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Brandon Wenerd's picture

2009 Food & Wine Classic: Aspen Hotel reviews

Summer in Aspen is tantamount with a litany of high profile festivals and events, including the venerable Food and Wine Classic. This year’s festival on June 19, 20, and 21st will mark the event’s 27th annual gathering in Aspen. The Food & Wine Classic has been flambéed in the public’s imagination as a fairytale-like experience of beautiful people and fantastic flavors from around the globe. The storied event has become the crème de le crème of luxury lifestyle events in Aspen and has garnered status as one of the world’s premiere culinary festivals. After all, contestants on Top Chef, The Bravo Network’s fashionable food-porn reality show, compete for a trip and showcase at the June culinary convention in Aspen, amongst other goodies.


Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Hotels: Aspen Meadows

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.


Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Hotels: The Top 10 Aspen Pool Scenes

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.


Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Restaurants: The Top 10 Places to Dine Al Fresco in Aspen, Colorado

.Dining Al Fresco on the Patio of D19 and Pacifica in Downtown Aspen with a Postcard Perfect Mountain Panorama.Dining Al Fresco on the Patio of D19 and Pacifica in Downtown Aspen with a Postcard Perfect Mountain PanoramaWhether conquering the coals of a casual backyard barbeque or relaxing over a romantic four-course treat, one of life’s simple summer pleasantries is dining outdoors. Feasting on a delightful meal while lounging on a patio or deck in the warm sunshine and fresh air is nothing short of an obligatory pastime. Time seems to whisk away with sweet nonchalance into dreamy oblivion when dining outside with good-humored company. Here in Aspen, the epicurean nirvana is heightened when enjoying a tableau vivant of regional specialties like blue agave margaritas, a warm brie paired with the perfect merlot, a main entrée of fresh Colorado lamb, or a palate cleansing antipasto before dessert.

Using a little imagination, dining al fresco in Aspen’s thin Rocky Mountain air is like dining in sylvan realm of Fairyland, the fictitious setting of Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream . Many bistros and cafes in this charming Victorian ski town pride themselves on well-appointed porches, patios, and decks in woodsy settings with postcard-perfect mountain panoramas and menus of artisan haute cuisine.


Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Restaurants: Willow Creek Bistro

Surf and Turf at Willow Creek Bistro, Aspen HighlandsSurf and Turf at Willow Creek Bistro, Aspen Highlands The Roaring Fork Valley is chock-full of spectacular culinary offerings. Nonetheless, if you are a serious foodie vacationing in downtown Aspen and find yourself short on time, there are only a handful of reasons to leave the Highway 82 Roundabout. Examples include a romantic dinner date in Snowmass, an evening sipping margaritas and munching nachos in the eccentric charm of the Woody Creek Tavern, and a late afternoon partaking in a rustic feast and scenic splendor of the Castle Creek Valley at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. Add one more to the list: The Willow Creek Bistro, just a short drive up Maroon Creek Road at the Aspen Highlands Ski Area.


Jamie Lynn Miller's picture

Aspen Summer Words in Review: Just Some of Many Highlights from the Aspen Writer's Foundation

Author Kathryn StockettAuthor Kathryn StockettASPEN, CO -“That brook is…so loud. I can’t hear myself read,” said a student, just a little loudly, during the poetry workshop at AWF’s Aspen Summer Words. That pesky brook, also known as the Roaring Fork River, was indeed babbling far below the terrace outside the Aspen Institute’s Doerr-Hosier Center, home to this year’s “Crossroads: A Literary Intersection of the American South.” Even more distracting may have been the perfect Mediterranean climate and the abundant summer hillsides; it was a cloudless week of blue skies and dry, light breezes, vastly different from climate and landscape of the American South.

Thursday, two young men from today’s New Orleans spoke on their lives, pre and post-Katrina, captivating the audience with first-person accounts of violence, devastation, upheaval and ultimately, renewal. “I think there’s no such thing as a bad writer,” said James Jones, aged 17; “ as long as you put your heart and soul into it, it’s gonna be good. My uncle taught me that I shouldn’t use downfalls in life as a crutch; I should use them to move ahead, and become even stronger. After Katrina, I got to talking a lot about souls.”


Brandon Wenerd's picture

Buenos Aires Fusion

For decades, travel and fashion writers have long dubbed sophisticated and stylish Buenos Aires as “The Paris of South America” for its broad avenues, au courant garment district, provocative evenings of tangoing until morning, strolls past plazas lining the Rio de la Plata, and lazy afternoon polo matches.


Colin Flaherty's picture

Buttermilk in Aspen: A Great Place to Learn How to Board or Ski

Learning to ski or snowboard is easy.

First, be under 21.Then slip, slide, tumble and bruise your way down the most difficult trail on the highest mountain you can find. Repeat eight hours a day, seven days a week until mommy and daddy’s money runs out or Christmas break is over.


Brandon Wenerd's picture

Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro

Geographically, the 12,500-foot Aspen Highlands ski area is tucked into the heavenly clouds of the Elk Mountain Range. With a 3,635-foot vertical drop, over a thousand ski-able acres, five lifts, and one of the most pristine powder bowls in the country, Highlands is an almost mythical Xanadu, particularly to the scores of locals who love and frequent these expert slopes on a daily basis. Cloud Nine Alpine BistroCloud Nine Alpine Bistro While whisking down Highlands, take a minute to bask in the sweeping vistas of the 14,000 foot Maroon Bells, one of the most majestic peaks in Colorado. Maroon Bells is the Western Slope’s Mont Blanc, inspiring artists and photographers around the country.

The dizzying heights, moguls, and altitude of skiing Aspen Highlands will surely leave adventurers with the appetite of an athlete. However, lunching and dining options can be somewhat limited when surrounded by snow pack at 10,740 feet.


Brandon Wenerd's picture

DishAspen

The Slow Food movement has a robust presence in Aspen, thanks to superstar chefs with industry pull utilizing farm fresh and local ingredients. The core philosophy of Slow Food is mindfully grown produce and livestock that is raised and cultivated with as little environmental impact as possible.