05 Jan Denver’s Newest Hotels: The Crawford & Colorado Bank Hotel
Denver tourism is on fire and has a slate of new hotels to prove it. Two of the most notable are the Crawford Hotel, which anchors the newly renovated Union Station and a Renaissance hotel inside a former bank designed in 1915. Both four star hotel hot spots maintain history while staying up to speed with modern amenities.
Inside the Crawford Hotel, guests will find several room options that include Pullman Guest Rooms, which take after luxury train sleeping cars and also spacious loft style rooms that are dramatically geometric and show off exposed wooden beams. Inside these rooms, find a mini bar and kitchen table set amid red brick walls. Big time touches in all rooms include rain showers and claw foot tubs along with iPads where you can surf the web, set an alarm or most importantly… order room service from Snooze. Or, head out for breakfast in a Tesla, which is part of the complimentary car service.
Without walking outside, you are steps away from nightlife and shops. One of the top spots for grub is Stoic & Genuine, where fresh seafood is flown in from both coasts and Japanese fish markets daily. The restaurant is another concept from Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch (Euclid Hall, Rioja and Bistro Vendome) and chef de cuisine, Jorel Pierce. Top menu picks are the New England Lobster roll- a splurge at nearly 20 bucks but is packed with plenty of the good stuff- and also the surf and turf that is wonderfully different than any other spot. This one infuses a skirt steak and tuna pico into one, making each bite the perfect bite, especially with the jalapeño cream sauce served on the side. The lobster tower is also a must for seafood lovers who can’t choose between rotating flavors of oysters, Maine Lobster, caviar and Wild Mexican Shrimp. The nautical theme restaurant features pops of teal and dark wooden beams and bar along with fishing net glass floats encased in walls. For drinks try a Granita or hold off on the spirits and try it as a slushy dessert. Expert Tip: Grab a spot at the Raw Bar and watch chefs prepare these classic menu items.
For drinks in an atmosphere quieter than the Terminal Bar, head to the opulent Cooper Lounge, which is similar to a prohibition lounge of the 1930’s and is modeled from ones aristocrats and movie stars once frequented. Second floor views to the West show Amtrak trains coming and going and views to the East overlook all of lower downtown. The room is geared toward conversation with lounge style seating. Choose from high-end cocktails or from the extensive wine list. Order small bites like Shrimp Cocktail and oysters prepared by Stoic & Genuine.
Another home run hitter for historic building turned chic is the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel, which sits inside the Colorado National Bank building. Guests are captivated right from the start with an imaginative and energetic lobby with pops of color and plenty of seating pods. Check in desks are former teller stations and marble from the Colorado Yule Marble Company is featured throughout the hotel—it’s the same stuff used to build the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Choose from 5 room types that range from the most affordable standard guest rooms to the most upscale R-Suites. Guests who upgrade to club level have access to breakfast and h’orderves in the evening.
History buffs should take note of the Smartphone tour that educates guests on the history of banking in Colorado and takes them through the hotel’s artwork, including sixteen restored original murals originally painted for the Colorado National Bank in 1925 by iconic western muralist Allen Tupper True and curated modern pieces from local artists.
This is one of many hotels that have destination restaurants attracting locals and visitors who come just to dine at Range. Here, find “New American West” cuisine that focuses on wild game unique to Colorado. For the full experience, start with elk in a blanket before diving into the main course where bison short ribs served with cheddar girts and roasted veggies. Housemade cocktails like the South Side (Leopold’s Gin, Fresh Lemon, Mint, Simple Syrup, Lemoncello) focus on local spirits.