First Images: Opening of the Snow Lodge at St. Regis Aspen

When Jayma Cardoso reopened a former Montauk motel as the Surf Lodge in 2008, it was meant to act as a galvanizing force for a scene that was still fairly nascent in what then was the decidedly bohemian opposite to everything (generally obnoxious). ) glitz and glam of the Hamptons.

14 years later, the brand has grown – and can now be found for the very affluent adults who check in at the St Regis Aspen Resort for chic ski weekends. Indeed, the exclusive Snow Lodge Supper Club has just arrived on the hotel grounds, and it’s already the hottest reservation in a city full of hot tables. For the project, Cardoso partnered with Stéphane De Baets, president of the hotel asset management company Elevated Returns, also an investor in the hotel itself.

Separated into distinct restaurant and lounge spaces, the striking design sits aesthetically somewhere between the chic chalet and – unsurprisingly – glamorous Chelsea nightclub. There are fur-covered chairs, a cheeky mountain goat statue, a cozy fireplace, and plush, deco-style sofas.

For the restaurant, the menu was designed by Chef Mark Connell, formerly of Casa d’Angelo d’Aspen, with Robert Sieber as the daily culinary director. But knowing that après-ski isn’t usually the time for picky eaters, the focus instead is on bone-warming winter classics like butternut squash soup, giant crab cake, flatbread with hot sausages, tagliatelle with truffles, braised short rib with mascarpone polenta, and for the vegetable heads, roasted cauliflower with coconut curry. For a truly immersive experience, we most certainly suggest bringing some friends and ordering the Gruyere Fondue for four (or eight). The desserts actually have some pretty intriguing names like the meyer citron chiboust (a French pastry with Italian meringue), the chocolate globe and the surely irresistible explosions of passion fruit.

Cleverly, an exclusive cocktail program has been created with beloved New York eatery Dante, which was just named the world’s best bar in 2019.

But Ms. Cardoso has always been a premier social and cultural impresario, with Surf Lodge having hosted live performances by The Kills, John Legend and Rufus Wainwright over the years. Things won’t be too, uh, rock in Aspen – but an artist residency program will kick off with up-and-coming Incubus frontman / painter Brandon Boyd and photographer Brian Bowen Smith, who was a protégé of the legendary Herb Ritts. . It will continue with figures from the art world such as Richard Phillips, Tonia Calderon, Anthony James, Brandon Ralph and the illustrious Zoë Buckman.

the Aspen time reported in late December that the 2022 ski season looks promising, with bookings already up 96% from last year – although the specter of Omicron still looms ominously over everything at this time. However, all Aspen ski employees should be vaccinated and every precaution is taken to make it a safe experience.

And to be fair, if we hesitated, opening the Snow Lodge certainly made the decision a lot easier.

Joshua B. Speller