Most of the properties you can rent for a vacation in Aspen are in the downtown core, an area of town about six blocks wide and four blocks deep. The boundary streets are Main Street to the north, Durant Avenue to the south, Aspen Street to the west and Original Street to the east. While there are wonderful parts of town (and more rentals) outside of this boundary, inside of it is where you’ll find the greatest concentration of condominiums for rent – or “vacation rentals” as they’re called.
Aspen Mountain, the ski resort, is in the middle of downtown Aspen. You can access “Ajax,” as the locals call it, one of two ways: either via Shadow Mountain Lift, (aka Lift 1A) on Aspen Street or at Gondola Plaza on Durant Avenue. The access points are only a few blocks from one another, and you can ski the entire mountain from either one. Both have a good amount of vacation rentals within walking distance.
When you’re planning your Aspen vacation, there are some factors that might influence where you want to stay. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of vacation rentals in downtown Aspen, what to look for in a rental, how to secure your vacation rental, and what you can do to alleviate any stress you might have during the planning stages or when you arrive in town.
Downtown Aspen Vacation Rentals: Pros and Cons
Downtown Aspen has a lot of positives. Not only is it the area of town with the ski resort, but it’s also home to most of the vacation rentals, boutique stores, ski shops, restaurants and attractions. Some of the fanciest retailers in North America have set up shop in Aspen’s commercial district: Prada, Valentino, Dior, Ralph Lauren and Frette – just to name a few. There are highly rated restaurants, pubs, taverns, bars and nightclubs on or near the walkable downtown pedestrian mall. Interspersed are cute and efficient ski shops where you can buy the newest, coolest ski gear or rent sticks and boards for turns on Ajax.
In short, downtown Aspen has everything you need, and a whole lot more.
The biggest benefit of staying downtown is you can walk everywhere. Rarely will it take you longer than five or 10 minutes to walk anywhere in town. If it’s further than that, you can catch the free bus. The Roaring Fork Transit Authority, or RFTA (pronounced “Raft-Uh”), offers a free lift around town, to the airport, Aspen Highlands and Snowmass for free. Buses also run further down-valley for a reasonable fee, so it’s easy to get around the entire valley.
If you stay in downtown Aspen, you will be really close to the ski lifts. Most of the condos in the downtown core are near Gondola Plaza on Durant Avenue. Lift 1A has a few condos around it, but it is further up the mountain and a little more secluded since the buses don’t run right up it. The buses do make regular stops at Gondola Plaza.
The only con to staying downtown is the parking situation. If you drive to town, you may find difficulty parking downtown. All the streets near the core are permit parking only. Not only is parking expensive, but it is also sparse. If you plan to have a vehicle in Aspen, consider staying at a condominium complex or resort with on-site parking, or that offers permit parking.
At Lift One Condominiums, guests have access to exclusive free off-street parking in a private lot with in-ground radiant heat for snow melt – a rare feature that you won’t find at most resorts in Aspen.
What to Look for in a Downtown Aspen Vacation Rental
In addition to parking, there are a few things to look for in a downtown Aspen vacation rental. The core area has a lot of properties available to rent short-term and, while all condominiums may look the same on the surface, they can be distinctively different – and we’ll explain how.
Let’s talk about décor. The Aspen rental market is incredibly competitive, so if a condo owner doesn’t keep their rental looking new, fresh and desirable, it won’t attract any rentals or generate any income. So, you’ll find that most of the condominiums in the downtown core are in tip-top shape and come with a sizable amenities list. This is great news for travelers who like “more bang for their buck.”
At Lift One Condominiums, residences not only come with updated décor, but other bonuses like free Wi-Fi; HD cable TV and DVD player; fully equipped kitchens with cookware, dishes, utensils and full-size appliances; and on-site laundry facilities. All condos have daily housekeeping, a wood-burning fireplace with free fire logs, in-room humidifiers, and a private balcony or patio.
Lift One Condominiums are all individually owned and unique from one another, therefore, there are lots of options from which to choose! A condo’s decor is up to the discretion of the owner, so the tastes run from traditional to contemporary.
Amenities is another thing to look for when booking a vacation rental condo in Aspen. If you’re on a ski vacation with your kids, you know how important a heated swimming pool can be. And, for adults, nothing’s better than an après-soak following a day of turns (and bumps!) on the mountain.
If you’re coming to Aspen to ski, staying in a condo with a ski locker can make life a little bit easier. Ski gear is bulky, awkward and takes up a lot of space. Having a dedicated space for your ski and snowboard equipment keeps all that bulk (wet bulk, at that) in an easily accessible spot that won’t get in the way.
Lift One Condominiums, for example, has a ground-floor heated ski locker room with complimentary boot dryers and lots of storage. Guests can head to the first-floor locker room and gear-up before hitting the slopes, then swing by afterward to dry off and drop off.
How to Book a Vacation Rental in Downtown Aspen
Nobody wants to be assigned a cookie-cutter ski lodge with no character. A big part of any Aspen ski vacation is the amazing mountain lodges that come in every design imaginable. Some vacationers want a condo that’s like a traditional mountain cabin, with rich wood features and rustic touches to sleek, contemporary condos with straightforward colors and a minimalist layout.
Lift One Condominiums are separately owned, so each residence has its own distinctive character and charm. Owners are free to decorate their condos as they choose, so many include unique features and flair to stand apart from the crowd. This is terrific news for anyone looking for a vacation rental because the options are limitless. Some condos are chic and perfect for younger, discerning travelers, while other residences are ooze traditional mountain luxury, which is often a hit with older or more seasoned travelers. Travelers of all ages can even go against the grain and try something they’d normally never do – and are exposed to something completely new and wonderful.
On our website, you can take a look at all our offerings. Browse our rental listings and enter dates for your next vacation to see what’s available. You can read a full description of each property and view photos of a specific unit. If you find something you can’t resist, you can book it immediately. If you have any questions, send us an email or give us a call toll-free at 800-543-8001, and we will respond quickly.