It’s a trendy winter destination that offers many alternatives to skiing: tobogganing, ice hockey, clubs and art galleries

by Alessandra Mattanza

Its name derives from the abundance of aspen trees seen in this charming town, which is framed by magical mountains and characterised by luxury boutiques, art galleries, cafes and trendy restaurants. AspenColorado, is one of the most glamorous winter destinations in the world. It is favoured by celebrities, many of whom have a holiday home here or visit for the skiing or just to have fun. But, since the 20th century, this place has fascinated artists such as Hunter S. ThompsonJohn Denver  – who wrote several songs about the town, including Aspenglow and Starwood in Aspen – and Charlie Sheen. These days, you come across many actresses and models.

The most beautiful ski slopes are discovered climbing mountains such as Buttermilk, which is ideal for beginners, SnowmassAspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain. The last is very popular with Paris Hilton – as well as while Gigi Hadid and Rita Ora, who come for the snowmobiling. The Aspen Skiing Company offers options for sports of all kinds, even the most extreme. If you take the Silver Gondola, you arrive at a lookout point where there is a nice restaurant and a variety of activities, including yoga.

At Mountain Social, the bar at the St. Regis Resort, it’s possible to meet Kim Kardashian and Uma Thurman. The Aspen Hotel, which offers large suites in addition to well-priced apartments, is an excellent base from which to reach any part of the town. Kate Hudson, who grew up in Snowmass with her mother Goldie Hawn and stepfather Kurt Russell, shops at the Ralph Lauren boutique downtown.

Aspen is famous for its numerous art galleries. Among the most interesting are the Baldwin Gallery, the Galerie Maximiliam, Forre & Co. Fine Art, the Elliott Yeary Gallery (which also sells jewellery), LivAspenArt (which showcases emerging local artists of the Roaring Fork Valley) and the Marianna Boesky Gallery. The Aspen Art Museum features distinctive modern architecture and the beautiful SO Café, with its panoramic view.

Among the most fashionable places in Aspen is Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, which serves champagne and fondue to the rhythm of music. For lunch, Meat & Cheese restaurant is beloved for its sandwiches, salads and fresh local produce. Justice Snow is ideal for a drink during happy hour. Hops Culture, on E. Hyman Avenue, is a chic gastropub in an urban industrial setting. It offers excellent local beer, in addition to quality wine. Refined options are available at the Japanese Matsushisa, the traditional American Jimmy’s and the romantic Element 47, which offers contemporary American gastronomy.

The Maroon Bells mountains are a sight not to be missed. These two peaks are reflected in lake waters and surrounded by a breathtaking landscape. Sometimes, it’s possible to catch a glimpse of deer and elk.