ASPEN, Colorado, November 22, 2014 – Even from thousands of feet in the air, there is a perceptible change in the landscape as you fly into Denver. Snow covered peaks surrounded by cloudy halos and the very dark green of the conifers and ancient forests.
The Rocky Mountains are very much a defining landmark for Colorado, and American. The are lauded in poem, The Rocky Mountains at Sunset, by Hattie Almira Reed, and John Denver’s song Rocky Mountain High.
They are one of our most iconic images, as in Ansel Adams famous black and white rendering of The Maroon Bells, some of the Rocky’s most fabulous peaks.
One of the hotel’s unique draws is the artesian well, located 720 feet deep beneath the lobby and that provides water to every faucet in the hotel.
Heading out of Denver toward Aspen, the expectation was a leisurely and lovely drive, however the warning to start that drive well before nightfall was not heard, or possibly ignored.
In order to get to the higher elevations of Aspen, one must climb the lower peaks of the mountains. These peaks are filled with glacial ice and darker than dark abysses.
Flip the scene over and the only difference between the dark below and the dark above are the amazing stars.
At the top of the pass, a snow squall, just short of a blizzard and now, instead of just rock to the right and dark to the left, there is an eight-foot thick snow pack to the right and those stars are no-longer visible.
Actually nothing but snow is visible.
After some time, The Hotel Jerome shines and an immediate sense of calm and elation descends.
Warmth. Safety. Food. All at arms reach.
The Historical Hotel Jerome was built in the late 1800’s as a quality stop for those interested in seeing, and possibly investing in, a very lively silver mining industry. Here in Aspen, the world’s most valuable silver nugget, 93 percent pure and weighing 2,350 pounds, was found in the Smugglers Mine.
But it took Jerome Wheeler and his influx of cold, hard cash to bring Aspen to the forefront of the mining boom. Independence Pass and the Continental Divide provide a formidable foe to those needing to bring supplies in and silver ore out of the mountains.
Jerome Wheeler, along with a handful of investors, brought the railroad into Aspen along with an early history of Grande Excess as the “swells,” the wealthy societal upper crust, traveled to Aspen.
They came not only to witness, and profit, from this silver boomtown but also for the therapeutic air and health-giving qualities of the mountain environ.
But that was then and this is now. And now The Hotel Jerome must be, without a singular doubt in my mind, one of the most premier friend and family destinations in the U.S., if not the world.
Big statement. Big mountains. Big hearts.
The Hotel Jerome, and Aspen, Colorado is not just for ski season. By far, one might think ski season is an afterthought following a June visit.
Nestled amongst the pines of the White River National Forest and literally in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is most often clear and sunny. At almost 8,000 feet above sea level, the air is dry, pleasant, invigorating.
Even in the deepest of winter it is not as cold as say, Chicago, with average temperatures ranging from 20-55 degrees. Plus it is that wonderful “dry cold” that is bracing and marvelous.
Cold can keep you hotel bound, but what a great hotel to be bound to. The décor is simply sumptuous filled with period antiques and comfortable nooks and crannies to sit and while a bit of time engaged in a favorite periodical or book.
Rooms are beautifully appointed. Heavy damask curtains adds to a visual sense of privacy while over stuffed couches and chairs are rivaled only by the hotel’s private-label beds, thick and remarkably fresh smelling feather pillows, down comforters, luxury baths and robes perfect for strolling down to the all-season heated pool or just lounging on the terrace in.
Look out any window and be awed by the mountain peaks, green and lush at the bottom, snow-covered and crisp at the top.
Another bold statement to make, but to date there has not been any room that met the “just for me” quest better than the Hotel Jerome.
The crisp cleanliness of the room and linens make one believe that they are the first guest to ever use those particular linens, towels or pillows.
And that is a feeling of comfort and luxury that carries throughout the property.
The staff, to the last person, treated every guest observed with that same “we are here for you, just you” feeling. This property is filled with some of the most accommodating people ever encountered whether it is for a bit of guided sightseeing or a ride to the shopping district.
If you require assistance with making a breakfast choice or a bit of a hand with a young child, every member of the Hotel Jerome succeeds in making one feel as though they are truly somewhere special where only their needs, wants and desires are important.
It is like being home, for the holidays when no one can do any wrong.
Truly above and beyond what has ever been experienced at a property in the past and far exceeding any expectations.
No other meal showcases a chef’s dedication of the “from the farm to you” foundation as well as breakfast where eggs and fresh fruits take center stage within a Contemporary American inspired menu.
Sustainable Settings provides the Hotel Jerome with nutrient rich eggs that are farmed using the highest quality methods. The result was breakfast eggs with large golden yolks and flavor unsurpassed.
Lunch follows a morning hike through the lower lying environs of the mountains. Dangling overhead are the ski lifts and the memory of snow is very present in both the smell of the air and patches of pristine white clearly visible, and attainable with a bit of a hike or short drive.
While winter activities are filled with snow sports from skiing to dogsled rides, there are plenty of non-snow, warmer weather activities to amuse and enthrall.
This trip, the activity of choice was leisurely strolls through the picturesque town, shopping forages, walks through the forests to find impromptu streams and raging rivers bolstered by the melting snow.
To see the mountains and that which comes naturally is omnipotent. Humbling. Incredible.
However there is more. Much more. Speak to the Hotel Jerome’s concierge and makes plans for golf at the prestigious Snowmass Club Golf Course, horseback riding or hot-air ballooning. Make an appointment for some guided fly-fishing or deep-forest hiking**.