The Hotel Jerome opened in 1889 as a world beater to showcase Aspen’s newfound silver mining riches and rival anything London, Paris or New York could offer. But recent years have been less kind, with the hotel growing tired and stale and lacking several basic necessities of a modern luxury spot, namely a fine dining restaurant, spa and nice rooms. That all changed when Auberge Resorts took over, closing the Jerome for a fast-but-extensive, top-to-bottom renovation. This grand dame historic property has emerged as one of the top ski resort hotels in the nation. Here are five reasons why:
1. The Lobby Lounge: For historical reasons, the centerpiece of the old Jerome was a defunct restaurant turned little-used meeting room that created a giant black hole where the grand noble lobby should have been. This was torn out and revamped as an ultra-stylish and perfectly decorated living room cum cocktail lounge that is suddenly Aspen’s hottest après ski spot, packed every night. The sea change upon entering the hotel is dramatic.
2. New Spa: Auberge Resorts is famous for its spas and added a small but luxurious full-service one here, featuring evergreen needles, calendula and minerals local to the surrounding Roaring Fork Valley in its treatments.
3. Fitness. The Jerome is a 93-room boutique hotel but offers fitness in a much bigger way through a collaboration that lets guests use the neighboring Aspen Club & Spa, nearly 80,000 square feet of high-tech equipment (Vibro-Gym machines) and classes (indoor tennis skills).
4. Eat In. The old Jerome lacked a real restaurant, mainly because the entrance corridor ran through the dining room and it was hard to create a fine culinary atmosphere with people wheeling luggage past tables. That’s gone and the area has all been rebuilt, stylishly remodeled and reopened as Prospect – with great food. “Mom’s Meatballs” with polenta have become the fast favorite appetizer, while the duo of local Colorado lamb (rack and crispy belly) and bone-in Berkshire pork loin with gnocchi are main course delights. Chef Rob Zack came here from the wildly popular Eight K in nearby Snowmass.
5: Rooms. The all-new rooms are simply fantastic and meticulously appointed, from cashmere curtains to the sea chest doubling as the mini bar — where everything from kettle chips to local jerky is complimentary. Bathrooms are ornate with large walk-in rain showers, free Wi-Fi is fast and the oversized flat screens are framed like fine art. There is a state-of-the-art charging station in each desk, an iPad with hotel and local info and even pewter-colored, 19th-century-inspired reading lamps.
Photos Courtesy of Tal Studio