Continuously in operation since it opened August 12, 1892, The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa has never closed for renovations in its 120-year history. That’s not to say it hasn’t been updated and refurbished through the decades (I can attest to the contemporary flat-screen TVs in guest rooms). But it has most definitely maintained its grand and historic ambiance — with its original (incredible!) eight-story atrium lobby, cast-iron railings and intricate grillwork, imported onyx accents and, perhaps most important, its outstanding service to guests from all over the world.
Indeed, the AAA Four-Diamond property, has accommodated illustrious presidents, The Beatles and even mere mortals — like myself! — with open arms. From the doorman dressed in a traditional black suit with gold piping and a tophat, to the cordial valet who didn’t blink when I lost my ticket, to the upbeat front-desk clerk and friendly pianist whose music accompanied afternoon tea, everyone I met during my quick overnight at the downtown hotel was so welcoming and gracious.
I think I audibly gasped when I made the short walk from the front door to the lobby and looked up. From the sandstone building’s unusual triangular-shaped exterior, it’s impossible to tell that the lobby atrium extends the height of the tall building. That is, all of the rooms face the street, so when you exit your room, you can walk to the original railing and peer down at the lobby where scones and sandwiches are served every afternoon, or up at pretty stained glass windows.
I love that the vintage elevators, escalators, numbered door plates and other accents around the property are made of solid brass. Rose-patterned wallpaper, classic light fixtures and flowery prints on the carpet also lend a retro feel. I found the obsolete U.S. Mail chutes that ran between floors utterly charming, not old-fashioned. The dated decor adds to the romantic and historic ambiance — I never felt, “Eeesh, this hotel is ancient and needs updating.” Au contraire, I felt like a true grande dame staying in the landmark property.
Retro accents are carried into the guest rooms, with black and white tile and marble counters in the bathrooms, traditional dark-wood furnishings and huge arched windows. But modern amenities are on hand, of course, as well: Keurig coffeemaker, rain showerhead and iPod docking station.
Through my west-facing window, the sunset — and view of the Capitol Building — was marvelous!
Other amenities and services at The Brown Palace include six restaurants, a full-service spa and complimentary guided history tours of the hotel for all registered guests on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons (or use the self-guided tour brochure in your room to acquaint yourself with the hotel’s historic riches).
Even if you don’t overnight at The Brown Palace, you can take part in a beloved hotel tradition: afternoon tea in the sophisticated lobby with scones, pastries and tea sandwiches presented on tiered plates and accompanied by imported Devonshire cream. It’s a lovely way to experience the grand service and rich history at this beloved Denver hotel.
Thank you, The Brown Palace, for hosting my stay!