ASPEN, Colo. ( TheStreet) -- As usual celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Heidi Klum, Barry Diller and fashion designer wife Dianne Von Furstenberg are descending on Aspen to traverse Buttermilk and stake out the city's latest hot spots.
But don't let the fur-trimmed Bogner and Chanel snowboards fool you. Aspen has had its fair share of recession woes. The city was blanketed in restaurant closures, and the stalled Snowmass base village was so embarrassing it's been outfitted with vinyl wrapping made to look like stores and hotels to cover the abandoned construction site. But the winter is already looking better, with record early snowfall and some of the most exciting openings to hit the town in years.
|Viceroy Snowmass offers one of the poshest hotel addresses in Colorado, and there's even last-minute Christmas availabilities.
Where there's financial distress, there are also great deals to be had. For anyone who doesn't mind being away from Aspen Village,
offers one of the poshest hotel addresses in Colorado, with interiors by Jean-Michel Gathy and a casual restaurant and pool area designed by Kelly Wearstler.
While rooms are sold out for New Year's Eve, last-minute Christmas availability includes ski-in/ski-out accommodations in private residences offering gourmet kitchens with SubZero refrigerators, Wolf ranges and bathrooms stocked with Neil George bath products. For the rest of the nonholiday ski season the hotel offers rooms from $275 per night including airport transfers, up to $50 per day for ski rentals and up to $100 per day for apres-ski comforts such as dining or spa treatments.
For those prefering to be within clinking distance of Mariah Carey's champagne flute, a village address is essential, with
The Little Nell
once more maintaining its top spot in Aspen lodging. If you don't have your room already booked for the holidays or a personal pad in its
Little Nell Residences
, though, you'll have to settle for a seat in the Terrace Bar off the hotel's main lobby.