The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection
With more than 125 years of history and hospitality under its belt, the Brown Palace Hotel is one of Denver’s most celebrated and architecturally significant buildings. It was the country’s first fireproof hotel, built with terracotta floors, cast-iron railings, and onyx paneling, but no wood. Named not for its reddish-brown granite and sandstone exterior, but for the original owner Henry Brown, who spared no expense for the Italian Renaissance-style triangular building, including 26 stone-carved animal medallions outside the seventh-floor windows. The Brown Palace has hosted not only royalty and celebrities (including every president since Teddy Roosevelt, save for Calvin Coolidge) but also cattle: each year, the grand champion steer from the National Western stock show take a victory lap through the lobby. Afternoon tea is also an institution in the hotel’s soaring nine-story atrium, with imported Devonshire cream, an exclusive blend of Assam-Ceylon tea, and live piano music. The nautical Ship Tavern pub is popular for burgers and prime rib, while Ellyngton’s is the place to splash out on a decadent breakfast or Sunday Champagne brunch. Palace Arms is the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, sourcing ingredients from Colorado ranchers and farmers, with an extensive wine list and suggested pairings for their tasting menus. Guest rooms have been given a contemporary light palette, with black-and-white photos and documents from the hotel’s archives. Guests will pay for wifi in room, but will enjoy a free car service within five miles of the hotel, and natural artesian water from a well more than 700 feet underground. The hotel has been linked a bridge to the Holiday Inn across the street, where there’s a well-equipped fitness center. The spa has aromatherapy steam rooms, a couples’ suite with dual hydrotherapy tub, and beauty and nail salon. Regular tours are offered to the public, including themed tours ranging from ghost stories to love and romance at the Brown Palace.
By Meg Nesterov, AFAR Local Expert
Tea Time or a Coffee at the Brown Palace
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, a historic hotel in Downtown Denver offers guests a luxurious stay in an architecturally beautiful and well appointed building. From floral carpets and upholstery, marble columns, a grand stairway, and an atrium that pulls light from stained glass at the top of the building, the Brown Palace leaves no detail out. A Traditional Afternoon Tea is served each day at noon in perfect China tea cups with scones, sandwiches, and authentic Devonshire creme. A popular occasion, reservations are recommended. Most people are unaware that besides tea time, the atrium is open to the public each day. If tea time doesn't suit your palate, pick up at latte at the Brown Palace Coffee and Tea Company near the valet stand, find a couch or chair to cozy into, and enjoy the historic architecture or simply people watch while guests and sightseers wander through.
By Andrea Rip, AFAR Local Expert
321 17th St, Denver, CO 80202, USA