestraat – where you’ll also stumble upon the hallowed flagships of the likes of Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester. Nearby, as well, is the MoMu, the city’s incomparable fashion museum, which as of December 10 will host Olivier Theyskens, She Walks in Beauty. (Between boutiques, stop in for a de rigueur lunch at Verso Cafe, within the concept shop of the same name.)

Antwerp is also a place of staggering physical beauty, with its gothic-looking Flemish Renaissance cityscape and majestic harbor. The latter is now home to industrial-chic restaurants like Het Pomphuis (in a grandiose former pump house) and the sleek, Michelin-starred ‘t Zilte, on the top floor of the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom).

And speaking of vanguard, the thought-provoking M HKA museum, and independent galleries such as Valerie Traan, Stella Lohaus and Annie Gentils are central to Antwerp’s thriving contemporary art scene. If it’s architecture that sets you atingle, plan a leisurely stroll along the Cogels Osylei, a street in the Zurenborg district where art nouveau, neo-Renaissance, neo-gothic and Tudor-revival styles (amongst others) all come together in a strange but elegant sort of harmony.

Antwerp nightlife, it must be said, is totally bonkers. Start with a glamorous dinner at The Jane, fitted into a stunning 19th Century former chapel; the 13-course prix-fixe menu is €140, but the upstairs bar has much more agreeable prices, and seats you closer to God. Continue on to the extravagant scenes at over-the-top dance clubs like Red & Blue, Publik and Cafe D’Anvers. Expect a significant degree of mind-altering.

Stay

Hotel Julien is a smart, mostly-minimalist guesthouse with an intimate subterranean spa; Hotel Banks is a stylish sleep amidst the best fashion shopping; De Witte Lelie is the joining of three 17th Century townhouses into a place of utterly ethereal beauty (and favored by notable fashion designers).

 

Maastricht

Clockwise from top left, Kruisherenhotel; River Meuse; Stijl boutique; Maastricht streets

 

Famous as the place where in 1992 the modern European Union and the euro were born (the anti-Brexit, if you will), Maastricht is actually a seductive mix of international college town and exquisitely cosmopolitan city. And seriously, nearly everyone seems to have a bloody great sense of style here. With its right and left banks straddling the majestic Meuse River, the ethereal setting might easily have you thinking it can’t possibly all be real.

Wedged almost covertly between Belgium and Germany (Cologne is just 70 km away), history and modernity play very well together in this comely Southern Dutch town. Roman cathedrals bookend narrow 17th Century streets, which are abuzz with urbane cafes, indie fashion boutiques and intimate contemporary art galleries. And to be sure, one of the vigorously recommended activities is just…walking around.

Remarkably, for a relatively small city, Maastricht packs in rather a lot of Michelin stars. Tout a Fait, Beluga loves you, Toine Hermsen, Au Coin des Bons Enfants and the glorious Chateau Neercanne, just outside the center, all boast at least one – and chefs can be wildly experimental. But there are also more bars per capita than even Amsterdam – so a jenever (gin) soaked night on the tiles requires little planning. Still, make sure to hit The Lab for perception-altering cocktails, and Complex for bleeding-edge dance music.

Culture vultures should make time for the architecture and design gallery Bureau Europa, as well as the Bonnefantenmuseum, with its fascinating mix of Italian and Flemish Renaissance and baroque works, and brilliantly curated – Richard Serra, Sol Lewitt, Neo Rauch, Gilbert & George – contemporary collection.

Stay

The Kruisherenhotel (a member of Design Hotels) might literally be the most spectacular hotel in the known universe, fitted as it is into an awe-inspiring, 15th Century former monastery and cathedral; the Beaumont, right on the buzzy Stationsstraat, has minimalist rooms and the chic Harry’s restaurant; Hotel Dis is an artistic 7-room guesthouse with its own gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

Four Cultivated Cocktails for World Sake Day

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With North Korean nuclear antagonism at an all-time high, a stiff but sophisticated tipple has rarely seemed so imperative. And World Sake Day – Sunday, October 1 – presents the perfect opportunity to also show solidarity with our great and equally threatened ally in the East (Japan, that is).

Sake, of course, is the stimulating Japanese rice wine which is oft consumed straight up. But to fete this exalted annual event, we tapped four of our favorite NYC spots to enlighten us with their most intriguing and irresistible sake cocktail creations.

乾杯!!!!

 

Chinese Tuxedo

At Eddy Buckingham and Jeff Lam’s Chinatown hotspot, contemporary takes on traditional Chinese dishes (honey glazed char siu, Mr. Weng’s chicken liver pate) are served up in a dramatic former opera house.

Sino Tonic (pictured above)

.75 lemon juice
.5 simple syrup
.5 cucumber juice
3 pieces Thai basil
2x dash grapefruit bitters
2 ounces sake
Top with tonic

 

TAO Uptown + Downtown

Both Tao locations in NYC have helped to redefine luxury and glamour for a 21st Century Gotham. And here innovative dim sum, sushi, seafood specialities and beyond all rise to the opulent surroundings.

Saketini

Ty Ku Cucumber Sake

Kettle One Vodka

Hint of Orange

 

Slowly Shirley

An alluring subterranean hotspot that has become the go-to for downtown cocktail aficionados. To be sure, Jim Kearns drinks program never fails to astonish; and the elegant setting charms in equal measure.

Bering Strait 

1 oz Mezcal
1/2 oz Campo de Encanto (pisco)
1/2 oz Kimchi No Shizuku
1-1/2 oz sparkling Nigori sake
1 tsp agave
1/4 oz ginger
3/4 oz pineapple
1/4 oz yuzu
Top: Soda
Stir
Add 1 oz soda
Strain into a wine glass, over Kold Draft ice
Garnish with ginger and pineapple

Image by Nick Vorderman

 

Neta

Exalted West Village sushi spot forgoes the interior frills to focus on the culinary thrills. If the omakase options are too much of a commitment, make an evening of small plates like grilled snow crab legs and sasso chicken karaage, paired with one of Joshua Rolnick’s inventive sake cocktails.

Aki Old Fashioned 

2 oz Bourbon Barrel Aged Junmai Ginjo

1oz Sour Cherry Cordial

1/2oz Housemade Grenadine

Half Sleeve of housemade apple cinnamon bitters

Smoked Cinnamon stick

Autumn Flowers

8,000 Feet High: A 420 Guide to Aspen

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As more states push for legalized marijuana, those who indulge in this basic pleasure will seek it out where they can find it. With dispensaries becoming a metropolitan staple, it’s not difficult to get. But few cities wear their marijuana culture as proudly as Aspen.

With Colorado’s legalized recreational usage and the natural beauty and culture of Aspen, it’s a perfect destination for some quality cannabis tourism. Rich with outdoors activities, a delectable selection of restaurants and a thriving weed scene, enthusiasts find themselves flocking in droves to the mountain town; and at 8,000 feet, there are few better places to…get high.

Where to buy it

Silverpeak Apothecary

With strains cultivated from High Valley Farm in Colorado Springs, this cannabis boutique features some of the finest products in the state. Find more info here.

 

 

Green Dragon

Located in the hearted of downtown Apsen, this one stop shop carries all the products you could ask for, making it Colorado’s go-to. Find more info here.

Native Roots

With a vast menu, the staff of “budtenders” at Native Roots can help you find the perfect strain for you. If you already know what you want, chances are they have it. Find more info here.

Where to experience it

Maroon Bells

Whether you prefer a hike through the woods or just a chance to soak in Aspen’s beautiful nature, the Maroon Bells are the perfect location. Sit by the lake or dip your feet in one of the many streams. Find more info here.

Silver Queen Gondolas

Enjoy an overwhelmingly beautiful trip up Aspen Mountain in one of their iconic gondolas. Take in one of the many epic sweeping views from the top and partake in some yoga or just have a drink on the Sundeck. Find more info here.

Conundrum Hot Springs

Some of the highest in North America, these pools vary in size and temperature. Take in a therapeutic soak with some of the loveliest views in Aspen. Find more info here.

Where to eat after

J-Bar

Located in the lobby of Aspen’s historic hotel Jerome, this is the perfect place for lunch, a late night bite or to feed your munchies. Enjoy their classic burger or their Aspen Crud, an alcoholic milkshake they’ve served since the Prohibition. Find more info here.

Ryno’s Pub & Pizzeria

Delectable bar food comes with a warm social setting. Enjoy the outdoor seating on a nice day or eat downstairs where you can enjoy an arcade game or two after. Find more info here.

SO Café

Located on the rooftop of the Aspen Art Museum, this beautiful Shigeru Ban-designed establishment features a weekly-changing menu with fresh local ingredients. It also comes with beautiful views of Aspen Mountain and Independent Pass. Find more info here.

 

 

Tips from a local

Hydrate

“Did you know that altitude accelerates dehydration?” says Melissa Wisenbaker, local ACRA representative for the legalization of marijuana. “You need to drink twice the amount of water here as you would at home. When in doubt, don’t take another hit (or bite if it’s an edible).”

Smoke in private

“It is illegal to consume marijuana in public,” Wisenbaker says. “If you are going to smoke, make sure you do so on private property and not in public i.e. not in downtown Aspen, as there are families everywhere. Be respectful as you would with alcohol.”

Consult your “budtender”

“Walking into a pot shop can be both exciting and overwhelming,” Wisenbaker says. “The budtenders can help you find what you’re looking for exactly by educating the customer on the variety of strains, edibles and other products sold at the store. The best trained budtenders will ask the customers questions and leave the customer feeling more educated on cannabis and cannabis consumption.”

For more info, visit the Aspen Chamber of Commerce.

Fall Getaway: Historic Hotel Jerome is Aspen’s Luxurious Cultural Hub

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An Aspen escape in your fall plans? The pristine mountain town – with its rich history and vibrant local culture – is a leisurely, luxury oasis, even when it’s not ski season.

We recently visited for a weekend stay at the very historic Hotel Jerome. Opened in 1889 by Jerome Wheeler, co-owner of Macy’s at the time and a major investor in the city, the immaculate structure has a colorful past, from its conception during Aspen’s early years on to Prohibition and the city’s boom as a skiing destination. The storied establishment has hosted the likes of John Wayne, Jack Nicholson and Bill Murray.

 

 

As soon as you enter the hotel, its lavish interior feels like a visit to an untouched piece of history – although it was largely renovated after being bought by Auberge Resorts in 2011. The unique design features elements of local native and miner culture, crossed with a sort of Ralph Lauren sense of western chic.

No trip through the lobby is complete without greeting Rocky, the hotel’s pet dog. He’s the most charming member of the incredibly friendly staff, whose black stetsons are an evocative signature accessory. Don’t forget to down a shot of chloroxygen water, available at the front desk, to help acclimate to the elevation.

Get settled in your room (you might not want to leave), and take in its modern, yet warm decor. The immaculate bathroom comes stocked with Hermes products for guests who are used to pampering themselves.

 

 

No day at Hotel Jerome can start properly without brunch at Prospect. The opulent dining room in the lobby is decorated with a collection of rooster paintings by Mary Sprague, each one inspired by a different ex-lover of the artist. Take in some natural morning light, and enjoy their unique take on Avocado Toast or the Huevos Rancheros.

Follow it up with a walk around downtown or a tour from the Aspen Historical Society. Guides in period clothing will fill you in on all the city’s most interesting stories. Part of the tour takes you right back to Hotel Jerome itself.

Return to your room to get ready for the evening, which should begin with a stop in the Living Room – with its inviting decor – for a cocktail or two.

Head across the lobby for dinner at J-Bar, a local favorite as old as the hotel itself. There’s a drawer behind the bar covered with signatures from every bartender who’s come and gone since its opening. Hunter S Thompson was known to write some of his most memorable works there.

 

Start off with a shared plate of the Confit Lollipop Chicken Drumsticks. For the main course, make it the locally-renowned J-Bar Burger. Dessert keeps things interesting with the Aspen Crud, a bourbon-spiked vanilla milkshake created for patrons in the know during Prohibition.

Wake up with a serene visit to the downstairs Aspen Spa, perfect for rejuvenating after a long flight, or a tiring hike through the beautiful Maroon Bells. Natural treatments are enriched with local mineral and botanicals.

Now under construction, the pool and courtyard will surely be Aspen’s most popular summer oasis in 2018. Also set to open next summer is a speakeasy below the Aspen Times building, exclusive to guests of the hotel.

With over a century of devoted guests, Hotel Jerome remains a cultural hub for both locals and visitors – the perfect place to enjoy an Aspen stay, come snow or shine.