CO Travel Guide
Denver, CO, is a fantastic little city, known for its historic hotels, proximity to the Rockies, and several world-class museums. Unfortunately, visitors had a hard time seeing any of those things when a giant cloud of marijuana smoke engulfed the entire city for three days straight this weekend.
Living up to its nickname as the "mile high city," 80,000 folks turned up in Denver to celebrate 4/20, unofficially known as national pot-smoking day. Though it's been a long-standing tradition, this year's festivities were particularly high-spirited, after Colorado's recent legalization of the drug.
Many globetrotting stoners planned their visit through My 420 Tours, a first-of-its-kind marijuana-themed tour operator that organized pot-themed activities, visits to dispensaries, and weed-growing workshops for its 200 participants. And it goes without saying that plenty of hotels got a piece of the pipe-puffing actions as well.
According to the My 420 Tours website:
"World Cannabis Week has an exclusive room block at one of Denver’s premier downtown hotels. This is a 4 star hotel and is the only downtown Denver hotel to have balcony rooms where you will be able to use cannabis freely."
Hotel Snapshots / Historic Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Amenities / Denver Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Autograph Collection / Hotel Water / → All Tags
Ask anyone in Denver about the city's oldest hotel, and they'll either point you towards the Oxford Hotel or the Brown Palace (technically, the Oxford opened a year earlier, in 1891, but in our eyes, they're both pretty special). However, in terms of star power, we think the Brown Palace wins out.
The hotel, which recently became an Autograph Collection property in September, has hosted every president since Teddy Roosevelt, with the exception of Calvin Coolidge and Barack Obama. And on the ground floor, the room that Henry C. Brown (the hotel's founder) used as his office is now a kick-ass cigar lounge named Churchill, with a customized humidor of over 60 cigars.
But our favorite feature about the hotel is the thing you see above. It's a water fountain, yes, but the story goes deeper than that.
Lots of new hotels are on their way to Denver (Renaissance, Aloft and a second Westin at Denver Int'l Airport), but perhaps the most exciting is a 112-room hotel opening in the city's iconic Union Station.
Originally built in 1894, the station is crowned with a vintage sign reading, "Union Station: Travel by Train" in giant red neon letters, harking back to the station's heyday in the 1920s and 1930s, when it was serviced by 80 trains a day.
Now, almost one hundred years later, Union Station is set to become a hive of activity once more.
Most of the 112 guest rooms will be housed in two pavilions attached to the main terminal. One category of lower floor rooms will be more on the narrow side, with a design inspired by the interiors of old Pullman railroad cars (cool!). Meanwhile, upstairs, another category of loft-like rooms will boast exposed brick, timber beams, and 17 foot high ceilings.
Best of all, the rooms will all feature double-paned windows and soundproofed walls to keep out any "choo choo" noises traveling up from the station below.
We're hearing another snow storm's coming in and that's making us want to cuddle up with something hot and body-warming (get your mind out the guttah!). A cup of hot chocolate would hit the spot, but not some old packet of Swiss Miss, which is all we have access to right now. Sigh.
So, we're doing what we always do, daydreaming about something decadent--namely the Haut Chocolat from the Four Seasons Vail where it's 9F. And boy, do they serve it up right! The ingredients arrives in a French ceramic pot and presented on a silver tray at the hotel's Fireside Lounge.
The drink is prepared tableside, and to make it thick and rich, your server muddles Valrhona chocolate with steamed milk, then pours the mixture over two giant hand-made marshmallows and a chocolate lattice that begins to melt from the liquid heat. But that's not all. Then it’s topped with whipped cream and chocolate streusel. Then they go OTT and add chocolate shavings and even more whipped cream. The price for this indulgence? $16.
We're thinking it's snuggle time now, don't you?
[Photo: Four Seasons Vail]
Hotel Amenities / Ski Hotels / Park Hyatt Hotels / Beaver Creek Hotels / Colorado Hotels / → All Tags
Ski at Beaver Creek Mountain Resort in Colorado, and it's hard to deny there's any hotel better situated than the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. Other Beaver Creek ski lodges and hotels can promise "ski in ski out" access, but none have Park Hyatt's backyard right at the base of the mountain, not to mention a front yard right in Beaver Creek Village.
You might expect uber exclusiveness given the hotels pristine location, but we recently discovered something unexpectedly communal about Park Hyatt Beaver Creek; free gourmet s'mores.
It was about 4 pm and we were coming in from our last run as the slopes were closing for the day. The sun was already on the move to set and we couldn't help but to notice the glowing fire pits at the Park Hyatt, just steps away from the Buckaroo Gondola. Why not wander over? It was far too picturesque and inviting to pass up.
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
We got a kick out of this blog post by comedian Paul F. Tompkins, who was recently staying at The Stanley Hotel in northern Colorado. Inside the room, he came across an ironing board, neatly stored in its own carrying case, with shoulder straps.
Thankfully, we weren't the only ones to catch the irony of placing a transportable ironing board in a hotel room. Click below to see Tompkins' hilarious commentary of the discovered hotel amenity...
BEER FLOATS. Yes, you read that right. BEER. FLOATS. As in, like root beer floats but with actual alcohol. Just because you've likely never had them doesn't mean they simply don't exist, and the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is proving their awesomeness by offering a variety of boozy combinations at their 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill.
Contrary to any sticky memories of past root beer floats, the Park Hyatt's beer floats will naturally arrive at your barstool with a bit more savoir-faire. Each beer, for example, is a rare or seasonal offering. Each ice cream and sorbet chosen for it is also something handcrafted and handpicked for ideal balance.
Hotel Rebrandings / Historic Hotels / Denver Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Autograph Collection Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
120 years after it initially opened (that's 1892, for any of you who haven't had your coffee yet), the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver has been scooped up by Marriott's Autograph Collection, which includes The Cosmopolitan in Vegas, The Algonquin in New York, and 30 others.
According to Denver Business Journal, Brown Palace is the city's second-oldest hotel (after The Oxford), and over the years has hosted presidents (Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Clinton) as well as big name guests like the Beatles, Oprah, Jimmy Stewart, and even Queen Marie of Romania.
If any of those fine people once counted themselves as Marriott Rewards members, we bet they're kicking themselves now!
As it turns out, Dr. Kevin Schewe who developed a vitamin E-heavy skin care line called Elite Therapeutics that helps protect, maintain and repair damaged skin is a frequent guest at the hotel, visiting regularly from his practice in Denver. And pretty soon, he won't have to even bring his own toiletries with him on his next stay.
While Elite Therapeutics can be bought online and through a few retail locations, the line will be available to all guests of the Broadmoor after Labor Day.
Some call it “glamping”, but luxury tent camping is wildly popular, for those who want to experience the Great Outdoors in style and comfort. And when you can experience the wild sans endless transatlantic flight and precautionary malaria pill dosing? Even better? That’s why we were intrigued to learn about the September debut of Cresto Ranch, the new tented camp at Dunton Hot Springs, the restored "Ghost Town" turned resort area. Fall is a great time to visit this place near Telluride and the Colorado Rockies, as the weather is fair and the fishing is fine.
The camp consists of eight safari-style tents (they sleep two) constructed of cotton canvas and repurposed materials from the 1830's. decked out with a gas stove, bathroom, and even a lounging porch for late-night star gazing and views of the San Juan Mountains. If guests want to socialize, they can head to the main lodge, a 19th-century farmhouse that has been restored and fitted with a dining room, living room, and a wraparound deck.
Daytime means getting your Outward Bound spirit in gear and taking advantage of the surrounding 1,600 acre playground. Go river rafting, hop on a horse, a mountain bike, or take a hike, but if you prefer less strenuous activities that keep the “glam” in “glamping” take advantage of the free access to Dunton Hot Springs’ Bath House for a muscle-melting dip in the outdoor hot springs, hit the spa, or sign up for a photography lesson. Or, one can pay respect to Mother Nature’s fruits of the earth during a tour of the resort’s very own winery—Sutcliffe Vineyards—and end with a tasting, of course. Most likely you’ll see more of those grapes when dining family-style in the old Saloon restaurant.
Rates are $1,400 per night (kids 12 and younger pay just $200 a night, under 2s are free) and includes all meals,beverages, and most activities.
[Photo: Dunton Hot Springs]
Ahhh...we all remember what it's like to be young and in love on a cross-country road-trip staying in a different hotel each night. Or maybe not. For those of you who never got the chance to drive across America after college, we've got a special Summer Road Trip series from Teddy Worcester, a recent Wheaton College grad who's making his way out to San Fran for a tech job. Along the way, he's hitting up about six hotels and reporting back to us on each one. So grab your iced beverage of choice, settle into your lawn chair and let the sprinkler run.
We rolled into Denver Friday night after staying in St. Louis with college friends for the night. We had intended to tent out both Friday and Saturday nights in Boulder but we ultimately decided that after 13 hours on the road that day and 40 hours total of driving that week, we would snag a hotel for another night before roughing it.
We used HotelTonight yet again to book The Curtis. The price, $81 including taxes and $71 after using a HotelTonight credit. The uniqueness of The Curtis particularly appealed to me and the hotel is a Hilton Doubletree property, but you'd never know it, aside from the signature warm Doubletree cookies handed to you at check-in.
The way the rooms used to look at Hotel Jerome.
Come next ski season, the luxe Hotel Jerome on Aspen's Main Street will be sporting a totally new look thanks to an extensive remodel which should begin at the end of this summer.
The Aspen Daily News reports:
All 94 rooms will be refurbished with new carpet, wallpaper and amenities, along with overhauls of the lobby, dining room and ballroom. New offices and a new spa with three treatment rooms will be added to the basement.