Colorado is known for its alluring ski towns, designer shops and immaculate, modern lodging. However, some visitors seek out luxury stays that spur “old world” mystique and glamour—depicting a vibrant past. For our more inquisitive travelers, we’ve curated a list of well-to-do historic hotels in the Rocky Mountains and across this beautiful state.
Trust us, there are many amazing places across the country that exude beauty, glam and wealth. But for those who like to try something a little different, there are few places that boast a vibrant Wild West past like Colorado. With that being said, we’ve handpicked 5 historic hotels in the Rocky Mountains and spread across the Front Rangefor you to explore. These refined relics all do their best to preserve an addictive old-world charm and grandeur reflective of their early days. So, without further ado, it’s time to experience an awe-inspiring luxury stay at some of Colorado’s oldest hotels, which have been around since the late nineteenth century.
THE OXFORD HOTEL
The Oxford Hotel has a stellar reputation as one of the very first luxury hotels established in Denver’s oldest neighborhood, Lower Downtown (LoDo). Opened in 1891, guests truly appreciate the little details found throughout the property—from the original wrought iron, tile floors and wood burning fireplace in the lobby to the fact that the hotel still uses metal keys. Designed by Frank E. Edbrooke, a leading Colorado architect at the time, The Oxford was called “a city within a city” when it first opened because it was home to a barbershop, a library, a pharmacy, a Western Union Office, stables and a splendid saloon.
The Oxford Hotel
The well-heeled rooms depict a rich history while still providing modern amenities, and there’s plenty of areas for Denver-based business meetings or destination weddings. When it comes to dining, The Oxford Hotel is just a few steps away from downtown’s award-winning restaurants. Known for its custom farm-to-table menus, which are also available for private affairs on the property, the hotel’s Urban Farmer restaurant never disappoints. The Cruise Room is also located just off The Oxford lobby, which is Denver’s quintessential martini bar that originally opened on the day Prohibition ended in 1933.
Ed Blair, the Area General Manager over The Oxford Hotel, Denver Union Station and another popular destination, The Crawford Hotel, says one of the most desirable features of The Oxford is its amazing location in the heart of downtown Denver’s LoDo neighborhood. “The Oxford Hotel is proud to be Denver’s most historic hotel, offering the perfect combination of timeless elegance and modern luxury. We invite guests to ‘stay for the story.’ From the moment you arrive at our hotel, we want it to feel like a warm embrace that transports you to a classic age where high style and excellent service were paramount.”
The Oxford Hotel
From its extensive collection of Western art to a full-service fitness center and spa, guests come from afar to enjoy the Oxford’s curated schedule of nightly activations in the lobby, local live music and shopping events—as well as a complimentary Bourbon Hour where you can try the 130th Anniversary Label bourbon created for the hotel by Denver’s Laws Whiskey House. There’s no doubt The Oxford Hotel is a treasure trove of old-world goodies. True to any hospitality lover’s dream, much of the hotel has been meticulously designed to provide guests with an experience true to how it was back in the early times—with a gorgeous modern twist. For guests wanting to experience more of the Mile High City, courtesy transportation is also available within a two-mile radius of the hotel.
Located in the heart of downtown Boulder, Hotel Boulderado boasts luxurious comfort and regal service for anyone’s refined taste. Celebrating its 114th-year anniversary this year, this historic hotel accepted the first guest to stay on January 1st, 1909. Since then, the revered property has been a part of hundreds of love stories, celebrations and happy memories. “Hotel Boulderado has been an icon since 1909 when it became the first luxury hotel to be built in Boulder,” says General Manager Creighton Smith. “With the beautiful Flatiron Mountains as a backdrop, the historic hotel is in the heart of Downtown Boulder and is located within walking distance of the famous outdoor pedestrian Pearl Street Mall, hiking and biking trails, and fun local activities.”
Just as rich in history as it is in mystique, Hotel Boulderado has gone from being a late Victorian luxury to a fall in the depression to modernization to deterioration, all the way to its restoration. Thus, this historic hotel has been lovingly restored and preserved over time allowing guests to cherish the historic elements that still remain. From the replica stained-glass canopy ceiling to the stunning cherrywood grand staircase, it is certainly a picture-worthy property for a luxury stay.
“Known to blend classic Victorian times with modern mountain comfort, guests can choose from 160 hotel rooms, decorated in either one of two distinct styles—classic Victorian or modern mountain,” adds Smith. “Hotel Boulderado provides upscale lodging and has a reputation for being the perfect setting for weddings, meetings, and other events in its 10,000 square feet of dynamic space.”
Dining is also a memorable experience at the hotel’s on-site restaurant, Spruce Farm & Fish, as well as The Corner Bar, which has a relaxed atmosphere where guests can enjoy the dining room, loft and outdoor patio with classic American dishes. There’s also License No. 1, a 1920s-style speakeasy, where vintage liquors, craft cocktails and light bites are served with weekly entertainment from live music to comedy. Lastly, Hotel Boulderado is centrally located, just minutes away from the Pearl Street Mall, Boulder History Museum, Chautauqua Park, Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, Boulder Creek Path and Boulder Theater.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE GORGEOUS GETAWAYS & LUXURY HOTELS THAT WE ARE LOVING RIGHT NOW
THE BROWN PALACE HOTEL AND SPA
Welcoming guests since 1892, The Brown Palace is one of Denver’s grandest hotels. More than just a landmark, it has become a must-go-to-hotel experience attracting everyone from celebrities to politicians and distinguished diplomats. Interestingly, nearly all of the U.S/ presidents, since Teddy Roosevelt first visited in 1905, have stayed at The Brown Palace—and the property has even welcomed the Beatles.
The Brown Palace
As the story goes, founder Henry Brown had a vision for his hotel when he built it in 1892.
“He owned a large amount of land that is now downtown Denver, and in this small but growing town he had a vision to create a world-class hotel that rivaled the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, and the most technologically advanced hotel in the world. It is truly remarkable to think about how massive that vision was at the time,” explains Nick Moschetti, General Manager of The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa. “And how in executing his vision, Brown’s creation is still treasured 130 years later by people all over the world. We have been (and continue to be) visited by world leaders, governmental officials, celebrities, and those searching for a unique experience for more than a century. Our story is so deep and rich, and people continue to be drawn to it.”
The Brown Palace offers seven unique food and beverage experiences, including Ship Tavern, which opened shortly after the repeal of prohibition, and Palace Arms, a room adorned with artifacts from Napoleon’s army itself. Afternoon Tea is also served in the beautifully decorated atrium and will make you feel like you’ve been ushered into another age. Plus, there’s the Churchill Bar where you can enjoy a rare whiskey and cigar in a rich setting.
The Brown Palace
Of course, there are also modern conveniences such as full-service dining in your guest room, and a world-class coffee shop. There are 241 unique guest rooms and suites, six restaurants and bars, a spa, and nearly 20,000 square feet of meeting space. The establishment is pet-friendly and you can even take a guided tour of the hotel.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE STAY CENTER STAGE WITH WEST END HOTELS IN LONDON
“We offer historical tours multiple times each week, where our historian will show you the room the Beatles stayed in for their famous Red Rocks concert in 1964 at the height of ‘Beatlemania,’ and explain why each of our presidential suites are named after the presidents they are,” adds Moschetti. “We have endless stories to share, and our tours give you so much perspective about why there is nowhere quite like The Brown Palace.”
Once visited by Titanic survivor “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown, President Theodore Roosevelt and entertainer Liberace, the legendary Hotel Colorado opened in 1893 and has long been hailed as the “Grand Dame of the Rockies”. It has a vibrant past welcoming society’s elites, movie stars, notorious gangsters and a few U.S. presidents. There’s no wonder it’s been a Colorado icon for nearly 130 years.
Hotel Colorado is known for its impeccable service, modern amenities and well-appointed rooms; and is close proximity to world-class hot springs, skiing, whitewater rafting and a 16-mile, paved Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail for biking or hiking. The hotel also has a lot of packages to choose from to experience the best of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, which by the way, is only a 57-minute drive from Aspen.
There are more than 17 unique guest rooms with 19th-century Italy décor, and four delectable dining choices on-site. “While Glenwood Springs has much to offer its visitors including famous hot springs and a mountain-top theme park, Hotel Colorado is the central location that offers guests relaxation, an abundance of history and a truly unique experience during all of their adventures,” says Kaylyn Radden, the hotel’s Assistant General Manager.
Hotel Colorado’s extensive renovation is on-going and visitors can look forward to the new Copper Top bar this summer; plus the annual Lighting Ceremony this coming fall, which will host visitors from around the world. “We went from the ‘White House of the West’ to a Naval Hospital and even a local school. Now we host weddings, corporate retreats and a multitude of other events. We are more than a building in Glenwood Springs, we are a local institution and are excited to welcome our guests to become a part of our historic legacy,” adds Radden. “Visitors can expect to step back in time through our rich history, while also enjoying modern amenities. The stories and eras of Hotel Colorado are endless.”
TABLE MOUNTAIN INN
The charming Table Mountain Inn in downtown Golden, Colorado will surprise you to no end. Known for its rich Southwestern décor and warm hospitality, this unique historic hotel has undergone numerous changes in ownership, style and dimension since it first opened in 1925 as the Hotel Berrimoor. “The historic hotel was originally built with the intention of being a modern ‘up-to-the-minute’ luxury hotel and opened in 1925 with 32 rooms and a coffee shop. Since then, the hotel and restaurant has preserved the original Spanish style architecture and Southwestern elegance, while continuing to expand to offer 74 boutique-style guestrooms and suites outfitted with high-end modern amenities and a large cantina and grill on property,” says John Payne, General Manager.
Table Mountain Inn
Since then the hotel has operated under several names. The property eventually was sold and changed the name to The Cody Hotel to honor Colonel William Buffalo Bill Cody, whose memorial resides in Golden. In 1948, Golden Mayor Lue Holland purchased the property and renamed it the Holland House with the attached Holland House Coffee Shop. In 1991, Bart Bortels and Frank Day would give the landmark building the greatest overhaul Golden had seen, and they created Table Mountain Inn. The exterior was stuccoed, the rooms were gutted and completely rebuilt and the lobby and restaurant were recreated resulting in the elegant Southwestern décor now ICONIC of Table Mountain Inn.
In 1999, Table Mountain Inn built an addition to the building which added 42 rooms, guest parking and additional indoor/outdoor event space. Although less than 30 minutes from Downtown Denver, Golden makes you feel like you’re nestled in a charming mountain town.
Table Mountain Inn
“Table Mountain Inn stands out from the rest thanks to its warm Western hospitality and prime location at the base of the Rocky Mountains. This historic hotel aims to be the home-away-from-home for guests making them feel as comfortable as possible with spacious accommodations, thoughtful amenities, and exceptional customer service,” adds Payne.
The hotel’s restaurant, Table Mountain Grill & Cantina, is a delectable family and local favorite with vibrant Southwestern cuisine. The large dining space features Santa Fe inspired décor with an attached outdoor patio that is heated in the winter. Not to mention, the talented Executive Chef Michael Erickson has taken great care to research different Southwestern dishes to bring authentic flavors with a Colorado twist to his menus. Each dish can be easily paired with the restaurant’s expansive cocktail, wine and local craft beer options.
After a relaxing night’s stay and Santa Fe-esque dining experience, we can definitely say Table Mountain Inn is one of those “hidden gems” that you’ll want to experience for yourself while in the area.