Aspen Colorado may well be in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains but as far as destinations go there is no resort that exudes more glamour and sophistication.
Aspen not only offers excellent skiing but a complete lifestyle, this resort is all about the society that congregates here for the season.
At just under 8000ft above sea level Aspen has direct access to some of the best skiing territory in the US and during the season has a huge influx of visitors that sees its tiny (but privileged) population swell, changing it from an exclusive but quiet town into a vibrant and lively winter ski resort.
The region comprises of four mountain areas – Aspen/Highlands/Buttermilk & Snowmass, which between them offer over 5000 acres of piste, the ski terrain extends into the heart of Aspen town making access to great skiing quick and easy. Off piste skiing is also well represented with over 80kms of cross country terrain that will challenge even the most capable of skiers; whether you are a beginner or an advanced skier Aspen really does have something to appeal to everyone.
Beginners have access to excellent ski schools and with 44 easy slopes on the doorstep have plenty of chance to quickly improve their skills, Buttermilk and Snowmass are particularly favoured by beginners and families and are perfect for the novice skier. For the intermediate skiers there are the long runs of Aspen Highlands to aim for but with over 130 intermediate slopes to choose from there are few restrictions on places to ski. Once an advanced level has been reached there is a staggering 156 runs that are categorised as difficult; for the really challenging skiing the heights of Ajax are the place to head and the upper reaches of Snowmass for tree skiing and off piste that will excite even the most able of skiing enthusiasts.
Aspen resort covers a huge area but the most modern of facilities make getting around easy, there are daily tours around the mountains which are led by knowledgeable volunteer hosts, this service is free but is only open to those at an intermediate level and above.
Aspen is best known as a resort where people come to be noticed, the nightlife is excellent but there are also plenty of places that are family friendly. There are over 100 restaurants to choose from ranging from burger bars to fine dining, there is also access to 15 mountain restaurants across the network of lifts and gondolas.
Other sporting activities include snow-mobiling, ice skating and dog sledding and for those that want to appreciate the beauty of the region there are organised hot air balloon trips throughout the season.
Aspen is filled with great hotels, beautiful chalets and well placed apartments, accommodation is rarely considered to be budget in this exclusive resort particularly when the travel distance from the UK is considered, most places do have the advantage of being incredibly close to great skiing with many labelling themselves as ski-in. Set in the centre of Aspen the chic Sky Hotel is not only ski in but has great access to the Gondola whilst being right at the heart of the action, the outdoor heated pool and the hot tubs make this sophisticated hotel perfect for relaxation after a day skiing.
For a more village feel then the resort of Snowmass is the perfect place to stay , the shuttle buses between the mountains and resorts ensure that access is never a problem. Snowmass not only has some excellent hotels but is also home to some of the best self catering apartment accommodation in the region.
The ski season in Aspen runs from early November until Mid April and throughout the season there is the guarantee of good snow (there are however also snow making facilities). The peak of the ski season falls across the Christmas period which although magical can be exceptionally expensive in this exclusive resort. The last few weeks of the season are the time to go if you wish to save money – although the end of the season is often the quietest time within the resort as many of the facilities are preparing to close.