I had 4 days in Denver for work mainly, but some fun too, and I wanted to experience the pulse of the city. I strive for authentic experiences in every new city I visit and while AirBnB can be a great option to meet locals, sometimes you want your privacy and not risk the unknowns by staying at another’s private house. What is it that makes any city magical? What are its people made from? Some of these things you can only feel.
It was my first time in Denver after being in Aspen for a week and I wanted to get to the pulse of the city. I found that The Crawford Hotel built out of the city’s old Union Station is the best way to stay in a hotel, yet feel part of the city.
A short half hour train ride from the airport, The Crawford is in the center of it all. But it’s in no way typical, presenting itself as a boutique hotel, with rare corners, unique art and staircases, and people all around you. Because let’s face it, how many times have you been in a hotel in any-city and feel that you are anywhere and nowhere? Not The Crawford.
Get off the train at the end of the line to Denver and in 20 steps you are walking through the front door of the old station. Walk to the left, past a cafe and old tables and benches, and you reach the “lobby” a small outpost that modestly shields the staff from the bustle of a revived old train station, now a cultural hub connecting people from all walks of life, locals and tourists, to local beer, local coffee and local merchandise.
I was drawn to a few things. First was the beehive that the hotel keeps on the roof. It says something about management, about their values, that they would invest time in keeping bees. The hotel gave us a personal tour, along with showing us the inside of the roof and the large clock, and we loved every second of it.
John-Mark, the operations director for the hotel told me that “bees are vegan lovers who love to cuddle in the winter,” and that getting stung is a “cosmic inevitability” when you work with them. I felt at home in body and spirit.
I also really loved that the lobby of the hotel is a meeting space for all kinds of people. Newcomers like me, city folk coming to grab a bite at a favorite and long-lined diner (order reservation a day in advance at least); we met rich folk, homeless folk, and in general just a good healthy vibe. Hearts connected. But it’s not too busy, not too quiet.
I also appreciated all the small things in the loft room I stayed in: the coffee machine, the chocolate, the slippers and robe brought out at night, and all the shampoos and creams in the shower and bathroom. Everything smelled fresh, not synthetic, unique but not wild, natural and refreshing.
When it comes to getting around, the hotel offers an electric car shuttle within a 2-mile radius, but anything I wanted to do, like dine at Kimbal Musk’s The Kitchen restaurant, was just a short and happy walk away. With great weather outside, street music and festivals hitting the city when I was there, like the Little People of America, Denver has a feeling of a new city becoming something great, still defining itself. The Crawford fits perfectly into this impression or vision, offering you a sweet taste and gateway into that newness.
The hotel declares: “Our luxury Denver hotel accommodations are designed to give guests everything they need and nothing they don’t.”