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Aspen Hotels: The Top 10 Aspen Pool Scenes

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Summer is here and the living is easy. We’ve assembled a list of 10 magnificent Aspen swimming pool scenes where one can unwind, revitalize, and refresh in heavenly waters.

The St. Moritz Pool in Aspen, ColoradoThe St. Moritz Pool in Aspen, ColoradoKicking back poolside and taking a plunge into the deep end is a touchstone of many summer vacations. Yet Aspen’s high alpine pool scene doesn’t quite capture the traveling public’s imagination like the glitzy, anything-goes sizzle of Las Vegas casino pool parties, the rooftop pools of Rio de Janerio, or the seductive palm-fringed hideaways in Southern California and Miami. Perhaps it is because Aspen is mythologized exclusively as a cold weather ski destination rather than a place to sport swimwear, drape a beach towel, and spend an afternoon floating in the water.

While the pool scene in Vegas and Miami is hardly under-the-radar, Aspen’s pool scene is one of its best-kept summer secrets.

Escaping to the pool after a physically exhausting day of mountain adventure is the perfect tonic for rejuvenation and relaxation. Many Aspen hotels have mastered the elegant recipe for aquatic recreation by creating chic daytime sanctuaries for vacationing culture vultures to hangout amidst a surreal alpine backdrop. Summer is tops for enjoying the Aspen pool scene; however, don’t be surprised to stumble upon a spontaneous pool party in January when the temperature dips well-below freezing and the sky is dumping fluffy flakes of powder. Unlike the swishy (and - dare we say it - gaudy) pretentiousness of other see-and-be-seen pool scenes, visitors in Aspen don’t have to worry about fighting for a dry towel, reserving prime sunbathing real estate on the pool’s deck, or feeling overwhelmed about s double take from the Bermuda short-wearing cabana attendant when lathering on SPF-25.

Whether its sunbathing, swimming laps, soaking in the hot tub, sipping Piña coladas, flirting with lifeguards, or mingling with other guests, Aspen boasts a picture-perfect pool scene for almost every personality or budget level. We’ve rounded up the ten best pools in Aspen to leave one feeling glorious and levitational, like stumbling upon Ponce de León’s fabled Fountain of Youth in the mountains.

10

Limelight Lodge
228 E Cooper Ave
Aspen, CO 81611
970-925-3025

www.limelightlodge.com

The Limelight LodgeThe Limelight Lodge

The glistening pool and well-appointed patio at Aspen’s newest hotel offers impressive views of Aspen Mountain. Secluded in a hotel courtyard, the Limelight pool serves as a year-round meeting place for guests. The setting is perfect for an impromptu afternoon happy hour, particularly with two elevated hot tubs and plenty of space for families to spread out.

9

St. Regis
315 East Dean Street
Aspen, CO 81611
866-716-8135‎
www.stregisaspen.com

The St. Regis AspenThe St. Regis Aspen

The St. Regis brand is known around the world as the paramount of luxury and sophistication. The pool and outdoor hot tub of this upscale five-star hotel is tucked into a courtyard of aspen groves and boasts a private poolside bar for guests only. Don’t expect frolicking families or hipsters to be lounging by the pool. Since the Aspen resort appeals to a CEO and corporate crowd, pool attendees in the summer tend to be business-oriented, squeezing in a quick dip between conference sessions.

8

The Gant
610 S. West End Street
Aspen, CO 81611
800-345-1471
www.gantaspen.com

The GantThe Gant

In the summer, Aspen’s most luxurious condo resort feels like a remote summer camp at the base on Aspen Mountain. In addition to tennis courts, The Gant boasts two heated swimming pools, hot tubs, and saunas. Located in a well-manicured landscape with brilliant flowers during the summer, each pool has an impressive view of Aspen Mountain. The Gant gets our nod as the best family-friendly pool scene in Aspen for the quiet and serene atmosphere.

7

Hotel Jerome
330 E Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611
970-920-1000
hoteljerome.rockresorts.com

The Hotel JeromeThe Hotel Jerome

The Hotel Jerome’s courtyard pool is one of the town’s very first. The modest blue-tiled pool is tucked off Main Street in a shady garden. The Jerome’s pool is chockfull of colorful local folklore. In the town’s early ski resort incarnation, Walter and Elizabeth Paepecke met poolside with other business magnets and power brokers to plan the development of the town and ski company. The Jerome’s pool was the nucleus of the party in Aspen’s “Toot City” heyday of the 1970s. Legend has it that rowdy celebrities like John Belushi, John Denver, Jimmy Buffett, Don Henley, and Hunter S. Thompson frequently congregated poolside to imbibe cocktails along with various mind-altering chemical concoctions. Nowadays the pool at the Jerome is much more tame, though it can still be a jovial gathering place for all types of local Aspen personalities.

6

Ritz Carlton Club Aspen Highlands
76 Prospector Rd
Aspen, CO 81611
866-770-2619
www.ritzcarltonclub.com

Ritz Carlton Club Aspen HighlandsRitz Carlton Club Aspen Highlands

Like a diamond as big as the Ritz, Aspen Highland’s Ritz Carlton Residence Club is home to one of the largest slope-side pools in Aspen. This private fractional residence club technically boasts two pools, each with breathtaking views of the 12,500-foot Aspen Highlands Mountain. While snowbirds flock to private residences at Aspen Highlands in the winter, the summer scene tends to be mellow and laidback, making each pool at the Ritz a sublime and secluded oasis.

5

Hotel Aspen
110 W Main St
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-3441‎
www.hotelaspen.com

Hotel AspenHotel Aspen

The pool at the Hotel Aspen is truly a treasure. The staff is friendly, the rates at the Hotel Aspen are highly affordable, and crystal clear pool and hot tubs are a welcome retreat. Luxurious lounge chairs and a refreshing year-round pool make for a magnificent afternoon escape after a busy morning shopping in downtown Aspen or biking the Rio Grande. Additionally, guest food and beverage service will be available starting on July 4th through the rest of the 2009 summer season. Check with the staff to see if a complimentary guest pool party or luau is going to be thrown during your stay.

4

St. Moritz
334 West Hyman ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
970-925-3220
www.stmoritzlodge.com

The St. MoritzThe St. Moritz

This faux-Swiss chalet is a throwback to the ski lodges of yesteryear. The ultra-budget hotel and hostel is secluded at the base of Aspen Mountain on the far west end of town. On initial perception, the St. Moritz may seem transplanted from the Switzerland section of Epcot Center. Nonetheless, the courtyard pool boasts impressive views of the craggy cliffs on the western side of Ajax. Hard-partying backpackers, motley locals, and budget travelers looking to get a piece of the Aspen experience for cheap create a sizzling year-round pool scene.

3

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

The Aspen MeadowsThe Aspen Meadows

Sunbathers and swimmers can soak in sweeping vistas of the Roaring Fork River, Buttermilk, Red Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Maroon Bells from the pool deck at the Aspen Meadows. The pool at the Aspen Meadows is perhaps the only swimming pool in the United States where one can rub elbows with vacationing policy wonks from both sides of the aisle, foreign diplomats, and best-selling authors at the same time. Though the Aspen Meadows hums with Aspen Institute events throughout the summer, the long, blue-tiled lap pool is a beautiful summertime sanctuary.

2

Residences at the Little Nell
520 East Durant Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611
877-925-7272
www.rlnaspen.com

The Residences at the Little NellThe Residences at the Little Nell

Designed to take advantage of the region’s beautiful views and year-round blue skies, Aspen’s only rooftop pool is a dizzying, ultra-modern aquatic getaway. The new rooftop atrium at Colorado’s most expensive and exclusive fractional ownership hotel offers a 360-degree panorama of Aspen Mountain and downtown Aspen. A main plunge pool is designed like an alluring jigsaw puzzle, wrapping between isthmus-like walkways, steamy hot tubs, and lounge areas. The handsome roofscape at the Residences at the Little Nell include a sleek lap pool and Asian flora, transforming a swanky year-round escape into an aquatic Garden of Eden during the summer months.

1

The Sky Hotel
709 East Durant Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611
800-882-2582
www.theskyhotel.com

The Sky HotelThe Sky Hotel

No surprises here. If there is a Fountain of Youth to be found in Aspen, it’s most likely to be the Sky Hotel’s pool. Set in an aspen grove with a steep backdrop of Aspen Mountain, the Sky’s pool and adjacent bar/nightclub 39 Degrees is sexy, seductive, and oh-so-enticingly hedonistic. The Sky’s pool is all about style, attracting a see-and-be-seen crowd of hipsters, young jet-setting hedge fund managers, and Gucci-sporting magazine models. In recent years, the Sky’s pool has earned international buzz from cool arbiters like Playboy and Forbes Traveler, putting Aspen on the map as a bewitching summertime getaway and a white-hot winter après ski destination. The pool is generally packed for après throughout the winter and on busy summer weekends, with DJs occasionally on hand to spin danceable grooves. The consensus is almost unanimous: the pool at the Sky Hotel puts the splash into swanky.