Aspen Meadows Resort: Big Ideas In The Colorado Rocky Mountains | My Family Travels

Aspen Meadows Resort a Dolce Resort is a place of stunning natural beauty, outdoor recreation and so much brainpower it should impress the kids. Nestled in the Colorado Rockies, Aspen’s majestic mountain scenery is inspirational but there’s a unique aspect to the hotel that may also inspire.

A Hotel and a Think Tank All In One

Anderson Park at Aspen Meadows
The serene grounds of Anderson Park at Aspen Meadows.

Aspen Meadows is a hotel and the home of the Aspen Institute. This prestigious think tank draws the world’s best and brightest minds. The institute holds numerous special events throughout the year that attract illustrious guests like Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. They meet here to think up creative solutions to society’s most pressing issues. This non-partisan forum is a springboard for innovative ideas that aim to have an impact way beyond the conference room. 

Hotel patrons and institute guests randomly mix and mingle, imparting a cerebral vibe and an opportunity for intellectual exchange you’re unlikely to find at any other hotel.  Vacationers enjoy a wealth of fresh-air opportunities. It’s casual and subtle, so it doesn’t feel anything like a learning vacation. 

If you’ve got a teenager who’s a policy geek, news junkie, politically active or just interested in the big world, the proximity to so much brainpower will be inspirational. 

Hotel patrons and institute guests randomly mix and mingle, imparting a cerebral vibe and an opportunity for intellectual exchange you’re unlikely to find at any other hotel.  Vacationers enjoy a wealth of fresh-air opportunities. It’s casual and subtle, so it doesn’t feel anything like a learning vacation. 

You may be elbow-to-elbow with global leaders and world-famous scholars at the breakfast buffet as you wait for your cooked-to-order omelet. It’s equally possible that you’ll be sharing a lane with a best-selling author or a Supreme Court Justice while you swim laps. If you’ve got a teenager who’s a policy geek, news junkie, politically active or just interested in the big world, the proximity to so much brainpower will be inspirational. 

Hotel employees refer to the grounds as a campus so there’s an instant sense that the mind and learning are valued. It’s nothing like traditional school but it’s likely that teenage visitors will gain a deeper understanding of the power of collaborative thinking. 

Aspen Ideas Festival Is Not Just For Adults

Kids sledding at Aspen Meadows
There’s plenty for kids to do at Aspen Meadows Resort

The institute’s annual Aspen Ideas Festival is a weeklong event that brings together great minds from the worlds of politics, journalism, the arts and sciences and additional disciplines to discuss, reflect and form ideas that will positively influence society. Panels, lecturers, seminars and discussions are on the menu. 

Teens are not left out of this hotbed of leading-edge thinking. Each year, 17 youngsters are invited to attend the institute as Bezos Scholars. The Bezos Scholars Program selects high school juniors and seniors to take part in a yearlong program that includes spending the week at the Aspen Ideas Festival. 

Mother Nature As Teacher

Health Club lap pool at Aspen Meadows
You never know who you might be swimming next to at Aspen Meadows resort.

When the idea for the Aspen Institute was conceived in 1945, the premise was to create an environment where the human spirit would flourish in a serene natural setting. 

Educators believe spending time outdoors is a recipe to encourage creative thinking and problem solving. Outdoor nursery schools and forest kindergartens are currently gaining popularity in many parts of the world. A vacation at Aspen Meadows is a retreat that hits this trend on the nose. It’s rustic but it’s not roughing it.

Work Hard, Play Harder

A snowman with kids at Aspen Meadows
Kids playing in the snow at Aspen Meadows

The philosophy that the mind and body work in tandem is embraced at Aspen Meadows, so expect plenty of recreational offerings sprinkled throughout this 40-acre property.

The outdoor pool and hot tub have stellar views and are heated for year-round swims. There are scenic hiking trails, five tennis courts and a state-of-the-art health club.

In winter, borrow complimentary snowshoes and traverse the rambling grounds. Go sledding or build a snowman before you head inside and sample the resort’s award-winning biscotti, perhaps by the fire. In warmer months, you may pedal around the property on the resort’s bicycles. If you want to go farther, Aspen’s bike share program, We-cycle, works like a charm. There are kiosks located all around Aspen including one at Aspen Meadows. The bike seats are adjustable so they’ll work fine for older kids.

Tasteful Guest Rooms

Junior Suite at Aspen Meadows
Guest rooms offer stunning mountain views.

Aspen Meadows Resort a Dolce Resort offers 98 spacious rooms and suites. Furnishings are low-key yet stylish. Floor-to-ceiling windows exploit the vistas, immersing you in greenery. It is the epitome of tasteful yet comfy enough for the family. 

Sporty Options

Snow sports dominate Aspen’s winter panorama. The downhill ski slopes here are mythical, carpeted with a windfall of fluffy white powder.

In warmer months, ride the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain and enjoy a variety of hiking trails, including some that are flat and easy enough for tiny travelers. 

Don’t miss the chance to hike to Maroon Bells, among the most photographed natural sites in North America.

Fall is an excellent time to visit, with warm days, cool nights and lower rates. If you’ve never seen Colorado’s autumn foliage, get ready to be dazzled by a splash of golden leaves courtesy of the namesake Aspen trees. 

The Art Scene

The resort is a paradise for art enthusiasts. Back in the 1950s, the founder of the Aspen Institute, Walter Paepcke, commissioned Austrian-born Bauhaus artist and architect Herbert Bayer to transform what was then farmland into a place where art and nature would exist in harmony. Today, Aspen Meadows is home to numerous works of art, much like an open-air museum. Additionally, there’s a dynamic collection found inside the buildings and in the designated galleries. 

The town of Aspen is filled with enough galleries to keep art lovers busy. The Aspen Art Museum is a non-collecting institution that presents thought-provoking international exhibits on a rotating basis. They offer loads of special programming for children and families. The rooftop café offers a light menu of fresh food served with a stellar view of Aspen Mountain. Admission is free.

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