• Written by Leigh Maloney

In anticipation of an incredible 2015/2016 winter season, The Little Nell, Aspen's only ski-in/ski-out hotel, a Relais & Châteaux property, is preparing an exciting variety of guest programs.  If you're heading to Aspen to relax, welcome to nirvana.  Or, if you're like most guests who prefer to get outdoors and play until dark, then The Little Nell's team of Ski Concierges will be alert to your every whim.  

Right outside The Little Nell's back door and steps from Aspen Mountain's Silver Queen Gondola, The Little Nell Ski Concierges are at the ready 7:30am-5pm. From boot warming, tune-ups and equipment storage to arranging intermountain ski transfers, lessons and tours, they're trained experts at polishing the ski experience to a shine.  They'll even fuel you up with coffee, tea and fresh pastries and make sure you're protected from high-altitude UV rays. 

One of the most sought-after activities for keen-skiing guests of The Little Nell and Residences at The Little Nell is a coveted seat on The Little Nell Powdercat on the backside of Aspen Mountain.  Each tour averages 10-12 untracked runs on a blank canvas of intermediate to expert terrain, followed by an intimate late lunch at a wood stove-heated cabin in the heart of the Elk Mountains. The cabin comes complete with a complimentary chair massage therapist to relax your muscles after your healthy backcountry ski workout.  Lunch offerings are perfectly paired with wines from around the world, specially bottled for The Little Nell's element 47 restaurant.  Your knee-deep hosts for the day are The Little Nell's Managing Director, Simon Chen and Director of Sales, Pete Hayda.  

Another exclusive Nell adventure is a late-afternoon ride in a state-of-the-art grooming snowcat alongside one of Aspen Mountain's snowcat drivers.  Here guests learn from the pros how to form those perfect corduroy lines all the way down the mountain,  while taking in sunset views of downtown Aspen from a seat in the “Bison 350” model Prinoth snowcat. 

The more adventurous Little Nell intermediate to advanced skier level guest can “sweep” the last run of the day with a member of Aspen Mountain's Ski Patrol. This is an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at how Aspen's Ski Patrollers safely close down the mountain each day.

Winter dinners at T-Lazy-7's Guest Ranch will also debut this ski season at their private yurt with catering by The Little Nell and one of our sommeliers selecting and serving wines.  Snowcat transportation takes you to and from the yurt.  

The Little Nell Ski Concierge can also arrange a host of other Aspen activities, including First Tracks - a unique opportunity to make top-to-bottom turns on fresh powder or freshly groomed corduroy before Aspen Mountain opens to the public.

Or start the day with sun salutations atop Aspen Mountain. Here you can limber up at the Sundeck with yoga at 11,212 feet / 3,417 metres.

Rev-heads wanting a fix can snowmobile on groomed trails and take in the panoramic views of the Maroon Bells, Independence Pass and its historic ghost town or the White River National Forest. 

Or, for something a little more subdued, strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore 80 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails of the Nordic Trail system, or attempt something more daring by traversing the backcountry or a mountaintop ridge. 

And to round off the perfect day, enjoy a bit of ice skating, just footsteps from The Little Nell.

Something new on offer this season will be the Snowcat Academy at Buttermilk Mountain, designed to provide a unique experience with one-on-one cat instruction. The class will last approximately three hours and will give the guest initial training and then driving time in the snowcat.  Buttermilk's Panda Peak will serve as a giant sand (snow) box and the guest can learn to simply manoeuvre through the snow or groom a trail of one's own.  

For those dining in-house at the acclaimed element 47, awarded five stars by Forbes Travel Guide, recipient of the Grand Award from Wine Spectator and deemed one of “America's 100 Best Restaurants” by Wine Enthusiast, The Little Nell's new executive chef, Matt Zubrod, offers ingredient-driven, farm-to-table cuisine.

Come mid-February, The Little Nell and Veuve Clicquot will present Oasis, the world's only on-mountain pop-up Champagne & Caviar Bar. 

For full details, reservations and costings,  

Winter Adventure Photos:

About The Little Nell

Cosmopolitan yet intimate, contemporary yet timeless, The Little Nell invites guests to experience Aspen's only Five Star, Five Diamond, ski-in/ski-out hotel – a Relais & Châteaux resort – and the distinctive element 47 restaurant. For more information and for reservations, call 888.The.Nell (888.843.6355) or visit

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