Is it a ranch, or is it a resort? The answer is some dazzling place in the middle: The new Aspen Valley Ranch is a Western dreamland for visitors who’d rather bypass the grit and go for the gorgeous, with rustic-luxe homesteads and lavish amenities.
The gated, private ranch community stretches over 813 acres of the Roaring Fork Valley, within easy reach of civilization—the town of Aspen is just 10 minutes away, and it’s an 8-mile drive to the Aspen airport. Six rambling ranch residences are currently being offered as rentals, and six more are yet to be completed.
Two Aspen-area firms—Poss Architecture and Michael Fuller Architects—designed the high-end homesteads with a contemporary spin on traditional Colorado ranch style, arranging familiar ranch forms and materials—including stone, wood, and metal—in new ways to forge an updated sense of place. “There are materials that have been used on ranches because of their durability and timelessness. We like to use these and contrast them with some newer materials to create a different take on the traditional ranch,” says Keith Howie, Poss Architecture’s principal architect and project manager.
Of course, these are no modest ranch houses. The homes feature four or five bedrooms and range in size from 5,700 to 13,000 square feet. They’re also bedecked with sophisticated sculptures, paintings, photographs, mixed-media works, and tapestries by the likes of Jeff Koons, Domingo Zapata, Tony Cragg, Gilles Roussell, Jonathan Bermudes, Richard Rhodes, Laurence Jenkell, and Samuel Prudden.
Embracing the outdoors is an essential part of the architectural strategy at Aspen Valley Ranch. “The house has to have a connection to the land and the elements, and the goal is to provide a variety of spaces to enjoy them,” Howie says. “This can be accomplished with lift-and-slide door units that create indoor/outdoor rooms, and shading devices so you can use these spaces in a variety of conditions.”
The rustic residences are intended to feel home-like—with the addition of opulent amenities inspired by the finest five-star hotels. Guests benefit from the organizational prowess of two Clefs d’Or concierges, and ranch staff can plan mountain and wilderness expeditions, help with event planning, arrange home-based spa and hair services, and engage a private chef, sommelier, or babysitter. Horses and a wrangler are ready to ride on the trails or in an outdoor riding arena, and the Toy Garage, located in the Historic Barn, contains snowmobiles, four-wheelers, e-bikes, dirt bikes, and a Polaris RZR for gearhead guests. A swimming pool and gym are on site too.
Ready to stake a claim, settle down, and start living the Western dream? Homes here are available by the month; rental rates for the four-bedroom homesteads start at $175,000 per month, and the five-bedroom homesteads start at $200,000 per month. (This is Aspen, after all.) Complete buyouts for weddings, retreats, and other events can also be arranged.
“Throughout the pandemic, luxury travelers have been looking for privacy in destinations that offer wide-open spaces and the outdoors while also looking to stay for an extended period of time,” explains Simon Chen, vice president of the Residences at Aspen Valley Ranch. “Our customers are high-net-worth individuals looking for an exclusive and immersive luxury Western living experience filled with personalized adventure and amenities.”
And here, they’ll discover how thoughtful architecture can deliver just that. “We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Howie says. “Our approach is to work with the site to expand on its natural attributes, and to capture the views in a way that [guests] can appreciate every day.”