Downtown Aspen’s crown jewel and its oldest hotel gets a major facelift.
The Hotel Jerome has always been at the heart of downtown Aspen, both figuratively and literally. It was built in 1889 by Jerome B. Wheeler who wanted a hotel in Aspen that rivaled European luxury and amenities. Since then, the hotel has gone through many renovations, additions, and modifications, but it remains Aspen’s crown jewel. This summer, the Hotel Jerome debuts its most recent iteration: a major addition featuring six residential luxury suites, a new pool and courtyard, and the acquisition and restoration of the historic Aspen Times building.
When architects Rowland + Broughton and interior designer Todd Avery Lenahan, CEO and Principal of TAL Studio were brought on board to design the new pool, courtyard, renovated Aspen Times building and another new addition, they looked to history for a starting point and went from there. It was the same team who had completed the hotel renovation in 2012 and they had already delved into highly creative and original ways to achieve this delicate balance. “The challenge, as you can imagine, is designing to this very historic, prominent site,” says Principal Architect Sarah Broughton. “The design is meant to be quiet to respect the proximity and harmony of these historic buildings, and to become one with the pool and courtyard. For the addition, we used stained wood siding and wooden screens that with planters instead of brick. We wanted it to be more informal. The idea is the green from the courtyard will grow up the sides of the building, so it becomes one with the courtyard.” The new building will feature six luxury two and three bedroom suites.
The Aspen Times building was returned to its historic state. A later addition was torn down, and the original windows on the east side were restored while preserving the original storefront. The old Aspen Times building will provide more social space and a bar downstairs called Bad Harriet, named for Jerome B. Wheeler’s wife.
“Because this is an old hotel, people love its charm and history, but there needs to be something about it that is fashionable and relevant to today’s discerning luxury hotel guest,” says Avery-Lenahan. “People should be comfortable in knowing we’re preserving its integrity and we’re actually elevating it quite a bit.”
The courtyard was designed to pull all the buildings together. By raising the courtyard to one level, the pool looks onto the courtyard and creates a seamless view to the street and Aspen Mountain beyond. The patio surrounding the pool is now heated, as are the towels, just in case the two hot tubs aren’t enough to keep hotel guests warm on a cold winter day. Lush greenery will integrate the courtyard, pool, and its buildings with vertical gardens that will grow up the surrounding walls.
“You can see how much both our design teams respected all the decades,” says longtime General Manager Tony Diluca. “The team works very well together and everyone has a passion for the Jerome.” He has a few treats up his sleeve for pool guests this summer, like fruit kabobs, boozy snow cones and homemade popsicle sticks. The hotel will offer yoga classes poolside, casting lessons for wanna-be fly fisherman, and a “skinny dip” menu that will feature lighter, healthier fare.
The courtyard, which has always been beloved by the Aspen community, will remain open to the public, a space to be revered and enjoyed for the next 200 years. //hoteljerome.com.