Denver, Colorado is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.—a lively, metropolis surrounded by snow-capped mountains and filled to the brim with amazing things to do. While Denver may not be the first place that comes to mind for luxury travel, rest assured that this mile-high Western city can offer a luxurious experience across the board. From world-class hotels to top restaurants, Denver has got luxury travelers covered.
Where to Stay
In a sense, a city is defined for travelers by the hotels within its bounds. Denver’s hotel scene includes many of the finest hotel chains in the world. While luxury hotels offer the very best amenities, fine dining, and other upscale perks, you’ll also often find Denver’s best spas—another sure-fire way to up the ante on your high-end travels.
Chief among Denver’s luxury hotels is the Four Seasons located in the heart of the city’s theater district. You don’t even have to leave the hotel to have a full luxury experience. The EDGE restaurant located at the hotel is a steakhouse with a varied menu and a focus on fresh, regional produce that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Alternately, kick back in the EDGE bar or enjoy in-room dining. The spa at the Four Seasons is one of the best places to relax in all of Denver with a full menu of treatments for men, women, teens and couples.
The Ritz-Carlton Denver is another luxury hotel in town. The signature restaurant Elway’s serves steak and seafood in an upscale atmosphere. Even if you aren’t staying at the Ritz-Carlton, their spa is an excellent day destination with a café on-site so you can pair your experience with lunch. Treatments here are some of the most unique in town as the Ritz-Carlton’s spa integrates Colorado’s noteworthy microbrewery scene with a Hops n’ Honey pedicure or a microbrew massage.
If you like a side of historical significance with your luxury, look to the Brown Palace Hotel, built in 1892 and now part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Stay in one of the amazing suites, relax at the spa, dine at one of several restaurants or even take in high tea.
Where to Eat
Second only to where you stay on a luxury vacation is where you eat. Fortunately, Denver has world-class restaurants of all types.
Sushi Den serves not only some of the finest sushi in the West, but in the U.S.—so fine that the restaurant has hosted current and former Prime Ministers of Japan as well as the Japanese Emperor. Fish is incredibly fresh and flown in daily from Japan. Led by Chef Toshi, Sushi Den is a ritzy dinner spot with trendy, modern décor, but count on a wait if you show up without reservations.
Chef Frank Bonanno of Mizuna is known for his innovation with American cuisine. The resulting dishes will take you on a culinary journey worthy of any luxury trip, but Bonanno’s signature dish is lobster mac and cheese and it’s one not to miss. The wine list is also one of the best in the city, while the ambiance is intimate and cozy and not overly pretentious. Chef Bonanno has a few restaurants in the Denver area and another excellent option is his Zagat-rated Italian restaurant, Luca D’Italia.
Barolo Grill offers impeccable service, elegant and romantic décor, and a menu of Northern Italian cuisine. Menus change with the seasons and are patterned after the cuisine of Piedmont and Tuscany, Italy. The wine selection is also an excellent reason to dine at Barolo as the restaurant claims to have one of the largest Barolo wine collections outside of Italy, along with wines from Spain, France and the U.S.
Where to Shop
Denver has several shopping areas, but for a true luxury experience, a mall or shopping area needs to go above and beyond the usual run-of-the-mill chain stores. Denver has two such areas especially worth attention on a luxury shopping trip.
The Cherry Creek Shopping Center is the best place in Denver to find luxury brands. Shops from Burberry to Louis Vuitton to Ralph Lauren ensure shoppers will find only the finest. If you seek to spend the day out shopping, Cherry Creek also has several restaurants, ranging from fast food to casual elegance.
Situated among some of Denver’s oldest buildings, Larimer Square offers a different sort of shopping destination—one based in local shops and restaurants instead of chains. Expect to find unique fashion, jewelry and home décor items from local artisans and merchants.
Once evening falls and dinner and shopping are done, evening entertainment is in order. While Denver has many nightclubs and lounges that may fit the bill, an ideal pairing with an upscale dinner out is a show. The Buell Theatre is the destination for this purpose. Part of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Buell Theatre is the place to go to see musicals and plays ranging from touring shows to premiers. Also within the complex is the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and Boettcher Concert Hall, where you can enjoy an evening watching ballet, opera or the symphony.