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Recently revamped sleep combining cowboy cool with city sophistication and a terrific Italian restaurant
The Mile High City has grown out of its cow town rep to become the Rocky Mountains' cultural and economic hub. But that's not to say the Monaco Denver's sculpture of a cow grazing near the elevator bank isn't perfectly placed. Redesigned by Susan Caruso in spring 2012, this boutique sleep manages to celebrate Denver’s dusty past while embracing its refined present. In the lobby natural materials — black and brown leather, cowhide, mahogany, bronze and iron — hint at Denver’s history, while contemporary furnishings and pops of teal, burnt orange and green signal the city’s modern movement. They all fit in perfectly with one aspect of the hotel that hasn’t changed since its 1988 opening: the much-celebrated hand-painted ceiling, which climbs to a pyramid peak in colorful geometric designs. In fact, Caruso commissioned the lobby’s mod art to match.
Bed and Bath
Past the cow and up the elevators, the 189 guestrooms are spacious (they start at 300 square feet), with high ceilings and big windows (though the building is only seven stories and in the heart of downtown, so there aren’t any mountain views). Like the lobby below, color, pattern and texture combine for that cowboy-chic vibe; the geometric chocolate and persimmon carpeting, tangerine damask drapes, turquoise high-back chairs, cow-print throws and horse head lamps all fuse into a sexy, almost brooding boudoir style. All the mod cons are here, including iHome iPhone/iPod-charging alarm clocks, 37-inch flat-screen TVs and generous work desks with plenty of electric outlets. Bathrooms are updated but not quite spa-like; if you need pampering, head to the vaunted Veda Spa downstairs.
The hotel’s restaurant, Panzano, is not an afterthought. It’s a local fave, anchoring the corner of Champa and 17th streets. Chef Elise Wiggins translates local produce, meats and cheeses into exquisite Northern Italian fare in such dishes as pan-fried Brussels sprouts tossed with pistachios, sliced apples and apple cider vinegar; tagliatelle carbonara topped with house-cured pancetta; and sautéed gnocchi with rabbit confit, leeks, shallots, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and gorgonzola. The wine list is one of the best in town, so imbibe — and don’t be afraid to enlist the expertise of GM-slash-sommelier Josh Mayo. Panzano’s Sunday brunch is one of the best, starting with a Bottomless Bellini: Zonin prosecco with your choice of house-made peach or pear puree, or orange, cranberry, pineapple and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.
In the Area
Denver is one of the country’s most bike-friendly cities, so it makes sense that it’s B-cycle system is a model bike-sharing program. There’s a station across 17th Street from the hotel, so you can simply grab a bike and go. Best of all, rides under 30 minutes are free. The Denver Art Museum’s building is itself a work of art, with an extension designed by Daniel Libeskind. Adjacent to DAM, the new Clifford Still Museum is an ode to the reclusive Abstract Expressionist. After the artist’s death in 1980, his estate was given in its entirety to an American city willing to establish a permanent museum dedicated solely to his work. Denver stepped to the plate, enlisting Brad Cloepfil to design the stunning 28,500-square-foot space, which is now considered one of the nation’s premier single-artist museums. After all that culture, it’s time for a drink, and nobody does beer better than Denver. Long before Denver became a hot spot for the microbrew movement, Colorado’s current governor, John Hickenlooper, was part of the scene. He opened the city’s original brewpub, the beloved Wynkoop Brewing Company, in 1988, and it's within walking distance of Hotel Monaco. More must-guzzle suds are at Great Divide Brewing Co.’s excellent tap room, where 16 taps pour seasonal and year-round brews. No food is served, but the city’s best food trucks congregate just outside, allowing you to pair a hoppy Hercules Double IPA with a selection of gourmet grub.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver
1717 Champa St
Denver, Colorado 80202
How to Get There
The preferred airport for Monaco Denver, a Kimpton Hotel is Denver, CO (DEN-Denver Intl.) - 29.6 km / 18.4 mi. Distances are calculated in a straight line from the property’s location to the point of interest or airport and may not reflect actual travel distance. Distances are displayed to the nearest 0.1 mile and kilometre.