Funny I lived in Denver for 5.5 years and just walked into a gem of a boutique hotel in LoDo (Lower Downtown) during a one night stay in the Mile High City after a few days in the mountains. To be fair to myself for missing out on a staycation in this chic hotel, I did travel almost every weekend while living in Denver for Swept Away and my television series Explore Colorado. After a one night stay at Hotel Teatro, I will definitely stay here again.
I knew I was going to love it when my friend Christy and I walked into the marbled lobby and saw a blue bike in front of the stairs and elevators.
Everyone from Devan who checked us in, to the valet guys, to our incredible server for breakfast was friendly, helpful and made us feel special and comfortable at the same time. Their customer service is A+. As we were riding up the elevator with one of the valet guys (wish I could remember his name!), he gave us a little history of the building built in 1911 and the hotel. I’ll share the history lesson in a sec, but first let’s talk luxury.
Each of the 110 rooms and suites has 12-foot ceilings. The rooms are big with a nice seating area, luxurious linens, leather headboards for the beds, and a big bathroom. One quirky observation – the outlets are in weird places – that’s a historic building for you. After driving down from the mountains, Christy and I took a moment just to chill in the room. Since she travels all the time too, I knew as soon as I saw her tuck her toes under the covers, this hotel rated high on her scale too.
I love the chic decor of modern meets historic in The Study, which is the breakfast and lunch nook in the lobby, and The Nickel restaurant, which is named after the portion of the building used to collect coins from streetcar riders in the early 1900s. Before we headed out to catch flights, we had breakfast in The Study.
If you’re curious about the hotel’s history, the building was originally built in 1911 as the Denver Tramway Building. The 8-story office tower and adjacent 3-story car barn were designed incorporating a modern steel skeleton with a Chicago-esque style office building housed in Renaissance Revival-style structure of glazed red brick and white terra cotta. As the valet guy told us on the elevator, it was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi….until the Clock Tower building in downtown Denver opened about a month later.
After World War II streetcars became obsolete in the Mile High City, so the University of Colorado at Denver purchased the building. Later the Denver Center for the Performing Arts purchased the car barn. The tower building was vacant for several years when CU Denver moved to the Auraria Campus. In the late 1990s, the building was restored into the beautiful Hotel Teatro it is today. “Teatro” means “theater” in Italian. The hotel’s name was inspired by its close proximity to the Denver Performing Arts Complex.