Author Topic: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report  (Read 2548 times)

Offline mdv

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2020, 06:59:57 AM »
Pretty sure I saw you in the Hertz parking lot in Denver as I saw that Jag in the parking lot and went inside to double check if I could have it, and then my kids came inside and told me other Yidden got it first!
yes I remember seeing you guys at baggage claim and at hertz.... that's really funny.I guess I owe you an apology! At from now on you know that anything in the PC lot just take it and run - don't look back!
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Offline mdv

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2020, 07:00:57 AM »
Awesome job, little brother! Keep it coming- just what's with the grammar? Did we go to the same school or what?  ;D ;D
:-\ embarrassing older brothers
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Offline Mikes@Micro

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2020, 07:50:51 AM »
yes I remember seeing you guys at baggage claim and at hertz.... that's really funny.I guess I owe you an apology! At from now on you know that anything in the PC lot just take it and run - don't look back!
great story!
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Offline Yehudaa

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2020, 08:39:07 AM »
Great start!

Offline mdv

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2020, 09:31:38 AM »
Continued

Correct me if I am wrong but as far as I can tell from a quick look around this forum I am the first reviewing aspen and the St Regis so I will try to be as detailed as I can to give you an accurate picture.
Aspen is a beautiful and extremely wealthy town 8000 feet above sea level nestled in the rocky mountains with beautiful views of the surroundings peaks wherever you look. Its just a hop away from some of the best ski slopes in the winter (the lifts are a short walk from basically anywhere in town) and from some of the best hiking and scenic spots in North America. There are plenty of high end boutique shops (hence the attraction for my wife) , restaurants (nothing kosher obviously) , and hotels.
There is even an airport with flights from denver and a few other cities but we needed to stop in denver for supplies and we wanted to do the drive so we didn't fly in directly to Aspen.
As I previously mentioned, the St Regis is an older building (originally opened as a Ritz I believe and eventually rebranded as St Regis) that was renovated about ten years ago .
To be completely honest this point was when our "luck " felt like it was running out, I will explain. We have previously been to the St Regis Bahia Beach in peurto rico and when we arrived at that resort we were greeted by numerous people who right away welcomed us and offered us refreshing towels and drinks and took our luggage etc etc the whole nine yards and we were upgraded from a base room to a suite despite only being gold. So although we realized that this wasn't the same situation at all as this property isn't a whole resort with its own grounds etc. its just a building on a street in a town ,(actually they do call themselves "The St Regis Aspen Resort " not sure why) , nonetheless we expected some kind of welcome. Unfortunately when we pulled up no one even came to greet us I actually had to approach someone to help us with our bags ! - not the end of the world but still they definitely fell short on first impressions (they actually apologized later about this).
Then we went to check in . I had called the property before I booked just to make sure that things were open and functional and to find out what special measures were going on for covid (no turndown service and masks required indoors but not everyone listened and definitely wasn't enforced) and was told that it was pretty empty...so for some reason I kinda assumed that they would give us a suite. I knew we could use the extra space with a kid but at time I didn't realize how necessary it was as this was our first time staying at a hotel with him. Anyways after arriving with a bit of a sour taste, we walked up to the checkin counter and inquired if there was any upgraded rooms available and was informed that the only suite available was the presidential suite for $900 extra per night (despite there being many other suite types bookable online)
. So we said no thanks we'll stick with our regular room but when we got there, although the room was beautifully furnished, we just felt so claustrophobic with the crib and all our stuff... the was literally no where to move. The bigger issue was that once my baby was sleeping we couldn't make any noise or turn on any lights since its basically one room and there wasn't even a balcony to step out into. Lesson learned....never attempt a hotel stay with a baby in a base room unless its like the St Regis Bal Harbor.
I didn't have a chance to get proper pictures of the room because unpacking was such a balagan but I'll post some nice pictures of the suite we eventually got in Monday's installment.
Here's a taste . You can see the crib crammed in behind the bed



The building is shaped like a "ches" with one whole side dedicated to the residences and the remaining "L" shape making up the hotel part. Here's the floor plan for the fourth floor which we were on. We were in 417 as you can see its even the smaller of the base rooms



In the middle of the "ches" is some outdoor restaurant seating, some fire pits and then up some stairs on the second level is the pool and a few hot tubs

The lower level



The pool level



The pool is definitely more old fashioned and can use a refresh but obviously people aren't coming to Aspen for the swimming....

Back in the room the butler did a great job helping us unpack and we settled in. One thing I would like to point out is that even though I had emailed the hotel dining staff to ask about storing and or warming up my meals (they wanted $45 per dish to warm up but thankfully I didn't need that) and they promised to notify the front desk about the fact that I would need my stuff brought to the freezer, I still found myself having to explain myself a few times until I got someone competent enough to understand what I wanted and look on the notes on my reservation and put me in touch with the right people (in room dining) and have someone come pick up the food. Don't expect it to go smoothly unless its a property that gets alot of this kinda stuff .

It was already quite late and we were quite knocked out from a whole day of travel on very little sleep and the 2 extra hours of time difference , we walked around a little and then warmed up supper.... some homemade schnitzel on baguettes warmed up in toaster oven and some oyster steak and lamb ribs from yapchik warmed in the sous vide. The shnitzel was great but the oyster and the lamb weren't amazing (they are best off fresh...) but it did the trick .
I went down to find street parking as the hotel charges $50 for valet and I found residents parking right next door which is free on Sundays but they usually charge $8 per day but they they actually weren't charging for the whole month of July so that worked out nicely
Then we called it a night.
To be continued.....
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Offline mdv

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2020, 08:40:01 PM »
Monday - Day 2 (07/06/20)
After a leisurely late morning, we had some breakfast (cereal, coffee, and some pastries from lkwd) , I called private dining to bring up the rest of the food we wanted for the day to start defrosting, and we headed out.
Just a few minutes walk from the hotel was the whole boutique shopping area. We had a nice time browsing some designer stores .... alot of them had the feeling that they were like the "flagship " stores of that brand. We checked out a cool art gallery but wasn't allowed to take pictures, got some starbucks.

The whole vibe of the place was basically just upper class wealthy people....(apparently plenty of non frum jews but definitely didn't see anyone frum....arguably one of the best parts of the vacation  ;)). We didn’t really feel all that fancy in our Jaguar when surrounded by Range Rovers and G wagons lol.

We went back for some lunch - frozen pizza and lasagna from bagelnosh (bit shvach - should have stuck with penne or something).

The whole day I was planning to try and get into a suite even if I would have to pay for it as long as it's reasonable so I gave Carlos a call .He had given me his direct number to let him know about shortening my stay - he said as long as I let him know a day or two before I wanted to check out I wouldn't be charged . I told him that I was still undecided about the last night but now I have another issue and I explained the issue and I mentioned how I was only offered the $900 upgrade which is way too steep for me even tho there were others bookable online and I understand that my gold status doesn't entitle me to a suite upgrade but I didnt even get any kind of enhanced room...no balcony no nothing . He said let me check what I can do and he came back and gave me a junior suite on the same floor for no extra cost !
The butler came and helped us move all our stuff...it got complicated as there was a mini fridge they had brought me for perishables and both my toaster oven and sous vide were on but we managed.
Here's some pictures . (For reference-Room 425 on floor map attached previously )













Here's the view from my room



As you can see the suite is way bigger than the first room and definitely worked much better for us. Even though there wasn't actually a separate room that we can close the door but still we just put the crib in that first room which was kinda around the corner from the main room .
The bathroom was very nice sized and gorgeous - I liked it better than the one at the St Regis in PR even though that one was way bigger and redone almost 10 years after !
Even the living area I enjoyed more because even though it wasn't new and modern but the couches were actually plush and comfortable as opposed to nicer looking but very stiff ones in PR.
The whole suite in general was done nicer than the base room....it had tv in bathroom... fancier coffee machine etc but funnily enough the storage was actually worse because for some reason it seemed as they didn't get a new dresser for this room (it was visually worn out) and it wasn't as good as the dresser in the first room , but as a whole having the suite changed the whole vacation for us.
We decided to stay all four nights once we were in the suite and also because it didn't really make sense to start going somewhere else for one not just to do something which isn't in the area we were staying.... we can always do that another time if we are based out of Denver but for this trip it made most sense to just do some things around Aspen and enjoy the hotel.
If we wouldn't have brought our baby we would have been able to do some more fun activities such as biking down the ski slopes (supposedly amazing), horseback riding ,or some real hiking but hey you win some you lose some....we only got the suite because we brought him !
We decided to try out the pool area as it already later in the day and was emptying out. Officially they were limiting the pool to 8 people at a time but no one was actually enforcing that. When we came to the pool it was just before 6pm and the attendant informed us that the pool closes at 6. When I asked about the hot tubs (which are kinda meant to be used at night when it gets cooler) he said I'm new here let me ask my supervisor. He came back a bit later and said that his manager is also new here (due to covid) and he didn't either know but then he goes -" between me and you if you paid to stay here then you should be able to use the pool and hot tub whenever you want so I won't bother you. Lol !! 😆 🤣
The pool was nice.... nothing special and the hot tubs were also enjoyable



Wine makes everything more enjoyable :). (Tip - the average wine bottle fits in the standard hotel safe....eliminating any issues of non mevushal wines)

Hot tub with a view (and a doona )



The other guests at the hotel also seemed to be very classy wealthy people... the type that the whole family was sitting around eating at the outdoor seating all dressed up.
The lobby area was definitely beautiful and luxurious but clearly was built long before "open concept " was invented. More of a cozy feel...fireplaces and plush leather couches.

Dont forget the chandelier in elevator !



We went back and had a great supper of freshly sous vide steak seared with blowtorch , yapchik and pulled chicken in baguette.
Searing with blowtorch (pro tip: it's best to do this on a balcony or some other outdoor area so the DW don't get nervous; ))



My food preparation setup







The yapchik was heavenly and the steak was very solid if a bit overspiced . And as always... wine makes everything better :)
Still to come : Tuesday and Wednesday... the best is yet to come...
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Offline lubaby

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2020, 09:18:32 PM »
Pretty sure I saw you in the Hertz parking lot in Denver as I saw that Jag in the parking lot and went inside to double check if I could have it, and then my kids came inside and told me other Yidden got it first!
yes I remember seeing you guys at baggage claim and at hertz.... that's really funny.I guess I owe you an apology! At from now on you know that anything in the PC lot just take it and run - don't look back!
If ever in doubt about a car being “in your class” or you see something you like but want to see if anything better is available further down the aisle/lot, take the keys of the first car with you and lock the doors so nobody else starts loading their stuff and you then need to fight it out.
Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

Offline gsquared817

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2020, 08:33:50 AM »
If ever in doubt about a car being “in your class” or you see something you like but want to see if anything better is available further down the aisle/lot, take the keys of the first car with you and lock the doors so nobody else starts loading their stuff and you then need to fight it out.

yup. was a good lesson for my teenage sons (take whatever lesson you want).

Offline aygart

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2020, 12:40:52 AM »
:-\ embarrassing older brothers
Don't even start with the BIL.
Just because things turned out a certain way doesn't mean you were right.

Offline mdv

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2020, 01:29:38 AM »
Tuesday - Day 3 07/07/20
As I previously mentioned, the Aspen mountain gondola is a very close walk to the hotel but the St Regis had some nice Escalades and BMW house cars so we may as well get a ride


St Regis house car (jersey plates !!?)



The gondola has 2 options : either a one time ride up or for a bit more you can get an unlimited pass for aspen and the nearby snowmass mountain which has more activities, and some food/drink vouchers which were useless for us. We opted for the second option although we only ended up going up aspen once .(oh well they got us ).

Aspen gondola




The views from the gondola and at the top were quite amazing. There was a restaurant at the top with some indoor and outdoor seating. We got some drinks and took pictures.

Portrait mode



Restaurant with a view





We went back to the hotel for some lunch( frozen pizza ) and then we went back out to check out the W.

As I mentioned, the W is quite new and very intriguing. The design of the lobby, rooms , and even hallways are pretty wild . I was looking at the pictures online before we went and the pictures of the presidential suite were so insane I decided I wanted to see if I can take a tour so we went to check it out.

Its quite close to the St Regis (like everything else ) so we walked.
The building looks pretty ordinary from the outside but when you step inside things start to get interesting. The carpeting is supposed to be a map of aspen. The colors and designs are really astonishing.

The W lobby








DJ booth



The hallways are supposed to look like a mine shaft (alot of mining history in the area)



Then we headed for the rooftop area which its famous for. There's a restaurant, bar , infinity pool and hot tubs. The entire rooftop has unobstructed views of all the surrounding mountains and it's really serene. Although the whole chill was more of a party vibe with loud music which was a bit of a contrast but was still very enjoyable . I ordered a drink which the waiter totally forgot about and I had to go remind her.





I asked them if I can get a tour of the presidential suite but it was occupied so they showed us the residences instead.

Here's the picture on marriott.com that made me want to see it but unfortunately it didn't work out.



Heres some pictures of the residences.... they are definitely quite unique too but they don't have that sick bed :-)







This residence also had an amazing panoramic view from the balcony but I didnt get a picture

As we left we hotel they had a interesting kind of hoverboard called the Onewheel that they let you try (just had to sign a waiver ) .I had seen other people zipping around on them and it looked fun so I gave it a shot.



After a few tries I got the jist of it...it was pretty fun

Overall the W is a very cool, fun, unique, modern and colorful but definitely wasn't high class ,quality and luxury like the St Regis . It was definitely worth the visit but ultimately we were glad we stayed at the St Regis
We went back and had some delicious short ribs from yapchik, pulled chicken tacos, and some rib eye (slightly less delicious.... again that stuff should be made fresh)




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Offline mdv

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2020, 02:46:36 PM »
Wednesday - Day 4
Today was the big day ; we were going to do maroon bells. After speaking to a few people people including one of the St Regis butlers it was clear that Maroon Bells is definitely a must see and if we were doing one hike that's the one we should do.

We got all geared up with my baby carrier I borrowed from my bil (one of the most embarrassing things to use in public lol), and my fake camelback (just the pouch and the hose) from amazon.

On the way out we stopped at the concierge to get some details . We had looked into it previously but just wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything . Sure enough he informed us that since we were bringing our kid we didn't have to take the shuttle and we can drive all the way to the trailhead.

The drive was a short but beautiful 25 minute drive from aspen. We got to the park entrance and the lady asked us if we made a reservation as they were trying to limit the amount of visitors due to covid . We had no idea (and really the concierge should have known that and informed us ) , but thankfully she took our ten dollars and let us in.

We parked at the trailhead parking lot and started the hike. There are 2 lakes which make up this trail; maroon lake and crater lake . We didn’t realize it but maroon lake is literally right at the beginning of the hike and that is literally the nicest postcard perfect view. (Obviously pictures dont do it justice blah blah blah..... but it's true)



The colors of the lake are really amazing - red around the edges give way to green towards the middle, with the snow capped peaks in the background to complete the picture. I didn't think the colors of the lake would come out without a quality camera but my phone worked fine .



The trail goes along the side of the maroon lake and then into the forest. There are a bunch of options of hikes with varying lengths and difficulty level so with the baby and all we decided to do the 1.5 mile option.
We followed the trail into the forest and passed some nice rushing streams and waterfalls. It was actually harder than I expected and it was a bit of a challenge doing it with an extra 15 or so pounds. The trail loops around and you end up where you started and honestly there was nothing really that special about the hike so it wasn't really necessary. We just did it because we got all geared up. It would be a different story if we had been able to go to the second lake, crater lake, which is like a 3 mile hike if I recall correctly.
We headed back to the beginning and took some more pictures.
The sun is very strong even though you don't feel it and I got a bit burnt on my arms and neck as I didnt think I needed sunscreen.





Time lapse (sorry it's a bit choppy I was adjusting the angle) . You can see how the colors of the lake disappear when the sun goes behind a cloud.



Our wheels



This is coolest thing I've ever seen in my backup camera!



All these pictures I got were obviously just during the day but if you can hack it to stay overnight and camp out , you can get a whole extra dimension at sunrise and sunset . Otherwise you are limited to park hours which is closed at those times.
After all said and done this was definitely the highlight of our whole trip and it didn't disappoint. It's the same idea as lake louise in banff but obviously different colours and scale, and it's not right next to the town.

We were quite tired out so we headed back. I had put some nice looking rib eye in the sous vide earlier



I took them out and seared them and they came out amazing... almost restaurant grade!





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Offline mdv

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2020, 02:48:03 PM »
Another thing I want to point out is that we didn't really see any wildlife which was probably because we were only out during midday , but still surprising especially since there has been less tourists lately due to covid.

Random fact about the St Regis - apparently their coffee condiment kits are made in..... wait for it ......



That's right!! Good old Lakewood new jersey..... you really can't get away !

We packed up that night and the next morning drive back through the gorgeous rockies to denver , returned our car, and had an uneventful flight back to Philly. Southwest again let us bring our car seat on the plane on the emty seat. I found that as long as I was confident about they didn't give me issues... I didn't even have to collapse it until we were actually on the plane- I just told them that it folds up and they had no issues.

That about wraps up this trip report... I hope you enjoyed !

Here's some more drive-lapses and pictures












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Offline mdv

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2020, 03:32:57 PM »
PSA : For all the youtube links you gotta select 1080p for the quality because for some reason the automatic quality is very low.
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Offline Joel

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Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2020, 09:01:31 PM »
then to East side deli to pick up our order and I got some wine there as well. ( I had bought back at home a nice bottle of yarden cab and a castel rose' but the wife was too nervous to bring in luggage - I ended up getting some cheaper stuff in denver because the selection was pretty weak and the good stuff was way too expensive - oh well, sigh. First world problems. )


Here is the solution for your next trip :)
https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=117308.msg2318171#msg2318171