From classic Western hotels to Colorado's contemporary condos and mountain chalets, families will find a wide range of lodging.From classic Western hotels to Colorado's contemporary condos and mountain chalets, families will find a wide range of lodging.
Families looking to hit the slopes this season — whether for skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer — can look to Colorado's Aspen and Snowmass ski areas for a wide variety of accommodation. Our family travel experts checked out some of these lodgings, ranking their favorites in order of convenience for families with younger children. Prices range from $200 ($$) per night to much more than $500 ($$$$$) per night; spring and fall are the low seasons and mid-winter is the highest.
Downtown Aspen is certainly an elegant and convenient choice for families who like its small town ambiance and exorbitant prices. We suggest bypassing the precious Little Nell and Aspen's other celebrity-coveted inns unless you're there for the X-Games, in which case the kids will have bragging rights to last a lifetime.
( 970/920-1000, 800/331-7213)
From Aspens' many low-key and super-luxe abodes, we can recommend families try the late 19th-century, beautifully restored, 92-room Hotel Jerome. It will be closed for renovations from April until December 2007, but its Victorian look will remain intact. For families, the self-described Kid Concierge will happily arrange for local outings, bike rentals, even skateboarding; we found just a lobby tour and a few minutes peering into the hotel bar's glass display cases taught our kids about the region's history. Rates: $$$-$$$$$.
Snowmass Mountain Resort
The feeling is much more laid back and casual on the slopes of Snowmass, a 15-minute drive away, but it's also crowded with six hotels, 21 condominiums, and private homes offering 1,603 guestrooms. In order of most convenient, our lodging picks:
The Snowmass Mountain Chalet
( 970/923-3900, 800/843-1579) )
This small hotel next to the Snowmass Village Mall is the best value ski in/ski out hotel in winter. Large, earth-tone rooms with log trim boast two double beds, a mini-fridge, and humidifiers; many have balconies and can be adjoined through an outer foyer. Rates range up from $$ in winter, but the bonus here is the free breakfast buffet and free soup/bread lunch served daily. Other convenient services are laundry and exercise rooms, free airport transfers, and a large pool and large hot tub, both very popular with guests. In summer, spacious rooms can be had for under $100 per night.
The Silvertree Hotel
( 970/923-3520, 888/837-4255)
The Silvertree is the Snowmass doyen on the slopes next to the Village Mall, and it has seen a lot of families pass through the 245 rooms and 15 suites. It is a full service hotel, with slopeside restaurants, a large and cozy lobby with an après ski bar, ski storage, and good-sized doubles with a large closet area and storage cubbies (perfect for damp gloves) and two queen beds. Two heated outdoor pools with whirlpools are another plus. Rates vary widely from under $$ for a standard double off-season to $$$$$ for a slopeview room in winter; kids under 12 sleep free in parents' room and adjoining rooms are sold at half price in the shoulder season. Not visually stunning, it has good service and a terrific location.
Top of the Village
( 970/923-3673, 800/961-9088)
The condos are, as described, at the top of the village and are most picturesque. They're elegantly furnished and quite nice because they are removed from the ski racks and crowds, not so nice if your little ones are incapable of skiing back to their condo, in which case they'll have to wait for the free resort shuttle. (The resort also has its own free van which can be summoned at the base village.) This complex does have a pool and small exercise room, and washer/dryers, full kitchens, barbecues, balconies and daily maid service for the comfortable two to four-bedroom units, making it ideal for reunion groups. And with a recent $6.5 million renovation, these family-style accommodations are not only convenient but luxurious. A good choice with non-skiers who enjoy lounging at home and watching the action whizz by. Rates: $$$-$$$$$
( 970/923-3110, 866/356-7669)
More moderately priced are these attractive, slopeside studios a bit closer to the Village mall. The Laurelwood has once weekly maid service and a small pool and hot tub shared with the similar Aspenwood Condos just down the hill. We liked the airy feeling in the peaked-roof second floor units, but since there's no elevator, the ground floor studios with their queen size beds, full sofabeds, and wood-burning fireplaces are more convenient for families with little ones. There are two and three-bedroom units at the fancier, neighboring Interlude ( 970/923-3673, 800/961-9088) if your extended family wants to mix it up a bit.
( 970/923-5200, 800/525-0710)
There's no question that you get what you pay for at this very fancy, four-diamond private resort with a gorgeous pool and well-stocked health club. This Club has 53 elegantly furnished, one to three-bedroom villas, apartments and houses that will make you feel like you're in your own (very wealthy) home. Unfortunately, it's a 10-minute drive from Snowmass Village, but its haute atmosphere and staffed, summertime kids camp, tennis, golf and swimming lessons for ages 4-12 ensure you may never want to leave. The bright indoor nursery and play area accept children 8-weeks to 8-years-old whose parents are on property playing golf, dining or enjoying the spa; skiers will have to take little ones to Snowmass' daycare. These are full membership or fractional ownership residences, so you'll have to contact the reservations office far in advance to check on availability of units whose owners are not in residence.
Tip: With construction in progress on a whole new base village that promises to outshine the current one, families should keep an eye on the housing opening at Snowmass for the 2007-2008 season. This is already a densely developed area, and the above-mentioned properties and many more are included in the last minute specials often featured on the central website, www.snowmassvillage.com or on the regional site, www.aspensnowmass.com. Look here first if your travel dates are flexible.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.