Planning the Perfect Denver Escape
November 20, 2013 | by ERIN LENTZ | Pursuits
A stay in Denver is best-spent at the historic Brown Palace Hotel and Spa.
With the mountains opening early, off-season has come and gone, yet as we prep for the holidays many Aspenites still head for the hills via I-70, weekend-ing in Denver for quick shopping trips and spa respites.
Enter the Mile-High City’s The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa (321 17th St., Denver, 855-559-8617). If you’re a fan of Aspen’s legendary Hotel Jerome (we can’t get enough of the new, mountain-chic Living Room, our go-to for happy hour), this Victorian Denver gem is a must. Built in 1892, its rooms are grand and spacious, with modern amenities, beautiful black-and-white tiled baths, and sweeping views of the city.
Considered the hub of Denver’s downtown financial and cultural district, a stay here calls for afternoon tea in the grand living room, presided over by the hotel’s brilliant stained-glass roof. As part of the Historic Hotels of America, take a guided tour and discover that every U.S. president, with the exception of Calvin Coolidge, has visited the property, and, also of note, soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (who once trained and lived in Aspen), tried to rappel from the roof during WWII.
Cocktails and live music hold court in the hotel's gleaming Atrium.
Three restaurants tout decidedly different vibes. One of the most formal restaurants in all of Denver (jackets optional for men), Palace Arms is a nod to the white-gloved days of the late 1800s, with seamless service and tableside ceasars and banana fosters. If on the hunt for more casual fare, Ship Tavern, outfitted in dark woods and maritime accents, serves big burgers, local brews, and seafood (the hotel’s very own artesian well is located 720 feet below the Ship Tavern floor), while Ellygton’s is a bustling breakfast hot spot.
The Spa at the Brown Palace is buzz-worthy, too. Try the Queen Body Scrub ($110), which incorporates the hotel’s house-made sugar honey, culled from the property’s own rooftop honeybees. For gents, a menu is curated specific to male treatments.
Ready to explore Denver? First stop: Great Divide Brewing Company.
Great Divide Brewing Company. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper put the city’s bustling brewery scene on the map, and 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of one of its leaders – the Great Divide Brewing Company. Claiming 18 Great American Beer Festival titles, this mainstay, founded by Brian Dunn, has 16 seasonal and year-round brews on tap. A current standout is the limited edition Peach Grand Cru. To heighten your buzz, 100 percent of proceeds from samples bought are donated to Denver non-profits. Cheers! 2201 Arapahoe St., 303-296-9460
Passport to Paris at the Denver Art Museum. Take a cultural sojourn to France with this exclusive show (on display through Feb. 9) at the Denver Art Museum.The three-part installation debuted Oct. 27 and offers Francophiles a sophisticated glimpse of French history, with works that showcase 300 years of French art, fashion, music, and lifestyle. The Colorado Symphony has created music specific to the show, with live performances held every Saturday at 1 p.m. 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, 720-865-5000
Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club brought back what is perhaps the most exciting nonprofit benefit in the Roaring Fork Valley, the 5th annual Audi Ajax Cup! Teams – comprised of AVSC athletes, current and former ski racing pros, and donors – competed head-to-head in a dual slalom race on Little Nell run on Aspen Mountain on Tuesday, Dec. 30. Onlookers and athletes were treated to the “hottest après party in Aspen” at the base with delectable bites and drinks from Zeno Aspen. The party continued at the St. Regis Aspen where AVSC raised funds for its programs and scholarships before the dance floor heated up with DJ Dylan.