From the moment you check in, there’s no question the new Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek has careful attention to detail and is in a class of its own.
The registration desk is a full coffee bar that also serves up wine, champagne, beer and spirits — included in your stay. So you can sip a freshly coffee while you’re getting your room key and swing back by the lobby later to sip a whiskey in the lobby with other guests.
Halcyon, a modern-luxury hotel right in the downtown shopping district, has completely transformed the Cherry Creek part of Denver — from an upscale shopping and dining destination with a strong residential feel, to a destination for Denverites and travelers alike.
Behind these doors — and on top of the building — is where things are happening in Cherry Creek.
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Denver has a ton of hotels, but the expensive Cherry Creek area does not.
In fact, this is the first new hotel built in the neighborhood in more than 13 years.
This part of town feels totally local, with plenty of boutiques and local restaurants and museums. So it’s only fitting that a hotel here would feel like you’re staying at a friend’s house.
A really, really wealthy and hospitable friend with a high-end studio in Cherry Creek North, across the street from professional athletes.
That’s what Halcyon feels like.
It’s totally welcoming, with all kinds of services and quirks that you might expect at a buddy’s house, but not necessarily a hotel, like you can borrow a backpack or jacket for the day, take out a longboard or Vespa, borrow an old-fashioned camera — and they’ll develop the film and mail it to you.
The 154-room hotel also has a rooftop bar and pool (one of only a few in the Denver area) and two restaurants (the second slated to open this winter).
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Destination: Cherry Creek North
Cherry Creek North is home to some of the state’s best shopping and restaurants, and now travelers can enjoy it without having to worry about parking. Valet at Halcyon and explore the area on foot (including the high-end Cherry Creek Shopping Center). Or take out the free Vespa, electric bike or skateboard from the hotel’s Gear Garage. Halcyon even provides free transportation in the house Ranger Rover anywhere within a five-mile radius.
The mall is a highlight in Cherry Creek, but the shopping options are extensive. In fact, the region boasts almost 400 shops, galleries, restaurants and salons — the vast majority (70 percent) of which are locally owned.
That means plenty of unique shopping.
Other highlights include Hermes, Max Clothing Store (with some of the best designers in the world, such as Alexander McQueen), Heloise (a French kids shop), J McLaughlin (which advertises an “Ivy League flair”), Bloom (great for gifts and flowers) and RH Home (for all your home goods).
Beyond shopping,... it’s a close distance to the bike path, breweries, Denver Country Club and yoga studios.
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The design is modern, a little bit hip-retro, glamorous without being showy and artsy with a slight western touch.
Scattered throughout the hotel, you will find more than 750 pieces of art, created by more than 40 local artists, and curated by Denver’s Nine dot Arts. Each guest room has its own unique pieces of art, too, from vintage cameras to brass animals.
The standard rooms aren’t necessarily spacious (unless you have a multi-level suite), but they are smartly arranged, with dual-purpose furniture — like a coffee table that transforms into a desk — and little details and features in every corner. The oversized windows make the rooms appear larger and provide beautiful views of the city below.
Bonus: Rooms come stocked with a functioning record player and a stack of records to enjoy.
The bath is marble, with an oversized rain shower head, and features Côte Bastid bath products.
Rooms also feature an in-room Nespresso machine and an entertainment center that hooks up to your phone via... Bluetooth. Also in each room: Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora and Crackle.
Each level has its own little bar area with fresh fruit and a still-filtered water system, even hot water and sparkling water with the press of a button. You won’t find plastic and a lot of waste here. Rooms come equipped with glass water bottles to refill; refillable soap containers in the bathroom; and every attempt to minimize waste.
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Halcyon is currently home to one of Cherry Creek’s most hoppin’ restaurant and nightlife destinations, Departure Restaurant + Lounge, a modern Asian kitchen.
Details are carefully chosen here, too, from the décor to the menu. The sashimi is fresh and fantastic, or if you’re feeling fancy, try the caviar sushi.
Other favorites here include the sweet chili glazed wings (prepare to be surprised), the Big Eye Tuna Poke and the crispy whole sea bass served with green mango, chili-lime and cashews.
To top it off, try a signature cocktail, such as Long Division: tequila, aperol, lime, maraschino liqueur and sparkling brut rose’. Or the Tao of Tanuki: Takara Shochu, lime, watermelon, chili salt, basil and soda. Like Departure, these drinks are a bit daring and unusual — not something you can find everywhere. But they end up tasting perfectly smooth; they work.
Departure is headed up by celebrity chef Gregory Gourdet, a finalist on Bravo’s "Top Chef" show in 2015. By his side is... executive chef Khamla Vongsakoun.
Opening this winter: Quality Italian, a high-end Italian-American steakhouse.
The Kitchen Counter (i.e. reception desk) is another place to grab a drink and hang out. You can enjoy your complementary beverages with snacks, too.
Included in your stay: breakfast at Departure in the morning. The basic breakfast comes in a bento-style box, with fresh fruit, granola, yogurt and a croissant, plus juice and coffee.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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View From Above
One of the most exciting features of Halcyon is its rooftop deck, with a pool and hot tub and a sweeping 360-degree view of Denver — including the mountains. The heated pool is open year-round, although in warmer months, the u-shaped rooftop includes bar service and you can lounge on chairs and cabanas, around the pool and beyond.
Private rooftop cabanas include HD televisions, robes, bottled water, iced towels and more.
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The Gear Garage is one of the most unique features that goes a step beyond even exceptional service, onto a whole new level. It’s stocked with hand-picked toys, kits, outdoor adventure gadgets and more.
Snag an “adventure pack,” stocked (with everything from a GoPro to Frisbee to binoculars and a Swiss Army knife) and ready to accompany you on a picnic or hiking.
The garage also offers guests Bocce ball, fat bikes, board games, kits, Orvis fly fishing rods and access to the Pura Vida Fitness and Spa nearby. This club is considered one of Denver's top fitness and spa facilities.
Halcyon also offers its own 24-hour fitness center, and each room is equipped with a yoga mat. Guests also get access to the group exercise classes at Pura Vida Fitness & Spa, which include yoga, barre, Pilates and CrossFit.
Don't forget to ask about the garage's free learning programs.
For something unique, rent the antique Leica camera to take out on your adventure. Bring back the film and the... hotel will develop it for you — and send the prints to your home.