BY EILEEN OGINTZ
ASPEN/SNOWMASS, CO — Ruby Basil Marine, Whiskey Punch or Pomegranate Green Tea with gin?
When you’re traveling with grown kids, as we are this weekend, artisanal cocktails can play a key role. And like other resorts, The Westin Snowmass has added a slew of specially crafted cocktails to please the après crowd—in summer après hiking and mountain biking.
I especially like that if you are having dinner at the Westin Snowmass Kitchen (or going to their spa) you get two hours of free child care in the well-appointed Kids Club. I wish every resort did that—so parents can get a little me time on vacation.
Nearby Aspen is famous for its culinary scene, including a huge food and wine festival, and more than 100 restaurants of every stripe from Brunelleschi’s Pizza where kids can make their own pizza to Aspen Kitchen with its views of Ajax (Aspen Mountain) and new American cuisine. On the last night of our trip, we were treated to the best meal of our week. Think house ricotta with rhubarb marmalade and sourdough toast, a Fire-Roasted Cauliflower head with artichoke tabbouleh my vegetarian daughter enjoyed, a prime filet accompanied by an “angry” baked potato (with fire-roasted chipotle sour cream, bacon and green onions) for my husband and delicious salmon for me. We couldn’t resist desert—Nutella Crunch Bar (blackout cake, nutella cookie dough, local raspberries and salted caramel ice cream) and the Kitchen’s Strawberry Rhubarb Skillet. Worth every calorie!
Hotel or condo? For many families, it’s a no brainer. There is more space in a condo—more bathrooms, more TVs, and a kitchen. Some families, like mine, like to cook together on vacation.
Others, like the two Florida families I met today, have returned to the Westin Snowmass for a second visit. “A perfect location,” said one of the moms—it is right on the Snowmass Mall.
“So many activities right there,” said another.
And if you don’t want to cook….you have plenty of options right there. The Vue patio was crowded with those sampling local Colorado brews, flatbreads, 5-spice ribs that require eight hours to prepare, salads, pizza and burgers.
Downstairs, in the Snowmass Kitchen, kids had th
eir choice of a chicken cobb salad, grilled chicken with whole wheat pasta, fresh veggies with low-fat ranch dip… all part of a “SuperChefs” partnership with a team of doctors, dentists and dietians dedicated to teaching kids how to eat smart. (There is a Digimarc Discover App to help as well as the www.superchefs.tv website.)
For parents who want to relax without straying from the hotel—or far from the condo—there is the choice of steak with a variety of sauces (Chimchurri perhaps) whole miso marinated sea bass or Colorado Free Range Chicken, among other choices.
As for my gang, they gave the chamomile mule a thumbs up. Chamomile infused vodka, ginger beer, agave, limejuice and Rosemary. Nice!
For our family, it’s rapidly becoming a non-breakable custom to enjoy at least one breakfast at Breakfast in America, about 20 miles from Aspen near Basalt, where the green and red chiles are superb on huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos or chile rellenos.
But the best part of coming here is having the kids enjoy vacation with mom and dad.