This retro-hip hotel, part of the Doubletree/Hilton family, celebrates pop culture via splashy colors, flower-power artwork and "personalities" assigned to each floor (the 9th, an ode to Big Hair, just might be our fave). It's across the street from the Denver Center for Performing Arts, making its Corner Office restaurant ideal for a pre-theater bite, which should be accompanied by one of the bar's fabulous martinis or cocktails--there's the Morning Meeting or Flight Delay to sip on, for example. If staying in and relaxing is on the agenda, the Curtis has all of your favorite games from childhood available to use, including Clue and Boggle. Free Wi-Fi in every room adds to the fun. There's no hotel in Denver remotely similar to the Curtis. It's a quirky, fun, one-of-a-kind, makes-you-smile experience from the lobby to the guest rooms.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: Quirky, friendly and fun, the Curtis has that special something that makes you smile when you walk in the door.
The luxurious Four Seasons Hotel provides inimitable style in the theater district, near the Denver Center for Performing Arts. A pool on the third-floor terrace--complete with native trees--adds a resort feel to this upscale urban sanctuary. A spa, fitness center and one of the city's top eateries, Edge Restaurant, are among the amenities and just what one expects from the Four Seasons. Ditto the staff, who know what good service means. The restaurant specializes in steak but offers much more, with the beef, lamb, bass and much of the produce from Colorado. Edge Bar is three separate bars: the Corner Bar, a raw bar and the original Edge Bar. Tapas and more than 20 wines and bubbles by the glass are available. Families and children are warmly welcomed here and there are even children's amenities. This area is very walkable but car service is offered within a three-mile downtown radius.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: It's the Four Seasons. In Denver. A list without it would be just plain wrong.
The 110-room Hotel Teatro is an oasis of sophisticated luxury and style with a touch of whimsy, as perfect for romantic weekends and theater nights as for business gatherings. With a name that means theater, it's not surprising that the Teatro is just up the street from the Denver Center for Performing Arts, and there are lots of references to theater in the hotel's art and design. Among the most inviting public spaces is The Study on the lobby floor, ideal for a power breakfast with colleagues or a quiet morning by the fireplace with a book and cup of tea. The Teatro's restaurant, The Nickel, is a great choice for a pre-theater dinner or dinner any time. And if barrel-aged cocktails are a favorite, the Barrel Bar is your place. Teatro's location puts it within an easy walk of LoDo and Larimer Square.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: This independent hotel offers stellar service and style and a location in the theater district that can't be beat.
Stylish with a refined sense of humor (a large, lifelike cow stands watch near the elevators), Hotel Monaco is warm and welcoming--even to four-footed companions traveling with guests. The decor is more sophisticated and less whimsical than in the past, but strikes just the right note for today's trends. And not to worry, whimsy still reigns twice each month when puppies in need of adoption arrive to join guests at the hotel's complimentary evening wine hour. In keeping with Kimpton's wellness and fitness bent, each room includes a yoga mat and bikes are loaned free to guests. Panzano, Hotel Monaco's excellent restaurant popular with locals and visitors alike, always factors among Denver's go-to restaurants no matter which chef is at the helm. Located at 17th and Champa, the Monaco is walking distance to Union Station, Coors Field and other downtown attractions.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: With its melding of sophisticated style and whimsy, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver stands out among the city's enduringly popular hotels.
The Brown Palace has remained in operation every moment of every day since its doors first swung open in 1892, and it is as grand today as it was then. Opulent fabrics and 12,400 feet of onyx are enhanced by all the updates today's guests expect, including a luscious spa. Not to be missed is the famed afternoon tea (a treat for children and adults), and excellent ghost and history tours provide guests with intriguing insights and fun facts that make a stay special. The annual Champagne tower during the holidays is a must-do, as is the January day the champion steer of the National Western Stock Show arrives at the Brown Palace for afternoon tea. Want to keep the kids (or adults) occupied while relaxing in the eight-story atrium? Look for the two upside-down panels in the ornate cast iron railings.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: It's the indisputable grand dame of Denver hotels, and its superb afternoon tea–"served to the elegant strains of a harp–"is a Denver must.
Set within Denver's renovated Union Station, The Crawford is elegant and romantic but perfect for families, too. Surrounded by excellent restaurants and all that the LoDo neighborhood offers, including easy access to Coors Field and Ball Arena, The Crawford is the perfect place to experience contemporary Denver and embrace the city's history. Look for historic artifacts and pieces of art throughout the hotel and station. Guest rooms have a custom feel. Second-floor rooms are a nod to the golden age of train travel, evoking the old Pullman cars, while loft rooms on the top floor feature exposed brick and beams and opulent bathrooms. Four of Denver's popular chefs or restaurant groups have eateries within Union Station. Guests can also belly up to the Terminal Bar for a selection of Colorado craft beers, or settle into comfy chairs in the elegant Cooper Lounge overlooking the station's Great Hall (reservations required).
Recommended for Best Hotels because: This boutique property hits every note exactly right, melding Denver's historic past, renovated Beaux Arts train station and sophisticated contemporary vibe.
The ART, a Hotel, is just what it sounds like: A stunning art-centric hotel with its own impressive collection of paintings, sculpture and installation pieces throughout its public spaces. By design, the 165-room boutique property is located in Denver's Golden Triangle Museum District, putting the Denver Art Museum, Kirkland Museum of Decorative & Fine Art, Clyfford Still Museum, History Colorado Center and other popular museums within walking distance. Exhibiting a nice symmetry, the hotel collection includes works by Clyfford Still and Vance Kirkland, and guests inspired by them can saunter to the artists' namesake museums a short distance away. But you don't have to know the art or artists to appreciate that this sleekly contemporary, light-filled hotel is different. FIRE, the in-house restaurant perched on the 4th floor with panoramic views, offers another kind of artistry with its chef-driven menu and creative take on new American cuisine.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: The ART is architecturally striking, light filled, art filled and its restaurant and patio space draws locals and visitors alike.
Located across from Union Station in the heart of LoDo, the Oxford is for history lovers, spa lovers, foodies, sports lovers and walkers, as well as for anyone who appreciates timeless luxury and style. Opened in 1891, it's is on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to a coveted spa and salon and to the ageless Cruise Room, a 1933 Art Deco landmark and one of the best places in Denver to sip a martini. Each of the 80 guest rooms is individually decorated with such elements as floor-to-ceiling Chinese silk curtains, French and English antiques and claw-foot bathtubs. There's also an extensive collection of Western American art on display. This is a great area for walking. There are tons of restaurants in the area in addition to Urban Farmer in the Oxford, and many of LoDo's attractions, including Coors Field, are a short walk away.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: This historic beauty in LoDo welcomes guests in style, and its spa offers everything spa lovers could want in terms of pampering.
Thompson Denver is urban sleek with elements of a mountain-lodge including beams, leather, warm woods and copper tones. The lobby features cozy sitting areas where guests can gather, and a compact coffee bar. At the other end of the lobby is Bar M, an elegant cocktail space for sipping and chatting. Guests can also check out Reynard Social, a sixth-floor lounge geared for late-night revelry. The 216 guest rooms are compact but well designed, and Chez Maggy, the hotel's restaurant, is superb. Michelin-starred Chef Ludo Lefebvre offers a classic French menu with foie gras, steak frites and escargot (which has a surprising spicy kick), but with Colorado additions such as bison and trout. It's a three-meal restaurant, so go ahead and indulge in the divinely inspired French Toast topped with ice cream for breakfast. Want to see and be seen? Thompson Denver is poised to be that place.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: Thompson Denver is under the Hyatt umbrella but the brand retains its distinctive look and feel, making it a stellar addition to Denver's hotel landscape.
Each of the 63 guest rooms includes a Culture Guide, which states, "We have a zero-tolerance policy for racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, bullying and any other behavior that fails to honor and respect each and every person…" That alone is reason for Clayton's place on this list. In this divisive world, Clayton stands committed to bringing its surrounding community together, and hotel guests are part of that. Of course, Clayton also has everything else that makes a hotel stand out including a great Cherry Creek location and staff that's welcoming and efficient. While guest rooms are compact, 240-450 square feet, they're well designed for business and leisure guests. Hotel guests also become de facto club members during their stay, with access to all member areas including the 2nd floor work and socializing spaces and rooftop pool and restaurant. Lobby-level restaurant Of A Kind is an excellent choice for dinner.
Recommended for Best Hotels because: Clayton Members Club & Hotel isn't just a great hotel, it's an organization founded on principles of inclusion, respect for all and bettering its community.