These 10 Hotels Make a Great Base for Exploring Denver with Kids

Denver is an amazing city for families to visit, whether from across the country or the state. The Mile High City has excellent museums, a terrific zoo, an aquarium, a theme park and water park and three venues for professional sports teams, meaning plenty of options for the whole family. Of course, what happens inside your hotels matters, too. Denver hotels have found engaging ways to make travel easier and more fun for families. The Four Seasons Hotel Denver offers child-sized upscale amenities and a rooftop pool, while guests at Hotel Monaco can order a pet goldfish for their room and bikes so the whole family can go exploring. Hotel Monaco also pampers parents with complimentary wine hour each evening during which the kids can play Wii. Looking for a resort vacation in the city? The Inverness is exactly that with a golf course, two pools, tennis courts and more–ideal for families with active, sports-loving kids. Grand Hyatt Denver also has a pool, shuffleboard and seasonal family packages, and at the Ritz-Carlton young guests have their own check-in area and amenities. In Cherry Creek, the JW Marriott offers rubber ducks, temporary tattoos and invites children under age eight to eat brunch in their pajamas on Sundays–at no charge. And some hotels, including Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Speer Boulevard, have free Wi-Fi so there's no nickel and diming to stay connected. Take a look at our list and get inspired to bring the whole family to Denver.


Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Speer Boulevard is a nicely affordable choice for families who want to be near a wide range of activity options, including the Children's Museum of Denver, Downtown Aquarium, the Pepsi Center and Elitch Gardens, all of which sit less than a mile away. And the hotel offers impressive views of the Denver skyline for those moments when families are not out exploring. On the affordability side, guests here are treated to complimentary breakfast and to complimentary Internet access in every room, making it an especially good choice for families whose kids like to be connected at all times.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: The hotel is ideally located for family visits to Downtown Aquarium, Children's Museum of Denver and Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park.

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For all its opulent grandness, The Brown Palace is a nice choice for families, especially those with children old enough to take part in the famous afternoon tea, for which there is children's pricing. There's also children's pricing for brunch and Ship's Tavern restaurant has a coloring-book menu. The Brown offers a Halloween Monster Brunch in October and breakfast with Santa in December. Older kids will also find the October ghost tours intriguing. The Brown nurtures a colony of bees on its rooftop, and honey produced there is used throughout the hotel, including at tea and in the in-room bath amenities. If kids get antsy while you're sitting in the eight-story atrium, tell them to search for the two upside-down panels in the ornate cast iron railings.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: There's always children's pricing for the Brown's famous tea and for brunch, and the hotel has special family-friendly events throughout the year.

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The Crawford Hotel
Photo courtesy of Crawford Hotel

Location is definitely a draw. Set within Denver's renovated Union Station, The Crawford puts families within yards of the station's kid-friendly water fountain and just above Milk Box Ice Creamery, a treat for the whole family. It's also walking distance to Coors Field and the Pepsi Center. In addition to other features, including an upscale, luxury ambiance, The Crawford is the perfect place to embrace Denver's history. Look for historic artifacts and pieces of art throughout the hotel and station. Guest rooms have a custom feel. The 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. When children check in, they get to choose a complimentary item from the hotel's little red wagon, and there's no extra charge for kids staying in parents' room.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Every young guest can choose a toy from the hotel's red wagon, plus the interactive water fountains and Milk Box Ice Creamery are just downstairs.

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Pretty much everything about The Curtis makes it fun for families. It celebrates pop culture with style, even a bit of flamboyance, and the effect is charming. Part of the Doubletree/Hilton family, the retro-hip Curtis makes you smile with its splashy colors, flower-power artwork and "personalities" assigned to each floor (the 9th, an ode to Big Hair, just might be our fave). Each of the 13 themed floors now features a "hyper-themed" suite, including a Startrek Enterprise suite and the Video Game suite. There are also three one-bedroom suites themed for the Rolling Stones, KISS and the Spice Girls. The Corner Office offers a well-priced children's menu and is the perfect spot to grab a bite before a show at the Performing Arts Complex across the street.Families can borrow all their favorite games, including Monopoly, Clue and Scrabble. Free Wi-Fi in every room adds to the fun.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Families can relive old-school fun borrowing the hotel's stack of board games and playing them in their super-cool themed suites.

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Though The Inverness is favored by business travelers during the week, it's also an excellent choice for active leisure travelers and families, especially on weekends and in the summer. Active families, teens and parents can all enjoy the golf course, three tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, hot tub and jogging paths. There's also a full-service spa. Located in south Denver, it's within easy reach of downtown and offers easy access to Colorado Springs, which has its own attractions.The Inverness, a Destination Hotel, completed a renovation in early 2015, giving it a contemporary and upbeat vibe perfect for today's well-traveled families. Within five minutes of the hotel are movie theaters, bowling, Fiddler's Green (where pop groups often perform) and other activities and attractions to keep families entertained.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: This hotel has a golf course, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools and it's within five minutes of an indoor skydiving adventure for all ages.

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The Ritz-Carlton brand, for all its luxury orientation, is also one of the most child-friendly hotel companies. Arriving children have their own check-in area and receive welcome amenities, including a Ritz-Carlton lion backpack and a scavenger hunt game. There's no extra charge for children staying in a room with parents, and the hotel offers the brand's Ritz Kids menu. For a special treat, parents can order s'mores and a tepee, complete with a featherbed, to be set up in the room (extra charge). Most kids, of course, decide the tepee is a fun place to sleep. The hotel has an opulent spa, and its signature restaurant, Elway's, has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence no fewer than six times.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Kids have their own check-in area and welcome amenities, and a tepee (with featherbed) and s'mores can be delivered to the room for extra fun.

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Grand Hyatt Denver
Photo courtesy of Grand Hyatt

An indoor pool along with rooftop tennis and shuffleboard make this a fun choice for families in the heart of downtown. The Grand Hyatt is a good choice for business travelers who want to bring family along for an add-on vacation after work wraps up. The AAA Four Diamond hotel has a welcoming vibe and the occasional special deal for families, such as packages that include a game at Coors Field during baseball season. For views of the mountains, book a corner king room or an executive suite. To get insight into one of Colorado's great passions, head down to Pub 17 where more than 50 of the state's microbrews are available in bottles or on tap, paired with a menu celebrating "high plains" culinary fare. For the little ones, Pub 17 offers a children's menu. And don't forget that the family pooch is welcomed here, too.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Families can request pool toys, including beach balls and water noodles, for a super fun time at the indoor pool--winter or summer.

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Families who want to be in fashionable Cherry Creek have a great choice in the JW Marriott Cherry Creek. The hotel doesn't charge extra for children staying in a room with parents but does offer kid-sized robes, rubber duckies for bath time, temporary tattoos and other fun amenities just for children. The hotel also puts shoppers within steps of fabulous boutiques and just down the street from upscale Cherry Creek Mall, so why not combine a stay here with back-to-school or holiday shopping? One of the most inviting activities for families comes on Sundays, when the hotel's restaurant, Second Home, has Pajama Brunch at which kids under age eight can eat for free--but only if they're wearing their PJs!

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Pajama Brunch Sundays--when pajama-wearing kids age 8 and younger eat free in the hotel's Second Home restaurant--are a kick and a budget bonus.

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Kids and goldfish are a natural combo, and that's exactly what you get here--your own goldfish to keep you and the kids company while you're staying in the hotel. With its LoDo location walking distance from restaurants, shops, Coors Field and more, Hotel Monaco is a stylish choice for families. Even the family pooch is welcomed here. The Monaco melds contemporary and western style with panache, providing a fashionable boutique retreat in the heart of the city. In keeping with the hotel's wellness and fitness bent, families can request bikes for exploring, which are loaned free. At day's end, families can join fellow guests at the complimentary evening wine reception, which includes juices for kids. On request, the hotel will set up Wii during social hour so kids can play while parents relax. Panzano, the hotel's excellent restaurant, offers cooking classes and kids are welcomed.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver has adult and kid-size robes for relaxing at the hotel and bikes for exploring Denver--perfect for vacationing families.

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It's all about luxury and service, but it's about families, too. The list of family amenities is lengthy but includes arranging a tour of the pastry kitchen for kids. When young guests arrive, they find a welcome message with their name written on the bathroom mirror, to say nothing of cozy robes and slippers just the right size. Located in Denver's theater district, this is a good choice for families with tickets to a show. The hotel has a rooftop pool and a spa, as well as one of the city's popular eateries, Edge Restaurant, which offers plenty of items for kids, as does the room-service menu. If parents provide the names of their children in advance, the hotel will have age-appropriate amenities waiting for them on arrival. Staying over can be even more fun with a tent in your room, something the Four Seasons is happy to do!

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Every young guest receives an invitation to tour the hotel's pastry kitchen. In their room, they can lounge around in kid-size Four Seasons robes.

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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