Pillow Talk: Between the Sheets of Life House Lower Highlands, Denver

A stay at Life House Lower Highlands will set you up well for the surrounding sights of Denver
A stay at Life House Lower Highlands will set you up well for the surrounding sights of Denver | Courtesy of Life House Lower Highlands, Denver / Expedia.com

The latest hotel hotspot from the Life House group brings affordable boutique style and bunk rooms to the Lower Highlands ‘hood.

While Denver’s shimmering skyscrapers, exploding arts scene and thriving nightlife are testament to the booming fortunes of the Colorado capital, Mile High City will always have one foot firmly in its Old West past. Nowhere sums up that spirit more than the latest addition to the Life House hotel family, with Western-inspired design and a Victorian-homestead feel that nods to the pioneers who once called the Lower Highlands home. Today, the hip LoHi locale is where you’ll find some of the city’s best bars and restaurants. Though, with foraged fare at veg-forward Wildflower, you won’t have to travel far for a good meal. Here’s how to plan a stay in Denver, using Life House as your base…

1. Life House Lower Highlands, Denver


A large bed in a large room at Life House Lower Highlands, Denver, with a large window view of a blue, cloudy sky
Courtesy of Life House Lower Highlands, Denver / Expedia.com

Surprisingly, this boutique hotel from the Life House group was the first such property in Lower Highland when it opened in 2020. An understated facade happily contrasts with what lies within – a sumptuous celebration of the city’s Victorian heritage, awash with vintage curios, floral motifs and plenty of theatrical flourish. Its pioneer-riffing cocktail bar has become one of the city’s coolest, while the adjoining restaurant has drawn all the right attention. Rooms fuse old Victoriana and the Wild West, with inspired luxury bunks for groups, borrowing from the original ​​Life House in Miami.

2. The Bug Theatre


Literally a hop, skip and jump from Life House Lower Highlands is this great community theater. It’s an intimate venue with a focus on independent and alternative performance, from stand-up comedy and live music to open mic and movie screenings. An ethos of accessibility means ticket prices are the lowest in town, while cheap popcorn and beer also add to its budget-friendly appeal.

3. Avanti

Restaurant, Mexican, American, Spanish, Asian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free

An aerial view of Avanti Food and Beverage, from which a large number of patrons can be seen eating and drinking from balcony terraces and bleachers
Courtesy of Avanti Food and Beverage, Denver
Built from repurposed shipping containers, this food-and-drink collective has some of the city’s best dining spots in one buzzing place. An industrial-chic-meets-hipster vibe sets the tone for good times in over half a dozen restaurants and bars serving gourmet pizza, pan-Asian and South American cuisines. Belly filled, grab yourself a spot at the rooftop bar and sip craft beer while soaking up fabulous views of the Denver cityscape.

4. Confluence Park


Visitors enjoy themselves in the shallow waters of Confluence Park, Denver
© dbvirago / Depositphotos.com

A stroll along Denver’s South Platte River should be on anyone’s to-do list when visiting the city. Where the river and Cherry Creek meet is the aptly named Confluence Park, with a network of cycling trails, green open spaces and a neighboring skate park. Kayakers are also drawn here to brave the rapids on custom-designed chutes, while on sunny days you can simply soak up some rays on the sandy riverbanks.

5. Queensberry Rules Coffee

Coffee Shop, Coffee

Milk is poured into a small white cup of coffee
© Fahmi Fakhrudin / Unsplash.com

While its name is a nod to the building’s notorious backstory of gangsters, gambling and boxing brawls, Queensberry Rules Coffee offers a calm and civilized environment for your cup of gourmet joe. They do a great line in avocado toast and vegan pastries, too, and their spiced chai is the perfect warmer on a chilly morning. Its peaceful atmosphere makes it a great spot if you’re looking to catch up on work, or even while away some time with a book.

6. Diebolt Brewing Company

Craft Ale Bar, Beer

The exterior of Diebolt Brewing Company, with a handful of people sat under umbrellas by roadside barrel tables
Courtesy of Diebolt Brewing Company

Denver has over 70 breweries, and this LoHi company is among the best. It’s a family-owned-and-operated microbrewery, with French ancestry and ties to Gallic brewing regions playing a big part in its output. Swing by the taproom to sample one of over a dozen curiously named brews and take some home in beautifully designed cans. Regular food trucks keep stomachs sufficiently lined for extended sessions.

7. Bacon Social House

Restaurant, American

The interior of Bacon Social House in Denver, with various tables set for four people, and a mural of a man holding a rasher of bacon
Courtesy of Bacon Social House

If your belly’s rumbling for some home-style American cooking, it will appreciate a trip to this popular red-brick restaurant. With pancakes, waffles, burritos and grits, their brunch menu is off the charts, and bacon lovers can order up a six-variety selection. An impressive choice of bloody marys and mimosas add to the indulgence, while cool mid-century interiors and a buzzy vibe have made this a real Denverite favorite.

8. Little Man Ice Cream

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream

The distinctive oversized tin can building that houses Little Man Ice Cream in Denver
© JPellgen

Housed in a 28ft (8.5m) milk can, you can’t miss this whimsical LoHi landmark and ice cream shop. Innovative flavors and generous portions make it a local favorite, with free samples, lots of toppings and vegan options, too. There’s plenty of shaded seating to enjoy your cone on a sweltering day and it’s open until late if you have an evening craving for something sweet. Their scoop-for-scoop policy also serves up donations of staple foods to communities around the world.

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