Best hotels in Denver
The Crawford doesn’t have a lobby per se: instead, It has the dazzling Great Hall of Denver’s Union Station, the upper floors of which it occupies. The Crawford doesn’t have a dining room per se, either, but it’s just steps away from some of the most celebrated restaurants and bars in town, including Stoic & Genuine, Mercantile Dining & Provision and the ultra-glam mezzanine-level Cooper Lounge. What the Crawford has, in other words, is location, location, location—not to mention 112 rooms with artsy, funky style to spare, as well as perks like personal concierge tablets and short-distance transportation via Tesla.
The moneyed but staid Cherry Creek neighborhood finally got the jolt of cool it needed with the 2016 opening of this 154-room tower managed by Sage Hospitality. While exuding minimalist chic from top to bottom—think sleek furnishings and silver gray-on-white tones—the Halcyon boasts amenities to the max for 21st-century movers and shakers. It’s home to two of Denver’s hottest restaurants: steakhouse Quality Italian and Departure, featuring modern Asian fare from celeb chef Gregory Gourdet. Its lobby-level “gear garage” stores longboards, mountain bikes and other outdoors equipment for loan. The rooftop deck has it all: a pool, cabanas, panoramic views and Departure’s cocktail lounge. And speaking of bars, the Halcyon also has a secret you’ll have to see to believe.
Halcyon has no local equal when it comes to sexy alfresco scenes—with one exception: the Four Seasons, set in a 45-story tower downtown. Its foliage-fringed rooftop pool is a favorite seasonal escape for high rollers, staffed by a private bartender and chef (and providing the backdrop for some epic cocktail soirées with DJs). But you can also follow the insiders indoors to contemporary steakhouse EDGE Restaurant & Bar, a longtime happy-hour hot spot. When you’re ready to recoup, you can hit the spa for an acupuncture session and a balancing-gemstone massage—or head to lodgings that may feature a wet bar or a windowside soaking tub, a fireplace or a sauna (or all four if you book the Presidential Suite). And if money’s no object, the staff can arrange private helicopter trips or after-hours tours of the Molly Brown House—they’ve even been known engineer elaborate surprises for VIPs, like a recent speakeasy pop-up.
Since it opened in 1892, the 241-room Brown Palace (now part of the Marriott Autograph Collection) has welcomed almost every U.S. president, accommodated sundry purported ghosts and hosted annual appearances by the National Western Stock Show’s champion steers. It’s as renowned for afternoon tea service in its gilded, soaring atrium lobby as it is for its Dom Pérignon Champagne Brunch on Sundays and tableside preparations at majestic fine-dining institution Palace Arms. It houses a salon, a florist and the city’s poshest cigar lounge bar none. Here, in short, is a 125-year-old icon in sandstone and red granite. Denver wouldn’t be Denver without it.
The Ritz may be synonymous with luxury on a global scale, but its downtown Denver high-rise embraces the freewheeling Colorado lifestyle in all sorts of ways. Consider, for instance, its signature steakhouse Elway’s: Though certainly posh, its affiliation with the namesake Broncos legend makes its lounge a game-day favorite among NFL fans (who may occasionally spot pros in their midst). Or the Ex’beer’ience, a spa treatment that incorporates local craft brews. (Club Level guests might even be treated to private tastings with the brewers behind them.) Of course, all the expected benefits of the brand apply as well. The standard guest rooms with full marble baths are Denver’s largest—and so, at a whopping 3,030 square feet, is its top-tier suite. Nice place if you can get it.
At first (and even second) glance, it’s easy to mistake this striking 165-room luxury hotel in the Golden Triangle for one of the museums surrounding it. After all, its lobby and meeting rooms double as a showcase for a remarkable collection of works by Jim Dine, Sol LeWitt and other modern masters. Even the standard guest rooms contain commissioned pieces (as do the elevators); they also offer skyline or mountain views—while the suites provide both. And the handsomely appointed fourth-floor terrace adjoining FIRE Restaurant, complete with multiple firepits, has become a happy-hour haunt for locals as well as visitors.
This 80-room LoDo anchor was Denver’s first hotel, built in 1891—and for the most part, it remains a stately representative of the Gilded Age, marked by marble expanses, carved woods, intricate ironwork, ornate antiques and period oil paintings. But a few exceptions are worth noting. Like the Cruise Room, Denver’s first post-Prohibition cocktail bar and an Art Deco gem. And a spa that does every au courant thing from pumpkin facials to Japanese hair straightening (as well as a “bath butler” to draw private soaks). And the soon-to-open contemporary steakhouse, Urban Farmer. And cool package partners like acclaimed local distillery Laws Whiskey House. The Oxford may be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but it hardly rests on old-fashioned laurels.
If it had nothing going for it but its location, this Sage Hospitality concept would rank high among Denver’s best hotels: It’s part of Dairy Block, a groundbreaking multi-use “microdistrict” in LoDo that houses (among many other things) an exceptional local art collection, lively Southwestern eatery Kachina and splashy Art Deco cocktail bar Poka Lola, which opens onto a private alleyway that’s being transformed into a boutique retail arcade as we speak. But, of course, the Maven does have more going for it. Amenities in its 172 city-slick rooms range from pour-over coffee systems and balconies to standing desks, swing chairs and wet bars and the assortment of baseball memorabilia that bedecks the Diamond Suite—which naturally overlooks Coors Field.
A stone-walled mansion built in 1889 sets the gorgeous stage for this bed-and-breakfast near City Park, lovingly restored and run by a multigenerational family since its centennial in 1989. Its nine rooms are exactly as you’re probably picturing them right now: a brass bed and a clawfoot tub there, a bay window and a private balcony there, and all sorts of richly patterned fabrics, heirloom pieces and flowers from the courtyard garden. (Okay, and some hot tubs.) And you can imagine the folksy hospitality, too: Beyond breakfast service, the Peikers and Feher-Peikers host regular teas and holiday feasts as well as arranging picnics and candlelight dinners by advance request. (Of course, they also have myriad colorful stories to tell about their property.)
Brought to you by Marriott, the MOXY brand is hip, relaxed and all about the small touches that can make a hotel stay memorable. The lobby lounge of this well-located Cherry Creek spot is impeccably designed, with comfy seating areas; when the weather is nice, the entire room opens up onto the fire-pit dotted patio. You'll receive a boozy welcome drink upon arrival, and it might be an hour or two before you even make it to your room—which will be modestly sized, but well appointed with large windows, comfy beds and modern amenities. The gym is one you'll actually want to work out in, and the front desk doubles as a bar, so socializing is basically built into your experience. And you won't just be chatting with other travelers—the Moxy is such a gem that even locals hang out.