With its appealing blend of the cosmopolitan and the natural, Colorado appeals to a wide range of travelers. Lodgings in Denver and beyond match the state’s diversity, with over-the-top resorts, boutique hotels, minimalist motor lodges, and even camp decks battling it out to be your sleeping quarters. Whether you’re enjoying the city or the mountains, here are 15 of the best hotels to stay at in Colorado.
You may not expect there to be a surf scene in landlocked Colorado, but the Arkansas river in Buena Vista is home to some rideable waves, thanks to “water flowing quickly downstream over a drop in elevation,” according to National Geographic. Abutting two popular surf waves in this small town is the boutique property, Surf Hotel. The design in each the rooms is an elegant blend of classic European styles and Rocky-Mountain inspired aesthetic—think, stone fireplaces alongside polished hardwood floors and modern, brass accent pieces; Americana-esque rocking chairs painted a chic, modern black. Riverview rooms include petite balconies perfect for watching the action while enjoying a morning cup of coffee. But if you aren’t able to score one, worry not—the hotel’s restaurant and bar is an equally lovely place from which to enjoy the views.
Billed as “a community for the modern adventurer,” Gravity Haus is part design-driven hotel, part membership club, and part outdoor hijinks HQ. Other outposts have sprouted up in Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, and Breckenridge, but Gravity Haus Vail has the best location, in the thick of Vail Village near Gondola One.
This little hotel has big amenities, like ski and board storage, outdoor and indoor hot tubs, a massive, Peloton bike-filled gym, and a slightly ritzy bar-restaurant. Its 22 rooms are refreshingly urban in a town where they’re too often dripping in Alpine swank, and they offer configurations for families via separate bunk rooms. And with earth-friendly, chemical-free linens, blankets, and mattresses, you can feel good about where you’re laying your head.
The Ramble Hotel
The Ramble Hotel’s prime spot in the River North Arts District is reason enough to book it, but it’s also one of the city’s most stunning and original hotels. Its 50 rooms are inspired by 17th-century French salons, which translates to jewel-toned walls, velvet seating, chandeliers, and powder room vanity mirrors.
While you’ll want to explore the shops, restaurants, and bars that pack RiNo, the hotel’s on-site restaurant and bar rival anything you’ll find out there. Guests will only have to walk a few steps to experience James Beard finalist Dana Rodriguez’s pan-Latin dim sum restaurant Super Mega Bien, and Death & Co, the famed NYC bar, is set up right in the lobby.
The ART, a hotel
Checking into the ART is a no-brainer for art geeks. Steps from the Denver Art Museum and Clyfford Still Museum, the hotel houses gallery-worthy pieces itself, featuring work from Edward Ruscha, Sol LeWitt, and Clark Richert. The creativity starts before you even step inside with its sharp-lined, almost liquid-looking building design and a 22,000-piece valet area light installation by Leo Villareal.
Stop by the front office to pick up a book detailing the hotel’s collection and take yourself on a self-guided tour through art displays in the lobby, guest rooms, restaurants, and public areas. Just be sure to schedule yourself a drink detour into the hotel’s fourth-floor restaurant, Fire, which features some of the best city views in town from its expansive patio.
This Cherry Creek hotel, Halcyon, knows that you probably didn’t come all the way to Colorado just to stay inside. Good thing the luxury establishment makes it easy to hit the outdoors by allowing you to check out equipment from its Gear Garage. This equipment garage offers an enticing alternative to lugging clunky gear on a plane, offering snowshoes, fly fishing rods, hamboards (think surfing on wheels), GoPros, and even tandem bikes.
When you’re done adventuring, recover in one of its 154 guest rooms by spinning a record on your vinyl player and relaxing with Jonathan Adler bath products. Or head back out to hit Cherry Creek’s splashy shopping district and restaurants—Halcyon is right in the heart of it.
St. Julien Hotel & Spa
St. Julien makes it a point to be good to both travelers and the earth, with an in-house sustainability director who looks after and consults with a dedicated group of employees to set and achieve environmental goals. This “Green Team” oversees up to 20,000 pounds of compost each month, maintains a rooftop bee colony, and works to minimize waste throughout the property.
But the posh hotel doesn’t sacrifice comfort in its sustainability efforts. The 201 newly renovated rooms are located in the best spot in town: just off Pearl Street Mall with all its shops and restaurants, but close enough to the mountains to claim killer views. Need a little pampering? The 10,000-square-foot spa features treatments using herbs from the hotel’s on-site garden.
Kinship Landing, a newcomer in downtown Colorado Springs appeals to almost every style of traveler. Looking to rough it without really roughing it? Pitch a tent on the camp deck and still get access to a private bathroom. Traveling with a no-frills crew? Book the group bunkroom, with eight twin bed pods. Or go big in one of the property’s four king suites, complete with an in-room soaking tub, electric fireplace, and balcony.
If you’re looking to make new friends, this is the place. The 25,000 square-foot space is designed to foster conversation and connections with a bar-restaurant, event space, an outdoor seating area, and a staff of locals ready to give you tips on where to go and what to do. Beyond its efforts to cultivate community by showcasing local ingredients, art, and vendors, Kinship Landing was also designed to be as sustainable as possible, using passive heating and cooling concepts and naturally occurring materials.
Spoke & Vine
This western Colorado town already had terrific vineyards, a first-rate restaurant in Pêche, and spectacular scenery. All that was missing from this burgeoning wine country was a cool place to stay, and it got that in 2019 with the opening of Spoke & Vine, a freshly renovated 1955 motel.
The bright, comfortable rooms emphasize utility over glamour, but you’re there for the wine, and Spoke & Vine makes it easy to sample. It starts with a glass of Grand Valley vino at check-in, continues in the locally stocked motel bar, and really gets going with on-site bike rentals—complete with baskets to hold your liquid purchases—so you can cruise around town from winery to winery.
The Little Nell
The Little Nell might be a splurge, but almost everything in Aspen is a splurge. This is the kind of hotel that heats your ski boots overnight so they’re nice and toasty in the morning. The 92-room boutique hotel offers ski-in/ski-out access to Aspen Mountain—and when you’re that close, you know the views are going to be incredible.
The hygge-heavy rooms are gorgeous too, and all of them come equipped with heated marble floors, a gas log fireplace, a minibar stocked with complimentary snacks and nonalcoholic drinks, and the type of bedding and pillows you’ll want to bring home. Thirsty? Ajax Tavern, one of the Little Nell’s two restaurants, is practically synonymous with après-ski thanks to its sunny, mountainside patio.
Located in downtown Durango, Leland House is ideal for remote workers and adventurers keen on spending an extended amount of time in the area. Originally built in 1927 as an apartment building, the Leland House has since been converted into a boutique 11-suite bike-themed hotel with studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites.
Leland House owns the neighboring Lola’s Place, a historic home that’s since been transformed into a coffee shop and alfresco bar, with four food trucks out back. Also in the area are a slew of restaurants, breweries, bars, coffee shops, and art stores.
This sprawling 784-room resort—done in pink stucco in Italian Renaissance style—has quite the pedigree, designed by the same firm that did Grand Central Station in New York City. Set on a lake at the base of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, the Broadmoor is often considered one of the most storied hotels in the American West. It has a long and sometimes curious history; the original owner was known for having eccentric tendencies, like buying elephants, seals, and flamingos and allowing them to wander the property.
Inside is an exercise in decadence: European antiques, crystal chandeliers, marble staircases, hand-painted ceilings, and a massive U.S. western art collection across the resort. There are also two golf courses (Arnold Palmer approved); a full-service spa with more than 40 treatment rooms; multiple pools, tennis and pickleball courts; a movie theater, and 17 bars, restaurants, and coffee shops.
The Broadmoor also offers three off-site cabin accommodations, including the Ranch at Emerald Valley, Cloud Camp, and Fly Fishing Camp.
Inside a forest, only a five-minute shuttle ride from the Winter Park ski gondola, are 31 cozy, two-story A-frame cabins. On the ground floors are kitchenettes, a ski gear storage area, a bathroom with heated floors, and a living room with a Malm fireplace; the upstairs lofts have a king-size bed, desk, and soaking tub.
The vibe is very much ‘70s ski—expect funky rugs and vintage promotional posters for the 1976 Winter Olympics (which was supposed to be held in Colorado but ultimately moved to Austria).
Be sure to visit the Saloon, A-Frame Club’s French-inspired bar and restaurant. It’s open to the public and features a patio, so it’s a popular spot for après-ski.
The Elizabeth Hotel
One of the first things you’ll notice when you walk into the Elizabeth Hotel is its library. It’s not a traditional book library, but a music one: Guests can check out a variety of keyboards, rare guitars, amplifiers, as well as record players and vinyl LPs to bring up to their room.
Fort Collins is known for its makers culture—here you’ll find everything from artisanal hot sauce producers to a school where you can make your own shoes from upcycled materials. That culture can be experienced at the hotel: in the music venue, which features local and national acts, or in the guest rooms, all of which have a unique piece of local art. Old Town Fort Collins is just steps away and filled with galleries, breweries, theaters, and performance centers.
There’s arguably no better place to stay for railroad fans than the Crawford Hotel. It’s housed in the upper floors of the supercentenarian Union Station train depot. Originally, the guest rooms were offices for railroad executives, but they were transformed into unique accommodations in 2014. No two of the 112 rooms are alike in terms of size or layout—some feature exposed brick walls and wooden beams (they were once part of the train station’s attic), others have 16-foot windows that overlook the train platform (maybe skip these if you’re a light sleeper—you will hear the trains come in).
The reception area is also the Great Hall for the train station. Beyond ticket windows for national Amtrak trains and local RTD light-rail lines, there are two fantastic bars (the Terminal Bar on ground level and swanky Cooper Lounge on the mezzanine), locally owned shops like Tattered Cover Bookstore, and restaurants ranging from oyster spot Snooze to a wildly popular local brunch chain.
Eleven Taylor River Lodge
There are few retreats in Colorado with as much “wow” factor as Eleven Taylor River Lodge. And because it’s just 30 minutes from the nearest town, on a gurgling river deep in a forest of evergreens, the lodge makes for an incredible base camp for adventures.
The eight cabins are each named after a fishing fly. Of the six private queen-bed cabins, half have an additional loft with two twin beds; two single-family homes come with two king suites and a bunk room. Guests can gather in the main lounge for communal meals or retreat to the bar or entertainment cabin, outfitted with pool and foosball tables, dartboards, and board games. There’s also a tepee lounge, a barbecue area, and a bathhouse with a saltwater lap pool, hot tub, steam room, and sauna.
Staff guides help guests make the most of their time here, leading a variety of excursions, like fly fishing on the nearby Gunnison River or in the stocked trout pond on property, hiking, biking, and rock climbing, all included in the price of stay.
This article was originally published in 2022 and has since been updated with new information. Jessie Beck contributed to the reporting.