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The “catbird seat” is an old turn of phrase implying a favorable position, and that’s exactly where RiNo’s new Catbird hotel is sitting. It’s a hip play-and-stay house at the convergence of Walnut and North Marion Streets, in the heart of the flourishing neighborhood.
The wedge-shaped building was designed by Shears Adkins Rockmore (SAR+), with interiors by Sage Studio in collaboration with DLR Group. The lobby and rooftop restaurant (the Red Barber) were conceptualized by OMFGCO and executed by Swan Dive Design Studio. The entire new hotel wraps around a historic, 1890s-era building that’s been reimagined with modern flair as a four-bedroom home, and renamed the Klee House.
Billed as “like home—but better,” the 165-room hotel is designed to welcome short- or extended-stay guests, with flexibility and adaptability built into each space. “We wanted to create a comfortable, original, and elevated experience that allowed us to fit all the components of a lifestyle extended-stay hotel into a 390-square-foot room,” says William M. Balinbin, principal of development at Sage Investments and executive team member of Sage Studio. “We believe that traditional extended-stay hotels lack character and soul, so we got our inspiration from well-designed residences, the world’s best lifestyle hotels, and multipurpose furniture seen in luxury yachts.”
With mod custom furnishings, sleek lines, and fun color combinations, the guest rooms have a whimsical personality. “We embraced color and texture to help make the room feel very residential,” says Balinbin. “The floors and walls lean white and crisp, and we introduced rich colors like the terracotta tray ceiling at the entry, the soft wood tones of the lofted bed, a blue denim trundle sofa, and kitchen cabinets [in either] a matte-black exterior with terracotta interiors or two-tone blue.” Kitchens come with induction cooktops and are stocked with modern cookware, local libations, coffee, spices, and other homey touches.
The move-in-ready accommodations are as smart as they are stylish. “We integrated a lot of ground-breaking technology into the rooms,” Balinbin says. “We are the first hotel in the world that uses a short-throw laser projector and blackout projector shade so that guests can have a fully immersive entertainment experience to watch their favorite movies on cable, streamed from Netflix, or mirrored from smartphones on a more than 100-inch screen.”
But the most impressive part of each studio room is hidden. Cleverly concealed beneath the lofted king beds are roll-out desk/table and wardrobe units. “We came up with a completely original idea that is patent-pending,” Balinbin explains. “The pull-out desk serves as both a worktable and dining table, and the two pull-out closets provide more hanging space than most apartments provide—and they also include drawers and cubbies.”
Up on the rooftop, the Red Barber restaurant is an indoor-outdoor lounge with stellar downtown and mountain views. An adjacent 3,300-square-foot entertainment terrace is equipped with fire pits, lawn games, garden gnomes, and plenty of casual seating.
The street-level lobby’s Catbird Kitchen and Marketplace also offers breakfast, snacks, and drinks. The plush-textured and color-rich lobby and library/den spaces are furnished in a playful contemporary style, inviting guests to relax or work in casual comfort. (Fun fact: The library and guest room shelves are stocked with books from Tattered Cover Book Store, and each one has a QR code so guests can buy a copy to be sent to their home address.)
This is a hotel that doesn’t take itself too seriously. NINE dot ARTS curated a lighthearted series of original art pieces—many including a nod to the catbird theme—that are scattered throughout the hotel. And a special Catbird Playroom is stocked with toys ranging from skateboards and picnic baskets to cameras and musical instruments. Catbird-emblazoned bikes and scooters are parked outside, waiting for guests to take them for a spin.
From its middle-of-the-action RiNo perch, each element of Catbird is designed to reflect the vitality and creative energy swirling through the neighborhood.
Rooms starting from $179 a night, plus a $20/night amenity fee. The Klee House is currently available for event rental. Find more information or book a room online