Scene

Fireside Chat

Don’t let winter pass without making it to the consummate après lounging spot: Aspen’s Hotel Jerome.
December 2013

Jerome

The stomp of snow-covered boots, the satisfied sigh after that first sip of hot cocoa, the crackle and snap of a roaring wood fire—these are the sounds of winter. And if there’s one place to warm your frozen face this season, it’s the hearth in the Hotel Jerome’s recently unveiled Living Room. Added during the 124-year-old hotel’s renovation last fall, this dining space showcases Aspen’s boomtown roots with artifacts, antiques, and design elements that recall the town’s storied past. “There are period pieces that will bring guests back to the glory of the Aspen silver-mining days,” says Todd-Avery Lenahan, founder of TAL Studio, the design firm responsible for the new space, “as if they’re walking into a great business baron’s residence”—and out of Jack Frost’s chilly reach. 

1. Flagged Down

Thirty-eight stars cover this circa 1876–77 flag, which represents Colorado’s place as the 38th state to join the Union, a little more than 100 years after the founding of the United States of America.
(Thus, the nickname “the Centennial State.”)

2. Technology Gap

This early 20th-century typewriter elicits interesting reactions from the hotel’s younger guests. “[They] find it clumsy and inelegant,” Lenahan says. “Personally, I think it’s a beautiful piece with incredible sculptural and textural qualities.”

3. Copy Cat

Originally conceived during Aspen’s 1880s silver boom, the Hotel Jerome rivaled the great European hotels of the era—particularly the Savoy Hotel, located on the Strand in Westminster, which opened just months before Hotel Jerome. Carved in London, the Living Room’s statuary white marble fireplace is an ode to English Victorian design.

4. The Namesake

Lenahan commissioned this portrait of mining magnate Jerome B. Wheeler, who donated land for the hotel and helped finance the $150,000 construction bill (the equivalent of more than $1 million today). The picture hangs above the fireplace, where a mirror once reflected glare from the lights of passing cars. 

5. Book Smart

The Living Room’s custom-built shelves hold tomes focused on regional subjects, such as Colorado cowboy songs, the Ute Indian tribe, and Rocky Mountain horticulture. 

6. Perfect Pour

The sparkling crystal stemware flanking the mantel provides an elegant accent—and serves the lounge’s patrons 10 wines by the glass to pair with tapas such as charcuterie and artisan cheese boards.

7. Ghost Town

Past generations of Aspenites watch over the hotel from black-and-white photographs provided by the Aspen Historical Society.

8. Stashed Away
The tables’ hinged tops flip open to reveal classic après necessities: cocktail napkins and corkscrews.