Tamara Petit, head concierge at the historic Hotel Jerome, got her big break in Aspen with a big break in Aspen. “I was a concierge in Anguilla and came here on vacation seven years ago and got in a bad ski accident,” Petit explains.
“I had a compound fracture of my right radius, the bone was coming out the other side; it was pretty gross,” she says. She had surgery in Vail, but “really preferred Aspen,” returned for physical therapy, got a job at the Jerome and has never left. “This hotel is my favorite in town and probably the only one I would have worked for. It’s like a museum here, I’m finding new things all the time.” The luxury lodge is so inviting, guests could be forgiven for never leaving their rooms. But when they do head out, this is where Petit sends them.
Best Ski Run: Bingo Glades on Ajax Mountain is my favorite. It’s a classic steep-and-deep terrain that makes the mountain so popular. The best part about this run is that if we don’t get new snow, it closes to protect it. So if it’s open, you know it’s going to be good.
Best New Restaurant: My favorite is Grey Lady. It’s originally from the Lower East Side in New York, and they brought it here. It’s got a Nantucket vibe, with a lobster roll that has a pound-and-a-quarter lobster in it. They have a local bakery called Annette’s bake the rolls, and they’re absolutely spectacular.
Toughest Dinner Reservation: Cache Cache is a modern French and Matsuhisa is Nobu’s Japanese restaurant, and both are on all of our guests’ must-dine lists. Fortunately, from going there we have very close relationships with both—and it doesn’t hurt our GM is friends with the owner of Cache Cache.
Cocktail Destination: Justice Snow’s is located in the Wheeler Opera House, which was built in 1889, so it has that historic feel, as well as the largest craft cocktail menu this side of the Mississippi. It was named the best high-altitude bar by Playboy. It takes 10 minutes for them to make a cocktail, but once you have one, you know why. My favorite is their PDA, an apple whiskey base shaken with lemon juice and egg white. They dust various spices on top and garnish it with a thin slice of apple.
Spa Experience: When you’re in Aspen and skiing or hiking in the summer, by the end of the day your feet are killing you. That’s when you’ve got to go to A-1 Oriental Foot Massage. When you go in there’s a big wooden bucket full of water; the therapists soak and massage the pressure points in your feet for an hour, then you flip over and they do your back for ten minutes. It’s amazing.
Ski Outfitter: Gorsuch has been in business a long time and has a couple locations here and in Vail. They have everything from athletic wear to cashmere to skis and in addition, for around $1,700 they make custom ski boots. Most boots are so uncomfortable on your feet [Ed. Note: see above], so Gorsuch takes molds of your feet to figure out where the pressure points are and builds you a pair of personalized ones that make the biggest difference.
Locals’ Secret: When I first started doing the hike up Buttermilk on the full moon there weren’t that many people. It’s a bigger thing now, but still only people from Aspen. You hike up and ski down by the moonlight. It’s such a great experience.
Must-Have Souvenir: A Stetson cowboy hat from Kemosabe, a crazy store that has hats and belts of all different skins, is total Aspen. It blends our Western culture with the luxury of modern-day Aspen.
Best Room in the House: The Jerome was built in 1889 by Jerome B. Wheeler, so my favorite rooms are in the historic wing. The one-bedroom suite in the historic wing has super-high ceilings, full-length cashmere curtains and beautiful views of Aspen Mountain and the town.
Neighborhood: West End
Minibar Temptation: “Anything sweet, but Twizzlers are my favorite.”
Favorite Hotel in the World: Four Seasons Paris. “It has that old historical feel and little balconies you can sip coffee or Champagne on while looking at the Eiffel Tower.”
Next Vacation: Fiji
Most Outrageous Guest Request: “I had someone ask to rent out a couple of the runs on Aspen Mountain. It’s a possibility as long as you have flexibility—and unlimited funds.”
A Great Concierge Is: Creative.
We asked Tamara Petit to plan us a single, singular day in Aspen…
Following a breakfast in the comfort of your suite, one of the hotel’s Mercedes SUVs will transport you to the tarmac of the Aspen Airport to meet your private plane; destination Silverton, Colorado. The Silverton AS350 helicopter and your guide will be waiting for you to search for the best lines on the 13,487-foot Storm Peak. After several runs on remote, untouched summits you will return to Aspen on your plane. Your Mercedes will be waiting to take you to Ajax Tavern, at the base of Aspen Mountain, for a fondue lunch.
Following lunch, you will return to the Hotel Jerome to relax your tired muscles with a High Altitude Sports Recovery Massage at the boutique Auberge Spa. The Stetson-clad driver will then take you to Aspen Highlands, where you will board your Snowcat to begin your 10,900-foot ascent to dinner at Cloud Nine. Following your gourmet meal and exquisite wine you will be ready for your descent back to Aspen to experience world-renowned Aspen nightlife. Have a drink at the famous Caribou Club or Escobar before your VIP entry to Bootsy Bellows. Enjoy bottle service in the private, glass enclosed Gatsby Room served by burlesque-themed waitresses or join the crowd on the dance floor.
All great nights must come to an end, and your cowboy will be waiting to take you back for a peaceful slumber in your suite.