Rather surprisingly perhaps Starwood is the only gated community in Aspen – Colorado’s high-altitude jewel of a mountain sanctuary and skiing resort. Within the estate gates are a variety of lovely homes lived in by those who like to protect their privacy and enjoy an increased level of security. The singer John Denver lived here and even wrote a song about it, ‘Starwood in Aspen’. Not that security in Aspen is very much of an issue. The gates may as well be kept open. Some locals around Aspen still leave their front doors unlocked. It’s that sort of place. Really the only thieves seen hereabouts are oportunistic bears. But even they seem pretty well behaved.
High on the slopes overlooking Aspen valley and all four of its celebrated ski mountains, Starwood certainly has star quality for location, aspect and architecture. The home I visited was on the upper slopes and sat on a two-acre plot. Designed in a contemporary adobe style it harmonises perfectly with its natural surroundings in a remarkably understated way. But then understated, I learned, is the Aspen way. Instead, the house lets the view do the talking. That is certainly not understated. In an area of superlatives the vista is breathtaking.
Inside the house the living is easy. The open plan living areas flow into each other. But there still seems plenty of room for oneself even with a house full of guests. There are four bedrooms, all orientated towards the magnificent mountains, plus five bathrooms. A natural colour pallete has been used to great effect while stone and timber help to make the house feel at one with the mountain. Outside, where the air is at its purest and the light is at its sharpest, there is a sensational sun/dining deck that looks down on eagles.
I am not at all surprised that John Denver chose to live here. Who wouldn’t?