Cross Country:65km between Aspen & Snowmass in Roaring Fork Valley. Ashcroft Ski Touring Center maintains 35 km of trails around Ashcroft.
Hotel - Bed & Breakfast
17 March 2018 (7 nights)
7 nights | Guide prices per person
Just seven miles from Aspen and minutes away from Snowmass Base Village, Viceroy Snowmass Hotel and Resort is a world-class mountain residence. The perfect location, Viceroy Snowmass has direct ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes and is mere steps from Elk Camp Gondola and the Village Express and Assay Hill chairlifts.
Sustainability and luxury are blended together to form Viceroy Snowmass’ interiors and structure. The ecologically conscious design of the resort pays tribute to its surroundings, using Rocky Mountain reclaimed timber, textural stone and embossed metals. Key features of the resort include an all-season heated pool with pool café, as well as the impressive Eight K bar and restaurant, serving up the best breakfast, lunch and dinner in Snowmass Village. With a stunning spa, a kids and teens program as well as plenty of family activities, it’s no wonder that Viceroy Snowmass has been awarded an array of accolades, praising its family-friendly facilities.
There are six different luxury hotel accommodations at Viceroy Snowmass to choose from; studio, one bedroom, one bedroom with den, two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom. Every room has spectacular views of the mountain and are furnished to the highest quality, portraying an elegant and timeless Aspen resort experience. Simply put, Viceroy Snowmass has no comparison when it comes to design, comfort and quality.
Aspen is the number one destination for the North American jet set with elegant Victorian buildings, luxurious hotels, great skiing and vibrant nightlife.
Aspen enjoyed a golden age as a silver mining town in the second half of the nineteenth century, but in 1893 the silver market collapsed and the town went from boom to bust almost overnight. It was reborn as a ski town over half a century later when the first lift opened here just after the end of World War Two. Many of the original Victorian buildings have been preserved and lovingly restored and today they serve as bars, restaurants, shops and hotels. The town itself is located on the flat floor of the Roaring Fork valley and is designed on the classic American gridiron pattern with wide streets, some of which have now become pedestrian zones. The centre of Aspen is pleasingly compact and it is possible to walk between all the main hotels, bars, restaurants and shops. The views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains are some of the best in Colorado and include the famous Maroon Bells, some of the most photographed peaks in the US.
Although the resort has many millionaire and billionaire visitors – everything the resort has to offer can be experienced on any type of budget on an Aspen Snowmass ski holiday.
Getting to Aspen is not as hard as some expect. For those who book early one can fly via a gateway hub such as Chicago then direct into Aspen's only Airport only located between Aspen and Snowmass (about 6 minutes drive from each. However, severe weather can close this airport - with ensuing transport chaos. For those getting the direct flight into Denver, one can take ground transportation by shuttle or taxi from Denver International (about 4 and half hours). Another option is to fly via another hub into Vail/Eagle county Airport about 1 1/2 hours away.
All tour operators to North America offer a vast range of flights from the UK to varying destinations, the routing of which makes a big impact on the final price. Ski Solutions Al La Carte packages accommodation with scheduled flights, meaning we can be totally flexible as to the duration of your holiday. This opens up the possibility of combining packages with a business trip or city break. Larger operators tend to be less flexible as to duration usually limiting it to 7, 10, 11 or 14 nights, with packages based on charter flights services from Gatwick, and in some cases Manchester/Glasgow.
The most sought after scheduled route for Colorado (Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen and others) is the non-stop direct British Airways flight from Heathrow to Denver. Pressure for seats on this flight have been amplified for 2007/08 - the 2 year experiment by Crystal running a charter flight from London Gatwick to Denver did not balance the books and was axed this year. Unfortunately, the days of getting a last-minute 500 deal to Colorado have disappeared, and early booking is essential if you want a direct flight. Alternatives to the direct flights involve at least one change of plane at a variety of East coast hub airports, quite commonly New York, Chicago or Washington. For Aspen, we recommend either the BA direct to Denver with a land transfer or the one stop flight with United to Aspen via Chicago.
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|Best Snowfall week||02-Mar-2015||23-Nov-2015||30-Jan-2017 (11%)|
|Best Base week||02-Mar-2015||04-Apr-2016||06-Mar-2017 (11%)|
Cross Country:65km between Aspen & Snowmass in Roaring Fork Valley. Ashcroft Ski Touring Center maintains 35 km of trails around Ashcroft.
Some of the finest in North America, Spread around four areas Aspen has four Moutains all skiable on one ticket. Aspen Mountain (often called Ajax) spills directly into he middle of town: you need to take short buses to the other three. Aspen Mountain has some of the toughest skiing in the area with lots of short but testing double-black-diamond runs such as Bear Paw, Short Snort, Aztec and Walsh?s. Bell Mountain, an adjunct to Ajax, also offers some tricky blacks, with lots of fun intermediate runs as well.
Buttermilk, just outside Aspen town, is a small area ideal for beginners and early intermediates who want to build up their confidence. It also hosts the increasingly famous ESPN Winter X Games in the Crazy T?rain park. Snowmass ? by far the largest of the four areas - is a 20-minute free shuttle bus ride from Aspen and is a purpose-built ski resort (opened in 1967) in its own right. The large and incredibly well-groomed ski area is paradise for good intermediates who will enjoy mile upon mile of high-speed cruising, particularly in the Big Burn area. But Snowmass does also offer quite a bit of terrain for experts, including the steep Cirque area which takes you well above the tree-line to the highest point in the Aspen ski area at 3,815m. In fact, at 1342m, it has the longest lift-served vertical drop in the US. Gowdy?s is the steepest chute in this region.
Aspen Highlands used to be a separately owned area, but since 1993 it has been added to the portfolio of Aspen Skiing Company's other three mountains in the area. There are three high-speed quads and two doubles serving a huge variety of intermediate and expert terrain including Highlands Bowl with some of the steepest off-piste terrain in Colorado which has recently been expanded. You can hike to the top or take the exciting snowcat ride part of the way for free. For the moment the Highlands area remains underused and remarkably quiet. Queues are rare.
Off-piste fanatics will find plenty of interesting opportunities in Aspen?s various areas that can be explored with qualified local guides. Best fun of all are the Powder Tours on the back of Aspen Mountain, where you get to use a 10-person luxury snowcat as your uphill transportation.
A decade on, Aspen appreciates the importance of the boarder clientele.
Until 2001 Ajax Mountain still banned all snowboarders from its slopes ? one of the last ski areas in the world to operate such a policy ? but now all Aspen?s ski mountains extend a wholehearted welcome to boarders. There is now a special ride-guide leaflet for all four mountains.
Snowmass has the longest terrain park - 2 miles - in North America. There are three man-made half-pipes and five terrain parks, as well as lots of slopes that are naturally appealing to boarders. Buttermilk also offers a world-class terrain park and hosts frequent competitions including the ESPN Winter X-Games.
Good, by North American standards
By North American standards, the on-mountain catering at Aspen is good, there are many on-mountain choices, both independent and run by the Aspen Skiing Company. Overall there are 17 on-mountain restaurants over the four mountains.
On Aspen Mountain there are a number of good options. The Sundeck restaurant offers a self service lunch option with amazing views. Bonnie's is a well renowned old favourite retaining the old time feel of earlier days and a great deck area. Or ski down to the base for Ajax Tavern , a good place to people watch while enjoying their famous parmesan truffle French Fries. At Snowmass, Gwyn's High Alpine is an excellent establishment where you can choose between self- service or gourmet table service (booking is recommended in high season). Several other restaurants have opened on the mountain and in the new base village, including Sam's Smokehouse, Sneaky's and Liquid Sky. Try the Sweet Life if with kids.
Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro on Aspen Highlands is a cosy little hut with a talented Austrian chef and probably the closest thing in the States to a European mountain restaurant. Willow Creek at the base, part of the Ritz Carlton Club, is another alternative.
Aspen offers a wide choice of child-care facilties. The Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center takes children from 8 weeks to6 years an provides parents with pagers so they can ski all day and still be in touch with their child. Snow Cubs , located at the Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center, takes children aged 8 weeks to 4 years. There are numerous other options for children of skiing age such as Grizzlies at Highlands or Bears at Snowmass.
As sophisticated and varied a dining scene as you will find in any ski resort in the world ? But beware, the scene changes every year.
Aspen probably has the liveliest collection of restaurants of any ski resort in the world, but be warned: the restaurant scene here changes very fast. For the latest information be sure to consult the current issue of the glossy Aspen magazine, but even this cannot guarantee to be totally up-to-date.
Almost every conceivable kind of cuisine is represented in Aspen and the latest trends in contemporary American cooking are always on display. This is the kind of town that can lure chefs who more usually work in New York or LA. Montagna at The Little Nell is still one the best restaurants in town with an 800-bin wine list. Reliable survivors of the Aspen scene include the Ajax Tavern at the base of the new gondola. Jimmy's - which specializes in American cuisine also boasts a large Tequila selection and salsa dancing , Cache Cache - a French/American bistro that is a favourite with the locals and for top sushi - Matsuhisa.
Campo de Fiori serves northern Italian cuisine in a rustic setting and has a lively bar area with additional seating, not to mention a remarkable list of Italian wines. Italian oenophiles will also enjoy L'Hostaria which arguably has Aspen's finest range of super-Tuscans. Lovers of Mexican cooking will enjoy La Cantina on Main St. The Wild Fig serves splendid Mediterranean food and its sister-restaurant D/19 specialises in Italian cuisine.
For budget diners the best addresses are Bentleys for English style pub food, Mezzaluna, the Little Annies, Boogies and the Steak Pit. An insider tip is to sit at the bar in the up-scale restaurants and ask for the bar menu. This usually consists of the same offerings as the main menu but at much lower prices.
As lively a scene as you will find anywhere in North America (it matches Manhattan)
Aspen suffers from a disadvantage since, this being America, no late afternoon apres-ski is allowed actually on the slopes. But as soon as skiers and boarders here hit the bottom of the runs for the last time the partying begins. The deck outside the Ajax Tavern, just beside the bottom station of the Silver Queen gondola is a key location. Mezzaluna (now with a branch in Vail) is a lively, inexpensive place to spot celebrities, eat enormous cheap appetiser slices of pizza and drink Margaritas. The J-Bar at the Jerome also has a good atmosphere and lets visitors see what the grandiose style of old looks like. The deck at Sky Hotel is reminiscent of Nikki Beach with its cool music and laid-back atmosphere. While at Snowmass, two night spots have opened that are definitely worth checking out. Liquid Sky brings a smart new vibe to Snowmass, while Sneakys Tavern is a great place to have a drink and dinner.
Later at night, Aspen has a huge number of bars and clubs ranging from exclusive private clubs such as the Caribou through the Cigar Bar , 39 Degrees (Sky Hotel) and the The Regal Watering Hole with a noisy, young crowd to unpretentious bars such as Bad Billy's and Belly Up (featuring live music acts in an intimate setting). The Woody Creek Tavern (famous haunt of the late Hunter S Thompson) are also worth a visit.
Probably the best destination in North America, with some fabulous, if expensive, shopping opportunities
I shopped on Aspens best skiing day! is the proud boast of one of the resorts many souvenir sweatshirts. Its hard to think of a ski resort with a better variety of shops and galleries to suit all tastes and pockets though the fuller your pockets the greater the possibilities. There are great sports shops such as Ute Mountaineer and Four Season Sports, but there are also plenty of designer boutiques, including Ralph Lauren, Fendi, Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton. There are also over 50 galleries. A big favourite is the Omnibus Gallery that specialises in vintage posters. The Explorer Bookshop is a wonderful place of which any big city in the world would be proud. (Whilst you're browsing, you can also visit the casual Explore Bistro - Aspen's only vegetarian restaurant.)
Because there are plenty of non-skiers in Aspen, the town remains fairly lively throughout the day and there are plenty of good lunching opportunities. It is no great hardship for skiers and boarders to come down to town for lunch at the Ajax Tavern, for example, and it is easy for non-skiers to go up to the top of Ajax Mountain on the Silver Queen gondola for a mountain top lunch with amazing views.