Opulence and Luxury against the Backdrop of the Rugged Rocky Mountains

Denver has long celebrated its western heritage with upscale style. Consider the historic Brown Palace Hotel, which has been a retreat for the well heeled since opening its doors in 1892, and the Oxford Hotel Denver, fashionable accommodations for Colorado travelers that opened in 1891. Two new luxury options opened on the Mile High City's newly vibrant downtown scene in 2014, The Crawford Hotel and Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel, and there are more hotels already underway. The combination of Denver's rugged and dramatic natural backdrop and the superb service and opulent amenities and facilities of some of the top hotel brands in the world is a powerful one. Who doesn't want to indulge all senses at the Brown Palace spa or choose the refined service and amenities of the concierge floor at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver in between exploring the scenic splendor of the Rocky Mountains? And downtown is not the only choice for travelers who want luxury accommodations. Unlike some cities where luxury brands are clustered exclusively in the downtown or financial center, Denver's neighborhoods also offer visitors options. Most notably, there's Cherry Creek, one of the city's most upscale neighborhoods and its center for high-end-brand shopping. That's where the stylish JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek sits. And the newly renovated and upgraded Inverness, a Destination Hotel in south Denver is the quintessential urban resort, complete with an excellent golf course. Whatever your preference for urban luxury, Denver will accommodate you.


The Inverness, a Destination Hotel, completed a renovation in early 2015 that included updates to its lobby, entrance, dining outlets and more. Guests now walk into a sleek, colorful lobby space that's as contemporary as it is stylish. Among its inviting design elements is artwork by Colorado artists. Central to the new look, the lobby is an upbeat gathering spot for friends and colleagues as well as the place to check in. Though The Inverness is favored by business travelers during the week, it's also an excellent choice for active leisure travelers, especially on weekends. The full-service, luxury spa offers a space to utterly relax and relieve stress, while the J. Press Maxwell-designed golf course, open year-round, tests golfers of all abilities. The hotel also has two pools. Located in south Denver, it's within easy reach of downtown Denver and just a short drive to Colorado Springs.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: Recent upgrades and renovations have brought this already superb property to a new level.

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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 such highly regarded boutiques as Hermes, Mariel, Kate Spade and Garbarini, and it's just a stroll to a selection of cozy wine bars and fine-dining choices. But the JW also has its own diversions. Second Home offers a fun and sophisticated bar scene, or guests can gather in the inviting Living Room off the lobby or on the expansive patio with its cozy sitting areas and warming fire pit. For relaxation and renewal, there's the luxurious Antoine de Chez spa. The truth is, the hotel has everything necessary for a sweet getaway, making leaving to explore strictly optional. And while the Cherry Creek neighborhood has a pleasant, away-from-it-all appeal, everything the city has to offer is close by.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: Stylish and utterly fashionable, the JW offers excellent dining, gathering and relaxation options in one of Denver's most appealing neighborhoods.

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The Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel celebrates the past but adds a distinctive contemporary vibe, as befitting a hotel set in an historic building but opened in 2014. The hotel's architects and designers meticulously preserved many of the historic elements of the Colorado Bank Building, including 16 evocative murals painted for the bank in 1925. Guests 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 Colorado brews. At Range restaurant, the focus is on culinary techniques of the American West, from smoking and grilling to cast-iron cooking. Range also features a prohibition-style creamy ale created for it by Denver brewery Former Future, available only at the hotel and brewery.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: An architectural celebration of the past, the Renaissance Denver Downtown also exudes contemporary style.

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The Teatro, Italian for theater, is perfectly placed in the heart of Denver's performing-arts district and is as ideal for romantic weekends as for business gatherings. A renovation in 2014 resulted in several engaging new spaces. Among the most inviting is The Study on the lobby floor, where guests and locals can gather by the fireplace with friends to read and sip tea or meet colleagues for a power breakfast. Also new is The Nickel, an interesting restaurant concept where 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, and though there are many places within walking distance, a luxury SUV is available to shuttle guests throughout the downtown area. Sophisticated and exuding warmth and comfortable style, the 110-room Hotel Teatro prides itself on exemplary service.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: Hotel Teatro is an urban retreat classic style and uber contemporary sophistication meet.

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Magnolia Hotel Denver
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Hotel

The Magnolia Hotel combines old-world charm with modern style in a building that formerly housed the American National Bank.The Magnolia was restored to reflect the bank's original appearance, with terra cotta details and a replicated corner clock. The 13-story landmark is a boutique hotel that opened in 1995 with 246 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites. Each room features complimentary high speed internet access, a flat screen TV, oversized bathrooms with garden tubs, vanity mirrors, clocks with MP3 and iPod adapters and plush robes available upon request. The standard guest room provides a comfy king size bed and a high ceiling loft feel, while the larger one bedroom suites offer all that plus separate living and dining areas and a modern, fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: The Magnolia embodies the best of historic charm and an upscale, contemporary aesthetic.

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The Crawford Hotel
Photo courtesy of Crawford Hotel

Opened in July 2014, The Crawford is located in one of Denver's most highly recognized buildings, Union Station, a commanding Beaux Artes structure that has been meticulously restored. The hotel was integrated into the station, part of it on a second floor that was created during the renovation where there had been none before. This is the perfect place to embrace Denver's history; look for historic artifacts and pieces of art hung throughout the hotel and Union Station. Guest rooms at The Crawford 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. Crawford guests have access to the spa across the street at sister hotel, The Oxford.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: Almost hidden away in historic Union Station, The Crawford feels like a secret, luxury retreat.

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One of the newer additions to the Denver skyline, Four Seasons Hotel Denver is all about luxury and location. It's in the heart of the theater district and walking distance to many of Denver's top attractions and restaurants, though you may not want to leave the rooftop pool or the Edge Bar, where locals and guests can nibble on tapas and consider which of 50 wines by the glass to try. It goes without saying that each of the 239 guest rooms offers superb accommodations to woo even the pickiest of travelers, to say nothing of oversized windows for gazing out over the city and Rocky Mountains.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: The hotel's combination of superb location and exemplary service and accommodations make it a luxury standout.

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The Ritz-Carlton Denver evokes all that the name--one of the most revered luxury hotel brands in the world--stands for: Extraordinary creature comforts, high-end amenities, meticulous attention to detail and service that always goes above and beyond. Guests are greeted in the lobby with a hand-blown glass chandelier and cocktails are served at an opulent white onyx bar. Consider the hotel's essence-of-luxury spa, where services include the blissful waterfall treatment and, in keeping with Denver's prominence as a craft-brew capital, a malt scrub and microbrew massage. The Ritz-Carlton, Denver signature restaurant, Elway's, has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence no less than six times, and in addition to some of the best steaks in the city, the restaurant also offers elegant private dining. Luxury isn't just for adults. Young guests are welcomed at their own check-in area.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: The Ritz-Carlton, Denver is a stellar example all that the Ritz-Carlton brand stands for.

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Cozy and romantic, the Oxford Hotel Denver is one of the city's true gems. Originally opened in 1891, it's is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Oxford 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 guests and locals. The Oxford is across the street from Union Station and walking distance to Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall; for those who'd rather catch a ride, there's complimentary car service within a two-mile radius.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: This historic boutique gem has defined luxury in Denver for more than a century.

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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. The Brown nurtures a colony of bees on its rooftop, and honey produced there is used throughout the hotel, including in the in-room bath amenities, treatments at the spa and in a specialty craft beer served at Ship's Tavern. Not to be missed is the famed afternoon tea, where the rooftop honey is also served. Engaging 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 Luxury Hotels because: Miles of onyx, grand history, a luxury spa and to-die-for afternoon tea define The Brown.

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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