Few establishments in Aspen, Colorado have witnessed more change than Hotel Jerome, built 125 years ago in a grand brick building on Main Street to house mining barons and their entourages. Post-silver boom, the hotel survived Aspen’s multiple costume changes—from near-ghost town in the Depression to counterculture mecca (with great skiing) in the 1960s and ’70s to today’s iteration as a sort of snowy Beverly Hills (with great skiing and snowboarding).
Over the years, the Main Street institution has hosted VIPs of all stripes, including heads of state, movie stars, and the generally very rich and very beautiful. Though he fell into none of these categories, the late Hunter S. Thompson was arguably the Jerome’s most notable patron. After purchasing a ranch outside of town in 1967, the drug-Hoovering writer made the hotel his unofficial clubhouse. Legend has it that he once duct-taped a young Bill Murray to a chair and threw him in the pool. We’re sorry we missed that.
The Jerome mellowed in the ’80s, grew tired in the ’90s, and eventually received a top-to-bottom renovation in December 2012. The recent facelift has revitalized the property, making it once again one of the finest places to stay and play in the West. Highlights include the décor—a blend of contemporary, traditional European, and 19th-century Americana—and Thompson’s beloved J-Bar, which retained the original wood bar-top.
When you’re away from your suite or the snow, grab a bite at Prospect, the hotel’s answer to an upscale American bistro (a place that’ll serve you an IPA and octopus). Or treat yourself to a hot stone message at the in-house spa, if you're not busy at one of the world-class ski resorts out the front door.
The Details: Rooms from $350/night.