Colorado’s modern hotels have transcended outdated tropes (paintings of stallions, cowboy-booted concierges) in favour of luxe accommodations which take more subtle cues from the region’s history. Here, three elegant examples that showcase the unique qualities of their respective hometowns, effectively allowing the charm of the West speak for itself.
The Mining Exchange, Colorado Springs
Originally built in 1902 to house the mining stock exchange (imagine Wall Street with freshly-mined gold), the dwelling has also served Colorado Springs as a bank, an office building, and, since its 2012 renovation, downtown’s most stylish hotel. Every modern space is sprinkled with history: the Platinum Ballroom still has a patch of its original tile floor along with new hardwood, while the hotel lobby, where guests gather on early 20th-century style chesterfields for drinks, features a colossal bank vault door. If the hotel is an ode to Colorado Springs, its next-door flagship restaurant, Springs Orleans, is a coalescence of local history and the hotel owners’ Louisianan upbringing—serving sugar-coated beignets for breakfast and a savoury brie option later in the day. Strings of lights illuminate the courtyard between the bricked buildings, where guests and public alike congregate on clear Colorado nights around café tables surrounded by paintings of jazz musicians and local scenery.
St. Julien, Boulder
Maybe it’s the mountain air or the smiles from locals passing by, but the atmosphere in Boulder is decidedly relaxed. Set against the famous Flatirons and on the edge of a quiet downtown, the St. Julien hotel reflects the city’s spirit in its local sandstone exterior and dedication to all things organic. Enjoy the elevated, earthy environment on the terrace, where musicians play before an unobstructed mountain view. The Spa at St. Julien is complete with an indoor infinity pool and 12 treatment rooms offering scrubs and wraps with herbs straight from the on-site garden—particularly luxurious is the spa’s use of soothing local arnica leaves in their restorative Boulder Re-builder treatment. Private dining is available at Jill’s Restaurant, where executive chef Laurent Mechin leads the kitchen, adding his French touch to the local and sustainable meals. Every Saturday, afternoon tea with seasonal selections from Tea Forte and fresh sandwiches is served in the open lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Flatirons, setting the elegant serenity that is quintessentially Boulder.
The Art, a hotel, Denver
The Art has been called the final puzzle piece to Denver’s Golden Triangle District—home to Civic Center Park and the city’s many museums. It’s a perfect fit: the angular glass and steel appendage extending over Broadway echoes the sharp architecture of the Denver Art Museum, while the pop-out windows mirror those of the public library. Inside, the hotel displays over 40 pieces of commissioned art, all hand-selected by the Denver Art Museum’s founding curator of modern and contemporary art, Dianne Vanderlip. Each guestroom floor is dedicated to a different artist; an original work greets upon exiting the elevator, while corresponding prints wait in the capacious modern rooms. Public spaces, too, are filled with curious pieces, such as Deborah Butterfield’s Otter, a behemoth of bronze often mistaken to be driftwood. The sculpture stands as a guardian of sorts between the fourth floor’s lobby and terrace, where folk gather into the night around a sleek, winding fireplace, craft cocktails in hand from the hotel’s Fire lounge. The Art creates an experience unlike any museum or accommodation—the ideal place to join in Denver’s celebration of the creative.
You know where to stay in Colorado—discover what to do.