I recently traveled to Aspen, and I highly recommend this destination for your next incentive trip. Aspen’s tagline “Defy Ordinary” is proven by the gorgeous hotels, limitless outdoor excursions, high-end shopping, and delectable dining options in a stunning setting.
Throughout my stay, I learned about Aspen’s history, from the summertime territory of the Ute Native Americans to the silver mining boom of the 1880s. Today, Aspen is a cultural hub and year-round destination for outdoor activities, festivals, concert series, and think tanks. Incorporating the “Aspen Idea” of focusing on mind, body, and spirit into meetings and incentives is easily accomplished in this gorgeous destination.
During my week in Aspen, I stayed at the 93-room Hotel Jerome, an Auberge Resort, which is known for its relaxed elegance. Hotel Jerome has been a landmark in Aspen since 1889 and has stood the test of time through the silver mining boom to today’s hideaway for the elite. The moment you step into Hotel Jerome, you feel at home in the elegant rustic décor, from the crystal chandeliers and belts lining the elevator doors to the animal wall mounts and Native American elements. Each venue of Hotel Jerome is unique. The Living Room is perfect for après ski cocktails and is bustling with guests in the evening. Sip on vodka while dressed in a down jacket, inside the ice walls of the Stoli Ice House. The hotel recently renovated the pool area and is expanding with additional guestrooms and an underground speakeasy for hotel guests.
Other Aspen hotels include the 179-room luxurious St. Regis Aspen Resort, with ample meeting space and renowned Remède Spa. The only 5-star, 5-diamond, ski-in, ski-out hotel is The Little Nell. One of the newer hotels, The Limelight, is a luxury hotel with easy access to shopping. The Gant is one of the best ways to book a condo rental, and the Bauhaus-style Aspen Meadows set on 40 acres at the Aspen Institute provides fabulous views.
The outdoor adventures offered by Aspen throughout the year are endless. First and foremost, Aspen is known as a skiing destination. Snowboarding is also popular on Buttermilk Mountain, which was home to the 2018 X Games. I was lucky to get a private lesson with a pro to sharpen up my snowboarding skills, and I was shocked at how empty the mountain was. The Aspen mountains are privately owned and offer limited season passes. I felt like I was the only person on the mountain, which is a huge value to your guests on their incentive trip!
I also went snowmobiling for the first time and reveled in the pristine views of the Maroon Bells Mountain. This is an excellent group excursion, very scenic, safe, and a huge adrenaline rush.
Some additional activities include hiking, white water rafting, cycling, stand up paddleboarding ice skating, and more.
Now onto my favorite subject, food! Aspen is known for its authentic and original dining options, with over 80 restaurants to enjoy within a 5-block radius. I’d be remiss if I didn’t try the famous fried chicken sandwich at White House Tavern upon arriving in Aspen.
Another venue I visited was the exclusive, members-only Caribou Club, which was a fantastic dining experience and recommended as a Farewell Dinner venue during your incentive trip. The highlight of our dinner was the indulgent Scallops Parmesan, baked scallops presented in a clamshell with parmesan, lime, and serrano. I love that the chef travels the world researching dining trends; check out this sample dinner menu, so unique! With so many dining options in Aspen, I recommend adding a Dine Around night to hit as many as possible.
Aspen is easily accessible with nonstop flights from Dallas, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, and Atlanta. It is only a 10-minute shuttle ride to the hotels. The town is very walkable with most hotels, restaurants, and shops located within a 5-block area.
Overall, my experience in Aspen was extraordinary, and I highly recommend it as your next incentive travel destination!
Sample Aspen Incentive Trip Program Agenda
|Day 1||Arrivals||Welcome Reception|
|Day 2||Breakfast Meeting||Activities: Skiing or Snowboarding||Après Ski Reception||Dine-Arounds|
|Day 3||Group Snowmobiling Excursion and Lunch||Shopping on Own||Farewell Dinner|
If you would like Brightspot to help plan your next unforgettable program, let’s get started!