The Art is a worthy base for those looking to explore the galleries of the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum, and the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Arts, which are all within a few minutes’ walking distance. In fact, the glass-walled property feels a bit like an exhibition space in its own right: Upon arrival, guests are greeted by Leo Villareal’s dazzling 22,000 LED–bulb installation above the entrance, while hundreds of other works by the likes of Frank Gehry appear throughout the public spaces—see them on a guided tour of the hotel’s art collection, offered on Saturdays. Minimal guest rooms have light wood furnishings, luxury linens, and neutral walls—the better to serve as a blank canvas for more original artwork—as well as windows overlooking the mountains or city lights. If you’ve worked up an appetite with all that cultural appreciation, order the signature burger with spicy mayo at FIRE restaurant, or sip a Matisse martini with Colorado-made vodka on the fire pit–warmed terrace.

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Mile-High Museum: A Hotel Devoted Completely to Art

Staying in a museum, in rooms decorated with mixed media, wall art and beautifully-upholstered furniture, is not limited to scenes from “A Night at the Museum” or “The Thomas Crown Affair.” At Denver’s Art Hotel, you are your own movie. From the entrance--a signature work of 22,000 white LED nodes that act as a canopy of warm stars-- to the room interiors with brightly-colored sofas (and even coloring books with pencils!), the hotel has every detail down pat. My room featured a slipper tub in the bathroom (as curvaceous as Marilyn Monroe), and a touch-sensitive night lamp. Floor to ceiling windows veiled by thin blinds illuminate swirls of traffic at night. You can tumble out of bed and walk to the Denver Art Museum and Clyfford Still Museums next door: the wandering eye can take in Monet just as easily as the Colorado mountains. The hotel entrance features Sol Lewitt’s Wall Drawing and a sun-bleached wood sculpture by Deborah Butterfield. Mary Ehrin’s “Molten Meteorites,” made with metallic leather, evoke the state’s gold rush history. A candy jar-filled room off the main dining area has walls studded with “Eight Soups,” colorful riffs on Henri Matisse’s “Goldfish.” Ask one of the able bartenders to fashion you a “Jackson Pollock” with rosemary-infused Hendrick’s Gin, muddled strawberry, basil lemon and a balsamic reduction that splatters on a martini glass, evoking Pollock’s signature style. It’s a stylish way to end the day.

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