Pop-up parties, old-school classics – and yes, a mountaintop “beach club.”
In Aspen, a ski town known for going big both on and off the slopes, it’s no surprise that post-ski revelry is treated as a high-concept affair. There’s caviar and live music beneath a blue velvet tent, DJs spinning at 11,000 feet, and an alfresco wine bar that resembles a fairy’s nest. You could grab a simple beer, of course, but we recommend leaning into Aspen’s opulence.
The Blue Room at The Snow Lodge
This season’s hottest new après-ski draw is at the 179-room St. Regis Aspen Resort: The Snow Lodge began as a supper club pop-up during the pandemic and this year added a chic new space, The Blue Room. Beneath a tent draped in plush royal-blue fabric, tufted pink velvet furniture, disco balls, and a leopard-print Champagne bar set the scene for a series of cabaret shows, intimate concerts, and live DJ sets. Dance on a table or lounge in a corner, sipping a Snow on the Beach (mezcal, blanco tequila, lime, agave, Galliano, and jalapeño tincture) and snacking on smoked mozzarella sticks topped with caviar. Open Wednesdays through Sundays.
French Alpine Bistro
With its cheery checkered curtains, wax-clumped candelabras, and walls laden with quirky portraits and memorabilia, this charming bistro feels at once plucked from the slopes of Courchevel yet oh-so-Aspen. French Alpine Bistro is a go-to for European classics such as soupe à l’oignon (French onion soup) loaded with Gruyère cheese or a bubbling pot of fondue – with an optional truffle dusting. For dessert, it’s crepes for the table: Order the Pure Love, made with sugar, butter, and lemon; the Schokoladepalatschinke, filled with chocolate ganache, dulce de leche, strawberries, and bananas; and the Midnight in Paris, dripping with vanilla crème brûlée custard and caramel
The AspenX Beach Club
Leave it to the minds behind The Little Nell to throw a beach party at 11,200 feet. The mountaintop pop-up, a cluster of eye-catching red-and-white-striped cabanas and chaise lounges complete with bottle service and snacks, is a partnership with AspenX and Gray Malin, who wanted to create a setting that made guests feel like they were stepping into one of his vintage photographs. Beyond lounging with a flute of Domaines Ott Château de Selle and some truffle tater tots, revelers can play cornhole, snap selfies in the lifeguard stand, and dance to live DJ sets while surrounded by the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Back down at the 92-room Little Nell, travelers can get their après on at the new Nest pop-up, a patio-cum-snow-globe space with Adirondack chairs, firepits, twinkly lights, and selection of rare wines. AspenX Beach Club open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through April 16, 2023; reservations required.
J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome
The swanky, leather-trimmed J-Bar – located inside the 99-room Hotel Jerome – is a proper amalgamation of old and new Aspen. Built in 1889, the three-story Victorian building was the town’s original luxury hotel during the silver-mining years and later, became a favorite of celebrities (Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Lana Turner all checked in) and writers (Hunter S. Thompson treated the bar as his office). Though the interiors have been upgraded through the years, the bar’s original Chinoiserie Chippendale till remains. Today, locals and travelers come for J-Bar’s cowboy-cool vibe, killer burgers, and top-notch cocktails, such as the Main Street, made with single malt, amaro, spiced apple cider, and bitters.