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I often recommend to my friends and clients that top notch ski resorts in the summer offer excellent redemption opportunities because you greatly increase your chance of receiving a complimentary suite upgrade. In addition, it is not uncommon with summer occupancy rates to have the amenities and service quality of a world-class resort all to yourself!
I recently returned from the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. During that weekend I found myself consistently comparing the Park Hyatt to the St. Regis Aspen. It dawned on me that I never did a write up for the now Category 7 St. Regis Aspen and thought I’d share my experience before folks start seeing the new $40M renovation. I lost the original photos I snapped with a real camera but was able to recover a few iPhone shots.
I had one Free Resort Night left after redeeming 13 at the St. Regis Princeville. I won’t ever redeem SPG points for Category 6 properties, but to that same extent I won’t redeem Free Nights for anything resort less than the maximum Category 6 they generally permit. I pulled out the St. Regis Category 6 map and found Aspen free over a summer weekend.
A little history blurb I found interesting. The St. Regis Aspen was opened in 1999 along with the St. Regis Washington DC as the first two properties to join the St Regis brand. The iconic St. Regis New York was opened in 1904. Unfortunately the hotel is showing its age, and not quite in the same way as the St Regis DC.
St. Regis entrance
Upon Check-in, I was upgraded to one of their 5 Junior Suites. Junior was definitely the key word here as this could have passed for a large standard room at most other hotels. Quality was nice throughout and the furniture was all large and comfortable. One highlight/lowlight was the fact that this is the only hotel I can remember that had a VHS player and a VHS sitting in the room. I have faith that after the $40M renovation and increase to a category 7 SPG property, guests can expect to find an upgrade to a Laser Disc player! That point aside, the room was incredibly comfortable and I just love when you can fully open your hotel windows and enjoy a summer evening
Bathroom with Remede products
View out the OPEN window
Comfy corner chair and blanket
The location couldn’t be more ideal. This ski-in, ski-out resort is ideally located at the base of the slopes and more importantly to me, walking distance to all of Aspen’s FANCY shops and restaurants. I’m not much of a skier, but Aspen is really a fun little town. As a foodie (when I can use a Groupon, of course) Aspen has a lot to offer. We found several fairly priced meals and great outdoor seating at several restaurants. More importantly, the local drinking establishments mix some fine martinis and serve local Colorado brews. No matter which direction you face, you see the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Aspen is also nice if you can afford $3.000 clutches.
Vuitton next to Prada next to Chanel
As a nice surprise, I found free street parking directly across the street from the hotel. This was a significant savings over the valet alternative. I can assume that street parking is a summer-only reality as Aspen becomes quite crowded during ski season.
The resort itself is not too large (Land in Aspen ain’t cheap, even for St. Regis). The brick hotel surrounds a nice courtyard area with fire pits and pools that looked pleasant but unfortunately every part of the resort was under construction when I was there so I can’t give a proper review.
Where it stands
I definitely enjoyed the St. Regis Aspen and it ranks among my top three ski resort award stays. I am very sad to see this property move up to a Category 7 as I don’t plan on spending 30,000 points for a reward night. It may make sense for the ski season but using that many points for a summer stay is a joke. The real standouts for me were the location up against the slopes combined with the walkability to town. Please keep in mind I am not a skier so that important aspect is omitted from my ranking criteria.
Have you ever been to a ski resort in the summer?