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Our Top Picks
Best Overall: The Brown Palace – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Not to be confined to a stuffy place for adults, the attentive hotel staff warmly welcomes families with young children."
Best Budget: Best Western Movie Manor – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"The hotel is a quirky, affordable destination in and of itself."
Best in Winter: W Aspen – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Offers modern takes on Ute patterns and furniture inspired by the decadence of ‘70s Aspen 'pleasure palaces.'"
"Guests can enjoy a 360-degree panorama of Pikes Peak to the north, the Rockies to the west and the plains to the east."
Best for Families: Devil’s Thumb Ranch – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"There is a heated outdoor saltwater pool and hot tub that are open all year, for guests who prefer to relax outside."
Best Denver: The Oxford Hotel – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"The hotel’s location makes it convenient to go out to local restaurants and see all that Denver has to offer."
Best Cultural Experience: ART – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"The 165 guestrooms all have clean lines and muted colors that showcase one piece of framed artwork per room."
Most Historical: The Strater – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"History lovers will appreciate room features like hand-stenciled Victorian-style wallpaper and lavishly carved walnut antiques."
"Guests leave the spa blissed out each and every visit."
Best Overall: The Brown Palace
As Denver’s first hotel, the four-star Brown Palace has hosted celebrities galore from Thomas Edison to The Beatles to Taylor Swift and even a whole G8 Summit hosted by President Bill Clinton. Ellyngton’s serves up the most lavish Dom Perignon champagne Sunday brunch in the city, while the award-winning Palace Arms is the hotel’s signature restaurant surrounded by Napoleonic antiques, such as Napoleon’s own dueling pistols. Not to be confined to be a stuffy place for adults, the attentive hotel staff warmly welcomes families with young children. Rooms are well lit and lavish, in categories ranging from a Classic Queen to the Presidential Suite. There’s a flower shop, a grand ballroom, a gift shop, a fitness center and a free car service that will take guests within five miles.
Best Budget: Best Western Movie Manor
This hotel is definitely not fancy, nor is it in or near a bustling town, but it is a quirky, affordable destination in and of itself. Every night from mid-May to mid-September, two oversized screens play movies that guests can see from their room, or they can drive their car a few feet to the parking lot for the full old-school drive-in movie experience. There are concessions offered and a metal playground for kids (or playful adults) that will bring up all sorts of 1970s and 80s nostalgia. Single-bed rooms are minimal but comfortable and have beds facing the movie. Rooms with two beds do not have a movie view directly from the bed but do have tables and chairs for movie viewing. The hotel offers a complimentary full breakfast that includes bread, cereal, fruit, hot eggs, yogurt, juice, and coffee.
Best in Winter: W Aspen
Aspen is an iconic winter destination for the global jet set, but not many new, notable luxury hotels had popped up until the W Aspen recently opened its doors. W Aspen features 88 guestrooms and 11 W-branded residences, along with four WOW Suites and one Extreme WOW Suite that can be a one, two or three-bedroom. All offer modern takes on Ute patterns and furniture inspired by the decadence of ‘70s Aspen “pleasure palaces” and the whimsical, playful nature of pop culture icon Bob Ross.
All of the accommodations come with sleek bathrooms, robes, a mini-fridge, coffee maker and fast Wi-Fi access. After a day on the mountain (the hotel offers ski-in/ski/out access), the place to see and be seen is the WET deck, Aspen’s only year-round, all-weather public rooftop. With panoramic mountain views, a heated pool, hot tub, fire pits, cabanas, full bar, dance floor, and DJ booth, the WET Deck was built to redefine Aspen’s social scene.
To give guests an exclusive opportunity, from November through April the hotel’s Ski & Snowboard shop rents and sells the hotel’s first edition series of snowboards, which were designed in partnership with Aspen’s own High Society Freeride and created by Denver-based Never Summer. Only 40 boards are made per season– 20 for women and 20 for men – and are available exclusively at the hotel. For a limited time, the W is offering a $150 incidental credit per stay for guests who bring their own board or skis to the hotel.
Best View: Fire Tower Suite at Cloudcamp
To reach the Fire Tower Suite at Broadmoor’s Cloud Camp, guests have to make their way up a seven-mile-long Cheyenne Mountain Highway, a narrow, unpaved series of steep switchbacks that climbs more than 3,000 feet to the mountain's 9,560-foot summit and ends at Cloudcamp’s main lodge. But Fire Tower Suite guests then hike up 145 wooden stairs that wind through a forested hillside, past massive evergreens and huge boulders, until they arrive at the 300-square-foot Suite with one of the most impressive views in all of Colorado. Guests can enjoy a 360-degree panorama of Pikes Peak to the north, the Rockies to the west and the plains to the east.
A comfy Double bed in the room gives access to incredible views of the valley below, and above the bedroom accessed by an exterior staircase is a private observation room with a desk, chairs, and telescope. A few steps below the bedroom is a private outdoor hot tub. Guests can hole up in this cozy retreat or head down those 145 stairs to partake in meals at the lodge, morning yoga classes, an afternoon cooking club, twice-daily guided hikes, archery and basket-weaving classes, and evening gatherings around a bonfire with S’mores. With advance reservations, Jeep tours, river-rafting, fly-fishing, and hot-air balloon rides can be arranged.
Best for Families: Devil’s Thumb Ranch
Set on 6,000 acres in the secluded Ranch Creek Valley, the Devil’s Thumb Ranch is less than five miles to Tabernash, the nearest town, but it feels like worlds away. Summer activities include horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, fly-fishing, zip-lining, stand up paddleboarding, archery, geocaching, and air rifle biathlon, while winter keeps guests of all ages entertained with cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, tubing, and riding fat-tire bikes along snowy trails.
The ranch provides a complimentary shuttle to Winter Park Resort. There is a heated outdoor saltwater pool and a hot tub that are open all year, and for guests who prefer to relax inside, there’s a game room, movie theater, and library with books and DVDs. Guests have many room options between The Lodge, High Lonesome Lodge, 15 private cabins with porches and The Bunkhouse, a self-catering lodge with 13 rooms (some with shared bath).
A massive stone fireplace is the centerpiece of Heck’s Tavern, the main dining hall in The Lodge that has an extensive kid’s menu. Hallowed Grounds Coffee Shop features home-baked goodies, hot drinks, and quickie lunches. The Cowpoke Camp is specially run for children aged five to 12 and allows kids to participate without their parents in a half-day activities session such as “Mountain Survival” or “Camping 101”.
Best Denver: The Oxford Hotel
Just a half a block from Union Station, three blocks from Coors Field, a 20-minute walk to the convention center, one block to 16th Street Mall and a 35-minute train ride from Union Station to Denver International Airport, the Oxford Hotel puts guests in the epicenter of all things Denver. The hotel occupies a circa-1891 building in Lower Downtown ("LoDo") and used to be Teddy Roosevelt's stay of choice in the Mile-High City.
No two of the 80 guestrooms are the same, but all have elements like antique headboards, rich drapery, clawfoot tubs, Egyptian linens, and beauty products from Le Mistral. Guests can book the Laws Whiskey Package for a guided tour of the company's Denver distillery, plus take home a bottle of the exclusive Oxford 1891 Batch #1 Four Grain Bourbon.
While the hotel’s location makes going out to local restaurants convenient, those who wish to stay in can eat from a menu of locally-sourced ingredients at Urban Farmer or get a nightcap at the Prohibition-era cocktail lounge The Cruise Room. Dogs are welcome with advance notice and a $50 pet clean-up fee; the hotel provides water and a filled treat bowl, a dog mat, and a large, custom Oxford dog bed.
Best Cultural Experience: ART
At 11th and Broadway in Denver’s Golden Triangle Museum District (with the quaint Art District on Santa Fe less than a mile away), the four-star ART Hotel is proud to have more than 50 works by artists including Edward Ruscha, Sol LeWitt, Frank Gehry, Kiki Smith, and Deborah Butterfield. The art experience starts with a dizzying light installation by Leo Villareal at the entry to the Portico Gallery. The 165 guestrooms all have clean lines and muted colors that showcase one piece of framed artwork per room and don’t distract from the incredible city and mountain views from the windows.
The clean white Italian marble bathrooms come with two sinks, a vanity table with a magnifying mirror, and a glass-enclosed shower with toiletries from Gilchrist & Soames from London. Happy hour is on the rooftop lounge, Fire, with individual fire pits at each booth—the perfect way to end a day of museum-going.
Fire Restaurant was inspired by words from artist Auguste Rodin who said, "The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire" – and the creative chefs here take the concept of food-as-art seriously. Courtesy cars are available for getting around to the museums and galleries and guided tours within the hotel are held every Saturday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Most Historical: The Strater
Louis L’Amour found the atmosphere at this landmark Durango hotel so inspirational that he often holed up in rooms 222 and 223 to work on his Western novels. While the former-mining town hotel has been open since 1887, it has been a charter member of the Historic Hotels of America since 1989. History lovers will appreciate room features like hand-stenciled Victorian-style wallpaper and lavishly carved walnut antiques – the hotel is basically a living museum and hosts the world’s largest collection of Victorian antique walnut furniture. Of the 93 uniquely designed guestrooms, the premium ones are the most spacious and elaborately decorated and come with a better location within the hotel and a small sitting area with a dining table in the room.
Rounding out the Wild West ambiance, the Diamond Belle Saloon has nightly entertainment including saloon girls and ragtime piano players. The hotel has been family-owned for three generations by the Barker family, and the current owner Rod has been known to give guests a tour of his favorite secret hiding places within the hotel building if he’s not busy.
Best Spa: Spa of the Rockies
Spa of the Rockies is an award-winning spa located right at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort between Vail and Aspen. Rooms range from standard to Deluxe, Kings to Double Queens to Suites, but all have a soothing earth tone palette and tech amenities, along with in-room coffee, a microwave, and a handy in-room refrigerator. Most guests come here not for the rooms, but to enjoy the healing thermal waters that the local indigenous used to call “Big Medicine." The iconic spa offers Signature Experiences that all include a complimentary foot ritual, therapeutic soak in the outdoor mineral hot springs pool and access to the Athletic Club (there is a pool over two blocks long!).
The spa has eight treatment rooms including couples' and group suites. Guests can try the 90-minute “In the Flow” massage with cupping based on Traditional Chinese Medicine or a “Magnesium Wellness” massage known for promoting deep, restful sleep afterward.
But the standout is the Native American ritual treatment, which begins with rhythmic tapping of the skin with willow branches before a mask of crushed corn and clay is painted on to absorb toxins and eliminate impurities. While heated basalt rocks rest beneath the client, a dry swaddling body wrap starts, then medicinal herbal compresses of spearmint and Echinacea are applied to alleviate inflammation and calm the nerves. This is all followed by a full body hydrating massage using fluorite stones and sage essential oil, leaving spa guests blissed out every time.