Dynamic Denver has all the nightlife, big-name shopping and top museums of America’s better-known cities, but also 250 city parks and 14,000 acres (5,666ha) of spectacular mountain parks right on its doorstep. Dubbed the Mile High City due to its elevation above sea level, Colorado’s capital is home to artsy districts, foodie hubs and an attraction-packed downtown. You can explore it all from the city’s chic luxury hotels, where rooftop bars, heated pools and mountain views elevate the city break.
Kids will never want to leave this lavish hotel close to Larimer Square, as free snacks, a toy wagon, a DVD and game library, child-size bathrobes, pastry-decorating sessions and the use of a Nintendo Switch or Wii are all up for grabs. But grown-ups aren’t forgotten. There are free coffee and croissants in the lobby, a plush spa, a rooftop pool lined with juniper trees and free transport within 3mi (4.8km) of the hotel.
At this hotel in the Golden Triangle Creative District, cutting-edge art takes center stage. Curated works include a 1983 wall painting by Sol LeWitt and a Tracey Emin neon, while art buffs keen for more are steps away from Denver’s best galleries and museums. You will appreciate the in-room Illy espresso machine, bike rental, departure candy bag at check-out and the unmissable weekend brunch at sleek Fire, where buttermilk banana-walnut pancakes come with bottomless mimosas for $8.
This 50-room hotel in the River North Art District (RiNo) knows how to impress. Rooms have covetable midnight-blue walls, wide-plank hickory flooring, antique Persian rugs and a curated in-room cocktail bar. Downstairs, visit acclaimed pan-Latin restaurant Super Mega Bien or Death & Co, the second location of the wildly popular New York cocktail bar. Surrender to the lure of the ultra-hip RiNo, where converted factories and warehouses now house jazz bars, breweries and art studios.
Foodies will be in gourmet heaven at the Source, a hotel attached to two artisan market halls crammed with independent restaurants. Once the Colorado Iron Works plant, this industrial unit in RiNo is now a super-stylish retreat with polished concrete floors, custom-made wallpaper and bottled craft cocktails in the minibar. You can sample a New Belgium beer – brewed just off the lobby – at check-in, then hit the market hall for dinner. You’ll find Middle Eastern cuisine, barbecue dishes, pizza and more.
Sunset drinks don’t get more spectacular than at the Hyatt Regency, one block from the 16th Street Mall. Its 27th-floor Peaks Lounge is the highest lounge in the city, with uninterrupted Rocky Mountain vistas and flavor-packed cocktails made from Colorado spirits. You can work it off the next day at the hotel’s indoor lap pool and huge 24-hour gym or ask the fitness concierge for tips on the best jogging trails in the area.
For your very own slice of loft living in Denver, the Maven features floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies, modern art and understated urban decor. The hotel’s real trump card is its location in the Dairy Block, a micro-district in LoDo, with some of the city’s most in-demand restaurants and bars right outside the door. You can visit Kachina Cantina for scallop ceviche, fry bread tacos and artisan agave margaritas or graze at the Denver Milk Market, a food hall filled with handpicked local vendors.
Part art gallery, part hotel, the Kimpton displays more than 200 original artworks from 32 of Denver’s most talented artists, curated by the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Beyond the art, modern alpine interiors are given an urban makeover, with knotty pinewood canopy headboards, floor-to-ceiling windows and even an in-room yoga mat. Sociable types are well catered for, with coffee to go all day in the lobby and a complimentary happy hour each evening.
It’s hard not to feel at home in minutes at Hotel Teatro. Staff are friendly – there’s even a craft-beer concierge – and pets and children are welcome. Also, a courtesy car waits outside to drop you anywhere within 2.5mi (4km). Snuggle up in the Study, an inviting lounge where you can linger over cocktails and charcuterie by teetering bookcases and a fireplace, before enjoying dinner in the Nickel, an award-winning restaurant focused on the best local produce.
Not just a hotel but a Denver landmark, the Crawford is directly above Union Station, the city’s Beaux-Arts transport hub that opened in 1914 after being rebuilt following a fire. The luxe hotel reflects the building’s illustrious past with vintage artefacts, Victorian decor, vaulted ceilings and wooden beams, while Pullman rooms are inspired by the classic sleeper train cars. Just downstairs, you can try some of the tastiest dishes at some of the best restaurants in town, including raw oysters at Stoic & Genuine and blueberry Danish pancakes at Denver breakfast institution Snooze an AM Eatery.
Shoppers on a mission can visit the area’s stores moments after having breakfast at the elegant JW Marriott in Cherry Creek. The neighborhood is Denver’s shopping paradise, with hundreds of chain stores and independent boutiques alongside salons, galleries and upscale restaurants. On the weekend, start your retail therapy a little later, after brunch at the on-site Toro Latin Kitchen & Lounge, where eggs benedict, pork belly tacos and mini Belgian waffles come with bottomless margaritas or pear and lavender mimosas.