Hotel Jerome, an Aspen icon, is at the forefront of summer's hottest happenings — including the Food & Wine Classic.
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The summer garden at Hotel Jerome
Credit: Auberge Resorts Collection

Staying relevant can be tough in a vacation hotspot — namely in Aspen, Colorado, where every year brings new designer ski collaborations; buzzy restaurant, bar, and boutique openings; and the chicest of crowds from coast to coast. So it may come as somewhat of a surprise that the hotel at the forefront of the glitzy mountain town's trendiest events each season is housed in one of its oldest buildings. 

Hotel Jerome Aspen brick exterior
Credit: Auberge Resorts Collection

Opened in 1889 when Aspen was a newly established mining town, Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection, has become synonymous with local history — and with today's hottest happenings. In the 1970s, you were likely to spot legendary journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson at the bar; today, you might spot Cameron Diaz or Bill Murray.

Hotel Jerome J-Bar
Credit: Auberge Resorts Collection

From J-Bar to Prospect restaurant to the 99 rooms and suites, the hotel's style is classic Western, but with the same upscale flair that makes it possible for nearby Kemo Sabe to charge $825 for a pair of cowboy boots and attract a line out the door. And while winter is the time to warm up with the who's who of the après ski scene, summer is, in its own way, even more exciting. 

Enter the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, an annual culinary event featuring some of the world's most notable chefs and sommeliers. During the festival in June, Hotel Jerome is offering guests and locals an Epicurean Passport, with exclusive access to events including a Casa Dragones Cocktail and Caviar Lounge, Codigo After-Hours Speakeasy at Felix Roasting Co., and Bartender Bash at Bad Harriet, the hotel's stylish new speakeasy. The underground cocktail lounge inside the historic Aspen Times building next door has a new cocktail menu based on powerful women through history and will be a must-visit spot during the event and throughout the year. Named after the wife of Hotel Jerome's original developer, Jerome B. Wheeler, it serves a la carte cocktails and bites or a multi-course prix-fixe experience, The Soiree, for $145 per person.

Bad Harriet speakeasy bar Hotel Jerome Aspen
Credit: Auberge Resorts Collection

Hotel Jerome officially reopens for the season on May 25, and its grand ballroom will also transform into a Summer Cabaret, with seated chef's dinners followed by lively Theatre Aspen productions. 

It's the perfect way to spend the evening after a day of exploring the Rocky Mountains' warm-weather activities, from hiking and biking to kayaking and fly-fishing on the Roaring Fork River. You can still take a scenic gondola ride up Aspen Mountain this time of year for mountaintop yoga, a picnic and live music, or even a round of disc golf at one of the world's highest courses.

Summer yoga on Aspen Mountain
Credit: Auberge Resorts Collection

Finally, unwind in the Jerome's outdoor pool while soaking in the mountain views — and planning the next day's adventures.

Hotel Jerome outdoor pool
Credit: Auberge Resorts Collection

Nina Ruggiero is Travel + Leisure's digital editorial director. A New Yorker living in Los Angeles, she's happiest on a beach, a cobblestone street, or in a hotel bathtub with a view. Find her on Instagram @ninamarienyc.