You are here

Aspen's Downtown Hotel: The Independence Square

One of the more popular destinations for Colorado vacationers is the unique outdoor pedestrian mall in downtown Aspen known as the Cooper Avenue Mall. The mall is a hub of activity during both the summer and winter months, and offers everything from high fashion, art galleries and fine dining to souvenir, ski and bike shops. The downtown mall is also only 1-2 blocks from the Aspen Mountain gondola. With no shortage of things to do within walking distance during the day and night, it’s no wonder that many Aspen travelers choose to stay as close to the downtown mall as possible. Throw in the fact that the local free bus - with access to Buttermilk, Highlands and Snowmass - is only one block away and it’s almost a no-brainer. However, hotels on the downtown mall  in Aspen are hard to come by. In fact, there’s only one hotel on the downtown mall - the Independence Square.

The Independence Square is Aspen's only historic hotel on the downtown mall. The Independence Square is Aspen's only historic hotel on the downtown mall.

Why is that? Keep in mind that long before Aspen was a popular tourist destination, it was a silver mining town (in the late 1800s). When the town was built, the original downtown sat where it sits today, at the base of Aspen Mountain. The mountain was undeveloped for skiing back then, but Smuggler Mountain to the north was very active in the silver mining trade. To this day, guests can tour the Smuggler Mountain mine. The modest downtown, about four square blocks, consisted of local offices and businesses, some homes, and the Independence Square hotel. By the time skiing became established in Aspen in the late 1940s, most of the current downtown layout was already established. Although there have been some changes over the years - such as closing off traffic on some of the downtown streets to create the pedestrian mall - there still wasn’t any room for a large hotel. Many of today’s competing hotels are blocks away from the mall, but the Independence Square still operates out of its same downtown address. Located in the center of town, the Independence Square hotels sits at 404 S. Galena St., at the intersection of Galena Street and Cooper Avenue. Many of the rooms in the three-story building have views of the downtown mall, facing either west or north. Other rooms at the historic hotel lodge are south-facing and have mountain views. (Better views are often found on the third floor, as lower buildings may have views obstructed by trees or other buildings.) Upon entering the Independence Square, guests descend the grand staircase to the lower-level check-in area. The engaging lower level is also home to the facility’s ski lockers as well as the breakfast nook. The breakfast dining area has a flatscreen TV to accompany all the accoutrements of a full Continental breakfast that is served daily. (An elevator with access to all floors is also available.)

The colorful Independence Square Unit #205 is rated deluxe.

The colorful Independence Square Unit #205 is rated deluxe.

Upon check-in at the hotel, guests can retire to their lodge room. The hotel offers “lodge rooms” that are similar to today’s style of hotel rooms: One room, a bed/beds, TV, private bathroom, etc. All of the rooms at the Independence Square are privately owned and are individually decorated to each specific owner’s taste. There are a variety of rooms available through us, ranging from colorful and bright contemporary accommodations to more authentic “mountain lodge” rooms - and just about everything in between. The variety allows potential guests to determine what’s best for them.

Independence Square Unit #302 has a true mountain lodge room feel.

Independence Square Unit #302 has a true mountain lodge room feel.

Around the hotel, there are a number of great amenities for guests to enjoy. The aforementioned ski locker room is great for winter guests who don’t want to carry their skis to their room. (Our owners love the ski lockers as it keeps ski boots from tearing up the hotel and room carpet.) The lockers offer privacy and secure extra space for belongings. Lockers can also be used in the summer for golf clubs, tennis rackets, etc. There’s also a business center with complimentary computer and internet access. For a little relaxation, stretch out on the second floor sitting area after a full day of activities. Or head to the roof for the amazing sundeck and outdoor hot tub and take in the amazing front-row views of Aspen Mountain while overlooking the twinkling lights of downtown Aspen. (Please note: The rooftop sundeck and hot tub are closed through July 2015 for improvements.)

Get ready for a big day of Aspen activities by having a free Continental breakfast at the breakfast nook at the Independence Square.

Get ready for a big day of Aspen activities by having a free Continental breakfast at the breakfast nook at the Independence Square.

Guests who book their lodging through Frias Properties of Aspen also receive complimentary passes to the Aspen Club & Spa. The Aspen Club & Spa features state-of-the-art exercise equipment and pampering spa treatments, and is one of the most popular indoor recreational facilities in town. (Secondary charges for premium services may apply.) The club also offers a workout area, locker rooms, indoor pool, tennis and basketball courts, and a full-service spa and rehabilitation clinic. Guests who are staying at the Independence Square can obtain their complimentary passes from any Frias Properties front desk during regular business hours.