To say Louise Roe is a busy girl is, well, probably a big understatement—huge, in fact. It seems every time we turn on our TV there she is—chatting about red-carpet fashion on Access Hollywood, hosting MTV’s show “Plain Jane,” as well as Fox Asia’s hit “Fit for Fashion,” amongst other recognizable and notable gigs. Plus the British-born beauty just completed her first book, aptly titled, Front Roe: How to Be the Leading Lady in Your Own Life (we’ve already pre-ordered our copy…we’re predicting a best seller!). Oh, and she’s also a columnist for People StyleWatch…see, we told you she was busy (c’mon, would we lie to you?!)! Thankfully though, the lovely Louise recently found time for a little (and clearly, much needed!) vacation where she could enjoy her favorite pastime: skiing! Here she shares her tips and tales from one of America’s chicest winter destinations—Aspen!
Just back from:
Aspen! It’s conveniently close to LA, so you don’t have to schlep all day traveling before you hit the slopes. And the town is so picturesque—it’s a pleasure to just stroll around. The skiing, of course, is brilliant—not many resorts offer two other huge resorts within spitting distance.
How did you get there:
We flew on American Airlines directly from LA to Aspen. The flight is just under 2 hours…easy peasy!
Was this your first time there:
Nope, it was my second.
Who did you go with:
Any special reason you went:
A break after a long, hectic work schedule.
How long did you go for:
4 days (definitely not long enough!).
Place where you stayed:
The Little Nell—which is a great mix of cozy and elegant. I’m all about a welcoming lobby area, and when you walk into this hotel there’s a sunken living room-bar, with a roaring log fire and oversized couches, that really welcomes you in. I had visited The Little Nell for dinner on a previous trip, but never stayed there before. Our room was big, with a balcony overlooking the mountain, and a fireplace that switched on and off from the bedside. The entire mini bar (except the booze) is complimentary—and the bathroom floor is heated. Pretty much every little detail a girl could want is covered here! In terms of location, you can’t get better. From your room, you can watch skiers come down to the main gondola, and step out from the ‘ski concierge’ and just ski right off. The ‘ski concierge’ is a genius idea—the guys carry your skis, poles, and boots right out onto the piste!. I was really impressed with how much the staff go that extra mile to help—whether it’s offering the ‘First Tracks’ (an earlybird trip up the mountain), or grabbing you a hot, spicy cider when you finish skiing for the day, or just chit-chatting about the best local bars. They’re friendly and knowledgable.
Places you ate:
Breakfast at The Little Nell is bliss! Fresh omelets, a delicious green juice, and then blueberry pancakes (on my ‘naughty days’). They even gave me a to-go box when I was rushing to catch the shuttle to Snowmass.
Local delicacy you feasted on:
One evening, around midnight, we grabbed a slice from New York Pizza…it’s outstanding pizza! We also had s’more flavored crepes from the famous Aspen popcorn wagon. And I can’t forget the mussels, cooked with bacon and Irish Ale, from Finbarr’s.
Cocktail you sipped:
A glass of chilled rosé in the sun at Ajax Tavern, during après ski hour. I also enjoyed a strong gin & tonic during dinner at J-Bar, which is located at the Hotel Jerome (their burger is famous, and rightly so!). We had a delicious, and rare, dessert wine in The Little Nell’s secret wine cellar, hidden away under the hotel (it’s a must-see—ask the concierge about this!).
Books you read:
I am halfway through The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain. It’s brilliant…but I must confess I didn’t open it once. This was a non-stop vacation!
Games you played:
Slalom races, if that counts?!
Music you listened to:
Disclosure, Clean Bandit, Aluna George, and London Grammar.
My daily uniform there was:
About 7 layers of thermals, polar necks, and my giant Columbia ski jacket.
Brand of luggage you traveled with:
I brought my brown & black leather Aspinal of London carry-on. I treated myself to this about a year ago, because I travel so much, and I absolutely love it. My checked luggage was a bargain DVF suitcase from the sale at Macys!
Did you over-pack or under-pack:
I got it about right. The worst thing when you’re skiing is not having enough layers…or enough clean socks! And I have spent so many ski trips wanting to wear the cute sequin skirt I brought, or the patent heels, but they never, ever, make it out of the suitcase. So I was realistic this time and brought jeans and sweaters to wear out at night. Being warm always ends up being the priority!
Beauty-essentials you packed:
Tresemme Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Hairspray and Wave Creation Sea Foam—they are easy to spritz and spray into wet hair, and without having to curl or blow dry it, it adds some body and texture.
Micheal Kors perfume. I like to switch up my scent according to the season and my mood, and this is one of my favorites.
Liquid vitamin B12—I take a few drops every day to try and stave off colds and keep my strength up when I’m traveling a lot.
Benefit Erase Paste—it’s a thick concealer and gets rid of circles under my eyes.
Lancome lip pencil in #211 Beige Rose—I line my lips and fill them in with this. It makes them look bigger, without a dramatic, glossy look.
Nars bronzer and MAC blush—to give my cheeks some color.
Maybelline foundation, it is thin enough not to clog pores, and has SPF 15 in it.
Mary Kay clear lip balm.
Givenchy waterproof mascara—I switch to this when I ski because it won’t run if my eyes tear in the cold, or if I fall!
Secret only a local would know:
Victoria’s Espresso makes the best coffee—and the guys behind the counter are all Aussies. Ask for a mocha, made with Milo (the Australian imported malt-chocolate powder, which tastes like heaven). It’s not on the menu, but it’s the BEST sweet pick-me-up after a long day on the slopes.
Best ski spot:
For beginners, Snowmass has much easier terrain. There’s a free bus from the center of Aspen, or free shuttles for guests directly from the Little Nell.
Favorite place to shop and find local treasures:
Little Bear Antiques and Uniques, which is full of eclectic home décor accents. In the end I didn’t buy anything here, but if I had an unlimited budget, I would have swept up the entire lot!
In the day we:
Ski’d! All day, every day. The day started with an early breakfast, then we took the shuttle to Snowmass, and met up with our instructors. Apres ski was usually a glass of wine back in Aspen Village, before a quick nap followed by dinner.
And at night we:
We mainly ate in the bar area of various restaurants—I prefer the bar for a better atmosphere and faster seating. J-Bar, Finbarr’s, Jimmy’s—these are the best places to prop up for a cocktail and a bite.
Best part of the trip:
Skiing our last day in clear blue skies and fresh powder on Ajax mountain. The conditions were simply perfect, and because it was a Monday the mountain was almost empty.
Was it all smooth-sailing or did you encounter any travel disasters:
Luckily, all was great! The journey there is so quick—it’s unreal how easy it is to go from LA to the slopes.
First time visitors must:
Pick a sunny day and have a drink at Cloud Nine, which is located at the top of the mountain, around 3pm. The place gets packed—it’s loud and fun!
The #1 tip you’d give a friend that’s going:
Get up early and sign up for ‘First Tracks’ at 8am. You get taken up the hill before any other skiers to ride the freshly groomed terrain. It’s very special. Oh, and book your ski rentals and lessons in advance, online. It saves a fortune!
Overall I loved it here because:
Aspen is known as a ‘fancy’ kind of place, but actually it’s just a welcoming, charming town full of friendly locals and hidden gems to eat and drink at. And skiing is my favorite thing to do ever, so being in the mountains is such a happy escape.
Louise Roe photographed in Aspen, Colorado