There are some hotels I just want to move into, (clearly I read waaay too much Eloise when I was little, but that’s another story). The second I walked into the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, I wanted to unpack my bags and not check out. Not to live in Aspen, mind you, but the hotel itself is totally magical.
The best hotels create backdrops that make everything that much more glamorous and the Jerome does this in spades. For starters the low lighting (lots of black shades, soft wattage) and moody gray paint make everyone look that much more gorgeous (talk about flattering, I should try this at home…). The lobby and library bar both feel like the cozy, chic living rooms you wished you lived in (if only someone could hand me their whisky cocktails when I’m curled up on my own sofa).
The Redesign: Filled with cool antiques, slightly granny wallpaper in the hallways, vintage clocks, and interesting portraits and art, the incredibly talented designer Todd-Avery Lenahan has accomplished the tough assignment of honoring the history and character of the c. 1889 hotel, while bringing it into the 21st century. The renovation was competed last year. Here are my pics from my stay last week and a few design ideas gleaned along the way…
Updating: I noticed a couple of tricks that Todd did to make a historic hotel filled with antiques feel fresh. First, the prints he used are big and graphic. The black ikat-ish print on these chairs, and the oversized brown and cream zebra pattern both inject some modernity to the space. Another insta-update is painting the wood frames black on these classic chairs. Back in the 90s the way to update a tired piece was by painting in white, now it’s black. Another modernizing touch is the lucite/glass coffee table that totally adds lightness to the space.
The Art of Time: It’s a little hard to tell from this pic, but this is actually a collection of vintage clocks all assembled in a big chunky frame. If you know someone who has a vintage clock collection, this could be a kind of modern, slightly offbeat way to display them.
Love the guest rooms, the vintage moss green velvet sofa at the foot of the bed was my favorite (wish I had a better pic!). Another thing I don’t have a pic of (clearly I am a slacker blogger), is of the gorgeous wooden crib they set up, complete with bumpers and a little stuffed horse inside. Usually hotel cribs are scary metal mini jails, but this was one of the nicest cribs I’ve ever seen (hotel or not).
Lightening Up: Here is the living area of one of the executive suites, love how the palette here is the opposite of the dark, moody hues in the public spaces. I’m sure this space, with its 20-foot couch, would be the perfect backdrop for some serious parties….
Cork Wall: The bedrooms in the suites that I saw all had cork walls which warm up the rooms visually. Cork also is great for sound insulation, which is key. there is nothing worse than hearing what is going on in the next room.
Sculptural & Symmetrical: The side entrance to the hotel’s restaurant Prospect with these oversized, sculptural leather chairs, looks very graphic from this angle. Note that throughout the hotel, there are these oversized, black shades which are totally striking, especially against the darker spaces.
The wonderfully cozy, and sexy, Library Bar. It’s one of those spaces you don’t want to leave because it feels more like an amazing, intimate living room than a bar.
For a livelier scene, here’s J Bar. Note the quirky, vintage bottle chandelier.
When it opened, the hotel had teeny rooms, 93 I think in the original building (which has now been converted to 30). The newer wing from the 1980s has the remaining 60+ rooms. In any event the lobby seating area is set where the courtyard was (with the original tile floors). The courtyard space is open to the glass roof. This shot was taken from the 3rd floor looking down through the beams.
Aspen mountain is just a few blocks away….
A peek into the hotel scene just 20 minutes away at Snowmass on the blog this week, stay tuned.