It was like our own private apartment, nestled at the end of the triangle of the hotel with views of downtown Denver’s financial and cultural district filling the views in every window.
The boys were all hyped up the night before we departed for our big trip, quelle surprise? I myself was a bit nervous. What was I thinking, taking four boys under the age of twelve to upscale resorts around Denver?
Picking up Preston, we held hands and jumped up and down – he has three sisters. “I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for this,” he said, his sweet, big brown eyes shyly looking into mine. We’re still getting to know each other. With an incredibly patient and loving mother, he sometimes does not know what to make of my wavering between laughing at Brevitt’s comedic nuances and reprimanding him for taking it too far.
On the drive over, we watched as the rising Colorado River swallowed the land from all the runoff. The crushed concrete bike path reminded me of the movie, Logan’s Run, where a city is discovered to have been taken back by nature. I worried that the columns holding up I70 would also come tumbling down.
The Brown Palace:
At the The Brown Palace we spilled out of the van with crumbs and socks trailing behind. I had that usual guilt of tainting the elegant entryway of a luxury hotel. But the Bellman and Vince, our Concierge, seemed to pay no heed and catered to us as if we were something close to royalty.
The boys headed for the revolving door that spun them out into the Mexican white onyx interior, part of the 12,400 surface feet of onyx that covers the hotel. I could see why the Palace has been rated as Denver’s only Forbes Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond Hotel. The Italian Renaissance style reminded me of the finer European Hotels I visited with my parents as a child.
The piano player amused his audience in the 19th Century elegant lobby whilst the boys looked around in awe. “I just read on your website that the higher you go, the nicer the room,” I mentioned as we were given our keys to the top floor. The boys eyes opened wide.
Derek took us to our room, giving us a private tour along the way informing us that The Beatles stayed in the hotel in 1964 and that almost every U.S. President has stayed there since Teddy Roosevelt, with the exception of Calvin Coolidge and Obama. Preston, with his “Obama is my Home-boy” t shirt on, thought we should tell Obama that he was missing out.
Opening the door to our Art Deco Executive Suite, the boys expelled their favorite expression, “Holy!” It was like our own private apartment, nestled at the end of the triangle of the hotel with views of downtown Denver’s financial and cultural district filling the views in every window. While they explored the rooms the boys commented on how delicious the water was that flowed from the hotel’s original Artesian well, located 720 feet below the foundation.
When staying at a nice hotel, the challenge is to discover how to get the staff and the guests of the hotel to view the boys as charming. So well behaved one minute and so grounded the next after performing embarrassing stints like rolling into the elevator as a Ninja, it is a tricky task. I do my best to try to meet the guests who share adjoining walls. Eye to eye contact and a handshake from the boys helps to temper the sound of thumping monsters. Sometimes it works, other times, not so much.
We met our neighbor Corey when we were on our way to explore the surrounding area. Corey was outside taking a cigarette break. I had noticed him in our hallway earlier and dragged the kids over to say hello. He was staying at the hotel in celebration of his first anniversary with his second wife. “This is my way of making up for missing the actual day,” he said with a wink. A member of a group of Harley Davidson riders originating in Belgium, he took a deep drag off of his cigarette and told us of the ten stents in his heart. Showing us his scar from open surgery after his fifth and latest heart attack he admitted that although genetic, he was/is also a bad boy, which might contribute to his poor heart condition. His tattoo laden arms revealed his struggle between hanging on to life and avoiding death.
Leaving Corey, we walked to the 16th Mall. The hotel is located in downtown Denver leaving bountiful options to explore with the Denver Pavilion within walking distance, a United Artists movie theater directly down the street, and some of the best restaurants in town within the five mile radius of their free town car service. Since I always get lost in Denver, it was nice to not have to drive.
Later that evening, I glanced through the “Historic Hotels of America” guidebook and noted that both The Brown Palace Hotel and The Broadmoor were included in the book, with The Brown Palace opening in 1892 and The Broadmoor in 1918. Aspen’s Hotel Jerome, where Wade and I stayed on our wedding night and will be revisiting this year on our 13th anniversary, is listed as opening in 1889. Also, Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs dates back to 1893. I’m afraid we won’t be visiting there. The children refuse for they have heard the ghost story about a little boy who, after falling to his death from a balcony in the hotel, now walks through the hallways bouncing a ball.
I slipped into the comfortable bed with a warm Tucker all curled up in a ball and I thought about how true the hotel’s phrase was, “stay the night and it will stay with you forever.”
I did not get a chance to experience the Dom Perignon Champagne Brunch, the restaurants on site, or the spa, but with a suite that beckoned me to stay put, a reservation at one of Denver’s favorite sustainable restaurants, Mizuna, and a day at Water World, our visit to The Brown Palace, will indubitably stay with us forever.
** Disclaimer: Although we received a complimentary hotel stay for this review, our opinions are our own.