Best Ski-in Ski-Out Resorts in Aspen
Aspen is one of the most famous ski towns in the world, known for attracting celebrities & a high-end crowd. Part of the reason for its popularity is that there are actually four different ski areas in Aspen: Ajax, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, & Aspen-Snowmass: each has its own benefits ~ & I’ll get into those differences below. I just wrote an article about skiing in Keystone, Colorado ~ & frankly, the accommodations there pale in comparison to the luxurious digs you’ll find in Aspen. And the funny thing is, each mountain really only has one or two options that are truly ski-in/ski-out. So here, we’ll list the best ski-in ski-out resorts in Aspen!
Overview of Aspen Skiing
- Aspen Mountain = Also called “Ajax,” this is pretty much ONLY blacks & blues; NOT great for beginners, as you won’t find any green runs here.
- Aspen Highlands = You’ve got greens, blues, & blacks at the Highlands ~ so good variety; plus the top of the mountain leads you to the legendary, double-black “Highland Bowl” on the backside.
- Buttermilk = Great for beginners; lots of greens & blues; a great place to learn how to ski.
- Aspen Snowmass = Offering the most terrain & most diversity, with greens, blues, & blacks ~ EVERYONE can ski at Aspen Snowmass & find terrain to suit them.
Map of Aspen Ski-in Ski-Out Hotels
Aspen is about a four-hour drive from Denver International Airport, & in the winter, this drive can get hairy. If you can afford it, fly directly into convenient Aspen-Pitkin Airport.
The Little Nell
Residences at the Little Nell
The Inn at Aspen (Buttermilk)
The Ritz Carlton Club Aspen Highlands
Best Ski-in Ski-Out Hotels in Aspen, Colorado
The Little Nell ($679+) & its sister property, the Residences at The Little Nell, bills itself as “the only true ski-in ski-out hotel” at Aspen Mountain; other options will get you close, but none are right beside the lifts in the way Little Nell is. This hotel has been around a long time, & is an Aspen staple: you’ll find contemporary, state-of-the-art rooms with city or mountain views, fireplaces, marble bathrooms, & balconies ~ suites will give you in-room hot tubs or steam showers. Add to that their high-end dining at Element 47, or popular Ajax Tavern, which is just steps from the slopes: & you’ve got apres-skiing at its finest, with great people-watching.
Closest Ski Lift(s): Little Nell Lift & Silver Queen Gondola.
The Little Nell & the Residences at the Little Nell are the ONLY two true ski-in ski-out properties in Aspen’s main town, & they’re at the base of “The Little Nell” lift.
“MAGIC!! You’ll fall in love with The Little Nell! We travel regularly to top hotels all over the U.S., & this has been one of our favorite to date! We fell in love with Aspen, & The Little Nell had a lot to do with that! The staff & service is exceptional ~ from the moment you arrive at the airport. The hotel is a perfect location for walking around the village to shops/restaurants, there’s ski in/out on Ajax, & the car service is reliable + fast! Rooms are impeccable, the bar is cozy & lively, food is wonderful, & the wine bar is a special experience. I can’t rave enough about it..”
Other Hotel Options in Aspen by Slopes
Though The Little Nell is the only actual ski-in-ski-out in Aspen, there are a few other hotels that are really close to the slopes:
- Hyatt Residence Club Grand Aspen ($2,500+): Right next to The Residences at the Little Nell, the Hyatt is very chic, very high-end, & very pricey; just a few-minute walk to the Little Nell Lift.
- The St. Regis Aspen Resort ($2,849+): Next to the Hyatt & a three-minute walk from Shadow Mountain Lift is the red-bricked St. Regis, one of the finest hotels in the country, & a cozier choice than the Hyatt.
- W Aspen: A two-minute walk to the slopes ~ this is as close as you’ll get to the mountain in Aspen besides Little Nell….& their elegant rooftop bar is a great place for apres-ski.
- Mountain Chalet Aspen ($249+): The Mountain Chalet is as cheap as you can get in Aspen ~ that’s still just a few-minute walk to the slopes! Hotel & rooms are a little older & certainly not luxurious (I’ve stayed here), but for die-hard skiers: they’re just fine. You can’t beat this location for the price.
Best Ski-in Ski-Out Resort in Aspen Highlands
The Ritz Carlton Club Condominiums are pretty much the only ski-in/ski-out option in Aspen Highlands, which is in between Ajax & Buttermilk Mountains. In a chalet-style building with a two large outdoor pools & jacuzzis that face the slopes, the Ritz is a good option for larger groups, with two & three-bedroom condo options, spacious living rooms, & full kitchens, all set in a warm, Western mountain-style. Grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Willow Creek Bistro ~ or stop in for a quick bite at Caffe Sienna before hitting the slopes. There’s not much going on in terms of nightlife here, so if that’s important to you: stay in Aspen proper or Snowmass.
Closest Ski Lift: Exhibition Lift
“The Ritz is nestled at the base of the Highlands. It’s a great ski-in/ski-out. The staff was amazing & the condos are so comfy. It was our first visit to Aspen but not our last. Our concierge Bridgett was so helpful planning all of our dinner reservations. We never had a bad meal.”
– Joan L.
Best Ski-in Ski-Out Hotels at Buttermilk
3. The Inn at Aspen = Great for Families Learning How to Ski
Now we head to Buttermilk Mountain, which is further west of both Ajax & Aspen Highlands. Buttermilk is known for being an easier mountain, thus, this is a great spot for families & those learning to ski. The Inn at Aspen ($318+) corners the market here, as its the only hotel at the base of these slopes. Rooms here are smaller than previous hotels listed (though still roomy) & don’t offer full kitchens like the Ritz does: so if that’s important to you, book elsewhere. But they do have a fitness center, outdoor pool & hot tub, & ski rental is just 20 steps from the front door. Plus, their Home Team BBQ gets rave reviews, & that’s right next to the hotel.
Downside of Staying at Buttermilk: Lack of challenging terrain & a lack of walkable nightlife options make this a better spot for families & beginner skiers.
Closest Ski Lift: Panda Peak
“HIDDEN GEM!! I’ve found my new place to stay in Aspen! Less than a mile from the airport, The Inn at Aspen has a fantastic shuttle service & friendly drivers to wherever you want to go in Aspen. It was a luxury to get my skis out of the locker, walk five steps outside, put my skis on, & ski maybe 50 feet to the Buttermilk Lift. Buttermilk has a reputation for being an easier, learn-to-ski mountain, & it is: but the secret is that the more expert runs are rarely skied! There’s always fresh snow because so many people who ski at Buttermilk are learning on the green terrain.”
– Linda D.
Best Ski-in Ski-Out Hotels in Aspen-Snowmass
4. Viceroy Snowmass ($399+)
Snowmass is many people’s first-choice for skiing in Aspen, as it’s the largest mountain of the bunch, offering a wider variety of terrain than either Ajax or Buttermilk: & you’ve got a lot of wide, groomed runs here, which makes it popular with both snowboarders & intermediate skiers. There’s truly something for everyone here; Snowmass is a great choice for groups with varying ability levels. And the Viceroy Snowmass is going to be your top choice here for ski-in/ski-out, as it sits right at the base of the Assay Hill Lift.
Closest Ski Lift: Assay Hill Lift
You’ve got everything from studios to four-bedrooms at the Viceroy, making it work for parties of all sizes. Furnishings are sleek & chic, just as you’d expect from a Viceroy: with the added bonus of kitchens & private sun decks. Rent ski gear right at the hotel, or use their convenient ski valet service…then slip into their heated saltwater pool & outdoor hot tubs after a hard day’s ski. Get sore muscles rubbed in their luxurious spa, apres-ski slopeside at the Nest Bar & Grill, or simply enjoy the privacy of their in-room dining. Even among a high-end selection of hotels in Aspen: the Viceroy stands out as one of the most sophisticated.
Benefits of Staying in Snowmass vs. Aspen: Snowmass is known for being a little more low-key than Aspen, which is famous for its nightlife scene; plus Snowmass Mountain is better-suited to all ability levels, whereas Aspen is best for advanced skiers.
“My girlfriend & I had a true 5-star experience at Viceroy, Snowmass! Everything from the flawless arrival, which included a complimentary glass of champagne upon check-in, to an amazing room with vaulted ceilings, full-kitchen with beautiful views down the valley. Absolutely amazing!! Situated at the heart of Base Village with multiple restaurant options, we were transported in one of the Viceroy Escalades to an amazing restaurant, Pinions. Did I mention they offer complimentary transport anywhere in Snowmass Village?!
– Max W.
Best Ski-in Ski-Out Hotels in Aspen
That concludes this article on great Aspen ski hotels ~ but just so you know, there’s one more ski-in/ski-out option in Snowmass: & that is the Limelight Hotel Aspen ($1,295+), which sits at the base of Elk Camp Gondola. Though it doesn’t have the same cache as the Viceroy, rooms here are still gorgeous, with lofted ceilings, great mountain views & a stunning outdoor pool & spa area. This is another great option for skiing in Snowmass, especially for families.
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