From taking the title of “Best of the West" in Ski Magazine’s Resorts of the Year Awards to landing a spot on Travel + Leisure’s “Most Romantic Holiday Destinations for Couples,” Aspen Snowmass continues to rack up accolades every season. We might be a bit biased, but it’s true: there is no place more festive to spend the holidays in the entire world.
While Aspen Snowmass is known for its abundant five-star resort offerings, sometimes a ski vacation is only made better when you rent a dream home of your very own. Whether it’s having enough space for your extended family, wanting to cook up your favorite family recipes, avoiding the hustle and bustle of a busy hotel or staying in town for the full season, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty (ASSIR) has experienced Brokers specializing in Aspen & Snowmass, luxury rentals.
So, if you’re still looking for a picture-perfect, holiday escape there’s still time to make it a most memorable one in Aspen Snowmass. To help guide you, here are ASSIR’s top four tips to consider when starting your rental search:
1. How far in advance do you recommend booking a rental property for the holiday season?
We recommend booking for the holidays as far out as possible to ensure having your first choice available. We book the majority of our holiday rentals in September, October and November, but often our most sought-after properties can be booked as far as a year in advance. While most of our holiday inventory is booked, we have received a few new listings recently and have had a couple of cancellations, so always inquire no matter how last minute you are starting your search.
2. What is the price range for vacation rentals in Aspen Snowmass?
For the winter season, the most affordable property in our inventory is about $400 per night, but not in the preferred area of Aspen’s downtown core or Snowmass Village. Most of our rental properties with a prime location fall around $1,000 per night and our most exclusive property is $25,000 per night. We are always able to accommodate any budget.
3. How does ASSIR help clients navigate the property search?
Initially, we ask for preferred location, dates, the makeup of the group, budget and any other specifications the client might have, such as ski access. After we gather some options, we send the client rental brochures - ASSIR’s rental brochures are arguably the most thorough among the competition.
4. How does ASSIR help clients feel confident in a “sight unseen” booking?
Photos, a Google Map search and a conversation on the phone usually help clients feel confident in their decision. We often discuss location, walkability, specifics on ski access and various other property details. The last thing we want is for someone to be disappointed, so we do our best to convey all the information thoroughly and accurately.
ASSIR also goes above and beyond the service standard for rental agencies in the Roaring Fork Valley through an exclusive partnership with Covet Concierge, owned and operated by longtime local Karen Boyd. With more than a decade of experience as a concierge for five-star resorts and luxury rental companies, most recently at the Residences at the Little Nell, Boyd branched off on her own in 2017 and provides unparalleled five-star service 24/7 to all of ASSIR’s rental clients through her company.
Upon booking, Boyd works directly with clients to provide a custom itinerary along with the coordination of the following services:
- Ground transportation
- Welcome basket upon arrival stocked with wine, fresh fruit and gourmet snacks
- Grocery shopping and pre-stocking the kitchen
- Dining reservations
- Babysitting services
- Ski equipment rentals with in-home fittings
- Pre-purchase and print lift tickets
For an additional service fee, Boyd will also assist clients in pre-arranging holiday decor with Christmas tree delivery, hiring and planning special in-home events with a private chef, reserving additional adventure activities and running general errands — no request is too small. Although she’s anticipating juggling 30 rental clients in the months ahead, Boyd is a one-woman-show and remains on-call throughout your entire stay.
And since she’s always busy booking the best of Aspen Snowmass for her clients, we also asked Boyd to recommend a few of her favorite things:
Watching the New Year’s fireworks over Aspen Mountain
Taking a sleigh ride to dinner at Pine Creek Cookhouse
Breakfast at Gwyn's High Alpine on Snowmass Mountain
Aprés Ski Spot
Ajax Tavern in Aspen
Venga Venga in Snowmass Village
A massage at Remède Spa in the St. Regis followed by a glass of champagne in the oxygen lounge
The Spa at Viceroy in Snowmass
Hair & Makeup
Pitkin County Dry Goods
Sashae Floral Arts & Gifts
SO Café on the top floor of the Aspen Art Museum
Snowmobiling to the Maroon Bells with T-Lazy-7 Ranch
Click here to download the complete ASSIR Rental Brochure and click here to learn more about Covet Concierge.
Downtown Aspen on October 10, 2018 with a fresh dusting of snow. Photo by Craig Turpin/Rising Sun Photog
Glitter Gulch, Tony Town, Fat City, Canary City … ah, Aspen. The monikers for this rich-in-history former mining enclave are thanks to a glitz-and-glam reputation bolstered by billionaires on holiday, celebrities hiding out, luxury boutiques, fine dining, five-star resorts, a world-class arts scene and of course, jaw-dropping real estate. But it’s the full-timers—from hippies, ranchers and artists to families, farmers and athletes—who’ve given the ski town its true soul over the years and still help balance the high life with real life year-round.
As soon as the leaves stop falling in October, many businesses hang “Gone to the beach” signs on their doors signaling a bi-annual, well-deserved break before the lifts start spinning. The snow has already arrived, which means one thing: off-season has too.
While the scene is noticeably slower, if you’re thinking about purchasing a vacation property, scoping out a short-term rental or just booking a pre-holiday holiday, now is the perfect time to plan a visit to get a true sense of what life in this year-round, close-knit community is actually like.
Here’s a complete guide to living like a local:
EAT + DRINK
Heirloom eggplant with mushroom bolognese, chard and cauliflower at Element 47. Photo by Jamie Fletcher
It’s usually a guessing game when trying to find a place to eat and drink from now until the first week of December. But there are plenty of spots that stay open, many showing their appreciation for those who stick around town with deep discounts.*
Locals gather every morning for high-fives on the patio or catch up at the community table at Jour de Fête (710 E. Durant Ave., 970-925-5055, jourdefeteaspen.com), family owned and operated since 1988. Owner Olivier Mottier’s French roots shine through on the breakfast and lunch menus, but the chorizo burrito here is the go-to to-go.
Grab a signature Hillstone sandwich and a handcrafted cocktail at White House Tavern (302 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-925-1007, aspenwhitehouse.com), an always-bustling, cozy converted mining-era home that inspired its name.
Do the daily lunch special at Mezzaluna (mezzalunaaspen.com), where pastas and pizzas are $12 or the daily dinner special offering your pick of five $15 entrées or $8 appetizers with 25% off all bottles of wine.
Meat & Cheese (319 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-710-7120, meatandcheeseaspen.com) always makes for a special meal of award-winning “world farmhouse” cuisine, creative craft cocktails and too-pretty-to-eat charcuterie boards. Plus, they give everyone 15% off for off-season in the restaurant and Farm Shop through November 20.
Head just outside of town to Home Team BBQ (38750, CO-82, 970-236-2040, hometeambbq.com) for daily happy hour with a special menu from 4-6 p.m., “Friday Night Live” with Woody Creek Distillers drink specials and a rotating roster of local bands or Sunday brunch with NFL Sunday Ticket on the big screens.
Campo de Fiori (205 S.Mill St., 970-920-7717, campodefiori.net) offers 25% off the entire bill every night of the week (excluding bar menu) where you can chat up the regulars and warm up with authentic Italian eats.
Everyone loves Rustique Bistro (216 S. Monarch, 970-920-2555, rustiquebistro.com) for its “Fried Chicken Thursdays” including three courses for $27 and its nightly prix fixe for two courses for $36.
Duck into The Little Nell (675 E. Durant Ave., 970-920-4600, thelittlenell.com) for three courses for $47 in the luxury hotel’s signature restaurant Element 47 through October 31.
*For the full list of who’s open and who’s closed, visit eataspen.com. And always ask your server to confirm special offers.
The Limelight Hotel is lit up on a winter night. Photo by Jason Dewey
Take advantage of lodging deals like the Limelight Hotel’s Colorado Locals Rate which offers a standard or deluxe room from $160 per night with proof of residency (355 S. Monarch St., 970-925-3025, limelighthotels.com). Find a five-star stay for less at its sister property, The Little Nell, for $245 per night for a standard room through November 22. Aspen Meadows Resort offers a Leaf Peepers Fall Foliage Package, valid through October 22 for 20 percent off lodging with breakfast for two daily and a Colorado Local’s Special for up to 40% off a regular room rate through December 20 (845 Meadows Rd. 970-925-4240, aspenmeadows.com).
SEE + DO
Lead With Love’s 3rd Annual Summit runs October 25-28, 2018. Photo by Alina Hokanson
Droves of visitors go crazy to catch the fall colors, which peak in Aspen in late September and although the snow is already falling, there’s still a little bit of leaf peeping to be had. Car restrictions up to the Maroon Bells (fs.usda.gov) ended on October 8 and the road stays open through mid-November, so now, you can take a leisurely drive up to sightsee around one of the world’s most photographed mountains or to Ashcroft Ghost Town (aspenhistory.org)—both sure to be much more serene sans the crowds.
The Aspen Art Museum (637 E. Hyman Ave., 970-925-8050, aspenartmuseum.org) presents innovative exhibitions from the international contemporary art scene with admission free of charge thanks to its generous donor base. Its roof deck café is a favorite spot for coffee or lunch meetings, which also plays host to Movies at the Museum—an ongoing series of free film screenings.
Weather permitting, take a walking tour through the West End with the Aspen Historical Society (620 W. Bleecker, 970-925-3721, aspenhistory.org), which is focused on history, architecture and the little-known facts about the Victorian-era homes and the people who lived in them. By appointment only, you can also go for a guided tour of downtown Aspen in AHS’ new electric vehicle—complete with a visit to both the Wheeler/Stallard Museum and the Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum.
Listen to live music at the Belly Up Aspen (450 S. Galena St., 970-544-9800, bellyupaspen.com), which has local bands on the calendar with no cover mixed with headliners like Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket (October 30) and Michael Franti (November 11).
The third annual Lead With Love, a four-day retreat (October 25-28, ileadwithlovesummit.org) at the Aspen Institute, offers yoga and meditation, spiritual psychology sessions, self-care services, leadership seminars and an eco-friendly marketplace.
Get your ski legs ready with yoga at Aspen Shakti (535 E. Hyman Ave., 970-925-1655, aspenshakti.com), a pilates session at O2 Aspen (408 S. Mill St., 970-925-4002, o2aspen.com), or spin class at CycleBar (110 S. Spring St., 970-710-7398, aspen.cyclebar.com). Rejuvenate at the St. Regis Aspen’s Remede Spa (315 E. Dean St., 970-920-3300, stregisaspen.com) where you can spend an entire day in between the grotto, hot tub, cold plunge pool, steam room, sauna and oxygen lounge. A Local Love special is valid for a 60-minute massage or facial for $150 through October 18