Colorado

9 Coolest Hotels in Denver: Craft Beer Brews and Rocky Mountain Views

Denver hotels come in all shapes and styles. Local writer Lauren Monitz takes you through 10 of the coolest options in the city.

“Wow, that wasn’t there when I left,” I thought to myself. A freshly-minted rainbow mural with some sort of bear has taken the place of a beer billboard. Before that, Instagrammers flocked here for the aspirational “You are Brave” proclamation. From the high-end sneaker concierge bar that lasted only a few months to the seemingly overnight manifestation of the Dairy Block micro-district, many of Denver’s major thoroughfares and facades have gotten a facelift.

Denver is growing by leaps and bounds and it’s hard to miss the distinct outline of a crane in the city skyline despite a brilliant Broncos-colored sunset doing its best to conceal the unsightly distraction. It’s a city that’s almost become almost unrecognizable to a local, yet there are touches of familiarity jigsawed among the new development. Our beloved sports stadiums, a few mainstay blocks like Larimer Square, its flags and lights swaying in the moonlight, and the distinct smell of marijuana mixed with the crisp mountain air lingers. But it’s the newness that drives growth, attracting new residents, visitors and looky-loos all wondering what that Mile High magic is all about.

Whether you’ve been to Denver once or 100 times, the city’s rapid evolution promises to surprise and delight with each visit. Whether you come for the brews or Rocky Mountain views, there’s no shortage of places to play and cool places to stay.

Hidden In Plain Sight

1/4

The Maven is hidden in plain sight within the Dairy Block, Denver’s newest micro-district. Wedged into an alley of artisan shops, with a food hall, and street art, this property is a reprieve for in-the-know locals and visitors with their finger on the pulse of the city. The street is wrought with unexpected encounters from interactive sculptures and poem walls to Denver’s signature murals and lighted pathway.

The interior was also designed with an artful eye featuring everything from swinging hall chairs on each floor to a collection of black and white photographs intended to feel like a photo album from your attic with a Black Mirror twist. Loft-style accommodations encourage creativity and relaxation with rooms that are uniquely appointed with everything from bunk beds to standalone soaking tubs, each a little different than the next.

The lobby is attached to the Milk Market, one of the new food halls with dishes crafted by celebrity chef Frank Bonanno ( think poke bowls and hot fried chicken) and a tiki bar they call a social club, inviting visitors to stay for a while. The interior is essentially one giant Instagram backdrop with tiling, furniture, and a giant hand (an ode to the tastemakers who sell their wares) dangling from the ceiling just begging to be photographed.

The Maven

Denver, 0.6 miles to 16th Street Mall
9.0 Excellent (1014 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
Pets allowed
Hotel CTA

Sleek and Sophisticated

1/4

Steps from downtown Denver’s cultural campus, the ART Hotel is a bit of a chicken and egg debate. The question is, which came first? Was it the gallery or the hotel? The fact is, it doesn’t really matter because one seamlessly blends into the other. You’re greeted by Leo Villareal’s 22,000-light art installation and dozens of other pieces curated by longtime Denver Art Museum veteran Dianne Vanderlip.

The interior is sleek and sophisticated from the blazing rooftop fireplaces to the dazzling chandeliers and thought-provoking sculptures like the molten bronze horse made to look like driftwood that greets you in the lobby. Home to one of Denver’s best brunch spots, FIRE’s slider-topped bloody mary is a full-liquid meal if you don’t spoil your appetite with the selection of old-fashioned candies in the lobby. With something to marvel at around every corner, you could say the property is living, breathing art.

the ART Hotel

Top rated
Denver, 0.7 miles to 16th Street Mall
8.5 Excellent (43 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Gym
Hotel CTA

Iconic

1/3

Denver’s most iconic hotel, The Brown Palace and Spa has hosted A-listers, politicians, and celebrities for 125-plus years. Its haute, white glove, four-star luxury boasts an award-winning spa, multiple chef-driven restaurant concepts, pet-friendly accommodations, and personal touches like tea service in the afternoon with honey sourced from their rooftop apiary as a harpist or pianist sets the mood.

Their Champagne Cascade is the way to ring in the holiday season in style, a tradition that’s endured for 30-plus years. Crowds gather to watch a master swordsman saber champagne down a two-story pyramid of 6,000 glasses under 100,000 twinkling lights as Santa and other characters mingle over an elaborate brunch spread.

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The Brown Palace And Spa Autograph Collection

Top rated
Denver, 0.2 miles to 16th Street Mall
8.8 Excellent (1916 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

420-Friendly

1/3

Despite being the first state to legalize marijuana, the rules for smoking in Denver are a bit hazy, shall we say. You can’t explicitly toke in public and many hotels and private residences also forbid it. So what’s a curious visitor to do?

The first openly cannabis-friendly hotel in the country, you’re allowed blaze on 16 of the in-room balconies at NATIV (albeit you still can’t smoke inside). If you’d rather not bring your own supply, the lobby coffee shop sells CBD-infused brews said to offer health benefits from mild pain relief to anti-inflammatory properties, which is an easy way to ease you into Denver’s green scene.

The sleek and sexy 21-plus property is also a happening nightlife hotspot. Stereo Lounge is an on-site nightclub with an optical illusion ceiling that looks seductively mirrored. If you prefer your late-night mischief to be a bit more private, you can actually order local microbrews on draft and “pourtions,” small bites conceptualized by Food Network chef Aaron May, right from an iPad in your room. Or you know, just in case you get a case of the late-night munchies.

Hotel Nativ

Denver, 0.6 miles to 16th Street Mall
7.6 Good (318 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.6 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
Hotel CTA

The Centerpiece of LoDo

1/3

Denver’s Union Station was a $500 million dollar renovation and a revitalization project years in the making. Now the centerpiece of LoDo (Lower Downtown), the functional train station is home to many of the city’s top bars and restaurants along with a place for commuters to rest their weary head — The Crawford Hotel.

Each of the three floors represents a different era in Union Station’s history from Pullman cars to the Victorian period. Over 600 pieces of local art are sprinkled throughout and self-guided walking tours are available for a spot of culture. They also offer guided history tours on weekends.

The Crawford’s location offers easy access to everything in town and an express pass out of town. But to encourage you to stick around and experience all the vendors in Union Station, you’re provided with a booklet for complimentary coffee from Pigtrain, ice cream from Milkbox, brews from Terminal Bar, and discounts at the retail shops. If you do want to see the city, though, their courtesy Tesla is also available to show you around in style.

The Crawford Hotel

Top rated
Denver, 0.7 miles to 16th Street Mall
9.1 Excellent (1552 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.5 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

"A Golden Era of Peace and Happiness"

1/4

The word halcyon refers to a golden era of peace and happiness, so it should come as no surprise that this boutique Cherry Creek hotel’s goal is to transport you to that pivotal moment of bliss. One of the top-rated Denver hotels, guests rave about Halcyon’s rooftop pool and the in-room record players.

The design aesthetic intentionally blurs the line between hotel and home to make guests feel extra welcome with doormats declaring, “You belong here.” Upon arrival, you’re greeted with either a handcrafted cocktail or coffee. Once you’ve had a moment to settle in, grab a bite from either Departure (helmed by Top Chef alum Gregory Gourdet) or Quality Italian, both the talk of the town.

Beyond already plush amenities, like a Range Rover to take you around town and locally-sourced toiletries, there’s a complimentary gear garage to power all your Colorado explorations. Everything from seasonal sleds and snowshoes to longboards and cruiser bikes are at your disposal. They also have full adventure kits to borrow with backpacks stocked with GoPros, cameras, binoculars, and Swiss army knifes to make packing for your day-trip into the mountains equally turnkey and stylish.

Halcyon - A In Cherry Creek

Denver, 2.5 miles to 16th Street Mall
8.9 Excellent (535 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
Pets allowed
Gym
Outdoor swimming pool
Restaurant
Hotel CTA

Playboy Colorado

1/3

One of Denver’s trusty staples, the Warwick was originally built to be the Governor’s Court and the first and only Playboy Club in Colorado. Unique touches like portholes to watch the bunnies swim and sun themselves have long been removed yet touches of history remain, a nod to the property’s illustrious past. Guests can still feel like A-listers with daily wine and cheese receptions.

Recently completing a massive, multiyear renovation, everything from the guestrooms to a heated year-round rooftop pool has been updated with a focus on showing off the surrounding scenery. The stunning sun deck, for example, offers rare 360-degree views of the mountains. The guest rooms also feature large private balconies, a rarity in Colorado, so you’re never too far from the Rockies even from the comfort of your bed.

Warwick Denver

Denver, 0.5 miles to 16th Street Mall
8.3 Very good (5805 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Gym
Hotel CTA

Spectacular Mountain Views Under Sparkling Lights

1/4

Denver’s newest luxury property, Le Meridien, was designed with chic European elegance in mind. Their Unlock Art program gives guests complimentary access to bike rentals and a number of museums and experiences around town from the Denver Art Museum to the Clyfford Still Museum. All you have to do is present your room key.

Corrine, Le Meridien’s on-site restaurant, was one of Denver’s most anticipated openings of the year and lives up to the hype. On the 20th floor, you can access Denver’s highest open-air rooftop bar, 54thirty. Take in spectacular mountain views under the sparkling lights and cheers to a weekend getaway in style.

Le Meridien Denver Downtown

Top rated
Denver, 0.1 miles to 16th Street Mall
8.8 Excellent (316 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Pets allowed
Gym
Restaurant
Hotel CTA

A Unique Downtown B&B

1/4

If you’re looking for more intimate accommodations, Castle Marne is one of Denver’s most unique downtown B&Bs. While never technically home to royalty, the palatial estate has had an interesting and eclectic past. Designed by William Lang, the same architect who created the home-turned-museum of Titanic-survivor Molly Brown, the illustrious property was built at the end of the 19th Century out of locally quarried Castle Rock Rhyolite. The elaborately carved masonry was once the largest building in Colorado and literally sparkles in the sunlight.

Each guest room is individually decorated. Your stay includes a gourmet breakfast, afternoon tea in the Victorian parlor, and a nightcap of fresh baked cookies.

Castle Marne

Top rated
Denver, 1.6 miles to 16th Street Mall
9.2 Excellent (454 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.5 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Air conditioning
WiFi in lobby
Hotel CTA

Feature image courtesy of Visit Denver