The thing about Denver is that there is always a plethora of things to do. Whether you are local or visiting, Denver’s LoDo neighborhood is a central hub of activity, food, and sultry cocktails.
Fall in love with Denver all over again, and treat yourself to a staycation in this premier neighborhood and check out five of the best boutique hotels in Denver.
The Hotel Teatro was built in 1911 as the Denver Tramway Building, renovated to become a hotel in 1997 and recently renovated with an exquisite modern vibe. The hotel is located just steps from the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Larimer Square, and the Colorado Convention Center, making it the perfect hotel to retire to after an evening of getting your culture on.
The onsite restaurant, The Nickel, incorporates seasonal ingredients from Colorado farms. They have a flippin’ charcuterie program, which features incredible meats and cheeses, such as Prosciutto Di Parma, Chorizo Secco, and Humboldt Fog cheese. If you feel like taking a walk on the wild side, their menu features exciting dishes such as the wild boar fettuccini, elk loin, and pumpkin pie ravioli. The Barrel Bar has a finely tuned cocktail menu featuring the Nickel Negroni, made with a gorgeous barrel-aged gin. Be wary; they are lethal – have one too many, and you’re at risk of salsa dancing on a street corner, screaming for pizza.
Step back in time at your stay at the Oxford Hotel, built-in 1891 – don’t be fooled; this hotel maintains its original art-deco stylings with modern renovations. Treat yo’ self to a relaxing afternoon at the incredible onsite spa or ask the hotel how to book a local food or ghost tour. The $30 amenity fee will hook up hotel guests with some wild perks, including an evening bourbon bar, one complimentary “Oxford Breakfast” at the Urban Farmer restaurant, and free bites at nearby restaurants.
The hotel bar, The Cruise Room, is Denver’s longest operating bar, opening right after prohibition in 1933. The wine bottle shaped tavern might look familiar – Jack White filmed his music video for “Would You Fight for My Love” here. Be Jack White. Order scotch on the rocks. Stare forebodingly into the distance. You do you, boo.
The Crawford Hotel is a hotel like no other. Nestled in the upper floors of Union Station, all 112 rooms are somewhat different, with fixtures, architecture, and artwork that celebrates the history of Denver with a modern twist. When they were renovating Union Station in 2014, workers found countless pieces of antiquity that the hotel re-furbished into artwork that adorns the rooms and hallways. My favorite is a particular piece that incorporates unclaimed baggage they found in storage.
With all the amenities of Union Station, you have eight different restaurants and two bars to check out. Grab brunch at Snooze (with priority seating for guests of the hotel), throw oysters down your gullet at Stoic and Genuine, or grab some stunning tapas at Ultreia. Hotel guests even get a free scoop of ice cream at Milkbox – don’t tell the folks still in line at its flagship in Highland, but this spot features Little Man ice cream. The Terminal Bar has over thirty beers on tap that you can sip while playing shuffleboard in the Great Hall. The elegant Cooper Lounge, the bar upstairs with a stunning view of downtown action, is a swanky spot with some of the best steak tartare I’ve ever had, and I still have dreams about their Hudson Hill Bourbon maple sour. This bar screams sexy. Be sure to call ahead to make a reservation!
The Kimpton Hotel Born is a new and stunning hotel located just steps from Union Station. The hotel features 700 original works of art from 32 Denver artists. Explore their collection with a tour map when you check-in, or head over to the Museum of Contemporary Art and get free admission by showing your hotel key. Hotel guests can sip wine and local Colorado beers at the daily social hour in the lobby or whip around town on complimentary public bicycles. The hotel combines an industrial, yet slick alpine vibe, and would be the perfect spot for a guys’ weekend.
The hotel features two restaurants, Citizen Rail and Tavernetta. Citizen Rail’s menu highlights incredible cuts of meat, all cured in their in-house dry-aging room. Most dishes are cooked over a wood-fire grill, and their 50/50 burger, made with brisket and short rib, will make you melt. Pair it with a fancy curated cocktail, and you’ll be ready for a night OUT. Get bougie at Tavernetta, an Italian bistro, and carb load on lamb ragout gnocchi or lobster tagliatelle and a fancy cocktail or glass of wine. Sign me up, baby.
The Maven Hotel is all about the details. This hotel has LoDo loft vibes, with elegant and luxurious features. The hotel is adorned with the most artistic mediums I’ve seen in a local hotel – all from renowned Denver artists. My favorite piece is located in the lobby, suspended from the ceiling; a jaw-dropping, wood worked hand titled, “The Quantifiable and The Ineffable” by Andrew Ramiro Tirado. After you check out all the stunning art, start your day off right with an exhilarating drip coffee, free for guests at Huckleberry Coffee. Located across from Coors Field, wind down with green chili nachos and an expansive margarita menu at Kachina Cantina after a baseball game.
Located in the same building as the Maven, the infamous Milk Market is a seemingly never-ending food court featuring sixteen different food and drink bars. Nibble on steamed mussels from Albina by the Sea, or stuff your face with a pork belly bao from Bao Chicka Bao. Slurp pappardelle bolognese from Mano Pasteria, or grab a campfire smores crepe from Fem Crepes. Whatever you’re craving, the market is yours for the taking! Run for the Roses is Milk Market’s newest jewel – an underground cocktail bar with themed undertones of luck and superstition and is stealthily located off the alley of the Dairy Block. Try your luck and chase those cocktails.
There is so much to explore in Denver; the food, art, and cocktails in this town are renowned.
Treat yourself to a staycation and fall in love with the artistic and culinary gems that the LoDo neighborhood has to offer.
And besides, with all that money and time you’ll save on air travel, the more you can splurge on delicious meals and a gorgeous hotel! You deserve it, babe.