Ski-town chic: A review of The St. Regis Aspen
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With my husband and I both working remotely for the foreseeable future, we decided to shake up our quarantine routine at the beginning of 2021 and set out on a cross-country road trip.
We departed eastern Pennsylvania at the beginning of January and made some fun stops on our way out west: Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis; Oklahoma City; Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico; Marfa, Texas; and multiple points in Colorado, including Colorado Springs, Denver, Vail and, now, Aspen.
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As an added perk of our road trip, we’ve earned Hyatt Globalist status by staying just 13 nights at Hyatt properties and are now working toward earning Marriott Platinum status.
For us, skiing has been a great socially distant activity to do on the weekends during this pandemic winter.
After skiing in Vail and staying at a family friend’s condo for 10 days, we headed to Aspen to experience the chic ski town for ourselves and stay at the iconic St. Regis hotel there.
Before visiting, it’s important to note that Aspen, in Pitkin County, requires all travellers ages 10 and over who will spend one or more nights in the county to complete an online affidavit prior to arrival. The traveller affidavit requires a negative COVID-19 test that has been administered within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Pitkin County. You must be symptom-free for 10 days before travel and if you have not completed a test, you must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.
Failure to complete the required affidavit or failure to comply with a required quarantine may result in a $5,000 (about £3,600) fine. We made sure to get a COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours before arriving in Aspen and completed the affidavit after receiving our negative results.
Our last St. Regis stay was in the Maldives on our 18-day honeymoon back in 2019, so we had high expectations for this property. It did not disappoint.
If you’re visiting during high season, The St. Regis Aspen is arguably one of the best uses of Marriott Bonvoy points around. For our two-night stay over Presidents Day weekend, the cash rate for this property was a whopping $3,428 (abouot £2,466) for a Superior King room or 185,000 Bonvoy points. This is a top-tier Category 8 Bonvoy property, meaning an award night will cost you 70,000 points for an off-peak night, 85,000 for a standard night and 100,000 for a peak night.
From a quick search, The St. Regis Aspen room rates can run anywhere from $650 (weekdays) to upward of $2,000 (weekends) per night for a base-level room. Based on TPG’s valuations, the 185,000 points are worth about £1,295, making this stay a fantastic redemption.
This St. Regis property is centrally located and a short walk from high-end shopping, top-tier skiing and restaurants that serve delicious food.
The St. Regis Aspen is not a true ski-in/ski-out property like The Westin Snowmass, but it’s only two blocks from the base of Aspen Mountain. The hotel also provides courtesy private shuttles around Aspen in luxurious Cadillac Escalades. And the views of the mountain from the hotel are spectacular.
Check-in and lobby
Before our stay at The St. Regis, we spent two nights at The Westin Snowmass, and we arrived at The St. Regis before noon.
You can valet park for $60 per night at the hotel or park off-site for $10 per night. We opted to park off-site. Since everything in Aspen is within walking distance, we knew we wouldn’t need our car for the duration of our stay. The off-site parking lot was about a 10-minute walk from the property on a snowy day, but the aforementioned shuttles take you anywhere you want in the town, so we utilised that service to pick up our car on our last day. It was well worth the $100 we saved by parking off-site.
Immediately upon arrival, we were greeted by St. Regis staff members who assisted us with our bags. From there, we proceeded to check-in, which was quick and painless. They even had our room ready early.
We were also given a welcome gift, a journal and a wireless charger, during our check-in process.
The lobby is designed as the perfect apres-ski hangout. I loved the fire and comfortable couches — perfect for relaxation after a long day of skiing. Mountain Social Bar & Lounge in the lobby is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. It offers a variety of cocktails and food. My favorite part was the dogs hanging out with their humans enjoying a cocktail.
The hotel has set up a tent in its courtyard with ample, spaced-out seating, heat and a full bar should guests prefer to enjoy a drink or bite to eat outside of the lobby. Champagne sabering, a St. Regis tradition, takes place in this tent around 4:45 p.m. daily.
The hotel had a really cool installation featuring a collaboration between Perrier and artist Takashi Murakami, which made for a great photo op.
On the first floor of the hotel, right before the restaurant, guests can find the Astor Library. Throughout our stay, we saw guests relaxing on the comfortable couches. There was prominent social-distancing signage at the entrance and we never saw more than guests from one household in the library at a time.
Speaking of COVID-19 protocols, the hotel had tons of signage and reminders to wear your mask at all times, including a fun one like this.
There were two lifts for guest usage with signage reminding guests about masks and that only guests from one household were allowed in the lift at a time. Throughout our stay, we found guests were respectful of all protocols.
We were excited to find out that upon arrival, we were upgraded from a Superior King room to a Grand Deluxe room with a balcony and incredible views of Aspen Mountain.
I was able to get two great nights of sleep in the supremely comfortable bed. The headboard had a beautiful leather finish and was perfect for those after-ski naps. Above the bed were framed photos of dogs. Being a dog lover, this felt like the perfect hotel for me.
The room had modern decor and was beautifully designed. I specifically liked the sliding door next to the bathtub. When opened during the day, the entire room was filled with natural light.
The desk (along with other furniture) was designed by Ralph Lauren and was a perfect area to sit down and take any work calls.
There was also a comfortable chair with a great light for reading or eating room service when it was too cold outside.
The bathroom was my favorite part of our room. It was chic with bright light and marble finishes. There was a vanity with a double sink — a must in a luxury hotel. It was constantly stocked with fresh towels and toiletries. I’m not 100% sure the shower would pass the TPG shower test, but it was pretty close. The bathtub is the centerpiece and really makes you want to take a soak after a long day on the mountain.
There were individual toiletries from the Remede Spa — a brand standard for St. Regis.
I will say, though, that the hairdryer in the room was a disappointment. It was old and not especially robust. It’s by no means a deal-breaker, but I didn’t pack my own in order to save room in my luggage for our extended road trip, and I would have expected something of higher quality for such an expensive hotel.
The St. Regis robes were soft and comfortable. I even wore mine all the way from our room to the pool!
Housekeeping routinely stocked water and chocolates next to the bed during turndown service, which I found to be somewhat of a surprise since so many properties have suspended daily housekeeping services.
The minibar had a small, good selection of alcohol, soft drinks and snacks. There was a QR code to scan for prices. As expected, everything was pricey, so if you want to drink and snack in your room, you’re better off going outside the hotel to do so. Also, the minifridge wasn’t big enough to fit our leftovers from dinner.
The Illy coffee machine was great, but there was only one pod of caffeinated coffee. The machine worked fine, but I find Nespresso machines easier to operate.
The closet space in the room was plentiful. I had more than enough room to hang my clothes and keep all my belongings out of sight.
We did find the walls to be quite thin and could easily hear the conversation of the family in the room next to us.
During our stay, we utilized the hot tubs and heated pool a couple of times. During peak times, like weekends and apres-ski hours, the tubs felt crowded, something to consider if you’re thinking about a trip to this property during the pandemic. In fact, the hotel even ran out of towels one afternoon.
We grabbed a drink and waited until the tubs cleared out a bit to enjoy a soak in the hot tub.
I loved the vibe of the outdoor hot tubs and pool on a snowy winter afternoon. Think: cocktails, cozy St. Regis robes, beanies and slippers.
The hotel also has an outdoor igloo called The Keep, which is available to book for private lunches or dinners.
The St. Regis Remede Spa is located inside the hotel and offers a variety of services, including facials, massages and body treatments. I opted for the 60-minute customized facial, which included a paraffin foot wrap, extractions, masks and massage. The facial was not cheap (it cost me $225 plus tax and tip), but my skin was visibly glowing after. I hadn’t had a facial in quite some time, so I thought it was worth it.
When checking into the spa, you are escorted to the locker room where you can change into a robe and sandals. Masks were required at all times and the COVID-19 protocols outlined by Pitkin County were strictly adhered to.
After I changed into my robe, a member of the spa staff escorted me to the waiting room, where they offered me a drink of my choice (I went for Champagne) and the option to utilize the oxygen bar (which I did, under my mask of course).
I was told that I could utilize the spa facilities for about an hour before or after my treatment.
After my facial, the aesthetician brought over some St. Regis-branded chocolates.
While I wish we were better about visiting the gym during our stay, we opted for a ski workout instead. However, we got to snap a few photos of the gym, which was empty but included two Peloton bikes, several treadmills, a separate studio for classes and a variety of standard gym equipment.
We enjoyed the previously mentioned Champagne sabering ceremony each day in the courtyard. The last time we’d gotten this experience, we were on our honeymoon, so it brought back fond memories.
On Valentine’s Day, we returned to our room to find delicious chocolate-covered strawberries waiting for us!
After checking out on our last day, my husband and I both had meetings, so we utilised the business center in the hotel. Thankfully, we were the only guests in there. We didn’t need to use the computers but were happy to have a space to work as well as complimentary Wi-Fi.
A highlight of our stay was sharing a signature St. Regis bloody mary with Kitty the Bernese Mountain Dog, who lives at the hotel (ruff life, right?). Being a momager for TPG’s resident dogs, The Points Pups, meeting Kitty was on the top of my to-do list while in Aspen.
Guests flock to Kitty (can you blame them?), so he’s been on “fur-lough” for some time to help manage crowds. We had a great time sipping a bloody mary with bacon (I had the drink, Kitty enjoyed the bacon).
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Food and beverage
The St. Regis lays claim to being the birthplace of the bloody mary. According to legend, the drink was created at The St. Regis New York in 1934. And now, each St. Regis property has its own take on the cocktail. The Aspen property’s is known as the Downhill Snapper, which was delicious and not too spicy. The hotel gives guests access to the recipes, and I made a mental note to try it at home — it really was that good.
Our stay fell over Valentine’s Day, so we made a reservation at Velvet Buck, the hotel’s American restaurant that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Somewhat oddly, we did have to call four times prior to our arrival to confirm our reservation and never received a call back. Upon arrival, we asked about the reservation and were told it was confirmed.
We enjoyed Valentine’s Day dinner at the restaurant. My husband ordered the classic St. Regis Burger ($25) and I ordered the Cocoa & Coffee Braised Short Rib ($44). The standout item was our appetizer, the Korean BBQ Chicken Lollipops ($22).
For dessert, we had trouble making a decision between the bread pudding, the chocolate fudge brownie and the cheesecake. We eventually settled on the brownie ($16), but our servers were incredible and brought us out a cheesecake and chocolate-covered strawberries as well. Each was delicious, but we were full by that time so we didn’t finish it all.
The food on property was very good, but it didn’t blow either of us away. And, like everything in Aspen, it was expensive. We also enjoyed some delicious meals off-property, including a Nakazawa pop-up restaurant, Meat & Cheese, White House Tavern and Jing Aspen.
On our last morning, we ordered room service breakfast. I ordered the Urban Local breakfast, which included a yummy green goddess juice (a mix of celery, cucumber, green apple and pear); an egg-white frittata with mushrooms, roasted tomato, goat cheese and spinach; a seasonal fruit plate; toast with butter and preserves; and a pot of coffee for $40. My husband ordered the eggs Benedict and an orange juice. The room service was good, but if you want a full brunch experience, I’d recommend going off-site because Aspen has so many incredible restaurants just a short walking distance away.
Our first stay at a St. Regis property was in the Maldives, where we were blown away by the service. We loved the St. Regis-signature butler who was assigned to our stay and it really took the experience to the next level. In Aspen, we didn’t have a butler assigned to us, nor was it mentioned upon check-in.
We certainly didn’t need a butler on this stay and the lack of one didn’t detract from the superb service we received from hotel employees but found it strange that it wasn’t even mentioned. Even if the service is suspended during the pandemic, it would have been nice to be made aware.
Aspen is an incredibly chic town, and The St. Regis does a great job of being the most luxurious points hotel in town. The rooms are modern, clean and comfortable; the staff is attentive and did a great job of enforcing the hotel’s COVID-19 protocols. In my opinion, the hotel captures the luxurious vibe of Aspen without being too pretentious. If you have the Bonvoy points, it’s definitely worth the splurge.
All photos by the author.
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