What happens when you take Audi, Aspen and a handful of VIPs? Well duh—one completely magical weekend, obviously. Here’s what you missed at the Audi Q3 weekend in Aspen.
Guests got to test-drive the all-new 2015 Audi Q3, a premium crossover that combines coupe like design with the utility of an SUV. This car is made for inclement weather. It drove like a dream through the snowy streets of Aspen and Snowmass, handling the road even through a blizzard with complete safety thanks to it quattro all-wheel drive system. Although it’s safe, it’s also fun. We loved the three-spoke Q design multifunction sport steering wheel, the BOSE® surround sound, heated seats and automatic climate control and panoramic sunroof and its sporty feel thanks to its low roof line and wraparound tailgate. Our advice to buyers: go for the optional Sport package, which includes sport seats, shift paddles and Audi drive select.
2015 Audi Q3 Prestige, quattro $38,500
When it comes to staying in Aspen, there isn’t a more posh place available than The Little Nell, the city’s only five-star, five-diamond property. Anything and everything is available here thanks to the resort’s Les Clefs d’Or-certified concierges, be it an appointment at the spa, more complimentary candy or a vaporizer to keep your skin refreshed from the cold, drying air. Every guest will find complimentary mini-bar snacks & non-alcoholic beverages (including hangover juice!) refreshed daily, video on demand, free wireless internet access, a heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, packing and unpacking services, grocery and personal shopping, luggage shipping, on-call physicians, oxygen rental, complimentary cruiser bicycles (in season), complimentary transportation around town and high-end June Jacobs “First Tracks” beauty products. The Nell is also the only ski-in/ski-out resort in Aspen, which means that if you’re a proficient skier or snowboarder, you need only walk out the hotel’s door to access the mountain. Haute.
The Little Nell, (970) 920-4600
Aspen is chock full of high-end options, but there’s no hauter spot to see and be seen than the scene that is Nobu Matsuhisa’s Matsuhisa: here you’ll be certain to spot celebrities while noshing on beloved items like crispy rice and shishito peppers. A truly exceptional once-in-a-lifetime experience is the fantasy-like Pine Creek Cookhouse. Guests leave their cars behind at the historic Ghost Town of Ashcroft to cross country ski, snowshoe, or ride a horse drawn sleigh (yes, really) to the Cookhouse. It’s cold, but who cares?
Matsuhisa Aspen, (970) 544-6628
Pine Creek Cookhouse, (970) 925-1044
There are four mountains in Aspen, which makes it a prime location for skiers and snowboarders of every level. Aspen Mountain and Apsen Highlands are for the more proficient skibunny, while Snowmass has a bit of something for everyone. Beginners, however (yours truly included) will love Buttermilk—the home of the Winter X Games for 13 years in a row— which caters to newbies but is enjoyable for all. The Aspen Ski Company has dedicated pros to help you learn or improve your skills, as well as A-list worthy equipment for rental if you don’t have your own gear. To break it down, go to Buttermilk if you enjoy long, easy-going green and blue cruisers, Aspen Highlands for the Highland Bowl, view of Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak, the sense of discovery at every turn and Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, a true party in the sky. Boarders will love Snowmass for the Snowmass Park & Superpipe while all will enjoy the nine on-mountain restaurants, the 3,362 aces of skiable terrain and the largest lift-served descent in North America, while those will delight in skiing and riding the same runs that have hosted World Cup races for decades as well as the pop-up Oasis champagne bar on Aspen Mountain.
Polo isn’t just a summertime activity: the riders of the USPA Piaget World Snow Polo Championship have made winter polo a very haute game indeed (or cold, as it were). The event, which took place at Rio Grande Park, saw defending champion St. Regis Hotels and Resorts face off against Audi, Piaget, U.S. Polo Assn, Aspen Valley Polo Club and Flexjet. In the 15th year of the tournament, Piaget defeated U.S. Polo Assn. by a score of 4-3m while Audi, led by Roberto Gonzalez, Kris Kampsen and Melissa Ganzi, defeated FlexJet in the third place game.
Audi’s fabulous holiday party was the perfect cap to the weekend. Guests drove in chauffeured Audis through the falling snow to the private estate of Bill Powers, where they mixed, mingled, drank champagne and toasted the haute automotive company. Guests at the fete included Hilary Swank, Kate Walsh, True Detective actress Abigail Spencer and The Social Network star boyfriend Josh Pence.