Home of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a popular choice for ski breaks (or snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, fat-biking and snow tubing) come winter, and hiking its peaks, prairie grasslands, forests and sand dunes in the summer months. Its picture-perfect, still lakes are conducive to canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding at all levels. But it’s not all about the diverse scenery and breathtaking landscapes. Visitors can check out cultural attractions in the capital of Denver, with its Art Museum, landmark period buildings, musical heritage and the mansion of Titanic survivor Molly Brown. Here’s where you should stay in Colorado.
Occupying a prime ski-in/ski-out location, the Viceroy offers upscale accommodations in Snowmass Village, just a little outside of Aspen’s centre. Ideal for families and those wanting to self-cater, rooms come with kitchenettes and there’s a daily programme of activities for younger guests. But there are also two eateries on-site – the fine dining Eight K Restaurant and a poolside Asian inspired cafe, Nest. After-dinner drinks can be taken alfresco, or indoors beside a roaring fire. The huge spa spans a total of 7,000-square-feet, incorporating plunge pools, a Vichy wet room, jacuzzis and a blissful relaxation suite. Outside, there‘s a heated saline pool with a fire pit and cabanas.
The St Regis Resort
This five-star establishment’s pool and outdoor hot tubs look out onto the hotel’s majestic neighbour, Aspen (also known as Ajax) Mountain. Rooms at St Regis come with opulent leather and marble furnishings, Bang & Olufsen sound systems, beds and desks custom designed by Ralph Lauren and 24-hour butler service at the touch of a button. All guests receive complimentary access to the Remède Spa, as well as free shuttles to town/the airport. They can dine in Velvet Buck and sip on outstanding cocktails at the Mountain Social. Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and daughter North, Paris Hilton and Uma Thurman have all stayed here.
An eco-friendly option, Hotel Jerome is set up with in-room recycling bins, filtered water in glass bottles, LED light bulbs, low-flow water systems and locally sourced edibles. 94 rooms come equipped with a yoga mat, Nespresso machine, a humidifier, complimentary minibar packed with decadent goodies and hand-blended Auberge toiletries in refillable containers. While this hotel is deeply chic with excellent apres, it’s also welcoming of families (there’s a games room and chargeable babysitting service) and dogs. Formal meals take place at Prospect restaurant or on the terrace (weather permitting), while the J-Bar serves bar food alongside tipples in a vintage styled setting.
If you’re looking for a party pad, this is it. W’s clubby Living Room has a silver-coloured DJ booth, in the basement, there’s a cocktail bar and the 39˚ nightclub, while the rooftop poolside WET Deck also features regular DJs after dark along with multiple fire pits. Bedrooms (ordered by the categories of Wonderful, Spectacular, Fabulous, Wow, and Extreme Wow) come with hangover kits, their own cocktail shakers to mix up the minibar and Bose speakers. The dining style at W is laid back but trendy – tuck into ‘trash bowls’, raclette, gourmet nachos, lobster and goat cheese ravioli and spiced cauliflower fritters with grilled peaches. The architecture of the W is a modern take on the traditional mountain chalet-style hotel.
The Little Nell
Arguably the hippest hotspot in town, this minimalist property is the only five-star, five-diamond hotel in Aspen. As part of the Relais & Chateaux collection, it has an incredible food and drink offer. Element 47 serves New American cuisine, with a choice of over 20,000 different wines to accompany the meal (guests can also tour the funky red-lit wine cellar). Lighter meals are offered in the firelit Living Room, at Chair 9 – the hotel’s late-night club venue – and Ajax Tavern. The rooms and suites have been styled by Champalimaud Design and all have cosy gas log fireplaces.
Hotel Clio, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Denver Cherry Creek
Those planning to hit the shops will appreciate this Marriott hotel’s location, in Cherry Creek North, close to the city’s top boutiques. Rooms range from sleek doubles with soundproofed windows to a Presidential Suite with two TVs, mountain views and an open plan kitchen/living/dining room seating up to eight guests. Try some Central and South American cuisine at the Toro Latin Kitchen & Lounge; here you can order from the ceviche bar, or opt for small and sharing plates, accompanied by hand-muddled cocktails. A 24-hour fitness centre is equipped with Peloton bikes and hydro rowers.
Four Seasons Hotel Denver
Rising 45 storeys, this building is a landmark on Denver’s horizon. Its restaurant, Edge, is at the bottom, allowing diners to observe and soak in the streetside downtown buzz. A spa occupies the third floor, with a salon, hot tub and steam room. While up on the rooftop, you’ll find an outdoor pool, a whirlpool and an alfresco bar — overlooked by a state-of-the-art fitness centre. The Four Seasons’ skyscraper houses 239 guest rooms decorated in an urban-chic contemporary style, with huge picture windows (book a suite with a freestanding tub for a bath with a view).
The Ritz-Carlton, Denver
Are you travelling for work? The Ritz-Carlton’s Central Business District location just 30 minutes drive from the airport, will be ideal. It boasts the largest standard rooms in the city and a complimentary house car to take you anywhere you wish (within a five-mile radius). Elway’s, the hotel’s popular steakhouse, is named after a Denver Broncos player and provides a true taste of Colorado. 202 bedrooms come with 400-thread-count Frette linens, Frette robes, coffee makers and iPod docking alarm clocks. The spa has eight treatment rooms with Tempurpedic beds (including a couples suite and bathroom, and a Vichy wet treatment room).
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection
Over a century old, The Brown Palace is especially popular with pop and rock and roll royalty, counting the likes of Taylor Swift, the Rolling Stones, Cindy Lauper, Metallica, Jon Bon Jovi and Pearl Jam among its past patrons. Instantly recognisable by its red sandstone facade, the building contains 241 bedrooms (whose showers tap water from an artesian well), a tavern, a cigar bar, a coffee shop, a fine dining restaurant, a high-end spa and a network of secret passages. Be sure to take its traditional afternoon tea, served beneath the stained-glass skylight of the impressive wood-panelled atrium lobby.
The Jacquard, Autograph Collection
Named after French Inventor Joseph Marie Jacquard (inventor of the automated looming process), this Autograph Collection hotel aims to “weave” together a top location and hospitable service. Sample local fare at its restaurant, Narrative, which has its own wine library holding in excess of 750 bottles. And drink cocktails with mountain/downtown Denver views at the chic Kisbee on the Rooftop bar; a patio area beside the bar accommodates the hotel pool (a swim at sunset is a must). Contemporary bedrooms at The Jacquard have floor-to-ceiling windows, sumptuous glass and marble bathrooms, fine linens and 65” TVs.
The Art Hotel Denver, Curio Collection by Hilton
Found in the Golden Triangle — a hub of the Denver arts community — the Curio Collection by Hilton features striking modern architecture, with a quirky silhouette and mirror-effect glass walls. The geometric facade contains a curated collection of artworks within, making it ideal for lovers of contemporary design. Even the fitness centre (named Art in Motion) follows the theme. Farm-to-table New American dishes are served up in FIRE, with creative cocktails mixed at FIRE Lounge and in The Living Room. Bedroom decor is mostly neutral, offset by bright accent pieces, allowing the original prints and canvases to take centre stage.