The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection
What We Love
- The spa offers special therapeutic soaks using water drawn from an artesian well 750 feet beneath the hotel
- Dom Perignon Sunday brunch at Ellyngton’s restaurant
- Daily live music in the lobby and Ship Tavern provided by three rotating pianists
What To Know
- Formal attire is suggested for the hotel’s fine dining options
- The hotel is a popular Denver wedding venue; expect to cross paths with large parties on weekends
- The Brown Palace has played host to every U.S. president (except Calvin Coolidge) since Teddy Roosevelt stopped by in 1905
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Renaissance meets Victorian meets Art Deco. The triangular building, reminiscent of New York’s Flatiron Building, was designed in Italian Renaissance style and clad in local red granite and sandstone, with elaborate castle-style arched doorways and the hotel crest of twin griffins prominently displayed in stone and stained glass. This was the nation’s second “fireproof” building, so wood is nowhere to be seen; the eight-story lobby atrium is lined in onyx and surrounded by balconies with elaborate wrought iron railings.
Bed and Bath
Rooms are furnished either in staid Victorian, retro Art Deco or typical hotel style, with curtains, dark wood accents and such classic touches as pedestal sinks and ornate carved headboards on four-poster beds. Many suites are named after the hotel’s most famous guests: the Beatles, Eisenhower, Reagan and Roosevelt, to name a few. And while the style and decor feels largely old-fashioned, all rooms have been updated with features such as Keurig K-Cup coffeemakers, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations.
For a city hotel, the Brown Palace packs a lot under one roof, including five bar and restaurant options. The classic Ship Tavern is a nautical-themed pub and a casual exception to the hotel’s more formal dining scene, with lots of local Colorado microbrews, burgers and steaks. At the other end of the spectrum, Churchill is an all leather and brass cigar lounge pouring single malts and small batch bourbons. The large spa and salon is a sea of Victorian marble elegance and offers a full slate of bath, body and massage treatments. The hotel, which has been a home away from home for rock stars, presidents and royalty, offers public guided tours every Wednesday and Saturday, and private tours on demand, which can be tailored to explore the Brown’s ghostly past, architecture or presidential history.
In the Area
The Brown Palace is within walking distance of the Rockies’ Coors Field, the pedestrian-friendly 16th Street Mall, Union Station and historic Larimer Square, Denver’s oldest block, which is now full of hot eateries and bars. Top attractions include the nation’s fourth-largest public library, designed by Michael Graves, the Denver Contemporary Arts Museum and the $120 million History Colorado Center, an extremely interactive 200,000-square-foot museum opened in 2012 where visitors can virtually drive across the plains in a Model T Ford or travel to Steamboat Springs circa 1915 and fly off the town’s ski jump.
How to Get There
From the moment we were greeted at the door till our departure the service was wonderful. Wonder the property and explore the history, it's an adventure without ever leaving. I have always thought about staying here, so happy that I finally got the opportunity.
As part of the Autograph collection of hotels, this was in keeping with other historic properties in the collection. You can easily spend a full day or more just exploring the huge property, including the wonderful spa, which was only added in 2005. Massage there was terrific. Wonderful restaurants on site, a lovely atrium with daily afternoon tea 12-4, which then transitions to happy hour, venue all with live piano, harp and/or horn music. The 70-minute complimentary tour of the hotel was exceptional.
Location is perfect - great restaurants within 2-10 minutes walk, first-rate Western Art Museum across the street, Denver Art Museum 10 minute walk and so much more.
On a return trip I might try the top two floors for a bit more quiet. The music in the atrium nice, but loud and non-stop until later in the evening.
Service is very good and everyone is very nice and accommodating. However, there were times when we received different information from different staff members. So we had to resort to asking three times to get the straight story. There was no heat in our room upon check in. Engineering did his best to fix the thermostat and he really tried to accommodate us, but the repair was not successful, so we had to move rooms. While the new room was an upgrade, the amount of time it took to resolve the issue caused us to miss our plans for the evening, so that was kind of a bummer. The hotel has a lot of character, history, and charm. The rooms are on the smaller side unless you get the upgraded corner room which is huge (but note, the bathroom is small with no tub). The live music in the open lobby is a really nice touch. Breakfast was included with our rate, but it was not spectacular. The Ship Tavern is fun and the food there is really good. Location in downtown Denver is extremely central and within walking distance to the 16th Street Mall. If you can get a good rate, staying at The Brown Palace is worth the experience of taking a walk back in time. PS Check you bill on the way out. Ours had many added charges.
My first visit to this historic hotel in downtown Denver.
Plus side: beautiful inside atrium area, service excellent from front desk to food service. High tea was delicious and fun, highly recommend. Superior linens. Ceiling fan in room. Coffee in room. Very good location in downtown. Bar and restaurant excellent.
Negatives: room very small, bathroom smallest I’ve ever had, including Europe type bathrooms. Very small shower I barely fit in (I’m a female, 5’ 7”, avg build). Bed and pillows very firm. No bottled water unless you ask at front desk, not even at a charge in the room. Meeting literally right next door to my room and being on 3rd floor noise was an issue. I would never stay in lower room again. Meeting room with food service right outside my door was disturbing.
All in all a lovely place the check out but I would not stay in this type of room again. Maybe a king room is better but this experience was not the best.
We have enjoyed the Brown Palace for a number of years. Sadly the last two years have been a great disappointment. Having dined in the Ship Tavern many times, the "new improvements" in the restaurant's decor has done nothing but remove the charm and ambiance of this old pub. Now it is just like any other hotel restaurant.
Ellyngton's for Sunday brunch used to be a wonderful treat for special occasions. Ever since Jerome became the maitre d of the Sunday brunch, the experience has changed. On a number of occasions he has had a poor attitude and has been outright rude. He alone can ruin the magical experience of Sunday brunch at the Brown.
We will not be retuning to the Brown Palace. Maybe the new owners will make some badly needed changes.
In summation, The Brown Palace is no longer a special place.