Back In The Limelight: The Limelight Lodge Then And Now

Limelight Lodge Aspen

The first time I stayed at the Limelight Lodge was back in 1991.  It was my first ski trip to Aspen, Colorado.  Back then, the Limelight was an affordable lodging alternative to the higher-priced hotels Aspen is known for — places like Little Nell and the Jerome Hotel.  The Limelight reminded me of the typical motor lodges that were popular back in the 1960s and 1970s.  They served your basic needs but could definitely use some upgrades.

The location was perfect — only one block from the town center and next door to Wagner Park.  It’s a short walk to Aspen Mountain as well as nearby transportation to take you to Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk or Snowmass.

Limelight Lodge At Night
The Limelight Lodge is in a prime location for outings to ski resorts, local restaurants, and downtown.

The rooms were clean and basic, and there was a big outdoor pool and hot tub with a stunning view of the mountains.  Ski lockers surrounded the pool area, and there was a free, continental breakfast served each morning.  That about covers the basic necessities of a ski trip.

The Limelight began as a bar in the 1950s called the Ski and Spur.  It was renamed the Limelight a few years later when the bar featured live music.  A folk singer bought the club and formed The Limelighters Trio, but when the club faced bankruptcy, new owners stepped in and turned it into a ski lodge.

I’ve visited the Limelight Lodge a total of four times since 1991. The convenient location and the stunning views are the same, but the lodge has been totally renovated (actually, it was torn down and replaced to be more accurate).  The Limelight closed in 2005; it took three years to re-build the lodge, and it re-opened in November 2008.

The new Limelight Lodge is a contemporary mountain lodge with the latest state-of-the-art conveniences, all while being environmentally-conscious at the same time.  The original feel and vibe remain, and the same hospitality provided by the former Limelight staff continues.

The daily, free continental breakfast is still available, but these days you’ll enjoy organic coffee and homemade granola along with fresh-baked goods, yogurt, and fruit.

Limelight Lounge
Guests can enjoy a cocktail while listening to local live music in the new lobby.

The Limelight’s living room is a great place to relax and unwind on comfortable, leather couches around the fire after a full day’s activities.  The Lounge’s menu has expanded and now offers pizzas and Italian specialty items.  Guests can enjoy a cocktail while listening to local live music in their new lobby.

Outdoor pool and spas, stylish rooftop terraces, underground parking, high-speed wireless connection, and guest laundry facilities are added amenities.

All of the rooms at the Limelight are spacious with high ceilings and marble and granite finishes.  All rooms feature in-room movies and games, and DVD players are available for rent.  Extra comforts include plush bath robes and quality bath products.  Skiers will love the oversized closets.

Depending on your needs and price range, you can stay in a variety of rooms ranging from a 315-square foot Standard Room to a two-bedroom Penthouse Suite.

For instance, a Superior Hotel Room offers 526 square feet of comfort and luxury and has either a king-sized bed or two queen-sized beds.  With a kitchenette, your own fireplace, and a 32-inch flat screen TV, you’ll feel more like you are at home than in a hotel room.

For business travelers, the Limelight offers over 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, and wireless internet access is available in public areas for added connectivity along with state-of-the-art audiovisual services.

Limelight Penthouse Bedroom
The Penthouse Suite is located on the fourth floor where guests can enjoy beautiful views from the large, outdoor balcony.

The 1,300-square foot two-bedroom Penthouse Suite is perfect for entertaining.  Two master bedrooms feature a cozy sitting area and a luxurious bathroom.  Decorated in a contemporary mode, there’s an expansive living room with fireplace, a well-equipped kitchen, and a formal dining room which seats up to six guests.  Located on the fourth floor, guests can enjoy beautiful views of downtown and the mountains from the large, outdoor balcony.

Wheelchair accessible rooms offer five types of rooms to choose from.

For the last 40 years, the Limelight has been a dog-friendly hotel.  A dog walking area is available, and a dog park is located across the street from the hotel.

A daily 6% resort fee covers a host of amenities and provides good value especially for skiers.  The fee includes:

  • airport transfers to and from Aspen Airport
  • in-town transportation
  • daily continental breakfast
  • skier shuttles (seasonal) to Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass daily
  • ski valet (seasonal)
  • on-property ski lockers (seasonal)
  • use of the fitness center
  • wireless internet service
  • domestic long distance
  • local phone calls

As a skier, I love the ski valet service as you don’t have to lug your skis back and forth to the mountain.  Simply alert the ski valet as to the mountain you would like to ski the next day, and they will transport your skis to that resort!

Check the website for a variety of specials.  Some winter specials include up to 25% off your lodging rate if you stay four nights or more.

While I have very fond memories of the old Limelight, the modern amenities of the new Limelight can’t be beat.

If You Go

Check out the Aspen Snowmass Adventure Guide to find some of the activities you can enjoy in Aspen:

Limelight Lodge
355 South Monarch Street
Aspen, Colorado  81611
Direct:  (970) 925-3025
Toll Free:  1- (800) 433-0832
Fax:  (970) 925-5120

Linda Steinmuller is a freelance travel writer and copywriter from Brooklyn, New York, who loves the outdoors and skiing, and visits Colorado frequently.

Special thanks to the Limelight Lodge for providing the photos featured in this article!