As Denver attracts even more residents and travelers, we’re seeing an increasing number of boutique hotels pop up around town. These hotels, typically containing around 100 rooms, act as the centerpiece for a local, authentic, and unique (read: Instagrammable) experience for out-of-town travelers and staycationers alike.
“Travelers today who are thirsting for the next great adventure don’t want boring, they don’t want average, and they don’t want touristy,” says Hotel Indigo’s general manager Amy Healy. “They crave experience—the sights and sounds of something new and different. Denver provides such a brilliant backdrop for those kinds of experiences, and we act as the catalyst.”
Here, we explore six new (and upcoming) boutique hotels that are redefining the Mile High City’s hospitality industry.
“The One with Everything you Need”
Opening: Late 2017
Design: Don’t expect this hotel to mimic the design of the Source. Instead, the Source Hotel will be clean and modern, with custom rustic touches (e.g. birch woodwork in the rooms), an indoor-outdoor focus, garage doors in some rooms, and a rooftop bar, pool and restaurant.
It’s about time that RiNo got its own hotel (two even), and who better to head the project than Zeppelin Development, a company that has already made a name for itself as a trailblazer in the neighborhood. This 100-room hotel will attach to the existing Source Market via an outdoor bridge that passes through a courtyard featuring native landscaping. Staying on theme, the building will be a mixed-use property, where visitors will find a second market hall with new establishments—including Smök, a new barbecue concept from chef Bill Espiricueta of Acorn and OAK at Fourteenth—as well as a New Belgium brewing outpost on the first floor. The roof of the eight-story building will also feature the Fort Collins-based brewery’s new restaurant/brewery concept, the Woods, as well as a pool to while away those hot summer days.
“The One With the Dog Ambassador”
Opened: January 2017
Neighborhood: Union Station
Design: Hotel Indigo is designed to feel just as warm and comfortable as your home, combining a rustic feel with modern touches, such as transparent glass, metal, and concrete. The developers behind the project compare Denver’s population growth to the Gold Rush, and as such the hotel’s architecture and art is set to reflect a “new age gold rush.”
Located near 18th and Wewatta streets, visitors to Hotel Indigo are greeted by Sir Charles Barkly, the hotel’s dog ambassador. This pet-friendly hotel has 180 guest rooms and is staffed by “Denver experts” to give vacationers the best local experience. While four-legged guests are treated to treats and walks around the LoDo neighborhood, two-legged guests are given the option to explore Denver through one of the hotel’s unique packages—whether it’s a brewery walking tour or a Rockies outing, complete with tickets and in-room baseball-themed snacks. The hotel’s partner restaurant, Hearth & Dram (located on the ground floor), serves wood-fired cuisine and more than 360 whiskeys, including some on tap.
“The One With All the Right Connections”
Opening: September 14, 2017
Neighborhood: Central Business District
Design: This will be the 17th Le Méridien (a Starwood brand) in North America. While some elements will align with the mid-century modern style of the chain’s other hotels, you’ll find local touches like the chandelier that mirrors the downtown street grid hanging in the lobby and alpine elements in the guest rooms.
While larger than your typical boutique hotel with 272 rooms, Le Méridien’s Denver location aims to serve the “thought-provoking, curious-minded traveler,” says Paul Eckert, the hotel’s general manager. Enjoy offerings such as the highest rooftop bar in Denver, 54thirty, an Illy coffee experience in the lobby, and a comfort food restaurant, Corrine, which will open onto California Street via a collapsible glass wall. But what really makes this hotel stand out is its large number of local partnerships. Each guest gets a unique key card that can be used to access hotspots across town, such as the Clyfford Still Museum, Laws Whiskey House, Renegade Brewing, and more. You can also rent a pair of wheels from the hotel’s biking program, Priority Bicycles, and enjoy B Squared’s rose-infused honey and cheese from Avalanche Cheese in each guest room.
“The One That’s Defining a New Block”
Opened: March 2017
Neighborhood: LoDo / Dairy Block
Design: With local art decorating the rooms and lobby, this urban hotel feels funky, sleek, and modern. The guest rooms feature a number of unique designs, including a baseball-themed Diamond Suite, bunk bed layouts, and expansive suites. (Bonus: Steal these decorating tips from the hotel.)
The Maven serves as the anchor for the new Dairy Block development, located where Windsor Dairy used to stand. The lobby’s large design has many places to sit, an airstream trailer that serves breakfast, and a pop-up gallery featuring local artists. Coming soon, the gallery will be replaced by other offerings, including a fresh juice bar, a flower shop, a local coffee shop, and a store with goods from Dairy Block vendors. Currently, the development is home to two Sage Restaurant Group concepts: Kachina Southwest Grill and Poka Lola Social Club, a cocktail bar with an expansive outdoor patio. Playing into its location, just a block from Coors Field, the hotel offers a number of Rockies packages that give you unique baseball-inspired rooms, tickets, and other special treatments.
“The One Connecting Guests to the Emerging Metropolis”
Opening: August 15, 2017
Neighborhood: Union Station
Design: Clean, crisp, and warm, you’ll find knotty pine accents between white and brown walls and one-of-a-kind custom furniture at this upcoming hotel, plus about 700 pieces of original art from Denver-area artists.
This 200-room hotel—developed by Continuum Partners and managed by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants—will continue the forward momentum of the Union Station neighborhood. Located on the corner of 16th and Wewatta streets, Hotel Born will host two restaurants—Citizen Rail, operated by Kimpton, is a New American eatery blending wood-firing techniques and modern cuisine, and Tavernetta by Frasca is an anticipated Italian restaurant from the owners of Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine. All the hotel’s elements are meant to showcase the robust energy, outdoor spirit, and sophistication of Denverites, through daily wine receptions, yoga mats in every room, and complimentary hotel bicycles. Plus, the proximity to the train station makes Hotel Born a convenient stay for business travelers and urban enthusiasts alike. “I think from the beginning we imagined the hotel as being something that really celebrates Denver,” says Mark Falcone, founder of Continuum Partners. “We didn’t want to transport them somewhere else.”
“The One Where Locals Will Go”
Opening: February 2018
Design: Housed in a brick building boasting a mix of urban grit and industrial design, the goal for the Ramble is that passersby won’t be able to tell if the building is 100 years old or brand new, according to Gravitas Development Group partner Ryan Diggins.
For the team behind the Ramble, creating the ultimate cultural experience means attracting locals. With only 50 rooms, hospitality will be a focal point, but other offerings will draw both Denverites and out-of-towners. The hotel’s restaurant, Super Mega Bien, will dish up Latin American fare from the owners of Work & Class. In the lobby, New York brand Death & Co. will open its first bar outside of NYC, while also doubling as a cafe. Expect to find a diverse set of programming and entertainment, such as live music, local film festivals, and Broncos viewing parties that fit with the RiNo scene. “A hotel done right can really be a cultural outpost,” Diggins says. “I would love nothing more than the Ramble to be a hotel 100 years from now that can capture the zeitgeist of the city and of the moment.”