The Hotel: The Little Nell
“You come for the winters but stay for the summers” is how the saying about Aspen goes. And this hotel, well, it’s the heart of what makes Aspen so special. Here’s one to add to your list of hotels to stay in this year. Welcome to The Little Nell, or The Nell, as it’s known by regulars.
The only hotel that’s ski in, ski out in Aspen, The Nell is at the base of Ajax and right next to the gondola. That’s also why in winter, if you’re not having champagne sprayed into your hair for après ski at Cloud 9 on the mountain, The Nell is a popular spot to end a day on the slopes. For summer, they have bluegrass bands performing live in the afternoons or, at minimum, a great DJ spinning tunes.
Ajax Tavern at The Nell also does elevated après ski food. You’ll find dishes from truffle French fries to a vegan cauliflower concoction that is like a mac and cheese, along with their signature burger. For more elevated cuisine, Element 47 has one of the best wine cellars in town. They also have an ongoing interesting lineup of guest chefs who make the food shine.
But we digress; the food options at The Nell are excellent, but that’s just one part of their fastidious and elegant hotel formula. There’s a reason why they are the only Five Diamond resort in Colorado, even with the most prestigious hotels in residence. From the minute you are met at the airport with your private ride, the driver knows if you’re a regular and is prepared to greet you with a “Welcome back.” Their entire bell team is coordinated as if moving in concert together, seamlessly managing that time from the meeting at the airport to check-in, which is critical to a guest’s impression of a hotel.
Grocery Shop in the Mini Bar
The rooms are the nicest and most generously sized in Aspen, no matter which category you book. Nothing is dated, unlike other ski resort hotels. The Nell has recently been refurbished, but they’re always keeping up their standards and refreshing, so they never get to the point of needing a major facelift. Rooms have complimentary minibars, and we’re not talking a random power bar and bottle of water. We’ve been known to grocery shop in that minibar, which is replenished every day, even if you tear through the entire supply. Whether you stay in winter or summer, any time is a good time for The Nell.