I always enjoy attending the special events American Express hosts for card members, such as the Amex Platinum House and the EMP Summer House in the Hamptons. Now that winter is in full swing, Amex and Eleven Madison Park — the world famous Daniel Humm-helmed restaurant in New York City — have moved west, to Aspen, Colorado: arguably the country’s premier winter-weather destination.
I got to spend a few days exploring this stunning mountain town, and, of course, enjoyed a fantastic meal as an Amex Ambassador at the very first EMP Winter House in partnership with American Express..
The pop-up restaurant, which opened Dec. 15, is housed in the Chefs Club at the St. Regis in Aspen and runs through April 6, 2019. You can either dine indoors in a rather swanky dining room or outside in the very on-trend Yurt Village in the courtyard.
After all, it really wouldn’t be a winter-themed eating establishment without yurts, would it? They’re really fun, and perfectly fit that ski lodge vibe.
The à la carte menu was awesome — it was actually inspired by chef Humm’s childhood — with dishes like smoked trout toast, fondue and an enticing lobster wedge salad. But my personal favorite was the veal schnitzel, which was savory and delicious: the perfect winter comfort food. In addition to the amazing schnitzel, the cocktails were also fantastic.
With more than 250 wine options, there’s plenty to warm you up on a frosty evening.
The restaurant also has a special Après Ski menu in the afternoon with snacks and light bites, in addition to its dinner menu.
My visit to the restaurant was a blast, even though I was more affected by the altitude in Aspen than I’d like to admit, and the location in the St. Regis was gorgeous. (Don’t worry, the hotel has canned oxygen at its Reméde Spa.)
In fact, the entire hotel was stunning, and I had a fantastic stay. Thanks to booking the St. Regis with Amex, I got FHR benefits, which included a room upgrade upon arrival, daily breakfast for two, a guaranteed 4pm checkout, complimentary Wi-Fi and a 12pm check-in, plus a special amenity — in this case, a $100 food and beverage credit. Although I’d get some off these perks anyway for having Platinum Premier Elite + Ambassador status, I always appreciate a solid food and beverage credit.
Although I enjoyed my meal at the EMP Winter House indoors with one friend, I would love to come back with a group and dine in one of the yurts. It was fun checking the cozy tent-style huts out, though — I loved the decor, and they are perfect for groups. In fact, my brief hangout in the yurt had me thinking that perhaps Mongolia should be added to my 2019 destination list?
Eleven Madison Park and the EMP Winter House pop up are part of the Amex Global Dining Collection program. It allows Platinum Card Members to make reservations at hundreds of restaurants around the world, as well as offering off-the-menu perks and in some cases, even gifts at select restaurants for all-around unique dining experiences. To give you an idea of how special this program is, Amex partners with some of the world’s greatest culinary minds like Daniel Humm, Stephanie Izard, José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Michael Solomonov, Dominique Crenn, The Roca Brothers, Virgilio Martinez, Heinz Beck, Alain Ducasse and Marcus Wareing. If you’re looking to access these event, you can easily do so with the help of the Platinum Concierge.
I always find the Platinum Concierge helpful, actually, especially when it comes to dining. During my Aspen trip, they got me a reservation to dine at Matsuhisa, a sushi restaurant with Chef Nobu’s new-style Japanese cuisine.
Who Is Eligible and How to Book
In addition to being the only form of credit card payment accepted at the EMP Winter House, American Express Card Members will also get exclusive access to reservations.
I was able to secure my reservation back in November, and any Amex cardholder can reserve a table now through the end of January on the EMP Winter House website. Reservations for February 2019 opened the first of January, and reservations for March 1 to April 6 will become available on Feb. 1, 2019, so mark your calendar if you want to score a table. If you’ve got The Platinum Card® from American Express in your wallet, you can also book reservations through the Platinum Concierge.
You’ll pay directly at the restaurant after your meal using any American Express card, though a $50 non-refundable deposit per person is required for all reservations, which will be applied to the final dining bill.
My recommendation, of course, is to use your American Express Gold card to get 4x points on your bill. When booking, keep in mind that the largest table accommodates eight people, so really be sure of who you want to invite. Bon Appétit!
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer — worth $1,140 based on TPG’s valuations — this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
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