Once seen simply as a town to drive through on the way to Aspen, today Carbondale in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley has come into a destination of its own. At the base of Mt Sopris, Carbondale has a laid back mountain-town vibe and a vibrant Main Street filled with shops and restaurants in historic brick buildings. But until recently the town was lacking in accommodation options for travelers. All that changed when Marble Distillery Co. opened five luxury hotel suites atop a working distillery offering an opportunity to “sleep with the stills” in the Carbondale Creative District on Main Street.
I visited this unique accommodation option with my son Everett for a weekend and was so, so impressed! Each room has a different look, and we stayed in the Marble Room, which was perfect with a king-sized bed and plenty of room for Everett’s crib. The room was super comfortable and so well decorated with pieces by local artists hanging from the walls. There was also a fireplace and a balcony with views of Mt Sopris and other peaks. And then there was the bed: draped in high-end Italian linens it was really, really comfortable. I also enjoyed the organic Colorado bath amenities and the in-room Martini Bar, where you can mix cocktails from the distillery produced spirits.
I decided I’d rather drink downstairs in the Marble Bar so I could chat with the bartender about picking a perfect drink for my pallet. I went with The Tipler, which is a mix of cucumber infused vodka, cucumber juice, lime, lemongrass, and mint. It was refreshing and delicious and so flavorful. Later, I tried the Marble Mule with ginger-infused vodka, gingercello, ginger beer, and lime. It was also a winner taste wise, especially if you enjoy a good mule as I do. The bar also hosts live music some nights and Everett and I had a blast listening to live music and the band even gave Everett a tambourine to jam along with.
I love the location of this property. It is right on Main Street so you can walk to a number of great restaurants like The inn is right on the main street so you can walk to great restaurants like Phat Thai, Village Smithy and Bonfire Coffee. There is also a great playground just a few blocks from the hotel that Everett had fun scrambling around on.
A great area for hiking and mountain biking is the Red Hill trail system, which is only about a five-minute drive away and provides high desert hiking and singletrack trails. With Everett, I wasn’t able to bike, but we did head out on foot for a short hike where we walked on bright red dirt and stopped plenty of times to enjoy the views.
If hiking or intense mountain biking isn’t your thing, the inn also offers cruiser bikes to explore around Carbondale town on at no charge. At the end of the day head to the rooftop to watch the sunset with some fantastic views. It is also nice on a sunny afternoon to sit outside and read for a bit as Everett and I did.
The inn is only one half of this experience. The other is the Marble Distillery located just underneath the rooms and is just as impressive. Built on a sustainable model that uses zero waste, the craft distillery produces all natural, small batch spirits using Colorado grains and pure water from the Crystal River headwaters. The water is filtered through calcite Yule marble, which is the same marble used in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. They are the only distillery in the world to use marble as a filtering agent.
The award-winning spirits are very smooth and easy to sip on their own without mixers. The Marble Vodka is their signature spirit and made with Colorado wheat and malted barley that is distilled in an old fashioned copper pot still. They also do a delicious Gingercello liqueur that is perfect for spring and is made with fresh cut ginger and lemon zest.
The Moonlight EXpressois a fabulous after dinner drink that can be sipped on the rocks or mixed into hot chocolate or coffee. It is a contemporary take on an old world coffee liqueur recipe that is created with locally roasted dark coffee beans.
Marble Distillery also released its first bourbon whiskey this winter. The Hoovers Revenge Ragged Mountain Rye is proprietary rye blend finished with soft white wheat and malted barley both from Colorado. It is a smooth sipper. All of these spirits can be tasted in the aforementioned Marble Bar. You can also purchase bottles to take home.
Overall if you’re looking for an alternative to Aspen this summer consider Carbondale. Not only is it more affordable with easy parking but now you have a luxury sleeping option at the Marble Inn that is truly one-of-a-kind. And while I did this trip with my young son, it is also a great couples getaway and the hotel concierge can help you come up with some romantic date ideas.