Brown Palace Hotel $$$
321 17th St., Denver
COST: Over $250 per night
TOURS: Tours every Wed. and Sat. at 2 p.m.; private tours can be arranged for a fee at other times. Tours are free.
Since first opening its doors in 1892, the Brown Palace Hotel has been a symbol of lodging elegance and luxury in Denver. The triangular building has a beautiful stained-glass eight-story atrium where visitors can enjoy cocktails or English tea service while listening to the sounds of live piano music.
The 230 rooms range from standard to suites and remodeled presidential suites (so named for the many presidents who stayed in them, such as Eisenhower, Roosevelt, and Reagan). The Brown is just a short walk from the State Capitol Building, the Denver Art Museum, and many other sights. Or stay in and enjoy the hotel’s spa and salon, award-winning restaurants, and cigar bar.
Unquestionably the city’s most famous hotel, the Brown Palace Hotel offers enough history and architectural beauty to be visited even by those not staying the night. Ohio businessman Henry Brown came to Colorado in 1860 and bought up a few acres of land, including the triangular plot where the three-sided hotel opened in 1892.
Working with architect Frank Edbrooke, who also worked on the design of the state capitol, Brown opted for a grand Italian Renaissance style with a Tiffany stained-glassed atrium that rises eight floors in the center of building.
To this day, the hotel relies on its own artesian well water, located beneath the hotel. With so many famous guests over the years—from presidents to rock stars—the hotel took to naming some rooms after them. Now ordinary folks can spend a night in the Beatles Suite or Eisenhower Suite.
In a long-held tradition, each January the hotel puts the National Western Stock Show’s prizewinning steer on full display in the lobby, where anyone can be photographed with the bovine. Year-round, visitors can simply take in the ambience by dining in one of the hotel’s three restaurants, going on a 45-to-60-minute tour with the hotel’s historian, or sipping afternoon tea in the lobby.
© Mindy Sink from Moon Denver, 1st Edition