The first thing I notice is the difference in ski apparel. Last time I skied, ski pants were tight and had stirrups. Ski jackets were short and fitted, sometimes with clear pockets to display lift tickets. Since my old ski pants and jacket still fit, I literally dusted them off and donned them, believing I was back in the game.
Responsible tourism may not seem to go hand in hand with the USA, particularly when its most shouted-about tourism offerings are often Disneyland and Las Vegas. And yet over the last couple of years, we've been looking more closely at this vast country, and have pulled out the hidden hideaways, cycling and hiking trails...
In certain London bars I reckon the bare monastic cell look is considered quite cutting edge. By contrast, ADX Florence is beyond cutting edge (unless it's prisoners cutting their wrists in despair). ADX Florence's ambience is an altogether bleaker affair, one which seems designed to crush people and push them right over the edge.
Not only do these hotels boast direct access to some of the world's best ski pistes, but many offer personalised services such as a ski valet and onsite ski rental, in order to maximise visitors' time on the slopes. In the evenings, guests can expect world-class spas, gourmet dining, extensive wine lists and the utmost comfort in their state-of-the-art guest rooms.
The snow melts to reveal lush green mountains to be hiked and explored, and the visitors to town transform from slope seekers to culture hunters, ready for the seasonal festivals and shows. And so we present four very good reasons why Aspen shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to selecting your summer holiday destination.