Glamorous yet industrial, Halcyon, a Hotel In Cherry Creek is composed of clean lines, white brick walls and gleaming golden edges. Pick up your drink of choice – be it a velvety flat white or something a little stronger during the daily extended happy hour – and admire the locally-made modern art, settle by the fireplace, or check out the ‘gear garage’, with its scooters, bikes, adventure packs and rainy-day-ready consolation toys. There’s a rattan welcome mat with a cheeky greeting at the entrance to your dove-gray and white rooms, and each has a record player and a cocktail cabinet. Up on the rooftop there’s a heated pool and a bar with a view of the Rocky Mountains in the distance, and an on-trend Italian eatery. The most difficult decision you’ll have to make at this Denver stay is whether to work, rest or play.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in is 4pm.
Double rooms from £151.77 ($188), including tax at 16.91 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $35.07 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include Continental breakfast, but exclude a nightly amenity fee of $30 a room.
There’s a glee-inducing gear garage with scooters, skateboards, bike cruisers, longboards, GoPros and board games available for guests to borrow. Hotel guests also get a 'Wellness Passport' to Denver's best boutique fitness gyms for spinning, barre and cardio classes. Gourmet pastries and muffins, fresh fruit and hot drinks are served at the Kitchen Counter throughout the day.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, gear garage laden with outdoor and indoor toys – Piaggio scooters, New Belgium cruiser bikes, Kota longboards, Leica cameras, Osprey daypacks full of hiking gear, board games and a vinyl library, Kitchen Counter stocked with Intelligentsia coffee, tea and pastries, 24-hour fitness room, free transportation within Cherry Creek by Range Rover, filtered chilled, sparkling and hot water dispensers. In rooms: Gramovox record player with vinyl selection; personal cocktail bar; Nespresso coffee machine; TV with Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Pandora; entry to the Denver Botanic Gardens; and a 'Wellness Passport' which gives you access to Denver's best boutique fitness classes like SoulCycle, Rise Nation, barre3 and CorePower yoga.
Our favourite rooms
We love the wide-enough-for-two window-seat sofas in the Halcyon Rooms, and the bedroom and deep soaking bath tub in the Loft Suite.
The heated rooftop pool looks out over the downtown skyline and the Rocky Mountains in the distance; it’s open year-round from 8am to 8pm. There’s a hot tub area at one end of the rectangular, eight-meter long pool, and alongside the bank of surrounding sunloungers, cabanas have billowing white curtains for a little privacy; there’s a poolside bar, and floats to borrow, too.
Bring hiking boots and Patagonia jackets for daytime, and heels and something that subtly sparkles for nighttime.
Each room has a vertical Gramovox record player and a selection of vinyl, thanks to a partnership with Denver’s coolest record store.
Ask for a corner table or sit by the bar to catch the action at Quality Italian.
Feel free to breakfast with your hiking boots on, but brush the dirt off your shoulders (and all the rest) for evening meals.
Bring your appetite to Quality Italian, the hotel's adjoining Italian-American steakhouse restaurant with industrial-chic interiors and squishy leather banquettes. Start with the housemade ricotta drizzled in Colorado honey; for mains, order the fresh pasta, apple-glazed Niman Ranch pork chop, or the grilled branzino with pesto rosso. Save room for burnt-marshmallow stracciatella gelato, cannolis that are prepared in front you, and more-ish glasses of limoncello. Continental breakfast is served at the lobby’s Kitchen Counter.
The hotel is home to Denver's most clandestine speakeasy, B&GC. The hush-hush cocktail lounge only takes reservations by text message. Once you've found the mysterious gold door bell, inventive prohibition-style cocktails await. To take your fizz al fresco, head to Elevated, the hotel's rooftop bar, for lofty views of the Rockies, craft beers and light bites.
Catch Continental breakfast from 6.30am to 9am; Quality Italian is open daily from 11.30am to 10pm; Elevated serves from 11am until late.
Have anything from Kitchen Counter or Quality Italian's restaurant menus delivered straight to your door from 6.30am to 10pm.
The hotel is in Denver’s Cherry Creek neighbourhood, just five minutes by car from the downtown area.
Denver International Airport is about 45 minutes away by car; most flights from Europe have a stop on the east coast, but you can catch a direct flight from London, Madrid, and major US airports. Call our Smith24 Team to arrange flights and transfers.
You can hail a taxi at the airport, but if you plan on exploring the city and surrounding area, it’s best to hire your own set of wheels. Valet parking at the hotel is $45 a day; Denver streets are easy enough to navigate, and it’s a good idea to hire something with a four-wheel-drive option if you’re planning to explore the mountains just beyond the city.
Worth getting out of bed for
Head to the hotel’s gear room and borrow a bike to cycle down Cherry Creek – there’s even a tandem option if you’re feeling particularly romantic. (You can also borrow a Leica camera, a giant paddle skateboard, basketballs, a Scrabble board and more vinyl for your room.) Your stay comes with a day pass, so lose time in Denver Botanic Gardens – in nearby Cheesman Park – as you wander past spiky cacti, bright shrubbery and enormous tropical flowers. In addition to the artistic floral displays, there’s a rotating cast of temporary collections too; past exhibits have included Deborah Butterfield’s minimalist equine pieces and eye-catching Alexander Calder sculptures. If you’re in the mood for a spot of shopping, there’s a massive mall just two blocks away from the hotel, and a number of outdoorsy boutiques across the street and around the corner from the hotel.
Denver’s also a gateway to the nearby Rocky Mountains. At Dinosaur Ridge, just 23 miles from city center, you can spy Jurassic bones and Cretaceous footprints; download a self-guided tour before you go so you don’t miss the Stegosaurus site. In the summer, catch a concert at world-famous Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, a naturally-formed setting that’s hosted everyone from the Beatles to U2. It’s open year-round for hiking – you’ll find trail loops of varying lengths – but unless you have a ticket, you won’t be able to check out the amphitheatre itself on concert days. Don your daypacks – the hotel and its gear room can help out here – and head out early in the morning for a hike in spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park. Relaxed-as-can-be Boulder, nestled in the foothills, is an easy 30-minute drive north of Denver; hiking trails start from the edge of town, and central Pearl Street is lined with restaurants, hip cafés and all manner of outdoor-enthusiast shops.
It may look like a clapboard house on the outside, but inside Cuba Cuba you’ll find seriously tasty authentic Cuban fare. For the main event, order pan-seared fish topped with spicy mango and pineapple, market-fresh paella, or a classic Cubano sandwich, with roasted pork, ham and Swiss cheese. Sip on mint-muddled mojitos and snack on a side of plantains tossed in garlic mojo while you wait for your meal. Laidback, pub-style Cherry Cricket is just around the corner from the hotel; order locally sourced bison burgers, micro-brews and crispy mac-and-cheese bites. At upscale eatery Mercantile and Provision, seasonal, elevated comfort food is served tapas-style; order shishito peppers in a sesame-caramel marinade, house-made fennel sausage, and Creekstone Farms short rib with grits and fried green tomatoes. Tacos Tequila Whiskey does what it says on the sign; order tacos stuffed with citrus-marinated skirt steak, crispy roasted pork carnitas and grilled shitaki mushrooms with cotija cheese.
At Denver Biscuit Co, you’ll find southern comfort food; order flakey, buttermilk-biscuit-based sandwiches stuffed with fried chicken or pulled pork, or biscuit platters with scrambled eggs and streaky bacon. Order breakfast food all-day long at hip Vert Kitchen; choose from bircher mueslis, seasonal frittatas, and béchamel-covered croque madames. Indulge your sweet tooth with a stacked cone at Milkbox Ice Creamery inside Union Station; this is Colorado, so there’s no shortage of coconut-based vegan options, too. We like their boozy shakes, particularly the rum-based coconut and almond-fudge Dignitary.
Denver, Colorado makes for the perfect getaway – even if you only have two nights to spare this dynamic capital begs to be explored. And the absolutely perfect home away from home, right in the heart of the affluent Cherry Creek district, is the stylish luxury hotel Halcyon.
Our good-vibes experience started from the moment we walked through the hotel’s revolving doors. You won’t find a front desk at this hotel. In its place is what they call the Kitchen Counter, where there’s a concierge with a laptop to help you check in, and a long marble countertop from which you can serve yourself coffee and wine to your heart’s content. We arrive via Uber from Denver International at around 9am (not an ideal time if you haven’t arranged early check-in). But, not only were the hotel staff completely fine with us checking in early, but the front desk was not shy about giving us a free room upgrade. This was no ordinary upgrade, either – our new home-from-home was the 1,300sq ft Presidential Suite: a duplex-apartment-style masterpiece with an outdoor balcony that was nearly as big as our one-bed in Brooklyn.
On our way up to our floor we spied the hotel’s ‘gear garage’ – through its glass window we clocked the coolest-of-the-cool outdoor gear, from skateboards and longboards to bikes and scooters to instant cameras and GoPros; you name it, it was probably in there. Our first thought was that outdoor-gear co-op REI had a pop-up shop in the hotel, but our inner adventurists were surprised – and thrilled – to learn that we could literally take anything we wanted for a full day. Seriously, just grab ‘n’ go.
But first, that suite. We were led down charmingly dressed, navy-blue hallways, where there were welcome mats at every door and an impressive selection of help-yourself waters – hot, still, sparkling – on tap. On entering our modern sanctuary – hello, cloud soft king-size bed, drinks cabinet with house-made rum and hip Gramovox vertical turntable – all my rubbish-hotel-coffee fears dissipated when I saw the piles of pods by the Nespresso machine on our wet bar.
One can’t spend all day caffeinating, however, so we decided to nose around the neighborhood, which happens to be perfect as Cherry Creek is just a long walk or short, cheap cab ride to wherever you’d like to go in Denver. We tested this by neighborhood hopping, hitting three or four in one day, going from bar to bar, shop to shop, dispensary to dispensary. Each day, though, we made sure to get back to the hotel lobby in time for the daily free happy-hour before we set out for dinner. The hotel’s duo of restaurants (new-American joint Local Jones and pasta- and parm-serving Quality Italian), didn’t have enough vegan options to suit me, but that was no biggie because Denver is full of local farm-to-table cuisine and health-food restaurants.
The highlight of our weekend in Denver, besides soaking in our suite’s deep bath tub, was a day trip to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. First, we took full advantage of the gear room, grabbing hiking backpacks, a water bottle, and an instant camera; then we requested a $20 Uber and took the 20-minute ride out. It’s no wonder Red Rocks is a world-renowned venue – it’s one of the most serene places on earth. I highly recommend seeing it in real life. After spending some time hanging around the actual amphitheatre, which was full of people getting their outdoor stair work-out on, we took pics with our instant cam, and marvelled at the surreal surroundings, before setting out on one of the surrounding trails for a three(ish)-mile hike. Seeing a concert there is now top of my bucket list, that's for sure.
Before our weekend at the Halcyon, Colorado was never high on our list of getaway spots, but after this A+ experience, a return to Denver and another raid on the Halcyon’s gear room are our top priority.
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