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Whatever the season, St. Regis Aspen delivers weighted romance and all the altitude you need

by Suzanne Scharff

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DESTINATION:  Aspen affords boundless inspiration and timeless wonder for nuptial and honeymoon seekers with its majestic snow peaked mountains and white powdered trails, lively après-ski drinks by a roaring fire, cozy horse drawn sleigh rides and world class shopping. And after the snowy wonderland melts another dramatic panorama erupts as the summer ushers in a lush and verdant landscape with crisp mountain air and breathtaking groves of Aspen trees providing a veritable summer playground for couples to blaze new trails hiking or horseback riding, tread new waters fly fishing or reach new heights paragliding and hot air ballooning. In addition, an ambitious calendar is filled with music, art, poetry and food and wine festivals for all five senses to feast on. As the local saying goes, “people may come for the winter but stay for the summer.”

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STAY: Check into the ultra luxurious St. Regis Aspen Hotel for stylish accommodations and flawless service. Ideally situated at the base of Aspen Mountain and 2 blocks from Gondola Plaza the hotel exudes a boutique feel with full resort amenities and provides 180 beautifully appointed guest rooms with rich textures such as leather sleigh beds and hardwood floors, plush seating areas and fresh flowers. The lux continues with spacious marble bathrooms and top of the line fixtures such as soaking tubs and rain showers with side jets. Upgrade to a suite and enjoy the iconic St. Regis Butler Service where unpacking your belongings and anticipating your needs is de rigueur.

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DRINK: Leave all your cares behind and head to the sexy Shadow Mountain Lounge for their signature cocktail, the Red Snapper, first concocted in 1934 at the famed St. Regis’ King Cole Bar in New York.  Sip your spirit by the imposing lobby fireplace while you visually savor the seamless blend of posh lodge meets vintage manor décor.  Or meander to the Astor Library for an even more sumptuous setting. A European inspired outdoor courtyard overlooks Aspen Mountain and beckons with ample clusters of flowers and group size or intimate seating and a second level platform features a heated pool and spa.

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EAT: Epicureans will take delight at Trecento Quindici Decano offering contemporary Italian dishes in an elegant but relaxed setting. The inimitable Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE offers an exciting menu featuring signature recipes from this years Best New Chefs award winners including the southern duo of Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of AM Kitchen and Hog & Hominy of Memphis, TN.

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PLAY:  Aspen Outfitting, located lobby level of the St. Regis provides expert guides for fishing, shooting and hunting. Look to Aspen Sports (www.aspensports.com) for biking activities. For the ultimate romantic and adventurous experience visit the Maroon Bells Guide & Outfitters. Brian Welder and his crew provide an array of horseback rides ranging from an hour to 4 days ride among the scenic mountains, groves and meadows and culminates with fresco champagne & steak dinners.  HINT: perfect proposal setting!

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RELAX:  Remede Spa offers over 15,000 sq ft of space replete with sauna, steam room, oxygen lounge, indoor waterfalls, state-of-the-art manicure and pedicure stations, and hot/cold plunge pools. An extensive menu of treatments in a beautifully designed space has just earned this property the coveted title #1 Hotel Spa in the world by Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards 2014 readers’ survey. Also, treat you and your girls to a great cut, blowout or mani/pedi at nearby Salon Tullio, a high-end salon with an inviting shabby chic décor (emphasis on chic), loads of soothing aromatherapy and energetic and friendly service.

NOTE:  St. Regis complimentary shuttle service runs to/from the Aspen Airport. Altitude adjustment time may be needed before your big day or any strenuous activity.  It’s best to limit alcohol and get plenty of water and take advantage of the complimentary humidifiers the St. Regis provides for extra hydration.

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CELEBRATION SITES: The St. Regis courtyard provides a stunning vista for an intimate outdoor service or for a grander affair the ballroom and lower level lobby is a visual splendor with hand painted fabric wall murals depicting mountain scenes. Other noteworthy venues for a wedding service, rehearsal dinners, bridal luncheons and farewell Sunday brunches to check out: T Lazy 7 Ranchoffers a charming 2 storied rustic lodge or an exquisite outdoor and panoramic site “The Meadow.”  Theatre Aspen provides an inspirational setting overlooking a delightful rock garden and babbling river near The John Denver Sanctuary. The Doerr-Hosier Center at The Aspen Institute provides architectural wonder amongst Rocky Mountain views. Remotely located, Pine Creek Cookhouse boasts outstanding food in an arresting setting. More unique venues with a historical edge are: the intriguing Ashcroft Ghost Town, the fascinating Holden/ Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum, and the lovely Wheeler Stallard Museum with lush gardensLeave all the planning to the highly talented and creative team of Chelsea and Katie of Gold Leaf Event Design & Production.
See more about the St. Regis Aspen.

OUT & ABOUT: Ajax Tavern at The Little Nell voted Best Outdoor Seating. Historical Hotel Jerome for dining and drinking in a cozy eclectic decor. Victoria’s Espresso Wine Bar & Gourmet Grazing for scrumptious brunch and HOPS for great brew and sandwich menu. BB’s Kitchen for innovative tapas and outdoor dining.

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