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the lux score explained
The three-storey, red-brick and sandstone Hotel Jerome is a beautifully restored historic landmark hotel in Aspen. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
It originally opened in 1889 when Aspen was a prosperous silver mining boom town. Built to rival the grand European hotels of the time, it set the new standard of luxury of its day. It was home to the first elevator in the West and one of the first buildings west of the Mississippi River to have full electric lighting. It was also an indoor plumbing trailblazer, offering hot and cold running water!
The completely re-envisioned Hotel Jerome reopened in 2012 after an overhaul by Las Vegas based Todd-Avery Lenahan. It beautifully balances luxury with authenticity and preservation.
Many of the original finishes have been preserved, like the grand full-relief oak-carved fireplace, the Native-American rug-patterned encaustic tilework floor, staircase balustrades and the Chippendale Chinoiserie bar in the J-Bar.
Several comfortable couches and an original wall clock adorn the lobby area which has an atrium skylight letting in loads of natural light.
Arrival and Location
The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Aspen within walking distance of all the interesting shops and restaurants. It is, however, a six-block walk or drive to the bottom of the ski slopes. Hotel Jerome has a car service to take you there but sometimes you have to wait a while if it is already in transit.
We arrived by car late at night and so the doorman was not on duty. We were greeted warmly by the reception staff but had to lug our own bags to our second-floor room.
The hotel has a total of 93 rooms and suites spread across the original hotel building and a newer wing.
The original hotel rooms are in the front of the building while the newer wing is at the back. Both styles are classy and comfortable, however the original rooms have higher ceilings.
We stayed in a sumptuous Junior Suite, which was beautifully appointed with 18-inch ceiling mouldings, cashmere curtains and plenty of period-style furnishings, such as a leather writing table and a minibar (stocked with complementary snacks and beverages) hidden in a leather campaign chest. We also loved making our own coffee with the in-room Nespresso.
Interesting photographs and commissioned art work, old books and other period details gave the feeling of staying in the guest room of a well-travelled friend.
The pillow-top bed was supremely comfortable and it was wonderful to burrow down under the down coverlet on a cold winter’s night. We appreciated the humidifier to compensate for Aspen’s ‘high and dry’ atmosphere. I also loved the free in-room WiFi, which should be included in all luxury hotel rooms.
The spacious black and white marble bathroom was beautifully appointed, with a large bath, separate rain shower, and two vanity basins.
Meals and drinks
The heart and soul of the Hotel Jerome resides in the richly decorated Lobby Living Room and Bar with its roaring fireplace, clubby bric a brac, statement art pieces and various nooks. It is hopping with après-ski camaraderie but it is not too “sceney” which is good. It offers a menu of American tapas and desserts plus an interesting cocktail list, good wines and craft beers.
The hotel’s light and breezy fine dining restaurant, Prospect, with its chestnut and cream coloured hardwood flooring, is broken into different spaces including intimate banquettes, high-visibility tables and window side seating. The hand-stitched leather chairs are perfect for sinking into while you enjoy modern American bistro food that utilises the best local ingredients. It’s pricey but the service is excellent. The eggs Benedicte for brunch and the rib eye are particularly memorable. During the summer months, it is wonderful to eat on the Prospect Terrace, overlooking the hotel pool and pretty garden. It also has terrific Aspen Mountain views in the distance.
The always buzzing street-front J-Bar is something of an Aspen institution. It is pure Americana and a great place for a burger and fries. Sports are always playing on the big-screen television.
The hotel offers complimentary car service anywhere in the Aspen area.
The hotel also offers guests special access to the expansive Aspen Club and Spa, which offers advanced fitness programs and personal training.
Ski concierge and valet facilities store your ski gear and have it ready for you at the front of the hotel each morning.
On the second floor, there is a casual games room with comfortable couches, bean bags, big screen TV, board games, a soccer table and computer games.
The hotel concierge can arrange anything from restaurant bookings to hot air ballooning.
The small clean-lined and contemporary Auberge Spa is located in the lower level of the hotel and is a stylistic departure from the historic fittings of the rest of the building. The vibe is serene and fresh in the three treatment rooms. There is also a movement studio for yoga.
The spa uses Marie Veronique’s organic Pacific skin care range. Some of the popular treatments include a high-altitude sports recovery massage, an arnica and birch massage with steam vapour and a botanical enzyme renewal facial.
There is also a heated outdoor pool and spa in a pretty garden.
The Lux Traveller Loves
The atmospheric ambiance of such a beautifully preserved historic hotel.
The luxurious and well-appointed rooms.
I loved the overall décor of the hotel but sometimes it felt a little too much. In the Living Room and Lobby Bar, there were dozens of different lights and other paraphernalia. I know the idea was to create a well-loved home but at times it felt over-the-top (the designer is from Las Vegas and it shows!). Less is sometimes more.