Design Notes From Aspen’s “New” Hotel Jerome

Luxury hotels these days out-do themselves to out-“design” one another with decidedly mixed results. While many are impressive, few are inspiring in terms of ideas you might deploy in your own perhaps more modest domestic context. A hotel we visited in Aspen last week made me want to, well, get a room.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your tear-sheet files.

The beamed atrium ceiling, the silver chandeliers, the color scheme, the mix of periods- art media-objects-textures, the leather chesterfield sofas, the lucite tables, the crystal obelisks, the scale of the sconces, the framing of Mr. Jerome’s portrait, the tile floor. And that’s just the lobby.

Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome lobby

Finally laying my eyes on the fab new re-design of the venerable Hotel Jerome was another highlight of our Aspen trip last week. There is sooo much to say about it that I’m going to restrain myself to brief design notes and links to more info should you desire.

Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome lobby

The adventurous and innovative Las Vegas-based designer Todd-Avery Lenahan and his TAL Studio are responsible for the wonderfulness here, walking the fine line between respect for tradition and relevance for today, with just the right amounts of deference and bravado.

Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome. A discreet office area is tucked in a niche off the lobby. Love those chairs with the nailhead trim pulled up to a traditional sort of English desk; also the Asian armoire with the Native American basket, and the vintage portrait beneath the antler mount, etc. etc.

Says the designer on his website, “We believe the world to be neither “contemporary” nor “traditional” in a specific sense, and neither do we believe that a design or a designer’s body of work should be defined with such limitation.”

 Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome lobby. Nothing like a swath of zebra to put some zing in a Victorian settee.
Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome. Passage from lobby to living room. The big fringed curtain adds softness and warmth, while signaling a transition from one sort of space to another.

Nor did designer Lenahan succumb to the tired ol’  Western clichés so tempting in these parts, and yet he honors our universal affection for them. In the living room, Cowboy meets Le Corbusier, and and the whole room wants to giddy-up. Sconces on columns and pretty pleated rectangular lamp shades are–if I may say–luminous details. Elsewhere the objects, art, and styling conveying the feeling more of a stylish private house than a hotel–which one imagines was the point.

Hotel Jerome living room. There's a cowboy in the bauhaus. Photo via the hotel's website.
Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome. Living room bar. The carved barstool backs resemble moose antlers. I think.
Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome. Living room vignette and a good place for a tête à tête.

Here’s a YouTube video of the designer discussing his vision and work on the Hotel Jerome.

 Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome. Interesting layering of rugs in the living room.
Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome. Passage from living room to dining room. The finials in the windows are a nice touch, as are the tole-like lamp light fixtures.
Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome dining room. At the back is the most wonderful collection of watercolors of chickens. You know how I feel about chickens. Pity I did not get artist's name. Hope someone will supply it.

I confess His Grace and I did not go to the dining room just to look at it. I had one of those amazing burgers that drips a little down your arm when you bite into it and your eyes roll back in your head and your husband thinks you are going to have a seizure.

Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome dining room. Oh the power of nailhead trim.

Here’s the Auberge Resorts Magazine feature on the Jerome’s renovation. I thought for sure the estimable would have weighed in on the Jerome by now, but I didn’t see it. Do keep an eye on HotelChic if you don’t already. They’ll treat you to the most exotic and beautiful accommodations in the world, and you don’t even have to pack. Talk about high-end travel.

Hotel Jerome
Hotel Jerome dining room.

Have another look at this leather wrapped chair. Great looking and probably even better with wear. We like that about leather.

Hotel Jerome

Hotel Jerome leather dining chair.

The floor is interesting as well. I’m not sure if the stripes are painted or inlaid. I was well into my burger by then and could not be distracted by such terrestrial concerns.

For a more on the Jerome’s cuisine, here’s a glowing report from

Hotel Jerome bedroom by TAL Studio
Hotel Jerome bedroom, photo by TAL Studio, via the hotel's website

And I’d be remiss to omit the hotel’s charming, gracious, not-one-thing-gets-by-him General Manager Tony DiLucia. A longtime friend of His Grace’s family, Tony was also my dinner companion at a swell soirée in town hosted by my wife-in-law. (If you missed that post, click here.) And here is Tony–who’s spent nearly half his life at the hotel!–talking about his experience there.

I’m ‘on ski off into the sunset now… See y’all in a few days… Let me know if you find out about that chicken watercolor artist. Thanks.

Hotel Jerome, Main Street, Aspen, Colorado
Hotel Jerome, Main Street, Aspen, Colorado

Photos by Frances Schultz except as noted.


  1. Frances
    Loved seeing this! The last time I was in the Jerome it was a wonderful dump and the Eagles walked into the bar ..oh those were the days. It is fabulous!!! Could not be better. Just stunning!

  2. I am sure your joie de vive moment with the burger was much more like Meg Ryan in the “I’ll have what she is having” scene in When Harry meet Sally… Gorgeous decor!

    1. Thank you Diane! I did Google Ms Pieroni and her work is very similar in gesture and style to the mysterious chicken artist at the Jerome – good eye! I am told, however, that the chicken artist lives in Vermont (I think) and Ms Pieroni appears to live in Britain. Hmmm. Perhaps she summers in Vermont?

  3. Just returned from visiting the lovely Hotel Jerome. The photos here do not even begin to capture the fabulous interior! The overall feel was “Elegant West”. Asked several of the hotel staff about the new wall color but no one knew.

    1. It is great, isn’t it Laurie?! I will see if I can find out abut the wall color. Where exactly are you talking about? Thanks so much for writing, too!

  4. Hi Frances!
    Do you know who manufactures both types of pendants featured in the dining room? The glass pendants (lanterns) and the shade pendants against the windows are just beautiful.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Gigi! I’m sorry I don’t. I’m sure if you contact the Jerome designers (link to them in th epost), they will sort you out. Thank you so much for writing! Best, Frances

  5. What a fabulously cozy destination! Fantastic article! Would you happen to know the paint used in the Living Room?

    1. Dear Kathleen, how kind of you to write, thank you. I do not know the color, but I bet if you contact the Jerome they can track it down for you. Good luck 🙂 Frances

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