Old World Luxury at The Oxford Hotel: Denver, Colorado
The thrill of landing in a new city, is one that never gets old for me. It’s that same feeling I got when sneaking out to go to parties in high school- the rush of anticipation and desire to see the night’s untold escapades come to life with new people, new experiences and new places. In Denver there is no shortage of adventure, making it an exceptional destination for any type of traveller. Since it is centrally located near the mountains one can easily take a day trip up to the Rockies for a hike or a ski, or get your kicks checking out Denver’s vibrant LoDo neighborhood where you’ll find restaurants, art galleries, and the historic Oxford Hotel.
The LoDo (lower downtown) neighborhood is the oldest original settlement in the city limits, known for its nightlife as well as its gorgeous historic buildings which you can locate through the National Register of Historic places. The most historic grand hotel in the LoDo is The Oxford Hotel, built in 1918 by Frank E. Edbrooke, a leading architect of the time. During this era many architects, like Edbrooke, were infatuated with the idea that modernity could be achieved through decoration and this hotel is certainly evidence of that thinking.
If time travel has ever appealed to you, then you will love how The Oxford Hotel’s Gilded Age lavishness brings you back in time to the excitement of the early 1900s when Denver was experiencing massive growth and industrialization due to booming railroad and coal industries. Arriving by car to the hotel, the classic red brick facade glows as if in an Edward Hooper painting, while a classically suited valet rushes up to whisk away your car and help with luggage. Even the signage of the hotel appears to mirror the original based on the historical images you can see in the lobby. As you walk below the green awning into the extravagant lobby the charm of the place envelopes you. The grand lobby boasts high ceilings and resplendent marble, dotted with antiques, elegant furnishings all warmly lit and cozied by a wood burning fireplace. There you’ll also find excellent original examples of Western art, which further transport you back to another era in American history where Bison roamed and the west was still very much wild.
The staff at the hotel couldn’t have been more kind and courteous, and the check in process was unique- instead of key cards you actually get the original door keys with a cool vintage tassel attached. The front desk staff were happy to give me and my companion Lucy recommendations to the surrounding area including the Terminal Bar and The Cooper Lounge, both in the historic old Union Station Building nearby. You don’t need to leave the hotel to have a good time though, the Cruise Room Martini Bar, Denver’s original post- prohibition bar, serves award-winning drinks in their red-hued Art-Deco space. Try the White Lady and the Collins and enjoy the speakeasy vibes.
If you arrive in time for a bit of dinner the hotel is adjacent to McCormick’s seafood which is a great mainstay for American surf and turf cuisine. I also recommend Zengo an Asian and Latin fusion restaurant serving inventive sushi and noodle dishes as well as amazing cocktails in a bright and modern space with decorations from both regions. When it is time to retire, coming home to the Oxford is such a treat.
We stayed in a corner room, the bed and bedding were like sleeping on a cashmere cloud, which is what you’d expect from the room’s 400-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. The bed frame appeared to be a walnut one and the room’s Art Deco and Victorian English decor gave the room a more personal warmth than you get at most hotels where the furnishings feel very mass produced and impersonal.
What really got me excited was the bathroom. I know that sounds silly, but trust me it isn’t. The bathroom had the most ornate French tiling, airy light walls, a nice city view and the BEST bathtub I have ever met in my life. Clawfoot tubs are without a doubt the most luxe way to bathe, and the bath products provided has a light floral scent to soothe the day away. If showers are your thing you’ll love the modern glass walled shower and the dual sinks. The bathroom and room is a nice example of how well The Oxford is able to bring the best of the old world and mix it with modern convenience and technology, you have the antique look with all the functionality you want, like wifi, tons of outlets, cable tv, in-room dining, and much more.
I highly encourage you to spend your time in Denver with The Oxford Hotel. It is the most charming, unique gem of a hotel, and if you love the idea of being transported to another era you will fall in love with the Art Deco meets Victorian era interior design and the inimitable attention to every detail that the staff has poured their heart into to create a warm, efficient and exceptional stay for the busy traveller who demands perfection. I hope you’ve found my review helpful and stay tuned for more Colorado hiking travel ideas this week!
*Photos courtesy of the author, The Oxford and Zengo.