By Charlene & Richard Mixa
Seclusion and Serenity in the Rockies
A happy land isolated from the outside world describes the serenity of the Aspen Meadows Resort. An earthly paradise and a place to leave behind a hurried life, a hectic schedule and a demanding career. Famous for enhancing the mind, body, and spirit the resort is nestled on 40 acres in a meadow between Castle Creek and Roaring Fork River, yet only a couple of miles from Aspen, Colorado.
To us the Aspen Meadows Resort is like visiting Shangri-La. The vision and inspiration of Chicago industrialist, Walter Paepcke, and his wife, Elizabeth, was to transform a farmland into a secluded destination. A relaxing and refreshing refuge where business executives and leaders could reflect on important issues they faced, uninterrupted, all in the midst of the Aspen landscape. His vision gave birth to the Aspen Institute, now the cultural heart of Aspen, located at the Aspen Meadows Resort.
On our tour of the property by Doug Crawford, Director of Sales, we easily become enthralled with Paepcke’s dream, the enchanting resort setting, and the success it has achieved. Walkways wind along the residential complex and to retreat buildings. Streamlined architecture and unusual artwork blend together. Renowned architect, Bauhaus and artist, Herbert Bayer, created this paradise, “a place where the spirit could be moved by
Aspen’s natural setting, the mind could thrive, and art could serve both anesthetic and functional purposes.” The grounds are rich with architecture and outdoor sculptures. Unique works such as the “Stone River” – a red sandstone serpentine wall that winds in and out of a building or “The Grass Mound” – a fine earth sculpture and one of the first earthworks made. Stepping into a few of the buildings the unity of the architecture and interior design continues. An immense collection of artwork is housed in the buildings, plus guests can check the Event Calendar to hear a nationally renowned speaker.
While the Resort is designed to accommodate conferences for the Aspen Institute it is a wonderful getaway for anyone visiting Aspen. The Reception Center has the Hefner Lounge, Coffee bar, and Plato’s and Meadows restaurants. Outside we find an upper deck with views of the mountains and a downstairs patio for outdoor dining or just listening to the rippling creek. Trails around the property are terrific for a casual walk or vigorous run. Mountain bicycles are included in the resort fee and are a great mode of transportation around the resort, the trails, or to downtown Aspen. All while enjoying the crisp, Colorado mountain air.
Everything focuses on boosting the mind and body. The state-of-the art Health Club is perfect for an invigorating workout with some equipment outside. The outdoor pool is phenomenal! Atop a sweeping plateau overlooking Aspen’s Roaring Fork River and Red Mountain the heated, outdoor pool and hot tub give stunning views and tranquility. Spa services give the ultimate in relaxation.
The Residential Complex is spread across six separate buildings. Our guest suite is an ultra-modern design with simple lines and some unique decorating features. Spacious with a large separate living area and bedroom the décor is a modern clean style. Huge sliding doors allow for closing the bedroom off for privacy. The living area has a large L-shaped sectional sofa as well as a sleek modern work area. Simplicity is the rule – functional but not “fluffy.” An updated bathroom has a large dressing area. The shower and plush towels are super!
Designed to truly reconnect body, mind and spirit, The Aspen Meadows Resort is definitely a welcome reprieve. We are enchanted with this unique and rare resort where we can walk with nature, take a bike ride, go fishing, stroll among outdoor and indoor artwork, meditate, just chill or listen to a national or renowned speaker.
If you go:
Aspen Meadows Resort, 845 Meadows Road | Aspen, CO 81611; (970) 925-9279; www.aspenmeadows.com