BEST BEDS

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

Neil Perry’s off-menu tip is to ask for the yel­low­tail and jalapeno sashimi as a sushi roll with ponzu). But for mem­o­rable mid-moun­tain din­ing, it’s hard to beat the cosy am­bi­ence of Snow­mass’s Lynn Britt Cabin where win­ter lunch op­tions in­clude a bi­son prime rib sand­wich, elk stroganoff and cas­soulet. More: mat­suhisaaspen.com; as­pen­snow­mass.com.

PLACE WITH A PAST They keep the lights down low at the Ho­tel Jerome, an 1889 three-storey ho­tel made of red brick and sand­stone from val­ley kilns and quar­ries. A 2012 ren­o­va­tion ditched old-fash­ioned chintz and vel­vet in favour of a mas­cu­line Wild West vibe: think cowhide­and-plaid chairs, cash­mere cur­tains, sil­ver-log lamps, por­traits of Na­tive Amer­i­cans above the bedheads and an el­e­va­tor lined with leather belts. The ho­tel is said to be haunted by “wa­ter boy”, the ghost of a lad who drowned in the ho­tel pool. Leg­end has it that ac­tor Bill Mur­ray al­most drowned here too when Hunter S. Thomp­son, a reg­u­lar at the ho­tel’s J-Bar, taped him to a deckchair and threw him in the wa­ter. More: hotel­jerome.auberg­ere­sorts.com.

HIT THE SHOPS Want the luxe Aspen look with­out the heart-at­tack-in­duc­ing pric­etags? Browse the shelves at high-end con­sign­ment store The Lit­tle Bird. Score a pair of Chris­tian Louboutin stilet­tos that would usu­ally cost $US845 for $US325, Chanel metal­lic pumps for $US525, a Louis Vuit­ton carry-all for $US1895 or a Her­mes Birkin bag for $US17,500. At the other end of the scale, there’s the fun of hunt­ing through the good­ies at the Thrift Shop of Aspen (al­though the ea­gle-eyed vol­un­teers know their la­bels and so price ac­cord­ingly). If you’ve al­ways wanted to bring home a chunk of me­te­orite, try The Columbine near Vic­to­ria’s Espresso. Daniels An­tiques spe­cialises in binoc­u­lars, slot ma­chines, avi­a­tion art, Louis Vuit­ton lug­gage and other cu­riosi­ties. More: the­lit­tlebirdinc.com; as­penthrift­shop.org; daniel­san­tiques.com. MIS­SIONS POS­SI­BLE En­ter the lobby of the five-star The Lit­tle Nell and pre­pare to be daz­zled by golden keys. Five of the ho­tel’s six concierges wear the lapel badges sig­ni­fy­ing mem­ber­ship of the elite Les Clefs D’Or or­gan­i­sa­tion. The team has fielded all sorts of re­quests over the years. Could they find two sax­o­phon­ists to per­form at a birth­day lunch that day at the mid-moun­tain eatery Cloud Nine? (They could but the restau­rant needed more no­tice.) On an­other oc­ca­sion, some Rus­sians wanted to rus­tle up a goose for a tra­di­tional Christ­mas meal. (The guests de­clined, though, when told it would cost $US22,000 to fly one in by pri­vate jet.) The metic­u­lous ser­vice ex­tends to the tini­est things. In-room com­forts in­clude fire­place con­trols right next to the bed. The Lit­tle Nell’s sis­ter prop­erty, the Lime­light Ho­tel, is four blocks away. Both ho­tels of­fer free ac­cess to a car. Guests can take one of the res­i­dent Audis for a few hours to visit lo­cal land­marks such as In­de­pen­dence Pass (the high­est paved cross­ing of the Con­ti­nen­tal Di­vide in the US, open only in warmer months) and lo­cal at­trac­tions such as the river­side Penny Hot Springs be­tween Car­bon­dale and Red­stone. More: the­lit­tlenell.com; lime­lightho­tel.com.

Ka­t­rina Lob­ley was a guest of Aspen Snow­mass, Qan­tas, The Lit­tle Nell and the Lime­light Ho­tel.

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