Aspen has a universal reputation as a luxurious destination for well-to-do jetsetters, but surprisingly, there’s also an array of affordable lodging choices for travelers with smaller budgets — even if you’re visiting with dogs or yearning to hit the slopes during peak ski season. No matter when your travels take you there, Aspen’s stunning Rocky Mountain scenery provides far more than perfect ski conditions.
Guests also enjoy year-round outdoorsy fun in magnificent settings like the Crater Lake Trail, and an active community events calendar packed with annual events like Wintersköl, Aspen’s annual Nordic-themed “toast to winter,” as well as the acclaimed Aspen Arts Festival that takes place at the height of summer wildflower season.
Artsy Fun in an Historic Setting
Aspen has its share of modern, ultra-chic hotels, but if you’re an adventurous traveler seeking offbeat overnight lodging, the Snow Queen Victorian Lodge and Copper Street Lofts is an ideal choice. As one of the town’s most historic destinations, this bed and breakfast inn was originally a posh residence during Aspen’s silver mining era of the late 1800s. It was later converted to a bed and breakfast in the early 1970s by Norma Dolle and Marge Babcock, identical twin actresses from Hollywood’s golden age of the 1930s and ’40s.
Today, Norma’s son David and his wife Adrianna Thompson oversee daily inn operations while also performing in and managing Aspen’s renowned Fringe Festival, an annual event in June that presents contemporary arts and entertainment by local and visiting artists. Snow Queen guests have a choice of classic bed and breakfast style accommodations with Victorian-themed rooms and private 3/4 bathrooms, or loft living spaces with fully equipped kitchens for larger groups and families. All guests enjoy a hot breakfast each morning and a steaming hot tub with year-round Rocky Mountain views.
Aspen glistens with opulence and wealth, but a select few affordable hotels welcome laid-back travelers all year long. Socially inclined visitors might want to check into one of Aspen’s most offbeat lodging choices, the St. Moritz Lodge, a European-style inn with communal guest arrangements ranging from shared bunk-style dorm rooms to private rooms with shared bathrooms. St. Moritz guests enjoy access to a steam room and sauna, a cozy entertainment room and a free continental breakfast.
While this laid-back lodge is not exactly for the fussy hotel guest, the St. Moritz is one of the least expensive places to stay in Aspen if your budget is lean. Nightly rates are about $60 per night for dorm lodging in winter or summer, and up to $169 per night for a private room with a shared bath during ski season.
However, if socializing with fellow guests isn’t your scene and you still need an inexpensive place to stay, the family-owned Mountain Chalet Aspen offers one of the last remaining alpine lodge experiences in Aspen, with charming rooms as low as $220 a night during the height of ski season, or bunk lodging for male ski bums at just $95 per night (photo at top). As a family-owned lodge since Aspen’s earliest years as a getaway ski destination in the 1950s, the staff at the Mountain Chalet Aspen treats every visitor like a relative. Each guest receives a full hot breakfast each day and access to acclaimed amenities such as daily après ski social hour, a hot tub, sauna and fitness center.
Bring Fido when you visit Aspen; the city’s hotels are some of the most dog-friendly lodging getaways you’ll find in any of America’s best resort towns. From the laid back Limelight Lodge to the ultra-swanky Aspen Sky Hotel and the rustic Aspen Mountain Lodge, dogs of any breed, size and weight are welcome to enjoy all four seasons with their humans. These three hotels all feature unbeatable locations near Aspen’s downtown dog park and the pet-friendly downtown area.
For those rare occasions when you need a responsible dog sitter, hotel management can direct you to a dog sitter like Aspen Dog Walkers, or a boarding kennel such as the Aspen Boarding Kennel, which generates revenue to cover the costs of adoptable homeless pets living in the Aspen Animal Shelter. Surprisingly, these hotels all feature accommodations for every traveler’s budget and their pet deposits are affordably priced between $20 and $25 per pet, per night. While management always wants to know if you’re bringing a dog along for the ride, once you’ve arrived, they don’t ask much from your canine sidekick except to refrain from disturbing other human visitors.
If You Go
You can find the Snow Queen Lodge and Copper Street Lofts at 124 E Cooper Ave. Check out their website at www.snowqueenlodge.com to find out more or call 970-925-8455.
The St. Moritz Lodge is situated at 334 W. Hyman Ave. Visit www.stmoritzlodge.com to learn more about the place, or contact them by phone at 970-925-3220.
Head to the Mountain Chalet Aspen at 333 E Durant Ave. Visit their website at www.mountainchaletaspen.com, or call 970-925-7797 for more information.
The Aspen Mountain Lodge can be found at 311 West Main Street. Visit www.aspenmountainlodge.com or call 970-925-7650 for more details about their accommodations.
The Limelight Lodge is located at 355 S Monarch Street. Click www.limelighthotel.com to learn more, or you can reach them by phone at 970-925-3025.
The Aspen Sky Hotel is located at 709 E. Durant Ave. in Aspen. Learn more about this location on their website, www.theskyhotel.com, or by phone at 970-925-6760.
Check out Aspen Dog Walkers at http://www.aspendogwalkers.com or 970-710-9078.
The Aspen Boarding Kennel is located at 101 Animal Shelter in Aspen. To learn more about the services they provide, visit http://www.dogsaspen.com or call 970-544-0206.
Rene Agredano enjoys sharing travel tips about Colorado – her favorite state in the U.S. – when she’s not at her mountaintop cabin retreat in Red Feather Lakes, she’s RVing around America writing from the road.