Denver's Best Hotels: From Luxury Stays to Romantic Boutiques

Downtown hotels range from the opulent historic grandeur of The Brown Palace and the Oxford Hotel to the pop-culture cool of The Curtis Hotel. The Crawford Hotel, within the superbly renovated Denver Union Station in LoDo, manages to be historic and contemporary; ditto the the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel, housed in the historic Colorado Bank Building, much of which has been beautifully preserved. The ART, a Hotel, brilliantly combines the concepts of hotel and museum, while the Grand Hyatt, one of the city's AAA Four Diamond options, has recently undergone a renovation that has raised the bar on style and elegance in the downtown area. But it's not all happening in downtown or the city's vibrant LoDo neighborhood. The ART, a Hotel, is located in Denver's Golden Triangle Museum District, putting it within walking distance of many of the city's top cultural facilities, including Denver Art Museum and History Colorado Center, while the JW Marriott Cherry Creek is set in the heart of one of the city's top shopping and restaurant districts. What all of these hotels have in common are excellent service and inimitable style, whether that style is elegant, contemporary, historic, chic or fanciful. Denver's top hotels give discerning travelers much to choose from and a hotel for every occasion or need.


Grand Hyatt Denver
Photo courtesy of Grand Hyatt

The Grand Hyatt has earned a reputation not only as one of Denver's AAA Four Diamond luxury hotels but also as one of the city's go-to spots for weddings and private events. After a hotel-wide renovation, it's better than ever, especially the dynamic Pinnacle Club ballrooms with the most expansive panoramic views in Denver (rumor has it you can see all the way to Wyoming on a clear day). Pub 17, on the lobby level, is a Colorado treat with more than 50 of the state's microbrews available in bottles or on tap, paired with a menu celebrating "high plains" culinary fare.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: It may be a chain, yet this Hyatt is thoroughly imbued with Denver's lively vibe edged with elegance.

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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 the Performing Arts, making its Corner Office restaurant ideal for a pre-theater bite, which should be accompanied by one of the bar's memorably monikered martinis or cocktails. 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.

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.

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In the heart of Denver's fashionable Cherry Creek district, the stylish and sophisticated JW beautifully emulates its surroundings. The hotel puts shoppers within steps of fabulous boutiques and just down the street from upscale Cherry Creek Mall. The neighborhood is less crowded than many parts of Denver (unless you're navigating the mall on a weekend), so there's an away-from-it-all appeal, yet everything the city offers is close by. The hotel has an inviting Living Room off the lobby where guests can meet and mingle, and an equally inviting and expansive patio with cozy sitting areas and a warming fire pit.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: It's the place to stay in Cherry Creek, offering easy access to the area's dining, shopping, coffee bars, wine bars and sidewalk caf├ęs.

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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. 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.

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The luxurious Four Seasons Hotel provides inimitable style in the theater district. A pool on the third-floor terrace--complete with native trees--adds a nice resort feel to this sleek 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 precisely what good service means. Just off the lobby, Edge Bar is a popular meeting spot for locals and visitors with its tapas-style menu and 50 wines by the glass. If parents provide the names of their children in advance, the hotel will have age-appropriate amenities waiting for them on arrival.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: It's the Four Seasons. In Denver. A list without it would be just plain wrong.

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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. McCormick's Fish House has long been a favorite of visitors and locals. Guests can walk to many LoDo restaurants and attractions, but the hotel also offers complimentary car service within a two-mile radius, which includes Coors Field.

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.

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The historic Colorado Bank Building finally reemerged in 2014 onto Denver's lively downtown scene in the form of the striking Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel. Among the historic elements preserved are 16 murals painted for the bank in 1925. Today, the meticulously restored murals grace the grand lobby. Guests and locals can take a complimentary interactive tour via smartphone to learn more about the history of the building, including the murals. The Teller Bar, located where busy bank tellers once stood, features small bites, craft cocktails and local Colorado brew, while Range, the hotel's restaurant, is all about culinary techniques of the American West, from smoking and grilling to cast-iron cooking. A blend of historic and modern luxury, the hotel has appeal for leisure and business guests.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Renaissance, housed in the architecturally striking and transformed Colorado Bank Building, is a perfect punctuation point on Denver's equally transformed downtown.

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The Crawford Hotel
Photo courtesy of Crawford Hotel

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 the Pepsi Center, 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 mosey 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.

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Hotel Teatro is an oasis of sophisticated luxury with a touch of whimsy, as perfect for romantic weekends and theater nights as for business gatherings. A 2014 renovation resulted in engaging new spaces. Among the most inviting 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. At the Nickel, the hotel's interesting restaurant concept, guests can check off the charcuterie items they want, sushi style, or order from a traditional menu. If barrel-aged cocktails are a favorite, the hotel's Barrel Bar is an excellent choice. While the hotel is well situated for walking, a luxury SUV is also available to shuttle guests throughout the downtown area. Sophisticated and exuding warmth and style, the 110-room Hotel Teatro provides exemplary service.

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.

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Golden Triangle

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.

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Meet Christine Loomis

Christine has written about every aspect of travel, from romance and adventure to family and wellness. She is also lucky to have had three major home states through the years: New York,...  More About Christine