Review: St. Regis Aspen

Filed Under: Hotels, Starwood Preferred Guest

Full disclosure: This experience was in conjunction with the SPG Amex Stars program I’m participating in, courtesy of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. They covered the cost of roundtrip flights and a two night stay at the St. Regis Aspen.

The Amex Stars Summer Trip

For the past several years I’ve been participating in the SPG Amex Stars program, which has taken me to some pretty awesome places. I love the SPG Amex, and it’s one of the cards I’ve had in my wallet for the longest amount of time. It was one of the very first cards I applied for when I was 18, and I’ve had it ever since.

For the SPG Amex Summer Trip I was given the opportunity to spend two nights at any US Starwood property.

Through the SPG Amex Stars program I’ve stayed at many great SPG properties in the US, like the St. Regis Deer ValleySt. Regis New YorkSt. Regis Bal HarbourSt. Regis Monarch BeachSt. Regis San Francisco, Royal Palm South Beach, etc.

I wanted to visit a hotel I hadn’t stayed at before, and one that is a great use of Starpoints. So I decided on the St. Regis Aspen for a few reasons:

  • I’ve never been to Aspen before, though have heard great things
  • The St. Regis Aspen was renovated a couple of years back, and is generally regarded as one of the best SPG properties in the US
  • The rates at the St. Regis Aspen can be insane (as I’ll show below), so this property can represent an incredible use of Starpoints

Why I love Starpoints & the SPG Amex

My philosophy when it comes to points has long been to earn and burn. However, Starpoints are an exception, as it’s one of the points currencies I actively hoard. That’s because the points are so valuable and versatile, and I always try to redeem points that I think are ripe for devaluation first.

At a minimum, Starpoints can can be converted into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. I value my favorite mileage currencies at ~1.8 cents each, so factoring in the 25% transfer bonus I need to get at least ~2.3 cents per Starpoint to feel good about my hotel redemptions. Fortunately there are still lots of situations where redeeming points for hotel stays represents a great value.

Redeeming Starpoints at the St. Regis Aspen

The St. Regis Aspen is a Category 7 property, meaning a free night redemption costs 30,000-35,000 Starpoints. That’s a lot, given how valuable the points are.

That being said, when you look at the paid rates at this hotel in season, it’s actually a bargain in comparison.

Paid rates at this hotel can be $3,000+ per night including tax. That’s insane.


Meanwhile the hotel costs 30,000 Starpoints per night, though with Starwood you get the fifth night free when redeeming points. That means for a five night stay, the average cost is just 24,000 Starpoints per night.


That’s an incredible value compared to the paid cost of such a stay, which would be $15,000+.


So while I am conservative with my Starpoints, there are some cases where high end redemptions make sense, and this is clearly one of them, assuming you’re into skiing and/or Aspen. For example, I was thrilled to redeem 140,000 Starpoints for a stay at the St. Regis Bal Harbour a couple of years ago with my parents.

And that’s what makes Starpoints great. They’re useful for airline mileage transfers, for stays at mid-range hotels, and in many cases for stays at their high-end properties as well. Redeeming points for a hotel that would cost $3,000+ per night is quite a value.

With that in mind, let’s get into the review.

St. Regis Aspen Review

Our flight landed in Aspen at around 11AM. There was someone with a sign from the St. Regis waiting in the arrivals hall. The St. Regis offers a complimentary airport shuttle, which is a pretty nice feature for a non-airport hotel. In theory it’s a shared shuttle, though we were the only people in the shuttle in both directions.

St-Regis-Aspen - 3
St. Regis Aspen airport shuttle

The drive to the St. Regis took about 15 minutes. The St. Regis is located right in the heart of Aspen, so the location is unbeatable. While the hotel offers a complimentary house car, I can’t imagine needing it given that so many things are within walking distance.


St-Regis-Aspen - 1
St. Regis Aspen exterior

The lobby of the hotel had warm tones. There was plenty of seating, as well as a fireplace just past the chandelier.

St-Regis-Aspen - 4
St. Regis Aspen lobby

St-Regis-Aspen - 5
St. Regis Aspen lobby

The reception area was located inside the lobby and to the right.

St-Regis-Aspen - 6
St. Regis Aspen reception

The associate who assisted us was friendly. Since we were early our room wasn’t yet ready, though she took down my number, and promised to call when it was ready.

We headed into town for lunch, and sure enough at 2PM our room was ready. It’s worth noting that the hotel was sold out the weekend we were there, as there’s a big tech conference that goes on in Aspen that weekend every year (which I wasn’t aware of prior to our stay). When we booked there weren’t even any premium rooms for sale anymore, but rather just standard rooms. So there was no room upgrade in this instance.

The hallway past the reception desk leads to the elevators that take you to the guest rooms.

St-Regis-Aspen - 7
St. Regis Aspen lobby

There’s another very nice lounging area right near the elevators.

St-Regis-Aspen - 8
St. Regis Aspen lobby

We took the elevator up to the third floor, where our room was located.

St-Regis-Aspen - 9
St. Regis Aspen elevators

The St. Regis was recently renovated, and that’s pretty evident based on the hotel hallways.

St-Regis-Aspen - 10
St. Regis Aspen hallway

Our room, #334, was down the hallway and on the right.

St-Regis-Aspen - 11
St. Regis Aspen room entrance

At around 400 square feet, the room was a good size for a standard room. There was an entryway with the bathroom on the right and then the safe and closet on the left.

St-Regis-Aspen - 12
St. Regis Aspen king room entryway

The room struck a good balance of feeling like a ski resort while still being bright and modern.

St-Regis-Aspen - 13
St. Regis Aspen king room

While the room was a decent size to begin with, there were doors between the bedroom and bathroom that could be opened. That’s my preferred setup, since you can have full privacy if you want to, but also have the more open feel of a combined space.

St-Regis-Aspen - 14
St. Regis Aspen king room

While I don’t believe St. Regis has a brand standard bed, it was still extremely comfortable.

St-Regis-Aspen - 15
St. Regis Aspen king room bed

In the corner of the room were two comfortable seats, each of which had a pillow as well as a headrest of sorts.

St-Regis-Aspen - 16
St. Regis Aspen king room sitting area

The room looked out over the rest of the resort, and a mountain in the background. Aspen sure has some beautiful scenery.

St-Regis-Aspen - 31
St. Regis Aspen king room view

Across from the bed and sitting area were the TV and desk.

St-Regis-Aspen - 17
St. Regis Aspen king room TV & desk

The desk featured a rustic-looking leather chair with armrests, along with a lamp.

St-Regis-Aspen - 18
St. Regis Aspen king room desk

The desk had a cool decorative suitcase of sorts, which I thought was pretty cute.

St-Regis-Aspen - 19
St. Regis Aspen king room travel decor

Under the TV was the in-room illy espresso machine.

St-Regis-Aspen - 20
St. Regis Aspen in-room illy coffee machine

The bathroom was a good size, and featured double sinks, a soaking tub, a partitioned off toilet, and a walk-in shower.

St-Regis-Aspen - 24
St. Regis Aspen king room bathroom

The tub was right next to the folding doors that separated the bedroom from the bathroom.

St-Regis-Aspen - 21
St. Regis Aspen king room bathtub

St-Regis-Aspen - 22
St. Regis Aspen king room toilet

The shower had great water pressure and temperature control, and there was both a rainforest shower head, as well as a handheld one.

St-Regis-Aspen - 23
St. Regis Aspen king room shower

As is the norm at St. Regis, toiletries were Remede branded. They’re some of the more unique toiletries out there, and I quite like them. The shampoo tingles a bit, while I like that the body wash has beads.

St-Regis-Aspen - 26
St. Regis Aspen king room Remede amenities

The bathroom also had some extra amenities, like mouthwash, cotton swabs, etc.

St-Regis-Aspen - 25
St. Regis Aspen king room amenities

Across from the bathroom was the minibar, along with a couple of bottles of complimentary water.

St-Regis-Aspen - 27
St. Regis Aspen king room minibar

St-Regis-Aspen - 28
St. Regis Aspen king room minibar

Next to that was the safe.

St-Regis-Aspen - 29
St. Regis Aspen in-room safe

About an hour after arriving in the room we were brought a welcome amenity consisting of some tasty treats.

St-Regis-Aspen - 30
St. Regis Aspen welcome amenity

I thought the room was well furnished and beautiful, though I’d expect that for a luxury hotel that was recently renovated.

One of the key selling points of the St. Regis is that it’s right in town, so you can walk from the hotel to just about anywhere in town in just a few minutes. However, the grounds of the hotel are beautiful as well.

There’s a very nice courtyard on the back side of the lobby, which weather permitting is an extension of the bar (though it was raining in Aspen for most of the time we were there).

St-Regis-Aspen - 32
St. Regis Aspen grounds

St-Regis-Aspen - 33
St. Regis Aspen grounds

The hotel also has a pool as well as a couple of hot tubs. I was surprised by how many people were using them, as it wasn’t especially warm. I’m guessing a lot of visitors were from places like New York, where they don’t have access to a pool everyday.

St-Regis-Aspen - 35
St. Regis Aspen pool

St-Regis-Aspen - 37
St. Regis Aspen hot tub

As Platinum members we also had access to the incredible spa facilities, located on the lower lobby level. This is the same level where much of the conference space is located.

St-Regis-Aspen - 62
St. Regis Aspen spa level

The spa had a whirlpool, as well as a cold plunge pool.

St-Regis-Aspen - 63
St. Regis Aspen spa

The coolest part, however, had to be the massive whirlpool with waterfalls. All of the below ledges had huge waterfalls you could turn on. It felt great.

St-Regis-Aspen - 64
St. Regis Aspen spa

As a Platinum member I selected breakfast as our amenity. Breakfast was served in Trecento Quindici Decano Restaurant, located off the lobby. The restaurant is a very nice setting, with white tablecloths.

St-Regis-Aspen - 40
St. Regis Aspen Trecento Quindici Decano Restaurant

There’s a breakfast buffet with made to order eggs for $35 per person, or otherwise you can order off the menu.

The breakfast menu read as follows:

St-Regis-Aspen - 41

St-Regis-Aspen - 42

The buffet was high quality, though wasn’t huge.

St-Regis-Aspen - 43
St. Regis Aspen breakfast buffet

There were several types of cereal, yogurt, and muesli.

St-Regis-Aspen - 44
St. Regis Aspen breakfast buffet

There were cold cuts and a cheese board.

St-Regis-Aspen - 45
St. Regis Aspen breakfast buffet

There were several types of yogurt parfaits, smoothies, etc.

St-Regis-Aspen - 46
St. Regis Aspen breakfast buffet

In terms of hot options, there were scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, breakfast potatoes, and chicken & waffles.

St-Regis-Aspen - 47
St. Regis Aspen breakfast buffet

St-Regis-Aspen - 48
St. Regis Aspen breakfast buffet

Then there were several types of fresh fruit.

St-Regis-Aspen - 49
St. Regis Aspen breakfast buffet

Lastly there were muffins, croissants, and pastries.

St-Regis-Aspen - 50
St. Regis Aspen breakfast buffet

One morning Ford ordered an omelet, which was served with hash browns.

St-Regis-Aspen - 51
St. Regis Aspen breakfast — custom made omelet

Meanwhile I ordered the smoked salmon bagel.

St-Regis-Aspen - 52
St. Regis Aspen breakfast — house smoked king salmon

The hotel also offers complimentary coffee & tea in the lobby every morning, which is always a nice touch that I wish more hotels would offer.

St-Regis-Aspen - 56
St. Regis Aspen complimentary coffee

One evening we had drinks at the bar at the St. Regis.

St-Regis-Aspen - 55
St. Regis Aspen bar

In addition to the traditional bar, there’s seating near a fireplace, which is much cozier.

St-Regis-Aspen - 57
St. Regis Aspen lobby bar

St-Regis-Aspen - 58
St. Regis Aspen lobby bar

St. Regis is best known for their bloody marys, as the drink was invented at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis New York. Every St. Regis has its own signature bloody mary, and I’ve long made a point of trying the bloody mary at each property I visit. It’s funny because I’m not otherwise a bloody mary person, but I make an exception at St. Regis.

St-Regis-Aspen - 60
St. Regis Aspen bloody mary menu

The St. Regis Aspen bloody mary was delicious, though very spicy.

St-Regis-Aspen - 61
St. Regis Aspen bloody mary

St. Regis Aspen bottom line

We had a great time during our time in Aspen. The St. Regis is beautiful, and also has a great location. This was my first time visitng Aspen, and I understand why people flock here. Not only does Aspen have great skiing, but it also has a beautiful, walkable town with plenty of great shopping and restaurants. It’s great that the St. Regis is so conveniently located for that.

Aspen is outrageously expensive. It’s a function of supply and demand, as there aren’t many great US ski destinations, so Aspen is very popular with people willing to pay an arm and a leg to ski in the US. Could I ever imagine paying $1,000 per night (or $2,500+) to stay here? No way. But that’s the beauty of points.

Paying 30,000 Starpoints per night is by comparison an incredible deal, especially if you’re staying during peak season. With the SPG fifth night free, you could stay for five nights for an average of 24,000 Starpoints per night. That’s a heck of a deal when a stay would cost $3,000+ per night.

Personally my preference continues to be to use Starpoints for airline mileage transfers, as well as for some mid-range properties internationally. For example, next week I’m using 12,000 Starpoints per night for the St. Regis Moscow, when a paid rate would be $350+. While it’s not as impressive of a redemption in terms of the value I’m getting on a cent per point basis on paper, it’s a redemption I’m very happy with.

The SPG Amex has long been, and continues to be, one of the best cards out there for everyday spend.

  1. “…there aren’t many great US ski destinations”
    That isn’t true at all. Aspen caters to the rich rather than being the best skiing. If you want the best skiing for a cheap price, you can stay in a motel in Salt Lake City and take a short city bus ride to some of the best skiing in the country.

  2. I feel there are some inaccuracies in your article:
    – “Could I ever imagine paying $1,000 per night (or $2,500+) to stay here? No way. But that’s the beauty of points.” Except you didn’t pay points. It was a comp’d stay. Would you have paid 120,000 SPG points to stay here for 5 nights otherwise?
    – “That’s a heck of a deal when a stay would cost $3,000+ per night.” You should also disclose that you stayed here during the week of 4th of July. Typically during “mud season” you can stay here for under $300. Maybe even below $200. You never really mention what the going “summer” rate is for the St Regis. If the price was $500 and you had to pay 30,000 that wouldn’t be a great use of points.

  3. Stayed there once in a friends condo (they have a time share in the attached building) and it was a nice stay with good service. The first 2 nights we were at Snowmass at the Westin. This was during the ski season. I very much preferred the ski in and out that Westin offered even with the free ski bus. Also skied and Steamboat and stayed at the local Sheraton there. Also ski in and out property. Personally I rather stay at a lower level property but can just drop our son at his ski school. go back for a coffee with my wife, ski a bit, come back early if needed and walk 2 minutes to pick up our son from ski school after he is done.
    The bus ride while free from Aspen to the mountains can be quite packed in the winter season and also takes up to 30 minutes.
    The Aspen location itself was nice though being able to walk to great restaurants in town.

  4. two things : 1)there are lots of good skiing places in the US. As somebody else mentioned, there are the multiple resorts in Utah that are amazing, there are places also in California, there are dozens of amazing resorts within a 2 hours drive of Denver, there are fantastic places in Montana, etc etc etc. That’s a little bit of an innacurate characterization.
    2) my friends were behind you and Ford at security at LAX the morning you flew there. How did you all get to use the Flagship lounge if you were flying domestic?

  5. Given the comments and the impending Marriott devaluation I don’t see this as a good value at all.

  6. Lucky:

    Why don’t you mention the connecting door between the rooms that you can see on the picture? You mentioned before that you dislike these, how was it there? Have you had any noises from the neighbors room? The article in general is not critical at all, which even if sponsored it should still be, as there is not the perfect hotel.

  7. Lucky I would second the statement that US has a lot more amazing ski resorts that you know of, I can tell miles away that you don’t ski. US has the best ski resorts in the World, I have seen many Swiss/Austrians on the slopes of CO/UT/AK resorts that tell me that they are way better than the Alps Resorts. I know you still have German pride in you but please don’t comment on something that you know very little about.

    Also it seems that you got comped on the stay so while I appreciate the review this is a resort where the rates are under $200 so redeeming points there is definitely not a good deal. Dont be like Gary and collect all of the freebies that they throw at you, because you will lose your readership.

  8. Many year SPG AMEX card holder and lifetime SPG Plat. I have come to dislike this type of post (SPG stars?) and the “targeted offer” posts in which I never seem to be targeted. If I sound bitter, I am. FU AMEX and SPG.

    By the way, has anyone else noticed the general decline and AMEX customer service / representatives?

  9. That price is eye watering haha.
    Wouldn’t Americans fly to Canada to ski?

  10. Lucky: been reading your blog for 7 years. You are the best, but I’m a little disappointed that you’re still participating in comped stays with the SPG Stars program. You’re very successful now – according to the Rolling Stones article – a millionaire. Your reputation is way more important that a few free nights at a St. Regis. This review really hurts your credibility. I wrote the same exact thing last time you did the Stars program, and will write the same thing next time as well. Otherwise, keep up the awesome work. And don’t forget to pitch good offers that don’t offer you a commission, like the Chase Fairmont card!

  11. Wow! Even for fourth of July weekend, those rates are ridiculous! You can stay this weekend for significantly less than that.

    We were in Aspen the last weekend in June, and stayed in a 3 bedroom apartment at the Hyatt Grand Aspen for less than those prices.

    I don’t ski, so can’t comment on skiing in Aspen versus other locations, but I think Park City, UT would be pretty awesome for skiing.

  12. I have been reading the site for some time, this is my first comment.

    I booked the same trip for my Wife and I this year, we are actually sitting with our backs to you in the courtyard picture! (Right hand side near the fire pit) It’s our fourth time at the property (two during winter and two over 4th of July). Getting a points deal or points/cash is the best way to experience this property.

    If you are considering Aspen just know that high prices don’t stop at the hotel, figure on paying too much for every experience including meals (of course I opted for the free breakfast as a platinum member, that is a $45.00 perk per person each day).

  13. I will agree with some of the other comments, there are plenty of other great ski areas in the US. So you can’t make a supply/demand comparison for all ski areas in the US. The argument for supply/demand for the Aspen name is more accurate. You are paying for the location and the “Aspen” mystique, which is kind of funny if you read more of the history. There are actually four separate ski areas owned by SkiCo in the area. Snowmass is our favorite but Highlands is also great (been to the area at least 10 times skiing) and there are all price levels available in the vicinity. Great skiing in Montana and other areas of CO as well. Shorter lift lines than the Summit County resorts. Price you pay depends on what you want. So this is not a good representation of the reality for ski resorts overall. That is a key thing to remember…Aspen has its own reality. The best is watching the “old money” in thousands of dollars of ski wear and equipment call it a day after one run…if they even stood on the hill at all. They’d rather be seen than make an effort.

    Peace out.

  14. I appreciated the review and I don’t care if it was comp’d. I wouldn’t even care if they paid you to stay there. Your photos allowed me to check out the property, and that’s the point of this site.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *