Site Inspections of The Ritz-Carlton Denver, Hotel Monaco, The Brown Palace, and Hotel Magnolia
I recently had an opportunity to visit Denver before our vacation to a wonderful guest ranch (which you will hear much more about soon) and thought I’d take the chance to check out some
wonderful hotels. We were very fortunate to book a room early at the Ritz-Carlton Denver for the night as there was a beer festival going on that had the hotel booked to capacity. This is a very nice property located in the business district of Denver, but still convenient enough to walk to the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall and several nice restaurants. It was also a short walk to Union Station at the end of 16th street and a plethora of great eateries, bars and sweet shops for ice cream and tasty treats. The public areas of the hotel are contemporary and elegant, exuding the upscale luxury associated with the brand. The Ritz has a very welcoming staff, from the moment the valet opened the car door, to the warm greetings by the front desk, the kind offers of water from the concierge desk while we stood waiting, to our friendly and knowledgeable bellhop, Melissa, who showed us around our spacious one bedroom suite, made sure we knew how to operate the nespresso machine and tv remote, and also suggested some wonderful restaurants nearby.
The suite was extremely spacious, with a lovely and comfortable living room that had a sitting area with a large flat screen TV and desk area with ample work space. (The desk did feature a nice
pull out drawer that had a charging station with standard plugs and USB ports, however I realized after having both my laptop and phone plugged in to charge overnight that the power was not connected and none of my devices were charged in the morning!) The gigantic bedroom had a luxurious ensuite with a double vanity, large soaking tub, separate shower with a non-fogging mirror and massaging showerhead, and water closet. Our bellhop had warned us that the tub filled very quickly and to be careful not to walk away and get distracted or it would overflow in a matter of moments! It also featured a nice dressing area with
his and her closets. The king size bed was incredibly comfortable and had luxuriously soft linens and delightfully fluffy pillows.
We chose to dine at the restaurant, Elway’s Downtown, located just off the hotel lobby after an afternoon of sightseeing. The bar was very nice, and of course featured plenty of large screen tv’s with the Thursday night football games playing. We were served by a friendly bartender that was very helpful in suggesting a couple of wines that we thoroughly enjoyed. The dining room was nicely decorated, but quite loud with a range of clientele dressed in everything from suits and ties to shorts, t-shirts and ball caps. It was a very busy night so the wait staff was a little slow taking orders. Fortunately, they brought plenty of warm bread with butter
that we had a hard time not devouring so we would not spoil our appetites. When our meals arrived, our steaks were delicious and perfectly cooked and the sides were equally as good. We did wait a bit afterwards before the waiter came back to offer desserts, and we had to ask for water refills, but overall the dining experience was pleasant. The restaurant may be a bit overpriced, but we enjoyed our meals.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the Ritz-Carlton Denver whether visiting the city for business or pleasure. While its location is more convenient to the business district, it’s high level of service makes it a wonderful respite after a busy day of business or pleasure.
A few other hotels we checked out were the Hotel Monaco, The Brown Palace and the Magnolia Hotel. All lovely, but completely different properties.
The Hotel Monaco is a contemporary and funky hotel with a large seating area off the lobby. They offer refreshing flavored waters throughout the day and have a nice late afternoon reception with complementary wine, beer and finger foods. They have a fantastic restaurant, Panzano, that features a bar with delicious hand-crafted, small batch cocktails and great service from bartenders that have been there for years. They offer a happy hour with great drink specials and small plates. The rooms are nice and spacious, with a funky vibe and interesting décor.
The Brown Palace is where you go to experience old world glamour. Build in 1892, it is a combination of art deco and Victorian luxury. They have a great afternoon tea (although a bit on the pricey side,) ghost tours, and cozy bar. They also offer a restaurant just off the lobby, but we did not have a chance to visit it. The rooms are comfortable but small. From what I recall from a stay there many years ago, the bathrooms are tiny and quirky, and feature tilework, pedestal sinks and fixtures reminiscent of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It is famed for the celebrities and presidents that have stayed there and is quite the place to experience history.
The Magnolia Hotel is a small, boutique hotel with a cozy lobby area and casual bar. It has a contemporary casual feel and offers a marketplace where you can get sandwiches and salads and eat at the long common tables and high-tops. It’s a moderate property for those more budget minded.
Each of these properties are located in the business district, but are also within an easy walk of the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, Denver Art Museum, nice restaurants and transportation to even make Coors Field convenient.
A note about Denver, it is a wonderful, diverse city with beautiful artwork and sculpture displayed throughout, nice climate that can be surprisingly warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and friendly residents. However, they do have a large homeless population that is visible almost everywhere you go. It is a safe city, but you should be aware of your surroundings, and be careful not to step out in front of the buses and trolley that have access to the pedestrian areas. It is very eco-friendly with recycling bins prominently displayed and great restaurants offering allergen friendly menu labeling. There are so many wonderful opportunities to see fantastic concerts, ball games and cultural events, within the city and the surrounding areas year-round as well. It’s truly one of my favorite places and one I’m sure we will be visiting again in the near future!
Visit the photo gallery to see more photos of the Ritz-Carlton and the Denver area.
Disclaimer: I received a travel industry member discounted room rate at the Ritz-Carlton, however no monetary compensation was received. The opinions and recommendations I offer are based on my personal preferences.