Jennie Nunn 2017-06-26 07:02:17
Explore new and noteworthy boutique hotels, restaurants and must-visits in the Mile High City. Perched at an elevation of 5,280 feet, Denver is no longer only a quick stopover on the way to the Colorado slopes in Vail, Steamboat Springs or Aspen. Thanks to the revitalization of Union Station three years ago—now one of Denver’s most beloved icons dotted with cafes, restaurants, a bookstore, a hotel and more—the capital city is back on the map with a whole new vibe. From a newly opened boutique hotel in Cherry Creek with in-room turntables and a pair of courtesy Vespas for cruising around town to a Southwestern-inspired restaurant with an Airstream trailer parked inside, Denver’s top spots are hip, happening and ready to be discovered on your next trip. SLEEP The Cherry Creek neighborhood is known as a shopping hub with some very notable residents. There, HALCYON, a hotel in Cherry Creek (from $299, halcyonhotelcherrycreek.com, @halcyoncherrycreek) features 154 guest rooms layered with doormats with sayings such as “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” and Gramovox record players with options to customize a playlist before arrival. Feel like taking a ride around town? Head to the Gear Garage in the lobby to reserve one of the property’s Vespas (complimentary for guests), or choose from a selection of mountain bikes, road bikes and Swiss electric bikes. The garage also houses board games, a bocce ball set, fly-fishing rods, kites and adventure packs for nearby hikes in Boulder. Upstairs, hang at the rooftop bar or relax by the open-air pool (for guest-use only) framed with private cabanas. Situated in Lower Downtown (or LoDo, as the locals say) and only steps from the A-line train to Denver International Airport, Hotel Indigo Denver (from $199, indigodenver.com, @hotelindigoden) is lined with largescale vintage gold mining photos and a black cherry-treetrunk- turned-sculpture selected as a wink to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Replete with 180 guest rooms, the LEED-certified pet-friendly property has rustic glam touches such as hardwood floors, interior sliding barn doors, polished concrete ceilings and artwork depicting Denver and the mountainous surroundings. For easy access to downtown and Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies), book a room at The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block (from $249, themavenhotel.com, @mavenhotel), a Sage Hospitality property. The modern 172-room refuge was concepted by local design firm Johnson Nathan Strohe, while the lobby, restaurant and common spaces—fashioned with black hanging rattan chairs—were designed by Brooklyn-based studio Crème / Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design. And that’s not all; more than 400 original art pieces, curated by Denver’s Nine dot Arts, highlight the work of Colorado artists. Baseball buffs will want to spend the night in the Diamond suite with a wraparound deck boasting views of Coors Field, a well-edited selection of classic baseball films (think Field of Dreams) and black-and-white chevron-print floors. Meanwhile, the Dairy Block, a mixed-use microdistrict that was once the city’s iconic Windsor Dairy, features a cocktail lounge called Poka Lola Social Club that pays homage to American soda-fountain culture. PERUSE The Museum of Contemporary Art (mcadenver.org, @mca_denver) might be located on an unassuming corner in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood, but don’t let it fool you. The modern light-filled 27,000-squarefoot museum designed by David Adjaye features works by emerging and established artists and a clean-lined rooftop cafe framed with city views. Refuel with a hearty charcuterie plate, or a smoked salmon pizza topped with cream cheese, dill and capers. Set within a rocky hillside just outside Denver, the iconic open-air Red Rocks Amphitheatre (redrocksonline.com, @redrocksco) has set the stage since 1941 for music legends such as the Beatles and John Denver. Snag tickets for Father John Misty (Aug. 25), or sign up for a Yoga on The Rocks class. EAT At Central Market (denvercentralmarket.com, @dencentralmkt) one of Denver’s newest gourmet food halls, indulge in an ice cream flight at High Point Creamery or slow-roasted chicken street tacos from SK Provisions. With 13 local purveyors selected by chef/owner Jeff Osaka of of Osaka Ramen, Sushi-Rama and 12 @ Madison, the marketplace also offers take-home gifts such as freshly baked olive bread from Izzio Artisan Bakery, or chocolates from Temper Chocolates. Located within the lobby level of the Dairy Block, Kachina Southwestern Grill (kachinadenver.com, @kachinadenver) is outfitted with black-and-white tiles, rattan bar stools and a full-size shiny silver Airstream trailer serving up lunch items. For starters, order the Colorado bison empanada, garnished with cilantro salad. Don’t leave without trying the Navajo tacos served on fry bread, and the Holy Trinity margarita with del maguey mezcal, mirepoix syrup and absinthe mist. Inspired by the Hawaiian concept of ohana, or family, newcomer Mister Tuna (mistertuna.com, @mistertuna_denver) serves up meat and fresh seafood selections from king crab and Maine diver scallops to hanger steak in a warehouselike setting with exposed brick walls and retracting glass garage doors.
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