Aspen's Hotel Gems: Eight New Colorado Michelin Key Winners Elevate the Luxury Retreat Experience

Stephanie Kroll

Nestled in the stunning landscapes of Aspen, three hotels have recently been awarded the prestigious Michelin Key, marking them as top destinations for discerning travelers. The Hotel Jerome, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, The Little Nell, and Mollie Aspen, each offer unique charms and exemplary service that have rightfully earned them this honor. Here’s a closer look at what makes each of these Aspen hotels stand out.

1. Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection

Hotel Jerome has been an icon of luxury in Aspen since 1889, blending historic grandeur with contemporary comfort. As part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, it promises an experience that combines authentic Old West charm with modern sophistication. This hotel is renowned not only for its exquisite décor and high-end amenities but also for its deeply personalized service. With a Michelin Key to its name, Hotel Jerome continues to demonstrate its commitment to excellence in hospitality, providing guests with a memorable and luxurious mountain retreat.

2. The Little Nell

As Aspen's only five-star, ski-in/ski-out hotel, The Little Nell offers a peerless location right at the base of Aspen Mountain. This hotel stands out for its exclusive access to some of the best slopes in the world and for its refined luxury that caters to ski enthusiasts and summer visitors alike. With interiors that reflect the natural beauty of the surrounding area and a warm, inviting atmosphere, The Little Nell ensures a stay that is as comfortable as it is chic. The Michelin Key underscores its status as an exceptional destination for those who seek the ultimate in hospitality and alpine adventure.

3. Mollie Aspen

Mollie Aspen is relatively newer on the scene but has quickly distinguished itself with a bold approach to luxury. Offering bespoke experiences tailored to the desires of its guests, Mollie Aspen focuses on ultra-personalized service. Whether it’s arranging private skiing lessons or curating unique local excursions, the hotel goes above and beyond to make each visit truly special. With its modern aesthetic and emphasis on creating exclusive experiences, Mollie Aspen represents a new wave of luxury hospitality in Aspen, earning its Michelin Key through a commitment to innovation and excellence.

Now let’s explore three of these exceptional hotels that have made Denver a city of Michelin-recognized hospitality:

1. Clayton Hotel and Members Club, Denver

The Clayton Hotel and Members Club stands out not just for its luxury but for its origins and ethos. Opening during the challenging times of the pandemic, the Clayton was envisioned as a hub for connection, creativity, and diversity. Lydia Howerton, the general manager, reflected on their journey: "Since opening, we've been committed to recruiting and training a team capable of providing top-tier hospitality. Being recognized by Michelin is a testament to our efforts and the vibrant spirit we've nurtured here." The hotel is noted for its innovative approach to blending upscale accommodations with a dynamic social scene, making it a beacon of modern hospitality.

2. Four Seasons Hotel, Denver

The Four Seasons in Denver has long been synonymous with luxury and impeccable service, and receiving a Michelin Key further solidifies its status as one of Denver’s finest. Thierry Kennel, regional vice president and general manager at Four Seasons, expressed pride in this achievement, "Being one of only eight hotels in Colorado to receive a Key is a great honor." The hotel promises an experience marked by meticulous attention to detail and a staff that goes "the extra mile," ensuring a stay that’s memorable beyond comparison.

3. The Crawford Hotel, Denver

Located in the iconic Denver Union Station, The Crawford Hotel is more than just a place to stay; it's an integral part of Denver's history and culture. The recent Michelin Key underscores its commitment to elevating guest experiences, something that Ed Blair, the area general manager, is particularly proud of. "We are continuing to elevate the Crawford guest experience and are excited to celebrate with our community," said Blair. The hotel is celebrated for its unique blend of historical elegance and modern luxury, offering a distinctive stay that’s deeply entwined with the city’s heritage.

Michelin's Recognition: A Testament to Quality

These awards are part of Michelin's broader initiative to guide travelers to accommodations that not only provide excellent service but also offer unique and memorable experiences. The Michelin Keys, akin to the renowned Michelin Stars, are awarded based on anonymous visits by Michelin staff, ensuring unbiased and thorough evaluations.

As Denver and Colorado continue to grow as top destinations for travelers seeking both adventure and luxury, these Michelin Key rankings highlight the exceptional quality travelers can expect. From the artsy and vibrant atmosphere at Clayton to the luxurious, detail-oriented service at Four Seasons, and the historic charm of The Crawford, Denver's hotel scene is evidently flourishing under a banner of excellence. Each hotel, with its distinct charm and outstanding service, offers a gateway to the rich experiences Colorado has to offer.

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