The lobby feels a little bit like being on a spaceship, but the Westin at Denver International Airport is decidedly earth-bound. Located steps outside the airport – it really was just a short walk outside of the TSA pre-check line – the Westin Denver Airport combines convenience, location, and a bit of luxury to provide a great airport hotel experience.
The Westin Denver Airport has 519 rooms, 35 of them suites, and is a pet-friendly property. Walking from the airport to the hotel is via an easy walkway (it was snowing when I was there and I still kept warm and dry), then an elevator ride to the lobby on the 6th floor. It can be a bit confusing if you don’t already know the route, some more informational signage would be welcome, but you will eventually wind up in the lobby. Remember, the lobby is on the 6th floor.
White is the overwhelming theme of the lobby, lots of it, combined with dramatic modern architecture, ceiling arches, and a hint of an industrial vibe thrown in for good measure. Windows create dramatic walls with views of the hotel’s plaza, the airport, and the Colorado Front Range. My check in was smooth sailing, but I’ve heard from a number of friends that at prime check in times the lineup and waiting time is ridiculous. The hotel has been open over a year, so it seems like the kinks should have been worked out, but be prepared to voice your concern if this isn’t resolved by the time of your visit.
I stopped by the front desk a number of times during my stay and never had a long wait for assistance. The staff was helpful with information and recommendations and quick to get me on my way.
In the lobby, you’ll also find the Sky Lounge, open 5 pm to 1 am. With a U-shaped white bar and comfy chairs spread around the area, it’s a great spot to meet up with friends, whether you’re staying the night or just have extended layover time. While you enjoy the floor-to-ceiling views, you can enjoy one of the signature cocktails and a small plate menu.
Entry level rooms, called business class, are located on the 10th and 11th floors. Decorated in neutral hues, these rooms feature huge windows that offer views of the tented rooftops of the terminal, the impressiveness of the Colorado Front Range, or some other view of the airport.
My room had a king-size Heavenly Bed, the branded Westin bed and bedding product, and the adjacent nightstands had good lighting. One of the features that I most appreciated is the built-in USB port on the nightstand. I had two very early wake-up calls. Since I use my phone as my alarm, I always stress that my fully charged phone will somehow run out of a charge overnight causing me to oversleep. When there is a nearby charging port, I sleep much easier.
The room also had a reasonably comfortable arm chair and a spacious work area with well-located plug-ins. The desk chair was adjustable, another appreciated feature since I often have to add pillows and books to a chair to get the proper height for working.
Bathrooms come in two layouts, a glass-enclosed rainforest shower or a combination tub/shower with rainforest shower head. The bathroom vanity is well lit and stocked with the Westin’s signature white tea scented amenities.
Other room amenities included flat-screen television, robes, and coffee maker.
There are several options when you’re ready for a meal.
First, you can try one of the Westin’s three restaurants (room service also available, of course): Grill & Vine, Ingredients, or the Sky Lounge (described above). Hotel guests get a credit toward meals and beverages at any of the restaurants.
Grill & Vine offers a modern take on the classic bar and grill, both in terms of food and decor. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant adds some unusual twists to classic menu items. There is also a good menu of wines available by the glass. I liked the short rib tacos paired with a Malbec. Service was quick without being rushed, something important when you may have a flight to catch. I was there during the winter and it was snowing, but I’m told that the patio opens in nice weather.
Ingredients is perfect for eat in or grab-and-go coffee, smoothies, sandwiches and other snacks. It opens at 5 am so you can get something before your early morning flight. The space is full of light, making it a common spot for guests to grab something to eat and drink and work.
If you want to leave the hotel for a meal, but don’t want to go far, you can walk back to the airport and sample one of the many restaurants located outside of security. Many are mediocre, typical of airport restaurants, but if you’re looking for something fast, you may find it here. Boulder Beer Tap House was always busy and noisy and I’d like to try one of their brews on a future visit.
If you want to get farther away, you won’t need a car. It’s very easy to catch the train into Denver’s downtown Union Station – the airport station is one end of the line and Union Station is the other, no transfers or worries about missing a station, just get on at the beginning and ride to the end. To reach the station, take the hotel elevator to the first floor, look out the doors and you’ll see the tracks. You should purchase your ticket inside at one of the automated kiosks. I bought an all-day pass, good for multiple rides over a 24 hour period, for $9. Don’t think you can hop on without paying, train personnel come through and check for your ticket. The train runs approximately every 15 minutes and you should allow about 20-30 minutes to get downtown.
Once downtown you can explore many of the restaurant options, or just pop into Union Square itself. The building has been beautifully remodeled and houses a hotel, shops, and plenty or restaurants and bars. I grabbed dinner and drinks at the Terminal Bar one evening and it was an easy round trip from the hotel. The train and the platforms were well lit and there was plenty of security personnel. I felt safe traveling alone at night.
The Westin Denver Airport is located at 8300 Peña Boulevard. But honestly, you don’t need to know the street address, it’s right at the airport and that’s the reason you’ll be staying there. Room rates vary widely, from about $159-$300 per night. You can check the rates on a booking site like Expedia or Travelocity.
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Photo credit: Exterior and restaurant photo from Westin Denver Airport, other by author.