Life House, Lower Highlands lies in Denver’s hip LoHi neighbourhood in the heart of frontier country, just west of downtown and an hour from the Rockies.
Denver International Airport is around 30-45 minutes from the hotel via Peña Boulevard and the I-70 freeway. Denver Airport Rail connects the airport to Union Station in downtown Denver: the 37-minute ride costs $10.50 one-way.
Union Station links Denver with regional destinations as well as other national hubs via Amtrak Rail.
You can hire a car at the airport, but there are no parking facilities at the hotel and valet rates can be expensive elsewhere. Denver is a great city for walking; the public transport system is excellent, too, and includes some free downtown bus services.
Worth getting out of bed for
There are so many things to do in Denver once you’re out of bed. The city is a craft-beer drinker’s paradise, with microbreweries and taprooms on seemingly every street corner. Five minutes from the hotel, Diebolt Brewing specialises in French-style saisons, as well as fruity IPAs and more. There’s even a Vladimir Putin-inspired Russian cherry stout. Sample enough of the potent Electric Cowboy IPA and you may find yourself calling for a trusty steed to return you safely back to your ranch.
If you feel a genuine need for steed, the hotel can arrange day trips and overnight stays with Ranchlands properties, including Chico Basin. Here, you can experience the frontier spirit first hand as you work the vast prairie on horseback, learning centuries-old ranching techniques like herding and maintaining fences, which is sure to be way more fun than it sounds. Day trips to the Rockies can also be organised.
LoHi, and Denver in general, are not short of kid-friendly green spaces. Head over to the vast City Park – Denver’s largest – which has enough to keep even the most demanding progeny entertained for hours. There are multiple playgrounds, walking trails, picnic spots and a boating lake. The park is also home to Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, with its excellent collection of dinosaur skeletons and planetarium.
A 10-minute stroll from the hotel, LoHi institution Gaetano’s has been serving up home-cooked Italian favourites for 75 years, with carbonara and cannolis so good it's no surprise the restaurant was once a notorious mob hangout. Nowadays, budding wiseguys can order up signature cocktails including the Capone (bourbon, vermouth and campari) and Gotti’s Hot Buttered Rum, without fear of reprisals.
Just across the street, Acova is a sociable spot with cosy corner booths inside and heated patio seating and a kids’ play area outside. Comforting American classics including ribs, nachos, burgers, crab cakes and lobster mac’n’cheese will have you loosening your belt as you reach for the equally indulgent dessert list. Three words: Fried. Apple. Donut.
Huckleberry Roasters is the place to go if you like your latte with oat milk and your toast with smashed avocado. Open from 7am in nearby Sunnyside, it’s a coffee-and-pastry breakfast mecca for hipsters and traditionalists alike.
Exposed brick, dark woods, fluffy croissants and damn fine coffee are the order of the day at Queensberry Coffee. The premises of this independent café boasts a long and fascinating history that encompasses the Coors brewing dynasty, Prohibition-era gambling, mobsters and bare-knuckle boxing, but is thankfully a far more gentile affair these days.
Multi-award-winning Mythology’s distillery produces a leg-wobbling variety of gins, vodkas and whiskies, all of which can be experienced neat or in cocktail form in the tasting room. Cocktails here come with a theatrical twist. Try the Violet Beauregarde, a gin-based infusion which – like its namesake – slowly turns blue. Or a rum-and-mezcal Global Warming, which gets hotter and hotter as the ice melts.
The taproom at Crooked Stave may also have you reaching for the alka-seltzer next morning. Craft ales here include Nightmare on Brett, a beast of a dark barrel-aged beer with sour cherry notes, that’s just a shade off 10% ABV. Lower-octane raspberry, blueberry and peach beer infusions promise a more tolerable morning after.