In 1889, New York tycoon Jerome Wheeler built a Victorian luxury hotel in a burgeoning silver-mining town situated in a river valley amid glorious mountains. The grandeur might have seemed out of place back then, but today it fits into Aspen's ritzy ambience. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Wheeler's Hotel Jerome maintains its exquisite 19th-century soul and atmosphere, but it's been thoroughly retrofitted with the modern trappingsheated outdoor pool, Jacuzzis, bars, restaurantsyou expect from a boutique auberge. The cherry on top? Head any direction from your finely appointed room to find diversionary action like fly-fishing, road and trail biking, and gobs of hiking. Across the street is world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa's decadent Matsuhisa Aspen, a mecca for mind-blowing Japanese fare. Hold off on dessert, though, and hit the Jerome for orgasmic white-chocolate banana cream pie at Jacob's Corner. Doubles from $460; 800-331-7213, www.hoteljerome.com
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