W Hotel’s first mountain escape in North America and the first new luxury Aspen hotel in 25 years, 126,000 square foot W Aspen and the Sky Residences at W Aspen builds on Aspen’s rich history and skiing heritage. Inspired by the infusion of a significant number of iconic ski chalets in the area in the 1940s-60s, R+B sought to design a modern interpretation of a traditional chalet. In addition to serving as architect in designing the modern chalet, our team played an essential role in the entitlements process and community outreach.
The architecture expresses a sense of a gradual evolution of form and space, while remaining grounded in the chalet vernacular. Traditional characteristics of low-pitched singular rooflines, deep overhangs, continuous balconies, and flower boxes are juxtaposed with varying roof compositions, along with modern railings and wood slates that organize balcony volumes.
Conventional materials are paired with modern elements to further embellish the dialog between the past and present. The strong base of the building is Flint Hills gray limestone. Most of the structure’s walls are clad in thick-plank, band-sawn and rough-sawn wood siding, with a combination of natural and stained applications, from Montana Timber. A few upper wall sections of the building are stucco. The windows and doors are black metal cladding from Sierra Pacific. The roof and other flashing applications are black metal as well. Black-painted railroad rails hover in front of the entry lobby storefront to recall the rail yard that once occupied the property during Aspen’s mining era.
The overall project includes 88 guest rooms, and 11 W-branded residences, along with four WOW suites and one Extreme WOW suite that can be configured to be a one-, two- or three-bedroom space. The Living Room is a sophisticated alpine setting for dining and cocktails, with landscaped outdoor terrace for entertaining. 39 Degrees, a legendary après ski bar in the former Sky Hotel, is reinvented as an intimate, upscale cocktail. The year-round, all-weather rooftop WET® Deck features a heated pool, hot tub, fire pits, cabanas, full bar, dance floor, DJ booth, and panoramic views of Aspen. Residences feature a private 3,200 SF terrace. W Aspen Strategy Rooms serve as the hotel’s Ski & Snowboard shop, which will be operated by Four Mountain Sports.