Looking for the Best Aspen Hotspots – By Juliana Accioly
A true citizen of the world, Christian Jagodzinski has picked Aspen, the “most chic of Colorado resorts” as one of the exclusive sites for his Villazzo’s operations. This stylish Old Victorian mining town set against the towering magnificence of the Elk mountains is a world-renowned hot spot – the glamour of its superb year-round mix of outdoor recreation and stimulating dining and cultural life attracts a distinctive multicultural jetsetting crowd.
Here Villazzo’s founder and CEO shares his firsthand experience of this “quaint, most charming town” and its dashing social landscape.
Aspen has dozens of lifts split between four different mountains. “Highland Bowl is the most extreme, and my personal favorite – its terrain requires total commitment. After the usual gondola ride, Aspen hard-core ski and snowboard fanatics take a snow cat to go up even further, and then set out on an additional 10-30 minute hike taking you well above 12,000 ft to the rim of the “Bowl”. If the almost vertical drop-in is too much for you to handle, there is also an option of “trails” weaving through trees, gullies and meadows to offer a more gentle and solitary run. If you are looking for a serious skiing challenge, this outdoor fantasyland will blow you away.”
Ajax Tavern at the foot of Aspen Mountain is a great place to catch the last sun rays at the end of an active skiing day through Aspen Mountain’s runs and mogul fields. “I like to relax on the terrace close to the gondola base station and enjoy the sights of skiers coming down, sipping some hot chocolate.”
“When the sun has set behind the mountains, head over one block to 39 Degrees Lounge in the Sky Hotel, where you can enjoy Aspen’s best burger amongst the hip après-ski crowd.” A live DJ set by the heated pool and poolside bar make it the perfect spot to try some of Aspen’s most adventurous cocktails!
Dining in Aspen is absorbing and varied, there is everything from Austrian to Mexican to authentic French.
Nobu’s outpost in town Matsuhisa is an Aspen’s dining mainstay. “My favorite dishes are the thinly sliced scallop dotted with chili and yuzu and mussels in spicy garlic sauce”. You can reserve a coveted seat downstairs for the immersive Matsu experience or hit the laid-back upstairs lounge with private seating boxes. The eclectic wine list includes an exclusive selection of sake and drinks made with shochu, a Japanese fiery spirit.
For more casually sophisticated ambiance, “I love Cache Cache, Aspen’s upscale French bistro. You must try the rack of lamb!” There’s a balanced mix of curious tourists and gracious locals here, drawn in by the delicious dishes and an eclectic 106-page, 1,000-label list that represents the world’s major wine regions. The bar is a scene, showcasing 4,000-bottle, temperature-controlled wine cellar set behind a wall of glass. This is also a popular spot amongst celebrities and after a punishing day at the slopes you might just find yourself dining next to Elle MacPherson or rock star Dave Navarro.
Also perfect for fine dining is the “excellent service and warmth of Piñons”. Its traditional American fare has held its own for more than 20 years in Aspen. You can’t go wrong with the ample portions of venison, veal chops, steak offerings, and delicious salads and desserts.
Housed in a charming Victorian historic mining cabin in Restaurant Row, Steakhouse No 316 is a high-end stylish meat lover’s paradise. This dining treasure is small and cozy, with elegant touches of velvet-tufted banquettes, leather chairs and wood floors, but still “a steakhouse to compare to New York’s best list”. Order your favorite cut and the attentive staff will help you pair it with some of the wonderful sauces, such as the blue cheese bone marrow. The wonderful generous portion of the utterly decadent white chocolate Bourbon bread pudding is the perfect way to end an absolutely decadent meal.
2015 Audi Ajax Cup Dec. 30, 2015
Aspen’s signature winter event puts the spotlight on the youngsters of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, raising proceeds to help more than 2,300 kids participating in skiing and snowboarding. This traditional midwinter fundraising takes place between Christmas and New Year’s Eve making it the most coveted ticket of the season. “It is fascinating to watch former Olympians going head-to-head with locals on a downhill ski challenging course on the Little Nell run on Aspen mountain. “Don’t miss the legions of pro skiers and riders that turn out for the event not only for the race but also the hottest Après party in Aspen!”