As this former cowtown becomes a hot commodity, prices are soaring in the Mile High City. But there are still a few bargains to be found for travelers keen on exploring the best things to do in Denver and the city’s booming dining scene: charming inns with curious histories, business hotels that aim to break the generic mold and even a groundbreaking hostel or two. Can’t quite fork out for the luxury of the very best hotels in Denver? These budget-friendly options in and around the city ensure you’re sleep well when in town.
Top cheap hotels in Denver
From sustainable mattresses and low-flow bathroom fixtures to individual recycling bins and a composting program in the garden that supplies organic produce and flowers, this boutique inn has plenty to offer the eco-conscious. Design mavens, meanwhile, will be stunned. Local artists created its four gallery-chic suites, each of which also boasts amenities ranging from hot tubs to fireplaces. But the standard rooms are no less impressive, with beautiful murals and furnishings both antique and locally built. Even the food is stylish: Consider potato pancakes with curried beets and fresh raita for breakfast, housemade cakes and cookies, and a happy hour (gratis, of course) featuring Colorado wines.
A Richardsonian Romanesque manor distinguished by intricately carved stone and woodwork sets a grand stage for this B&B in all its textbook charm. Run by a father-daughter team, it includes eight quaint-as-could-be, antique- and flower-filled rooms like the Snowlover, with a wraparound mural of an aspen forest and a private balcony. Others have fireplaces, four-poster beds, hot tubs, sun rooms and such. And the daily changing breakfast menu is—dare we say—restaurant-worthy, whether you’re served inside or out on the patio.
This cabin in the woods comes as close to ski country as you can get less than an hour from Denver. In fine weather, you can kick back on one of three decks surrounded by aspen trees, maybe soaking in a hot tub or firing up a grill; if you’re snowbound, you can hang out in the rec room, playing pool by the stone fireplace. Then retire to your wood-planked room, where a quilt-covered log-post bed awaits (along with modern amenities). It’s quite the rustic experience.
If "luxury hostel" sounds like an oxymoron, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Occupying the top floor of a building that once housed a brothel (really), Fish is basically a contemporary art gallery you can sleep in. Each of its eleven individually decorated rooms—nine dorm-style, two private—is more vibrant than the last: Think cool murals and sculptures, chandeliers, and wildly patterned bedding. Of course there’s a guest kitchen, a concierge and housekeeping service; the management also hosts regular socials, from acoustic open mikes to themed soirées like the '80s Après Ski Party. Provided you play well with others, you've got a groovy pad here—which just so happens to share its address with Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, a hot spot for eclectic cuisine and live music.
If you like a little Gothic mystery with your lodging, this mansion-turned-B&B is the place to be. Built by—yes—a lumber baron in 1890, it was the scene of an unsolved double homicide back in the 1970s, and rumors that it’s haunted swirl to this day. But rest assured the inn offers plenty of non-gruesome entertainment as well, hosting elaborate paired dinners and classes like CBD-enhanced yoga in addition to full breakfasts and weekend brunch buffets. And you can rest even better in the elegant accommodations, graced by painted ceilings, period furnishings and Jacuzzis.
Out in Golden—a suburb in the foothills of the Rockies—this trim little gingerbread-style inn has all the coziness of grandma’s house, starting in the antique-filled parlor near the brick fireplace and moving up on up to the simple but genteel rooms, all vintage wallpaper, quilting and lace. Breakfast usually consists of homemade pastries, quiches, granola and the like; fresh-baked cookies may be on offer when you check in, as well.
Standing out from the pack that lines the commuters’ corridor between Denver and Boulder, this business-oriented Westin property welcomes with a surprisingly handsome setting adjacent to Westminster City Park and the Westminster Promenade, with lovely views of the nearby fountain pond, lake and golf courses as well as the mountains. Tastefully modern Southwestern decor throughout the hotel sets the stage for its signature restaurant, the well-respected Kachina Southwestern Grill; for entertainment, you’re within walking distance of two delightful attractions—the Ice Centre at the Promenade and the Butterfly Pavilion. It all makes for an especially playful work trip.
In the maze of business travelers’ lodgings that is the Denver Tech Center, this extended-stay Starwood property offers the most bang for the buck. The look is unusually stylish for the suburban genre: modern, clean and serene in earth tones from the lobby flanked by a patio with an open-access BBQ grill to the rooms and suites designed with both ergonomics and ecology in mind—not to mention hunger, as all contain kitchenettes. Of course, there’s also free breakfast and happy-hour service and a 24-hour bodega (but if you’re up for a quick outing, you’ll find excellent Peruvian food at Pisco Sour and fine pizza at popular parlor Racca’s nearby). Add a 24/7 gym and business center as well as an indoor pool, and you’ve got a reliably complete package.
Think of Aloft (a Starwood brand) as the hipper sibling to Element. A colorful, Pop Art-y aesthetic lends cosmopolitan energy to this suburban hotel convenient to the business parks linking Denver to Boulder, complete with a lobby bar that boasts a pool table and a live-music lineup as well as a patio with lounge furnishings and an outdoor fireplace. (The Camp Aloft program should keep the kiddos occupied while you’re imbibing.) What’s more, the hotel is located within the Arista complex, home to a concert venue, the 1STBank Center, as well as a still-developing array of shops and restaurants like the Colorado Keg House and the much-awaited upscale-contemporary restaurant Hickory & Ash.