In 2019, The Nell began a renovation of the hotel entry and lobby, including the reception, lobby level corridors, private offices and public bathrooms, as well as the living room. The primary goal for the renovation was to create a sense of place; a hospitality experience that evokes as sense of elevated Aspen living. A sculptural reception desk is a nod to the hotel’s history of being an ‘art’ hotel. Fine art is very much the ethos of the Little Nell has infused the design with more references that reinforce that heritage. The space is designed to be more social – adding more seating to encourage guests to enjoy the convivial nature of the property. Screens were installed between the reception and the living room to elegantly break up the open space and create a sense of privacy while still allowing for engagement. The next phase of this renovation will be completed in the spring of 2020.
Chair 9 was renovated by New York-based firm, Champalimaud Design with the ‘Aspen’ narrative carrying into the space with a mixture of woods to create a luxurious contemporary cabin-like feeling with dark metal accents and hearty flooring, plus a custom chandelier reminiscent of cairns on Colorado hiking trails.
Also in 2019, Ajax Tavern was renovated by Rowland + Broughton Architecture and Interior Design who previously renovated the space in collaboration with Holly Hunt. The overall look is a modern tavern that is open yet cozy and comfortable. Seating is in booths and banquettes that allow for flexibility and gathering different sized groups. The palette is a combination of lighter oak with red leather booths, blackened metal hanging lights and other accents and camel leather chairs. The walls are dark to maintain the tavern feel. A glass screen with an inlaid grain pattern provides a semi-opaque view towards the kitchen and the handmade tile wall beyond. The floor is carpet which is durable for ski boots, softens the acoustics in the room and creates a cozy feel. The patio also has new seating, umbrellas and string lights.
In 2017, Champalimaud Design refreshed the 52 guest rooms, 26 premium guest rooms, eight junior suites and all guest floor corridors, inspired by an “Authentic Aspen” motif. The design pays tribute to both Aspen’s lively and cultural scene, as well as its dynamic history as a charming silver mining town. “A primary intent behind the renovation was to brighten and update the hotel’s luxurious accommodations, which are regarded for their residential, welcoming feel,” noted Paula Crown, of the Crown family who owns Aspen Skiing Company and The Little Nell and whose artwork graces its walls. Champalimaud’s approach towards the project was to reinvigorate the spaces to be fresh, light and welcoming, utilizing palettes of blue, tan and grey to complement the relaxed nature of Aspen. Key features include plush carpet in the guest rooms and corridors, as well as luxurious sensory details ensuite such as navy blue ottomans and plush decorative pillows, Custom throws were also designed exclusively for the hotel and are available for sale in the boutique at The Little Nell. New wall coverings behind the color block headboards are reminiscent of a mid-winter snowstorm or a stand of aspens. Subtle elements of surprise include gilded wallpaper within the gracious closets.
In 2012, the signature restaurant at The Nell reopened as element 47, designed by James Beard Restaurant Design award-winner Bentel & Bentel. Design elements include a fortified connection between the vibrant bar scene to the dining room, a focus on large-scale artwork, a glass wine wall incorporating the restaurant’s Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning cellar and lighting that provides a distinct look for each meal period. The space also includes natural elements such as stone, sumptuous wood, blackened steel and rich leather seating softened by luxurious fabrics and wall coverings.
In 2008, Chicago designer and Aspen resident Holly Hunt and her team redesigned the hotel's six signature suites. The aim was to welcome guests as if they were stepping into the comfort of a luxurious private home. This was accomplished with a transitional blend of modern and classic styles and a “very close attention to the textures,” by mixing fabrics, woods, stone, and metals.
PLEASURE IN THE DETAILS
The bass notes of the color palette are warm, calming greys. Layered in are accents of bright color, and rich tactile materials. Leather and lacquer are mixed and matched in side tables, a reclaimed black walnut tree is now a long John Toushman coffee table, and blackened steel details merge with wood on the bookcase.
FEAST FOR THE SENSES
The ambience of this world-famous restaurant flows from the hotel’s Living Room, as it might in a personal home. It’s a feast here for all the senses. A dramatic glass wall displays some of the wines from our spectacular cellar, and within the flow of the room are two smaller, more private spaces.
GREAT DESIGN MAKES IT PERSONAL
A Landes Console in the foyer, and a Monaco Dining Table in the living area, by Jean Michel Wilmotte. Lounge Chair, by Markus Jehs & Jurgen Laub. An Avedon Floor Lamp. Ajiro Coffers – a gunmetal wall covering by Maya Romanoff. Design and art that personalizes a magnificent space.
THE MOST CELEBRATED SUITE IN ASPEN
Two ideas informed this re-design: sense of place, and uniqueness. Uncluttered window spaces invite Aspen inside. And a collection of design and art originals is set against whites, blues and chocolates, and different hues of stone and metal. For example, Mark Albrecht Bar Stools, a Tristan Auer Mystere Coffee Table, and Gem Table by Chai Ming Studios.
Wine Cellar Experiences
A reputation as rich as its cellar - now is your chance to experience a unique part of The Little Nell wine program. Enjoy a private cellar tasting or dinner, catered to your every need and hosted by one of our sommeliers.
We love finding ways to provide our guests with enticing Aspen experiences that go beyond the hotel’s amenities. This winter, we’re excited to offer six such exclusive experiences: First Tracks, Last Tracks, Snowcat Powder Tours, Snowcat Academy, and Groom the Mountain.
Hosted by Australia’s first Master of Wine, Michael Hill Smith, enjoy a selection of ten Australian wines paired with four courses. All proceeds from this dinner will be directed to a wildfire relief fund created by Aspen Snowmass.