{ THE FAB FOUR: HIGH LIFE IN ASPEN }

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Luxury -

Viceroy Snow­mass: Land at Aspen-Pitkin County air­port and count the num­ber of pri­vate jets parked be­side the run­way. Such a tally sets the scene for a luxe stay at Viceroy Snow­mass in Snow­mass Vil­lage, 20 min­utes away. It is a ski-in, ski-out ho­tel in win­ter, while in sum­mer this is a per­fect base for hik­ing, biking, hot-air bal­loon­ing and rodeo vis­its. Com­pleted in 2010, Viceroy Snow­mass is a hand­some ho­tel, from its aspen bough-lined lobby to the wo­ven wood lam­i­nate ceil­ing of the re­lax­ation lounge in the spa. Book a Ute Sun­dance treat­ment with Se­dona clay wrap, fol­lowed by a Vichy shower; then on to din­ner at Res­tau­rant Eight K to try chef Will Nolan’s crusted elk loin. Or self-cater in your spa­cious gue­stroom with ex­cel­lent cook­ing fa­cil­i­ties plus laun­dry, gas fire and pri­vate bal­cony for moun­tain marvel­ling. More: viceroys­now­mass.com. Lunch at a land­mark: It is ab­so­lutely true — as we pull up at the his­toric Jerome Ho­tel for lunch at the Gar­den Ter­race, one­time Aspen res­i­dent John Den­ver is singing Rocky Moun­tain High on the car ra­dio. Chilled Arnold Palmers (le­mon­ade and ice tea), house-cut truf­fled fries with rose­mary and a spinach and ar­ti­choke dip arrive in a flash, fol­lowed by a Maine lob­ster and cobb salad. It is al­most heaven as we sit un­der an um­brella sur­rounded by pot­ted petu­nias, ev­ery so of­ten tak­ing in Aspen Moun­tain — so close, so steep, so sum­mer-green. A sneak peek at a just-fin­ished ju­nior suite con­firms the in-progress, $US20 mil­lion re­furb will set a new stan­dard in the art of ho­tel lux­ury. Our de­part­ing treat is a de­li­cious Aspen crud (bour­bon, milk and ice cream) in the fa­mous 1889 Jerome Bar. More: hotel­jerome.com. Cock­tails at Jus­tice Snow: Madly enough, there was a jus­tice of the peace called Snow in Aspen in the 1880s. He would prob­a­bly feel quite at home at this new bar named in his hon­our at the Wheeler Opera House. Re­cy­cled Amer­i­can white oak and ch­est­nut timbers, pe­riod light fit­tings, chamois-cov­ered so­fas and cop­per-topped iron tables give the bar an his­toric feel. But it is edgy too — check out the video peep­holes en­route to the lava­to­ries. Or­der a well­made (and named) cock­tail such as The Hem­ing­way, Ala­m­a­goo­zlum or Widow’s Kiss to go with the-best-intown cheese se­lec­tion or tem­pura pick­les. More: jus­tices­nows.com. St Regis Aspen Re­sort: ‘‘Moun­tain manor’’ is the look of this five-star re­sort. The newly fit­ted-out rooms fea­ture glam­orous mar­ble bath­room, wing-backed leather bed­head, bed­side tables with in­built sock­ets to charge phones and a felt­cov­ered arm­chair be­neath a pic­ture win­dow show­cas­ing the moun­tains. But the real rea­son the ho­tel shines is its res­tau­rant, Chefs Club in as­so­ci­a­tion with Food & Wine mag­a­zine, which fea­tures dishes from the top chefs in the US as an amaz­ing, ev­er­chang­ing culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence. On my visit, it’s Alex Sei­del of Den­ver’s warm green as­para­gus with ri­cotta crema and pis­ta­chio vinai­grette; New York chef’s Ge­orge Men­des’s seared rain­bow trout in pine nut brown but­ter; and choco­late-malt semifreddo by Sue Ze­man­ick of New Orleans. More: streg­isas­pen.com. He­len McKen­zie was a guest of the Aspen Cham­ber Re­sort As­so­ci­a­tion, Snow­mass Tourism and Vir­gin Aus­tralia.

St Regis Aspen Re­sort

Wheeler Opera House

Jerome Ho­tel

Viceroy Snow­mass Moun­tain Re­sort

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