Hotel Review: The W Aspen

This Marriott Bonvoy property offers bold design and mountain views that deliver on the Colorado experience.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Edited by Meg Lee

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While often thought of as a winter destination, this mountain resort town in Colorado draws visitors year round to experience its upscale food, shopping and — most importantly — outdoor activities. Aspen is revered among travelers for its high-end vibe, and the hotel scene is designed to match it.

There are several Marriott Bonvoy properties in the area, including The St. Regis Aspen Resort, with its traditional upscale elegance, as well as a chic outpost of W Hotels, a brand focused on bold designs and eclectic music.

Here's a look at what the W Aspen has to offer travelers visiting this popular destination.

Location

Nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain, this slope-side, luxuriously designed hotel is in the heart of town and not far from the Aspen Mountain gondola. It is within walking distance to nearby shops, restaurants, art galleries and museums. Whether you’re there to get out and enjoy the mountain or sit by the fire pit and enjoy the view, the central location of the Aspen W hotel is perfect for both.

The hotel’s car service transports guests to and from the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport as well as around the city upon request. If you prefer to get out and explore on your own, you also have complimentary access to a BMW X7 or X5 to drive yourself around the area.

Design

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Taking inspiration from the region’s history as well as the ski chalet culture of Switzerland, the resort blends old and new with a penchant for 1970s glitz and glamour. The hotel is modeled after another mountain escape resort, the W Verbier, and even from the outside, its architecture resembles a European ski lodge.

Interior designers drew inspiration from the Native American Ute culture of the region as well as local legacies related to the silver mining industry in Aspen. Guests will notice subtle nods to both throughout the resort.

In the main lobby, guests are greeted with a glass of rosé Champagne as they check in. On the wall is an enormous colorful mural showcasing notable figures and landmarks of the area.

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

One level above the lobby is the restaurant and bar. A main focal point is the huge, egg-shaped DJ booth — according to hotel staff, this booth is the actual size of the largest chunk of silver mined from the mountain. The party scene is plentiful here, especially during holiday weekends, although Aspen isn't a popular destination for late-night parties. One exception is the W Aspen New Year's Eve party, which is a guaranteed fun time.

In the hallways, the light is dim and the walls are dark, which is meant to recreate the feeling of being within a mine. Guest rooms alternate color patterns, using Ute-inspired designs.

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Colors abound in the public areas, and an outdoor fire pit is especially popular with the après-ski crowd.

Food and beverage

The hotel’s dining options, 39 Degrees and the Living Room, serve guests three meals a day, starting with an a la carte or buffet breakfast. For Platinum-level or higher Marriott Bonvoy elites, complimentary breakfast is one of the many perks that guests can select, and it can provide great value for two people in a room.

For lunch and dinner, guests can choose between indoor and outdoor seating options at either restaurant. Comfort food and classic American dishes such as salads, burgers, sandwiches and hearty meat and seafood dishes are on the menu and often sourced using local ingredients. A kid’s menu is also available for those traveling with youngsters.

In seasonal weather, the Wet Deck rooftop bar opens with a variety of cocktails and drinks, plus a small menu with light fare. Daily specials help to draw in locals, too. This is one of the biggest outdoor lounge spaces in town. DJs are common; in the summer months, this place is as much of a scene as pools at Las Vegas resorts.

The newest option here is the Grotto, a dimly lit, nightclub-style cocktail bar with soundproof walls that is a quieter alternative to other bars and restaurants.

Accommodations

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

The rooms continue W’s trendsetting style with super-soft bedding, easy-access power outlets and sofa or armchair seating. King rooms are standard, but families and friends traveling together can opt for rooms with bunk beds. Some have as many as four queen bunk beds in the room, which can help cut down on the cost of staying in the heart of Aspen.

W Hotels has rather unique names for its room categories. "Wonderful" rooms are the base category, and some of these have no view. "Spectacular" rooms, meanwhile, overlook the street, while "Fabulous" rooms face the mountain. Some have partial views; others have more expansive scenery from balconies.

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Minibars sit beneath a fireplace-style decoration and come stocked with local products, and side tables double as small desks or dining areas.

Bathrooms vary from open-plan vanities that reduce privacy somewhat to those behind sliding glass doors. Large, glass-enclosed showers come stocked with Momo toiletries, and W Hotels have some nice extras like bottled water and face wash on the vanity.

Also in the mix is a variety of suite rooms, including the "Wow" and "Extreme Wow" suites. The latter features a fireplace and a round bed wrapped by gold-colored columns. It comes in one-, two- or three-bedroom configurations and also has an in-room DJ station and whirlpool.

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

For those who need even more space, there are 11 residences with one, two or three bedrooms, a kitchen, dining and living areas and balconies. These residences also have access to a private rooftop deck and whirlpool.

Amenities

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Up on the roof, the Wet Deck continues the playful, party theme with more fire pits, a heated pool and a whirlpool. The W Aspen pool is one of the most happening places in town, and it is especially popular once the ski lifts close and the stars come out above.

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

One level below the lobby is a modern fitness center with the latest equipment, apples, bottled water and towels. There is no spa here, but guests can make reservations at the nearby St. Regis just a few blocks away. Guests can also borrow bikes from the hotel to explore the area.

In winter months, guests can make use of complimentary ski, boot or snowboard storage. A nightly $50 “destination” fee covers these types of benefits as well as access to the hotel’s car and bike fleet, bottled water and weekly activities.

How to get to W Aspen

Aspen’s small airport is about 10 minutes from the hotel, but flights are limited. Delta Air Lines serves the airport during the winter season, while American Airlines and United Airlines serve it year round. Outside of the winter months, there are fewer flight options.

Both United and Delta operate on a dynamic pricing model, which means the cost in miles for a redemption ticket will vary based on supply and demand. American loosely follows an award chart with flights typically as low as 12,500 miles each way in the main cabin. Sometimes, there are web specials that can lower the number of miles needed.

Redemption rates at the Aspen W Hotel vary now that Marriott Bonvoy has switched to dynamic pricing. The lowest rates on the dates we checked clocked in at 71,500 points for a one-night stay during the summer and fall months.

Featured image courtesy of Marriott.


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