We were two couples visiting Aspen for the fall colors. I researched TripAdvisor for likely accommodations and encountered the Residence Hotel, was fascinated by the unusual nature of the place and booked it. To be honest, I was initially inclined to book into the Hotel Jerome due to its legendary status, but it's closed for extensive renovations so they missed out.
The Residence Hotel is about as far from the usual cookie-cutter hotel as I can imagine. It's located above retail stores right in the heart of Aspen - extremely convenient in every way (although parking can be a challenge in busy times). Gaining access requires you to have a door code, and you enter up a steep set of stairs into the "lobby" (which is really a common area surrounded by the rooms). Note - lugging heavy baggage up the stairs might be difficult for the infirm or elderly, but we managed without a hitch.
We tracked down Terry (the owner) and she showed us into our suite - the Country Suite, which is a 2-bedroom, 2 bath layout with a large living room and kitchen. Very convenient for folks who want to "make themselves at home" instead of the usual hotel room limitations. The decor is definitely different - very historic, very plush, perhaps slightly "bordello-ish", which fits nicely in with the history of the building as a former brothel in early Aspen days. Don't take that comment as a negative - the whole package just seems to "work" and Terry has obviously spent much time creating a feeling of warmth and luxury within the confines of a very old building structure.
Note - do not expect to encounter lots of staff waiting to satisfy your every whim. The whole approach is more along the lines of "apartments" - you move in and pretty much take care of yourselves, with willing recommendations from Terry when needed. Of course, downtown Aspen has plenty of options for meals if you prefer to eat out, so just be prepared to be self-sufficient and you should be good.
Overall, a wonderfully different experience and very pleasant stay in a historic building with loads of charm, perfectly situated in downtown Aspen. Possible negatives for some folks might be the street parking, steep stairs to gain access, and some of the minor infrastructure issues often associated with old buildings - but if you like "different" combined with comfort and early American elegance, this place certainly fits the bill.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just a few steps from the base of Ajax mountain in Aspen, one of America's finest ski resorts; and conveniently positioned to overlook the town's storied village, The Residence Hotel serves as a warm sanctuary for guests with distinguished tastes. Here, your stay is as much about comfort and relaxation, as it a global adventure through history. This small and charming Boutique Hotel contains seven suites and apartments, each one individually decorated in European flavor. The high ceilings offer the spaciousness rarely found in a ski resort. The bedrooms are furnished with Ralph Lauren linens and down-filled duvets. Original antique furnishings and accent pieces adorn each room, while walls are covered with museum quality artwork and designer fabrics. Most suites have wood-burning fireplaces. Crystal chandeliers, Persian rugs, marble bathrooms, hard wood floors and large overstuffed sofas and chairs give each room the comforts of a luxurious home. With two decades of loyal and distinguished guests that span from entertainers and athletes to artists and politicians, somehow the hotel still maintains a subtle mystique as the city's hidden gem. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Residence Hotel Aspen