Historic elegance at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Denver

Courtesy of The Brown Palace

The atrium at The Brown Palace is a space of bespoke luxury from a bygone era. The filtered light through original stained glass, the piano music wafting through the lobby, and the gentle “clink” of silver spoons hitting saucers during afternoon tea whisk guests into the folds of history of the hotel instantaneously. Continuously operating since 1892, The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa is a staple of the Mile High City, a distinct jewel in the Queen of the Rockies’ crown. 

Hotel is located steps from the State Capital

A great way to experience the property is to take a history tour with the Hotel Historian Debra Faulkner, who gives the tour in period costume to really set the tone. Having authored seven history books herself, she is also a professor of Colorado History at the Metropolitan State University Denver; you really couldn’t have a better guide. Faulkner effortlessly leads guests through the chronicles of the building and historic figures, weaving a rich tale that spans over 100 years. Walking through the original entrance to the hotel, now The Palace Arms restaurant, to explaining the depths of the 700 foot artisanal well that creates the best water and ice in Denver. Small details on the outside of the building are pointed out, while also getting to experience one of the three Presidential Suites when available, named for some of the many Commanders in Chief who stayed at the hotel: Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, and Reagan, with décor to match their personality and style.  

Courtesy of The Brown Palace

The Italian Renaissance style architecture in the atrium lobby is grounded in golden onyx polished stone and guests are reminded to look skyward to an incredible, original stained glass ceiling. A large fireplace mantle is now the entrance to the spa, where dark and quiet treatment rooms make guests feel they are miles away from the bustling city. I enjoyed the steam room in the men’s lounge and an excellent massage, complete with reflexology. A couple’s massage room furnished with soaking tub is tucked just inside the building, a space-defying illusion from the outside to a well-appointed spa within.

Corner suites afford wonderful views/unique floorplans

A tradition since 1945, the Grand Champion Steer is on display during the National Western Stock Show in the lobby of the hotel. Complete with red carpet and silver punch bowl, the unique photo opportunity is one guests won’t soon forget. 

Whether staying at the hotel or just visiting for the afternoon, Afternoon Tea is a rite of passage for Denverites and visitors alike. Menu packages with or without champagne service are popular from 12-4:00 each day. Seasonally rotating scones, finger sandwiches and desserts pair alongside traditional fare such as their buttermilk scone, cucumber and egg finger sandwiches and Earl Grey cookies. I opted for the Black Currant Tea; while sipping my hot brew, I took in the spectacle around me, the setting harkening back to timeless elegance without being unapproachable or worrying about which spoon is proper etiquette. A father at a nearby table poured a cup of tea for his daughter as she giggled and reached for the Devonshire cream to slather her scone, a group of businesswomen gathered around a tiered tray of sandwiches, and two old friends greeted one another with a hug before settling in, all while the pianist played light music to accompany the tea-time chatter.

Courtesy of The Brown Palace

The rooms at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa are comfortable and the corner suites sizeable and luxuriously finished. Far from old and dusty or outdated, the Autograph Collection boutique hotel experience affords everything from Presidential Suites to relaxing guestrooms.   

Dining at The Brown Palace is diverse with formal dining available at The Palace Arms and a cigar bar adjacent, The Churchill Bar. Champagne brunch can be found at Ellyngton’s, and Ship Tavern affording a vintage pub style for casual dining amongst 15 scale model ships. 

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa is no newbie to luxury accommodations and services. Holding steadfast in Denver, this Colorado luxury hotel is an excellent stay. For rates and reservations, visit

Courtesy of The Brown Palace

Afternoon Tea is an event both locals and visitors alike enjoy. 

Chad Chisholm

Chad Chisholm is a professional photographer and travel writer. Marrying the two together, his travels have taken him across the world, staying in everything from Parisian Penthouses to huts in Ecuador in the rainforest. His work has been published in ISLANDS, Afar, WildJunket, AAA publications, and more. To see Chad's photographic work, visit ...(Read More)

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