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Aspen Hotels: Aspen Meadows

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Without drifting into flowery hyperbole or bogus profundity, the key word to summarize the Aspen Meadows resort is “escape.” The resort is a retreat in the truest sense of the word. Secluded on 42 acres in Aspen’s West End, the Aspen Meadows a full service resort for the ultimate pastoral getaway. A bon fide mountain Shangri-la, the Aspen Meadows reduces the loud and cacophonous the distractions of the outside world to a barely audible whisper.

There is a common misconception that the Aspen Meadows is a private resort reserved exclusively for the Aspen Institute, the socio-political think tank that owns and uses the many different meeting spaces on the property. This is not so. The handsome grounds of the Aspen Meadows are opened year round to the public, as well as for guests seeking a unique lodging experience in the 98 rooms and suites available on the property. The guest rooms are minimalist and modern, channeling the feng shui of a Soho-loft transplanted into a fragrant high country meadow. The standard room is large enough to be considered an elegantly appointed suite. The junior suite is more like a luxurious condo, perfect for families on a ski or summer getaway. Guests can expect all the modern creature comforts like down comforters, a living space, and flat screen TVs in a room with airy cathedral ceilings, stark modern art, and floor-to-ceiling windows inviting in the sunshine, fresh Rocky Mountain breeze, and a breathtaking mountain panorama.

Walter Paepcke, the architect of modern Aspen and the Chicago-industrialist behind the Container Corporation of America, envisioned the Aspen Meadows as the ultimate mind, body, spirit getaway where intellect, reason, dialogue, and socialization can harmoniously exist in unadulterated interplay with the natural world. The various meeting and conference facilities of the Meadows resort embrace the energy of Aspen’s sublime mountainscape. Shady groves of aspen birches dot the landscape of the meadows, standing slender and sturdy like rustic bookends nestled against a collection of sleek Bauhaus structures designed and arranged by Austrian architect and artist Herbert Bayer. Bayer’s style and handsome modern art interject a dash of pre-fab glamour. An outdoor pathway lined with sculptures connects the conference, seminar, and hotel facilities. When strolling the campus of the Aspen Meadows, guests will discover how this unique property is a celebration of empty space and tranquility in a town hell-bent on overzealous development and lavish real estate.

Because of the resort’s ownership by the Aspen Institute, the history of the property is legendary. In 1949, Noble Prize winning theologian philosopher Albert Schweitzer gave his only lecture in United States during the Goethe bicentennial convocation. In 2008, his holiness, the Dali Lama is rumored to have played a game of basketball in the gym. Captains of industry and heads of state have descended to the campus for high profile summits and meetings. Powerful luminaries like Henry Kissinger, Madeline Albright, Queen Noor of Jordan, and Condoleezza Rice swing by on occasion for forums or seminars, including the Aspen Institute’s renown Ideas Fest every July.

Nonetheless, the facilities of the Aspen Meadows are available for companies or groups seeking a secluded and inspiring retreat for conferences. Recently opened in 2007, the 15-million dollar Doerr-Hosier Center is a state-of-the-art, LEED-certified conference center. Easily one of the most aesthetically-appealing meeting spaces in town, Doerr-Hosier was designed by Jeffrey Berkus to resemble a 22,000 square foot open-aired modern pagoda. The center includes a flowing red stone wall by British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, multiple outdoor terraces overlooking Red Mountain and the Roaring Fork River, a business center, a lounge, and the public Resnick art gallery showcasing traveling collections by modern masters.

Staying true to the body, mind, and spirit philosophy, the Aspen Meadows offers a plethora of active recreational pursuits. A tennis courts and a professional tennis center is available for guests, as well as a modern, fully staffed fitness center, gym, and a pristine blue-tiled pool overlooking the rushing rapids of the Roaring Fork River. Plato’s restaurant and lounge is a gourmet eatery nestled between an indoor dining room and breezy, open-aired deck with sweeping vistas of Castle Creek, Maroon Creek, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Maroon Bells in the distance. The resort and restaurant offer shuttle service to downtown Aspen, as well as complimentary transfers to the airport.

After an extensive renovation, the Aspen Meadows is better than ever and continues to be a property full of verve, fife, and rhythm. It is a civic landmark for cultural life in Aspen, modeled after Walter Paepecke’s vision for a utopia dedicated to the natural world and simplicity. Visitors will find a stay at the Aspen Meadows is delightfully skinned down to the bare-knuckle details, where true inspiration and innovation can occur.

845 Meadows Road
Aspen, CO 81611
1-800-452-4240
www.dolce-aspen-hotel.com