by Jayme Lamm
Hotels are usually one of two scenes — ornately historic or ultra modern. To pull off either of those vibes throughout every inch of a property is beyond challenging and I’ve only seen it done successfully a few times. Two of those times happened to be in Denver, CO when I stayed at The Oxford Hotel, followed by The Curtis Hotel. Two distinctly unique hotels; both leaving a warm and fuzzy feeling upon departure and a whole new love for the city of Denver.
To be able to pull off an ultra historic vibe in today’s day and age with the modern feel and technology we’ve all become accustomed to is dang near impossible. Sure, we all love to feel like we’re basking in long-lived tradition and old-timey ways, but there’s something about being able to plug your iPhone into any outlet or have the minibar stocked with sugar-free Red Bull. Now that I’m no longer in school and being graded, I can say that history isn’t half bad. Especially when it comes to a luxury hotel in the midst of fun and diverse
Located in LoDo, Lower Downtown Denver, The Oxford Hotel is crammed with as much history as it can hold in its 80 guest rooms and lobby areas. Although the property underwent recent renovations, the hotel still boasts a delightful combo of “classical opulence and contemporary comforts,” to suit just about any traveler.
Named one of the “Top 50 U.S. Hotels” by Conde Nast Traveler, The Oxford, which opened its doors way back in October 1891, is the oldest hotel in all of Denver and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel is located just one block from Union Train Station, three blocks from Coors Field, eight blocks from the Denver Convention Center and one block from the famous 16th Street Pedestrian Mall. It’s the perfect proximity to practically everything you’d want to see or do in Denver keeping you in the middle of all the action.
While full of history and a classic feel, the hotel certainly was not lacking in their amenities, which included a 24-hour complimentary car service to drive guests around town within a two-mile radius, The Cruise Room Martini Bar, a Spa, Salon and Fitness Center, complimentary WiFi and much more. The perfect historic feel with some of the great bonuses you’d find in brand new hotels across the street.
If The Oxford is good enough to host guests like the Clintons, Lyle Lovett, Robert Redford, Pamela Anderson and the Dalai Llama, it’s certainly good enough for me!
1600 17th Street | Denver, CO 80202 | 303.628.5400 | The Oxford Hotel
Resembling nothing of a standard Doubletree Hotel, The Curtis Hotel, also located in downtown Denver, is so super hip, E! should be filming their entire network in the lobby. Not nearly as classic or rich in history as The Oxford, this hotel still has its own unique and quirky feel. Any hotel that notes that their grand opening date (April 19, 2008) also coincides with Bart Simpson’s birthday is truly a one-of-a-kind place.
The first thing you notice upon entering the lobby are the bright colors everywhere and shelves of pop-culture magazines and board games lined up on each end. The lobby also features a psychedelic work of Lite-Brite installation art by George Scheer, which brought back the most welcoming nostalgic feel. The hotel floors only add to the fun of the hotel with all thirteen floors pop-culture themed:
4th Floor: Perfect Pair
5th Floor: One Hit Wonders
6th Floor: Fun and Games
7th Floor: Laugh Out Loud
8th Floor: Sci-Fi
9th Floor: Big Hair
10th Floor: Floor of Champions
11th Floor: Chick Flick
12th Floor: The Dance Floor
13th Floor: dun, dun, dunnnnn!
14th Floor: TV Mania
15th Floor: Mad About Music
16th Floor: Pedal to the Metal
But that’s not all! (If this is starting to sound like a gameshow, something tells me that was their goal when designing the hotel.) Guests can start their morning off with a wake up call from either Elvis or Austin Powers. Groovy Baby!
The happy-go-lucky nature of the hotel also extends to the onsite restaurant and bar, The Corner Office, which had one of the best happy hours I’ve seen on the road. For starters, they offer $5 “vino by the vaso” which includes champagne options. For food, you must try any and all of their $3 sliders. The Corner Office offers complimentary WiFi and incredibly comfortable seats at the bar, which made it the perfect spot to be an actual “office” for a few days. Inside the bathroom (at least in the women’s where I can vouch), hung a full-length mirror with a question written in lipstick. On a nearby vanity table were post-it notes and pens where guests could answer the question. Just another novel idea by an incredibly novel hotel.
As a writer who doubles in the fields of sports and travel, The Curtis also scored a few points with me on some of their promotions. In August they ran a “Quarterback Sneak” special in honor of their new QB, Peyton Manning. In their own efforts to help ignite “some serious ‘Manning Mania,’” they offered a special deal where fans could stay for just $18 per night (the same number Manning wears). Keep an eye out for other sports-related and other fun-themed packages from The Curtis, it seems they’re always doing something wacky and memorable.
1405 Curtis Street | Denver, CO 80202 | 303.571.0300 | The Curtis Hotel
Putting on her big girl panties two legs at a time (yes, two), Jayme is finding her place in this world as a freelance writer far, far away from Corporate America. Her entire life has been the epitome of unorthodox, complete with broken bones, medical mysteries, and the worst luck, thanks to her little black cloud overhead. This cloud goes with her everywhere, especially those crazy activity-laden travel plans she packs into her already busy schedule. Most of her travel adventures revolve around sporting events or activities, in addition Jayme writes a regular sports column, The Blonde Side.