European-style lodgings at a budget price (by Aspen standards)
Walking distance to downtown Aspen and ski shuttle
Rooms range from shared dorms to two-bedroom condos with fireplaces
Heated pool in garden setting plus steam room
Free breakfast, coffee, and newspapers
Free happy hour with wine, mulled cider, and cookies
Free on-site parking and free Wi-Fi throughout
Lending library available
Dated or worn furniture and some kitschy decor
Breakfast served on paper plates, with plastic cups
There is a wholesome feel to the St. Moritz Lodge & Condominiums, a value property with free breakfast. Its 25 traditional rooms range from shared dorm-style lodgings to two-bedroom condos with full kitchens. Far from the hippest place in this tiny ski town, the St. Moritz has an off-kilter charm that is equal parts European, practical, and old fashioned, though some furnishings are dated or worn. There is a pretty blue-tile pool and well-tended gardens. But travelers looking for less kitsch could try the Aspen Mountain Lodge, though there's less personality as well.
A sign near the pool at the St. Moritz Lodge reads, "Quiet After 10 pm please," a good indicator that a swinging nightlife scene is unlikely at this Tyrolean-influenced, wheelchair-accessible property. The place attracts those who want to experience world-class skiing, hiking, and biking, and perhaps sample a bit of glamorous Aspen while not spending a lot on lodging. The lobby features a red-brick fireplace and two tufted sofas and armchairs. Free coffee is served during the day, and there are free newspapers and a tiny lending library for reading material. At night, guests are greeted with wine and cookies, and spiced rum and chilled lemonade during the free happy hour. After skiing, if there is a fire going, someone playing the piano, or music is streaming from the speakers overhead, the lack of chic decor may not register. The blue tile pool set off in warmer weather by a verdant green lawn and various flowering bulbs look inviting against the white-stucco lodge, with its bright-blue shutters and red front door.
The lodge is two blocks or two minutes on foot to a free ski shuttle or public bus to places down mountain, but a car would be fairly useful here, especially for guests who rent mountain bikes. It's a 10-minute walk to downtown Aspen and to Maroon Bells, a set of peaks in the Elk Mountains. The Wheeler/Standard House Museum and the Wheeler Opera House are a seven-minute walk. The Aspen Art Museum designed by renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is 11-minutes away on foot. Thee Buttermilk Mountain Ski area and Aspen Highlands and its famed Highland Bowl are seven minutes away by car. Independence Pass in the Rocky Mountains is a 35-minute drive. The closest airport is Aspen-Pitkin County, a nine-minute drive, while Denver International Airport is four hours away by car.
From shared hostels to two bedroom condos with kitchens
The 25 rooms here range from single-sex, shared dorm rooms with twin beds, mini-fridges, and shared bathrooms to high-ceilinged two-bedroom, two-bath condominiums with full kitchens. Rooms vary, but tend to have dark patterned carpets, white bed linens with colorful accent throws and cushions, and flat-screen TVs. Some also have old barn wood on walls, lending a note of rustic authenticity. But the lighting is bright and unromantic.
The condos in the rustic wood lodge have vaulted pine wood ceilings and full kitchens with crockery and either dark or blond wood and tile countertops. However, the bathrooms are dated, with beige and tan mini tiles, '80s-style fixtures, and unappealing lighting. However they are clean and the hotel provides toiletries. Only registered guests are allowed in rooms.
Free coffee and happy-hour wine, plus a garden pool with steam room
The St. Moritiz has a fair bit to offer for a budget property, including a pool set amidst alpine gardens, a steam room, and barbecue grills. The lodge provides free ski storage and rentals of skis, bikes, and other equipment is available close by. The lobby has free coffee and tea, free newspapers, a small lending library, a piano, and a free happy hour around the fireplace or on the terrace. There's also a computer for guests' use and free hotel-wide Wi-Fi, plus a coin-operated laundry room and free parking.
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