Asher on Aspen: Escaping to Denver |

Asher on Aspen: Escaping to Denver

Shannon Asher
Asher on Aspen

When I told my friends I was driving three-and-a-half hours for a yoga class in Denver, they thought I was crazy.

They didn’t understand initially why my yoga needs couldn’t just be met here in Aspen. Well, this was goat yoga. Haven’t heard of it yet? Goat yoga is a regular yoga class where goats roam aimlessly in between you and your fellow yogis.

I have been intrigued with this new fad — a growing trend across the nation ­­— for months. The goats are said to help create a calming atmosphere and provide a laugh or two along the way. These four-legged animals have little to no regard for personal space. That, I learned, is what makes the experience so wonderful.

The first goat approached me as I was transitioning into a downward facing dog and it was as if, when we made eye contact, he could feel my fear. Confidently waltzing up to my mat, the goat quickly jumped onto my back. I broke the silence of the classroom and burst into laughter when he tickled my neck with his goatee. The whole experience furnished as a subtle reminder to not take life so seriously and to laugh more about the little stuff.

Following our unusual workout in the morning, we ventured to the posh neighborhood of Cherry Creek North where the Halcyon Hotel is located. Having heard so much about this lavish hotel from my Aspen friends, I was excited to stay here for the night. Our experience was unique from the moment we arrived to check in.

The Kitchen Counter, a new twist on a typical hotel feature, replaced the standard check-in desk. Two hosts greeted us and offered to make us an espresso while they secured our room keys. We were encouraged to stop by the Kitchen Counter for a libation, be it a local craft beer or a sought-after wine, paired with sweet and savory bites throughout the course of our stay.

Unhooked from the ordinary in all the best ways, Halcyon showed us extravagance with an unassuming side. The décor in our room exuded Colorado charm with natural elements and riffs on the American West. From the luxurious bed to the working turntable in the corner (the hotel has a library of records to browse and borrow) and all the lovely touches you would expect from the comfort of an upscale home, the devil is in the details at Halcyon.

We wasted away our Saturday afternoon by lounging in the room and soaking up the allure of the Denver skyline from the balcony of our terrace. Occasionally, it’s refreshing to have no-agenda days where you can simply indulge in the hotel amenities and relish in the beauty of doing nothing.

Sometimes it feels as if there is a constant need to be active in Aspen. On your off days from work, it’s low-key expected for locals to ski in the winter and hike in the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love how active my community is but it’s also nice to take a day off and simply relax. This 48-hour escape from Aspen enabled my friends and I to recharge our batteries and take a break from the slopes.

Perhaps the most intriguing element is the rooftop bar and accompanying swimming pool that offer an escape from the world below and a new look at the sky above. The rooftop is open to the public while full-service, luxury cabanas are available by reservation. From morning yoga to happy hours on the rooftop and fine dining in the neighborhood, this hotel feels like home — maybe a finer home than Aspen … at least just for a night.