The Washington Times - May 29, 2008, 10:01PM

Big statement. Big mountains. Big hearts.

The Hotel Jerome, and Aspen, Colorado is not just for ski season. By far, one might think ski season is an afterthought following a June visit.

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Nestled amongst the pines of the White River National Forest and literally in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is most often clear and sunny. At almost 8,000 feet above sea level, the air is dry, pleasant, invigorating. 

Even in the deepest of winter it is not as cold as say, Chicago, with average temperatures ranging from 20-55 degrees. Plus it is that wonderful “dry cold” that is bracing and marvelous.


The Hotel Jerome (Courtesy The Hotel Jerome)

When it is not winter, the temperature is moderate and the air remains crisp and healthful.

In June we experienced a bit of their unseasonable cold and wet days keeping us hotel bound, but what a great hotel to be bound to.  The décor is simply sumptuous filled with period antiques and comfortable nooks and crannies to sit and while a bit of time engaged in a favorite periodical or book.

Rooms are beautifully appointed.  Heavy damask curtains adds to a visual sense of privacy while over stuffed couches and chairs are rivaled only by the hotel’s private-label beds, thick and remarkably fresh smelling feather pillows, down comforters, luxury baths and robes perfect for strolling down to the all-season heated pool or just lounging on the terrace in.

Look out any window and be awed by the mountain peaks, green and lush at the bottom, snow-covered and crisp at the top.

Another bold statement to make, but to date there has not been any room that met the “just for me” quest better than the Hotel Jerome. 

The crisp cleanliness of the room and linens make one believe that they are the first guest to ever use those particular linens, towels or pillows.

And that is a feeling of comfort and luxury that carries throughout the property.

The staff, to the last person, treated every guest observed with that same “we are here for you, just you” feeling. This property is filled with some of the most accommodating people ever encountered whether it is for a bit of guided sightseeing or a ride to the shopping district.

If you require assistance with making a breakfast choice or a bit of a hand with a young child, every member of the Hotel Jerome succeeds in making one feel as though they are truly somewhere special where only their needs, wants and desires are important.

It is like being home, for the holidays when no one can do any wrong.

Truly above and beyond what has ever been experienced at a property in the past and far exceeding any expectations.


The Sustainable Egg breakfast, The Hotel Jerome (Photo by Jacquie Kubin)

Your day at the Hotel Jerome is lovingly framed by breakfast, lunch and dinner. This parade of exquisite culinary temptation is the bailiwick of Chef Christopher Keating. Chef Keating is a staunch employer of the fresh-from-the-farm-to-the-table philosophy, seeking out fresh food purveyors that practice wholesome, organic and sustainable practices.

Like the mountains he loves, Chef Keating is crisp and his culinary aims are high.  He does not disappoint. Once the morning stretch is past, the goal is breakfast.  It has something to do with the mountain air.  Makes one ravenous.

Chef Keating takes care of that with a variety of plates that are artfully created with the same care and tenderness often saved for the more haughty dining time of dinner.

Breakfast is served in the period Jacob’s Corner room, so named in honor of the original name of the plot of land on which the hotel is built.

No other meal showcases a chef’s dedication of the  “from the farm to you” foundation as well as breakfast where eggs and fresh fruits take center stage within a Contemporary American inspired menu.

Sustainable Settings provides the Hotel Jerome with nutrient rich eggs that are farmed using the highest quality methods. The result was breakfast eggs with large golden yolks and flavor unsurpassed.

Lunch follows a morning hike through the lower lying environs of the mountains.  Dangling overhead are the ski lifts and the memory of snow is very present in both the smell of the air and patches of pristine white clearly visible, and attainable with a bit of a hike or short drive.

While winter activities are filled with snow sports from skiing to dogsled rides, there are plenty of non-snow, warmer weather activities to amuse and enthrall.

This trip, the activity of choice was leisurely strolls through the picturesque town, shopping forages, walks through the forests to find impromptu streams and raging rivers bolstered by the melting snow. 

To see the mountains and that which comes naturally is omnipotent. Humbling. Incredible.

 

Jacquie Kubin is a writer and editor for Donne Tempo Magazine and a fan of the work of photographer, Ansel Adams.  Visiting the Maroon Bells mountains has been a lifelong dream come true.  Visit Donne Tempo for more of her Rockie Mountain photography.