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Here's a random video to make your day go by a little faster: A pilot from GoFast Jet Packs took a spin around the top of the Four Seasons Denver this summer as part of a training exercise. The flight lasted about 30 seconds as he lifted off, circled, and then returned to the hotel's roof.
We were certainly pumped to see this video, partly because we didn't realize jet packs actually existed and partly because it helped to draw attention to the Four Seasons, a hotel that has lived in the shadows over the past year as new hotels celebrated their openings across the city. Despite this, the Four Seasons remains, along with the Ritz-Carlton, the city's highest-end property. Right now, the hotel is in the process of redesigning its in-house restaurant, Edge, to be a little more, well, edgy.
The videos below show the stunt. The kid in us wishes that this experience will be offered down the line as part of a hotel package. Any takers?
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
As new hotels continue to open up across the city of Denver, the Hotel Teatro is not letting the new kids in town steal the entire spotlight.
This month, the hotel showed off its recently transformed common areas, including a brand new lobby and restaurant concept. The changes keep the marble and architectural detail of the original 1911 building, but definitely inject a sense of modernism. Let's take a look inside with some before and after photos:
Exterior of Denver's Union Station, location of the Crawford Hotel
If the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center has the most beautiful lobby in Denver, then the one at the brand new Crawford Hotel has the best buzz. Maybe that's because it's not really a lobby at all. Located in the freshly renovated Union Station in downtown Denver, the hotel sits above the main train terminal, home to ten bars and restaurants. If you're looking for a place to escape the vibe of the city, the Crawford Hotel is not the place to do it. As the newest refurbishment project in the city, Union Station has embraced the spotlight since opening in late July.
Dominating the scene in the "lobby" is the Terminal Bar, which, while having its own dedicated space, pours out into the terminal and offers about 40 Colorado beers on tap. Two shuffleboard courts sit in the middle of the main room, and a walk-up window allows easy access for those who prefer to have a drink in the common space and watch the coming and goings of the station. The rest of the restaurants and bars are located outside of the main room, designated by signs reminiscent of old-school train schedule boards, similar to the one below that marks the location of the Crawford's concierge desk.
Signs reminiscent of old-school train schedule boards hang on the walls of the terminal
One of the most unique things about the Crawford is that you can "go out" without really "going out." Sure, lots of hotels have restaurants in their lobbies, but most of the time, you feel like you're having dinner in a hotel. Because there is so much going on at the Crawford - and the fact that there's really no lobby - a guest instantly forgets they are in a hotel upon exiting their room. Eatery options range from small coffee shops to local favorites: Stoic & Genuine for seafood and raw bar, the Kitchen Next Door for farm-to-table fare, and Snooze, Denver's infamous "A.M. Eatery," known for its pancakes and Benedicts.
Monte Carlo Suite with King Bed
The Mile High City will have four new hotels opening this year, including the exciting Crawford Hotel in Union Station, so it's easy to see how an "older" property like the Hotel Monaco Denver could get lost in the crowd. And not just amongst competitors, but amongst its own brand as well. A few months ago, we learned that Kimpton will open its second property in the city next year.
But all hope is not lost. The 189-room boutique hotel was renovated back in December of 2010, and during our stay last week, we did not see any signs of aging. During happy hour, between the daily wine hour in the lobby and the crowd at the in-house restaurant Panzano, it was very obvious that the Monaco still has plenty of gas in the tank.
After touring the room options at the Monaco as part of our Best Room to Book series, our recommendation is the Monte Carlo Suite. Starting at $299/night during the summer, the upgrade will typically cost about $50-$80 more than a standard room. For that price, you get 125 more feet of space, which is mostly in the form of a separate sitting area with a pull out couch.
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It doesn't get much more Rocky Mountain than fly fishing for trout, andThe Broadmoor in Colorado Springs has launched an on-property fishing school to prove it to guests.
The fly fishing package corresponds with the opening of a new lakeside lodge on the Broadmoor's East Golf Course, which is decked out Adirondack style with Native American and fly-fishing memorabilia. The classes are offered year round on the docks surrounding the lodge and can be catered to any skill level on the art of fly-tying, casting, and approach. All the equipment is supplied, but if you're thinking about catching your own dinner, keep in mind the classes are catch and release.
A moose. On the loose. At a hotel called Antlers. Could this story get any better? Yes, actually, it can. It was a baby moose.
In news that surpasses even Norman the Scooter Dog in cuteness, a baby moose stumbled into the lobby of the Antlers at Vail hotel in, of course, Vail. According to a Colorado Parks & Wildlife spokesman (via CBS Denver), its mother probably abandoned it, then “humans chased it around town and it went into the hotel”. That’s a sad theory though. We prefer to think of it as a prodigiously gifted calf that read the word “antlers” and thought entering the hotel would be some kind of moose rite of passage.
According to the hotel’s Katie Nelson, having escaped from horrible children who were chasing it outside, the baby moose (mooselet?) lay on the lobby floor for 10-20 minutes – so long because the staff initially took it for a dog at this pet-friendly hotel.
Kicking off what is set to be a big summer for new hotels in downtown Denver, the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center, or as we prefer, the Ren Den, officially opened its doors late last month in the former Colorado Bank Building at 17th and Champa.
We knew to expect a sense of grandness given the pre-opening reports that the hotel would keep the major columns, vaults, and historical features of the building intact, but when we walked in for the first time last week, it was immediately clear that the hotel had done much more than simply overtake a historic building. No, this was something much more epic. This was the lobby that the local Denver press is referring to as the most beautiful room in city.
Despite being immediately impressed by how vast the room is and feeling small beneath its towering ceiling, it's all in the details at the Renaissance. Overhead, the Bank's original murals still hang, and the former safe, just off the lobby with the 62,000-pound door always propped open, has been converted into a meeting room. A drink at the lobby bar is an absolute must to take it all in, and be sure to take a walk downstairs, one floor below the lobby, to check out several other old vaults. Check out the photo gallery below to get a sense of the experience.
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If you live in the area or plan to pass through Denver next week, the JW Marriott Cherry Creek is going to be the temporary home for an exclusive showing of Impressionist & Modern paintings, American art, 19th Century European art, and luxury timepieces on April 22rd through 24th.
It promises to be a pretty impressive exhibit, featuring more than 15 pieces that include paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Moran, Camille Pissarro, and Norman Rockwell, plus sculptures by Edgar Degas and Henry Moore.
Put on in a partnership with Christie’s Fine Art, the collection is making a stop in Denver on its way to be auctioned off in New York City later this year. Believe it or not, the painting shown below by Thomas Moran, entitled "The Grand Canyon of the Colorado," was painted in 1904 and is expected to sell for $8 million. $8 million!
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Colorado takes its hot springs culture pretty seriously. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find them all over the Rocky Mountains. Some are family friendly, and some are clothing optional, as our bro Jaunted experienced.
At the tail end of the ski season, we took a swing down to Pagosa Springs in South Colorado. The area is known for getting the most snow in the state, and we made our home at the Springs Resort in the center of town. The 79-room hotel gives guests 24-hour access to 23 pools that have been built along the San Juan River which runs through the town.
There is always a risk that such development can lead to feelings of phoniness, but the Springs Resort did a good job of creating a spa-like atmosphere while retaining the scenic, natural beauty of the setting. You can see the river from almost every pool, and separate adult and family sections accommodate all. A soak in the natural sulfur water does a body good, and if you want to take it to the next level, you can get a spa treatment that incorporates the rich mineral water.
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Back in January, we asked the question, "When will the first Denver hotel openly allow pot smoking?" now that the state has legalized marijuana and today, we find out that a hotel is already in the works.
Except it's not a traditional hotel. But rather, a bed and breakfast which will be turned into a...wait for it...bud and breakfast.
Eater reports that a company called...wait for it... The MaryJane Group, Inc. has bought the Adagio Bed and Breakfast with the hopes of turning it into a "pilot project in the marijuana-friendly lodging industry." And...wait for it...the B&B will be all-inclusive!
Guests will have "unlimited food, drink and, of course, the best marijuana and marijuana edibles Colorado has to offer." There will also be an on-site chef available to cook meals to order as well as unlimited luxury transportation within Denver city with...wait for it...24 hour security. Here's the full press release if you're interested.
If this pilot project is successful, The MaryJane Group hopes to expand to other B&Bs.
So we gotta ask--Would you stay at a Bud and Breakfast? Sound off in comments below!
[Photo: Adagio B&B]
After celebrating its 50th birthday last year, The Lodge at Vail will give guests a present of their own in the form of significant renovations that will start in August and be completed in time for next winter.
Recent renovations remodeled the hotel's International Wing in 2008 and the pool in 2013, and now the remaining 56 rooms will be revamped entirely, including interior finishes, furnishings, soft goods, lighting, and the installation of air conditioning. The corridors, main stairways, and lobby will also get facelifts, the latter receiving new furnishings, textiles, paint, artwork, and lighting "designed to maintain the authentic character and cozy ambiance for which the boutique hotel is known."
The entire property will remain open during the renovations, but it is definitely something to keep in mind should you be looking to visit Colorado this fall. All improvements should be done sometime in December, so you should be safe in booking a January stay. We'll let you know if there are any major delays, and we look forward to checking out the property ourselves and passing on our thoughts once it is completed. Above are the renderings of what to expect.
The neon sign outside the Rochester Hotel in Durango, Colo. was definitely an interesting first impression, and even moreso of an eyebrow raiser when we saw it again upon checkout.
The Rochester was built in 1892 and is one of the oldest hotels in Durango. Once a 33-room boarding house, the current owners remodeled it into 15 king and double queen rooms. The original antiques and woodwork are still found in the hallways and rooms, but the hotel has adopted a Western movie theme based on films that were shot in the area. Think framed movie posters, film histories, and photographs in the hallways.
Despite the images that movie posters and out-of-place neon signs bring to mind, the hotel was incredibly genuine, feeling more like a B&B than anything else. It essentially was at the end of the day, with a free made-to-order breakfast included in the rate, and a little housekeeping trick that did a really good job of making us feel like we were a guest at someone's house rather than customers at a hotel: After it was made up, they left the doors of all the unoccupied rooms open.