Aspen offers some of the best skiing, and snowboarding in particular, in the States. The ski areas of Snowmass and Buttermilk are slightly easier with Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands great for the experts. The advanced skiing here is out of this world with experts hardly knowing where to go first. Though all levels of skiers will enjoy the super speedy lifts, the extensive and varied skiing for all levels over Aspen and the Snowmass area is great for beginners.
Aspen is our favourite American resort. It has everything we look for – except, obviously, convenience. Our affection depends heavily on the presence of Aspen Highlands, a little way down the valley, and even more on Snowmass, considerably further down the valley, with its own sizeable and growing village (and covered in a separate guide). So most days you have to ride a bus; that doesn’t worry us, and doesn’t seem to worry many who report on the place – one besotted reporter went for the fifth time two seasons ago.
Many rich and some famous guests jet in here, and for connoisseurs of cosmetic surgery the bars of the top hotels can be fascinating places. And the place does seem to be drifting even further upmarket. But, like all other ‘glamorous’ ski resorts, Aspen is actually filled by ordinary holidaymakers. Don’t be put off.
In 2010 The Little Nell area gained 26 luxury condos and a new Italian restaurant – an outpost of New York’s Il Mulino.