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Your Guide to Visiting Colorado with the Kids
The Little Nell - 5 Star Luxury for Colorado Family Vacations

Photo Credit: the Hotel Colorado

Families traveling in Colorado can find tons of history, mostly focused on its days as part of the wild west. 

When its time to call it a day, kids and their parents can have even more fun staying in one of Colorado's Historic Lodges, and imagining what it must have been like to walk the same halls with gold tycoons and gunslingers of yesteryear. 

Photo Credit: The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado
Near the base of the Silver Queen Gondola, The Little Nell Hotel carries on a lively conversation with bustling downtown Aspen. Its timber and stucco façade has comfortable mountain lodge written all over it. Inside, the lobby invites guests in like a cozy living room – a place where you can relax and not worry about sitting up straight. The staff delivers on those first impressions.

It started when I was first chatting with the fellow in charge of the parking valets. I mentioned that I was nervous about how my sons (ages 4 and 7 at the time) would fare at a wedding reception at The Little Nell that weekend. They were the only children invited, and I was wondering how they would get along with all those stuffy adults.

The valet manager immediately grasped the situation and suggested that since the reception was to take place around the pool, the boys might want to bring their suits and swim while the big people socialized. He said their dad could take them to the locker room to change back into dinner clothes when it was time to sit down. Then he turned to my sons with a twinkle in his eye and told them that splashing the grown ups in their fancy clothes would be against the rules.

His understanding manner immediately helped my boys (and me) relax. When the evening of the reception arrived, the wait staff was so attentive that the children completely forgot about going for a swim.

My four-year-old has milk allergies, and the hors d’ oeuvres servers happily pointed out the morsels that were safe for him to eat. He loved it when they squatted down so he could choose “yummy snacks” from their trays. 

At dinner, they served they boys first, knowing it would be hard for kids to sit through the long conversations that the big people were enjoying. While the adults were sampling the first courses of the meal, my boys were finishing up dessert (one prepared especially without milk) and were ready when the baby sitter arrived to take them up to bed.

My overall impression was that the Little Nell gets it when it comes to traveling families. Without pretension, they understand the needs of real kids who get restless and cranky and hungry, and they meet their needs so that everyone, big and little, can have a good time.  

That said, The Little Nell is shy on amenities specifically for families. There is only one restaurant, although cotton candy is available through room service, and the Little Nell’s chef has created his own extra-rich recipe for hot chocolate. The hotel has an outdoor pool that is heated to 102 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, making a fun, steamy place to soak after skiing.

The ski concierge can arrange ski lessons, and will help with the logistics of getting the munchkins on the slopes. They provide warmers for boots, and will help get the kids fitted into their equipment at the beginning of the day. Hot chocolate provides warmth and energy to get the day off to a good start. In the warmer seasons and for those not skiing, the hotel’s concierge can recommend and arrange a wide range of family-friendly activities in and around Aspen.

Small guests will find a nightly treat waiting for them in their rooms: A different five-inch by five-inch bedtime story book appears for settling them down each night of their stay.

At The Little Nell, all members of the family are welcome. Bring your dog or cat, and receive a personalized brass name tag with The Little Nell’s address printed on it. The hotel provides a special menu for pets, as well as pet sitting and dog walking services. Be sure to read their booklet on Petiquette if you do decide to bring your best friend. 

The Little Nell is recipient of both the Mobil Five Star Award and the AAA Five Diamond Award, which is merited not only by its location a
nd physical features, but especially by its customer service.

Peruse the website of The Little Nell or contact them by e-mail at The phone number for information is (888) 843-6355 or (970) 920-4600.

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