Situated in a remote area of the Rockies' Elk Mountains and Sawatch Range, Aspen was originally founded as a mining community during the state's Silver Boom. The city flourished during the 1880s and was named after the abundance of aspen trees in the area. By the late 20th century, Aspen became a popular destination for celebrities, and singer John Denver further popularized it with a song he wrote about Aspen.
Today, while the influx of wealthy residents has driven up real estate prices, the city remains a popular tourist destination for anyone with an adventurous spirit. It's the perfect destination for skiing, hiking, mining, cycling, camping, rock climbing, backpacking, or simply indulging in room service at one of Aspen's luxurious hotels. Whatever your reason for visiting Aspen, you'll want to find the right hotel that allows you to experience everything this scenic city has to offer.
Best Time to Visit Aspen, CO
Since Aspen is a ski resort, the best time to visit is from December to February when the city is covered in freshly fallen snow. Aspen experiences up to 200 inches of snowfall each year, which helps lure winter sports aficionados from across the world. Keep in mind, though, that winter is the most expensive and most crowded time to visit Aspen. Hotel prices are sky-high, lift tickets are at a premium, and you'll have to wait in line just about everywhere you go. Despite the downsides, if you can afford to brave the chilly temperatures and influx of tourists, spending the winter in Aspen is one experience you'll never forget.
Springtime in Aspen is short and tends to be rainy, but prices start to plummet as soon as the winter crowd leaves. Finding a room can also be a challenge since some properties close down for the spring season. If you do manage to find a hotel from March to May, you can enjoy several local events, including the Bud Light Spring Jam and the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Finals.
Summer marks a surge in tourism, as travelers hope to take advantage of hiking, golf, and other outdoor activities. While not as crowded or costly as during the winter months, summer rates do climb because of the revived tourism, so you'll want to book your hotel months in advance to get the best prices. A few events to experience during the summer include Snowmass Mammoth Fest, Aspen Food & Wine Classic, and the Aspen Arts Festival.
Autumn is another one of Aspen's slow seasons, which results in some properties closing shop from September to November. Prices are incredibly reasonable during the fall, though, and you won't have to worry about booking a room months in advance to snag a good deal. While the weather can be chilly, it's perfect for a downtown stroll — just be sure to bring plenty of layers. Key events that occur during the fall include Oktoberfest, Aspen Filmfest, and John Denver Week.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Aspen, CO:
Aspen by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Aspen, CO. You can use these illustrations to calculate the cheapest months to make a reservation in Aspen for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Aspen, CO
4 Star Average Prices: $269.25
If you're looking to splurge, you won't find a shortage of luxury resorts in Aspen. The Little Nell is a chic, five-star, ski-in and ski-out resort at the base of the Silver Queen Gondola. Guest rooms are modern and elegant with marble bathrooms, fireplaces, high-end amenities, flat-screen televisions, iPod docks, Blu-ray players, free Wi-Fi, and balconies. Suites add steam showers or Jacuzzis, and in-room snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are free.
Guest amenities at The Little Nell include spa services, kids' activities, a ski concierge, free seasonal bike rentals, a hot tub, and an outdoor pool. The site also features a tavern, three bars, and an American restaurant. Ski and airport shuttle services are also included.
Located close to the Silver Queen Gondola and downtown Aspen, The St. Regis Aspen Resort is a five-star property boasting a full spa with hot tubs, steam rooms, cold plunges, and a fitness center; an outdoor pool; two on-site dining options; a lounge, and free ski shuttle and valet services. Guest rooms and suites feature video game systems, flat-screen televisions, marble bathrooms, and free, in-room bottled water. Wi-Fi is available for an extra fee. Some rooms also feature fireplaces, balconies with mountain views, butler service, and pullout sofas.
The Gant is an upscale, rustic-inspired condo resort offering one- to four-bedroom condos. Each one comes with flat-screen televisions, DVD players, iPod docks, kitchens, fireplaces, patios or balconies, high-end linens, luxury bath products and free Wi-Fi. The Gant also boasts three hot tubs, two pools, in-town and ski shuttle services, tennis courts, an on-site restaurant, free self-parking, available valet parking, and a ski-storage center.
Affordable Hotel Options in Aspen, CO
3 Star Average Prices: $148.12
While budget roadside motels aren't available in Aspen, finding an affordably priced lodging here is easier than you might think. Just be sure to research your options and book well in advance to get the best possible deals.
The Snow Queen Victorian Lodge is a three-star bed and-breakfast set at the base of the Aspen Mountain. This family-run Victorian property is within walking distance of the nearest gondola and offers eight cozy, individually decorated rooms with private bathrooms. Guest rooms feature free Wi-Fi internet access, mini-fridges, and cable television. Upgraded rooms add kitchenettes and private balconies or decks. There are two studio loft condos available with washer or dryers and wood-burning fireplaces, which are ideal for an extended stay.
Breakfast is included at The Snow Queen Victorian Lodge, as is a free shuttle service to nearby skiing hot spots. The property also features mountain views and a Victorian parlor, which serves complimentary hot beverages in the winter.
Tyrolean Lodge is a family-operated budget hotel situated on West Main Street. Guests can enjoy a seven-minute walk to the Wheeler Opera House or a 12-minute walk to the Aspen Mountain ski lifts. Rooms are basic and feature dining areas, kitchenettes, and all the expected amenities. Some rooms also feature separate sitting areas. Tyrolean Lodge also features an on-site museum with antique ski memorabilia and a free ski shuttle service.