Colorado may not have a history of kings and queens, but what many visitors don’t realize is we do have a long list of incredible castles — some that you can tour or even spend the night in. And many of them are right in downtown Denver or only a short drive away.
From ornate Victorian castles to 15th-century-inspired Scottish, to luxurious mansions transformed into B&Bs, here are six ways to experience a royal treatment in the Rocky Mountains.
Stay in a Victorian-decorated castle, right in the heart of Denver, near Capitol Hill and City Park. The rustic, lava stone (quarried from Castle Rock) Castle Marne was built in 1889.
Even if you don’t stay in one of the nine beautiful rooms, you can plan a night out that is fit for a queen. Castle Marne also holds tea parties and candlelight dinners. Or for the most romantic date idea ever, let the castle arrange a picnic for you, featuring a roasted and chilled Cornish hen with raspberry glaze.
Cherokee Ranch and Castle
You won’t believe this building is in Colorado. The Cherokee Ranch and Castle is inspired by 15th-century Scottish architecture. This dramatic building features massive wooden arches and stone walls, with a view of the Front Range and Long’s Peak that seems to stretch out forever. Visit for guided hikes, teas, lunches and educational events, or book the castle for a unique event. Find Cherokee Ranch on thousands of acres of land in Sedalia — which may feel far away, but is in Douglas County, only 40 minutes from Denver.
The Patterson Inn
You won’t see many buildings around Denver that look like The Patterson Inn. This 19th-century senator’s mansion is built in Chateausque style. With its hand-carved staircase to its wrap-around porch, the Patterson Inn is an important part of Colorado’s history (it’s on the National Register of Historic Places), but it has been renovated to offer modern, luxurious amenities, too.
Stay in a suite here and you’ll be a convenient short walk to the capitol and downtown — even though the property is settled on a quarter acre of land.
The Dunafon Castle in Morrison (less than a half hour from Denver) was completed in the ‘40s, tucked in the lovely Bear Creek Canyon. The water of the creek flows around the castle in a semicircle —yes, moat style. Beyond the impressive architecture, the castle sits on 17 acres with private fishing ponds and a park.
Although you can’t stay the night here (some lucky duck actually lives here), charities can occasionally rent it out for fundraisers, and proceeds go to help other humanitarian causes.
The Holiday Chalet
This 19th-century mansion is right in downtown Denver. Beyond the dramatic ceilings, Victorian decor, cozy fireplaces and lush gardens, there are a few other features that make the Holiday Chalet unique. First, rooms are air-conditioned. Second, each room has its own kitchen and private bath.
And third, the Holiday Chalet is marijuana friendly. Travelers are welcome to vape in the room and smoke marijuana in the courtyard.
Capitol Hill Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn
The Capitol Hill Mansion a B&B right in Denver’s Capitol Hill is an impressive ruby sandstone mansion, built in 1891 in Denver’s “Millionaires Row.” The elegant, Victorian-style building has since been restored as a romantic B&B with eight well-equipped rooms; some even feature whirlpools, a fireplace or private balcony.
The National Historic Landmark mansion is a short walk to downtown, the 16th Street Mall, Convention Center and some of Denver’s hottest restaurants.