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You don’t have to fight I-70 traffic or schlep your stuff through DIA to get away, thanks to these six new Denver hotels for every kind of staycationer.
- The Slate Denver
- The Berkeley Hotel
- Clayton Members Club & Hotel
- Thompson Denver
- The Rally Hotel
Read more: Inside Denver’s Best Boutique Hotels
Best for the history buff | Downtown
Students of the Mile High City’s past may already be familiar with Emily Griffith, the pioneering Denver Public Schools teacher who founded the Opportunity School in 1916 to provide free job training and education to “all who wish to learn,” as her institution’s motto promised. Now you, too, can walk its halls, still lined with original schoolhouse bricks, at the Slate Denver. Part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection of boutique properties, the four-story hotel opened in May 2022 after a renovation of one of the technical college’s early buildings. Guests can gaze out classroom windows in many of the 251 accommodations, and a wrought-iron staircase remains as an alternative to the elevators connecting various amenities, including a treadmill-packed fitness center. Pick up a copy of Griffith’s biography in the lobby convenience shop to read about her unsolved, national-news-making 1947 murder before you try to drift off. (The homicide happened near Nederland, so we don’t think the schoolhouse is haunted.) While the high-ceilinged standard rooms, which begin around $149 per night, are fairly basic, they offer history aficionados a convenient staging ground to explore more of downtown’s storied locales while also giving them an opportunity every pupil dreams of: to sleep in class. —Chris Walker
The Perfect Stay
- Noon: Ditch your car at the SP+ garage at Tremont Place and 15th Street, a few blocks from the hotel, for $16 per day (or pay $57 for the Slate’s valet service). Then walk to the Brown Palace Hotel for pub fare at its lobby-adjacent Ship Tavern.
- 2 p.m.: Stroll to the History Colorado Center ($15). Take in the top-floor exhibit on the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 before heading to the third floor to peruse the state’s history in 100 objects, including one of John Denver’s favorite guitars.
- 4 p.m.: After checking in, sidle up to the bar at the Slate’s full-service restaurant, Teachers’ Lounge Food & Drink, and order the Helles Lager from Tivoli Brewing Company, which opened in 2012 and operates in the same location (on the current Auraria Campus) as the original mid-1800s Tivoli Brewery.
- 6:30 p.m.: Take the D or H Line south from the light-rail stop at Stout and 14th streets to arrive at the 10th Avenue and Osage Street station in time for your reservation at the Buckhorn Exchange, a Denver institution since Henry H. “Shorty Scout” Zietz opened it in 1893. After you’ve passed a cape buffalo shot by Teddy Roosevelt and one of Annie Oakley’s guns on the way to your table, sample the Buckhorn’s infamous appetizer: Rocky Mountain oysters.
- 9 p.m.: The E Line northbound to Union Station, plus a short walk to the 91-year-old Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel, will transport you back to the art deco era of the 1920s and ’30s. The space feels even more like The Great Gatsby with a martini in hand.
- 10 p.m.: Catch the free 16th Street MallRide back to your bed’s plush down pillows.
- 8 a.m.: Fuel up for more history lessons with the Teachers’ Lounge’s School Day Breakfast: savory eggs, garlic potatoes, and a green chile biscuit.
- 9:30 a.m.: Check out before walking to the Capitol for your reserved 10 a.m. walking tour with Discover Denver Tours ($2 booking fee). Across 1.7 miles and 2.5 hours, you’ll hear about visionary politicians, scoundrels, heists (two!) at the U.S. Mint, and the saving of Larimer Square.
- 12:30 p.m.: Before you head home (and back to the present), savor lunch at LoDo’s Wynkoop Brewing Company, Colorado’s first brewpub.
Best for the shopaholic | Berkeley
You need not choose between things and experiences when retail therapy itself is your entertainment. And there may be no better place to shop until you drop—into silky Sheex linens—than northwest Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood, thanks to the March 2021 opening of the Berkeley Hotel. The diminutive new-build has 17 suites, many of which include private balconies overlooking indie-storefront-lined Tennyson Street. One-bedrooms start at $220 per night, but if you’re bringing along a gaggle of shopping buddies, two-bed options can accommodate up to six people each. Contactless check-in means you can save your patience for the dressing rooms, and ample closet space awaits your wardrobe additions.
But the real draw—and danger, to your bank account anyway—is the envy-inducing furnishings that just might spark your next remodel. Each bedroom features eye-catching wallpaper curated by Batya Stepelman, founder of Denver-based boutique WallTawk, and European minimalist kitchens from German design firm Bulthaup, with Viking ranges and Miele refrigerators, that will have you creating a Pinterest mood board. Luckily, all you have to do is walk downstairs and out the Berkeley’s luxe tile-covered lobby to start checking things off your list. —Ethan Pan
The Perfect Stay
- 12:30 p.m.: Tennyson has stores for every kind of spree, and part of the fun is wandering from shop to shop and chatting up the friendly proprietors. Can’t-miss staples, however, include SecondLove for femme-focused consignment togs, Berkeley Supply Co. for rugged-chic menswear, Feral for gear, and GHC Studio for pet accessories.
- 3:30 p.m.: Pick out a few Pét-Nat sparkling wines at 12-year-old Small Batch Liquors. The trendy, rustically produced style generally has a softer fizz than Champagne.
- 4 p.m.: Park your car in the hotel’s complimentary garage and use your room’s digital entry code to drop off your finds before taking those bottles to the Berkeley’s rooftop deck, where you can gather around the fire pit and watch the sun set.
- 7 p.m.: Clean up—and perhaps snip the tags from a brand-new ’fit?—in time for your reservation at Hey Kiddo, the wildly popular 12-table eatery (on the third floor of the Asher hotel) opened a year ago by the team behind the Wolf’s Tailor and Basta. Order the wagyu beef galbi and the grilled mushrooms.
- 9 p.m.: Down a narrow hallway, you’ll find OK Yeah, Hey Kiddo’s intimate back bar, where you can tell the bartender what you’d like to enjoy as a bespoke nightcap.
- 7:50 a.m.: Avoid the usual 20-minute line at Bakery Four by walking downstairs to the hotel’s buzzy next-door neighbor just before it opens. Grab a country loaf and Isigny Sainte-Mère cultured butter to pan-fry in your room’s gourmet kitchen.
- 10 a.m.: Make some (adoptable!) feline friends at the Denver Cat Company cafe ($12 per reservation) over a cup of drip coffee before checkout at 11.
- 11:30 a.m.: Have a corner of trunk space left? Fill it with high-quality skincare products from Heyday, which opened last year.
Best for the self-care enthusiast | Cherry Creek
Stepping into the Clayton’s lounge-y lobby, with its tufted sofas and pool table, feels a little like entering an exclusive club—and really, you are. In addition to 63 luxurious rooms that start at $269 per night, the nearly three-year-old boutique hotel offers a social membership option that grants access to a host of amenities otherwise reserved for overnight guests. That means you can indulge in stimulating conversations with a diverse group of local movers and shakers at club happenings such as wine tastings, drag brunches, book discussions, and trivia nights. (Check the online event calendar before booking your stay.) Or simply rub elbows in the Clayton’s workout facilities—which include machines, weights, and a studio that hosts rotating classes taught by instructors from Cherry Creek’s many fitness meccas—and in the sprawling indoor/outdoor co-working space with a daytime coffee bar and restaurant on the second floor.
The property’s crown jewel, however, is the rooftop, where chef de cuisine Ian Wortham, a Tavernetta alum, runs a beachy-chic eatery that churns out wood-fired pizzas and spritzes next to the pool, which has its own bar. Add in the three ground-floor, public drinking and dining establishments (all run by New York City–based restaurant group Quality Branded), and it’s easy to #treatyoself without leaving the property. But that would be a shame, given the Clayton’s location amid some of the city’s bougiest blocks. —Jessica LaRusso
The Perfect Stay
- 12:45 p.m.: Have an Uber drop you at the Clayton and ask the hotel to hold your luggage: Overnight valet is $49, and trust us, you don’t want to drive in Cherry Creek anyway.
- 1 p.m.: It’s easy to slip into vacation mode at nearby Ay Papi, a six-month-old, Miami-inspired bar with light nibbles, such as an heirloom tomato salad, and perfectly mixed mojitos.
- 2 p.m.: Head a few blocks east to Denver fashion mainstay A Line Boutique for the free appointment you made with one of the store’s personal stylists.
- 3:15 p.m.: Leave time for a stop at mother-and-daughter-owned Love Saro—where you can score an all-the-rage permanent (i.e., welded on) bracelet, anklet, or necklace—on your short stroll along Third Avenue to Facial Aesthetics. The medical spa has been peeling and injecting Denverites’ mugs for more than three decades, but if that sounds intimidating, book the HydraFacial (starting at $249), during which a certified esthetician uses gentle, wet-suction vacuum technology to purify and nourish your skin without causing redness.
- 5 p.m.: Check in and spend a long time primping—a blissful task, thanks to the rain showerheads, organic Grown Alchemist bath products, and plush white robes—before dinner. (Break out the heels; you’re not walking far.)
- 6:45 p.m.: Head down to Cretan’s, the first-floor wine bar, and pick out your own glassware and bottle of natural wine ($80) from the mystery fridge. No need to chug; you can take it across the lobby when it’s time for your dinner reservation.
- 7:30 p.m.: The tableside-fired kasseri cheese, beet muhammara dip, molasses-sweetened meatballs, and fish by the pound are standouts among Kini’s lineup of fresh Mediterranean fare. You may be tempted to dance your meal off to DJ-fueled beats at Chez Roc, the Clayton’s sexy on-site lounge, but save it for another time—you have an early morning.
- 7:25 a.m.: Claim your treadmill or bench for a HIIT class ($33) in the Red Room at celeb-favorite, LA export Barry’s a few blocks west. Preorder your $10 post-workout protein shake—it’s all part of the experience.
- 9 a.m.: After rinsing off back at your room, redeem the tokens you got at check-in for a Rebel Bread croissant and latte at the Clayton’s coffee bar.
- 9:30 a.m.: Weather allowing, head up to the pool, heated year-round, to claim a daybed and bask. Snowing? Escape to nearby, Tulum-inspired the Now Massage for an energy-balancing Healer treatment ($125 for 50 minutes) before checking out.
Best for the foodie | LoDo
In February 2022, the luxury Thompson brand debuted its first Colorado location in LoDo, helping drive the district’s culinary revival in a post-pandemic world. Chez Maggy, the hotel’s first-floor restaurant, is part of the fresh crop of cafes, bars, and restaurants inspiring locals and visitors to return downtown following years of drawbacks, from concerns about crime to construction on the 16th Street Mall. At Chez Maggy, Michelin-starred French chef Ludo Lefebvre injects his signature brasserie-style cuisine with a Colorado flair that yields elegant bites such as butter-drenched trout almondine. His creations are among the property’s many delicious assets, which also include a lobby coffeeshop and an upscale cocktail lounge.
When guests aren’t eating and drinking their way through the Thompson and the surrounding neighborhood, they can kick back in one of the 216 rooms and suites. We’re partial to the king bed corner room, which is equipped with a balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows (rates start at $299 per night). But all accommodations sport mountain-chic decor, such as saddle-leather headboards and brass accents, and pampering amenities the Thompson brand is known for, including plush robes and slippers, free-to-stream CorePower yoga classes, and Bluetooth-enabled Victrola Linden wood radios. —Patricia Kaowthumrong
The Perfect Stay
- Noon: Splurge on valet parking in the hotel garage ($59 per night) or take the train to Union Station, just a five-minute walk from the Thompson. For lunch, pop into Mono Mono Korean Fried Chicken on Blake Street for bone-in wings that are fried to a crackly crisp and tumbled in your choice of sauce, such as fiery mango habanero.
- 2 p.m.: Linger over a cocktail, such as the Bubbles the Champagnzee—a mix of elderflower liqueur, Champagne, soda, and lemon—while you craft a set of customized coasters or a leather flask at Upstairs Circus, a bar meets DIY workshop with more than 25 projects to choose from.
- 4 p.m.: Check into the hotel and then grab a glass of French bubbles at the horseshoe-shaped lobby bar. Or, if you’re there on a Wednesday or on certain Thursday evenings, join a Find Your Inner Rocker or Bitchin’ Stitchin’ session: expert-led guitar and embroidery classes complemented by libations.
- 6:30 p.m.: Arrive at Tavernetta, where the team behind Boulder’s Michelin-starred Frasca Food and Wine serves polished Italian cuisine. Must-order dishes include the fluffy focaccia, beef carpaccio laced with Grana Padano cheese, and any of the handmade pastas.
- 9 p.m.: Mosey back to the hotel and ascend to Reynard Social on the sixth floor. The bar’s alpine chalet theme is reflected in its playfully named drinks and cozy ambience. Unwind on a fire-adjacent couch with a King of Beasts cocktail: cocoa-butter-washed Johnnie Walker Black Scotch, vanilla, and citrus.
- 11 p.m.: Dive into your ultrasoft Egyptian cotton Sferra sheets, which are imported from Italy.
- 8 a.m.: Venture downstairs for breakfast at Chez Maggy to fuel up with Lefebvre’s play on the Denver omelet, stuffed with Gruyère, Parisian ham, and diced bell peppers and onions.
- 10 a.m.: Checkout is at 11, which gives you time to spin some tunes in the sixth floor’s listening lounge. Victrola, a 118-year-old turntable manufacturer that moved its headquarters from New York to RiNo in 2021, outfitted the space with record players and a vinyl collection.
- Noon: Lunchtime calls for one last indulgence: Mercantile Dining & Provision’s sandwiches and salads, produced with ingredients from local farms and ranches, in Union Station.
Best for the baseball fan | Ballpark
If you can recite the Colorado Rockies roster by heart, are the first to flip your rally cap when things get rough (OK, they’re always rough these days, but still), and really get into that seventh-inning stretch, then perhaps no one will appreciate the Rally Hotel more than you. Located across the street from Coors Field in McGregor Square, this modern hotel, opened in March 2021, is the ideal home base for baseball enthusiasts. Inside the 182-room retreat, you’ll find nods to the Rally’s neighbor that are both subtle (lamps made of smooth maple wood to resemble bats) and spectacular (the fountain in the lobby that sends baseballs swirling around a track). Be sure to peruse the Rockies memorabilia in the lobby before heading to the Skybridge Rooftop Deck and Plunge Pool for a view of the stadium you won’t find anywhere else in the city. During the summer months, you should enjoy pours and poolside bites from High Society, the rooftop bar and grill, but you can sink into the hot tub and soak in panoramic views of the city year-round. Before the game, throw back a pint of the Mile High Jinks, a beer with a smooth honey finish that’s brewed in partnership with Colorado Native just for restaurant and hotel guests. And if your single pour turns into three, don’t stress: It’s a four-minute stroll to Coors, so you won’t miss first pitch. —Jessica Giles
The Perfect Stay
- Noon: Take the train to Union Station, then make the short, two-block walk to the Rally at the corner of 20th and Wazee streets. You’ll save money on the valet ($54), and it’s easy to stroll to restaurants, bars, and shops from the hotel.
- 1 p.m.: Head to the Milepost Zero food hall in McGregor Square for lunch options and self-serve suds from a beer wall. We recommend a smorgasbord including the Tora Roll from Tora Sushi & Ramen, the totchos from Zeps Epiq Sandwiches, and a New York slice from Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta.
- 3 p.m.: In search of a new Chuck Nazty jersey? Swing by the Rally Store in the lobby to shop for fresh Rockies gear you can wear to the game. (If you don’t find your flair there, visit the Diamond Dry Goods Store on the first base side of Coors Field.)
4 p.m.: Check in, throw on your bathing suit, and hit the rooftop deck and pool.
- 6 p.m.: Head across the street to the stadium for a few pregame pints. The Rooftop slings $3 pours of Coors for two hours prior to first pitch.
- 7 p.m.: Take in the thrill of a ballgame at Coors Field. If the on-field entertainment is lackluster—which, let’s be honest, it might be—check out the interactive area, where you can try to hit a home run at a virtual Coors Field or test your arm in the speed pitch stall.
- 8 p.m.: Fuel up for the fifth inning with a stop at one of the stadium’s vendors. We recommend the Sandlot Brewery, near section 113, for crispy burnt ends, mesquite house-smoked sausage, and beer that keeps flowing past the seventh inning (inside the taproom, that is).
- 11 p.m.: Sink into your king-size bed and read a few chapters from one of the books in your in-room bundle, curated by Tattered Cover Book Store.
- 9 a.m.: Slide into a vintage booth at the OG, the Rally’s take on an old-school brunch eatery. Start with the signature doughnut sliders and then turn to eggs Benedict for a hearty plate sure to cure any hangover.
- 11 a.m.: Examine way more than just Rockies paraphernalia at the National Ballpark Museum on Blake Street. This private-made-public collection of baseball memorabilia shows off everything from turnstiles and seats to bats and scoreboards from 14 classic ballparks (think: Fenway, Ebbets, Comiskey, and the like).
- Noon: There’s no better way to end your stay than with an elk jalapeño cheddar dog from Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs at 22nd and Larimer streets.
Best for the art lover | RiNo
Too many Denverites think beer instead of art when they think about the RiNo area. And that’s a shame. A stay at Catbird could change their minds. Opened in 2021 in the northeast corner of the RiNo Art District, the boutique hotel has 165 accommodations—ranging from simple studios to a four-bedroom guesthouse—with a luxury loft feel. Save your cash for the surrounding galleries and book a studio; although it’s the most affordable offering (rates start at $150 per night), the room’s function-meets-form design is far more visually stimulating than that of your average Holiday Inn. The 390-square-foot space has a lofted bed over a closet space and a pull-out desk; a giant window that doubles as a backdrop for an HD projector; and a kitchenette complete with a stove, cookware, a sink, a microwave, and a roomy refrigerator. Outside your door, hallways and other communal spaces are lined with original works from local and national artists, including muralists Moe Gram and Daisy Patton, and tiny contemporary sculptures in the lobby spark inspiration even before you head out to immerse yourself in one of the city’s best art scenes. —Barbara O’Neil
The Perfect Stay
- Noon: Drop your car off with Catbird’s valet ($52 per night), rent one of the hotel’s Vespa scooters (included!), and zoom the mile or so over to Comal Heritage Food Incubator. The nationally lauded lunch spot, whose mission is to teach immigrant and refugee women restaurant skills, recently relocated to a warehouse across the South Platte River.
- 2 p.m.: Explore the surrounding two-year-old RiNo Art Park, home to 10 original murals by big-name local artists such as Kaitlin Ziesmer and Koko Bayer.
- 4 p.m.: Back at Catbird, it’s time to officially check in and ascend to the Red Barber, Catbird’s rooftop bar—open all year, thanks to heated tents—with sweeping views of the Denver skyline. Find your star sign on the menu of astrology-themed drinks, but we won’t judge if you stray from your constellation. We like the Scorpio’s boozy mix of vodka, gin, and prickly pear and elderflower liqueurs, which hotel guests can sip while soaking in the rooftop hot tubs.
- 6:30 p.m.: Once you’re ready for dinner—and art in the form of live jazz—embark on the mile-long stroll to Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club. The venue serves classic cocktails and a seasonal three-course menu.
- 9 p.m.: One block away, find late-night drinks and dancing at the Beacon, a two-year-old bar slash immersive art space. Its six unique areas, from a dance floor under a makeshift cloud to a room filled with LED orbs and mirrors, were created by more than 20 artists.
- 11 p.m.: Keep the party going back at Catbird via the hotel’s playroom, where you can borrow record players, Polaroid cameras, or board games for free.
- 9 a.m.: Free breakfast here means a made-to-order entrée and coffee at the Catbird Kitchen—so don’t sleep too late.
- 10 a.m.: Say bye to Catbird and hello to the Denver Graffiti Tour ($30, weekends year-round) you prebooked online. The two-hour walking adventure teaches you about RiNo’s street art and the neighborhood’s complex history of gentrification.
- 2 p.m.: Pick up a colorful teapot or eclectic sculpture as a souvenir from 17-year-old Plinth Gallery on Brighton Boulevard, the epicenter of Denver’s contemporary ceramic scene