I waited until the last minute to book a hotel room for a trip to Denver for a major travel conference. I knew better, 7,000 people at an event at the Denver Convention Center meant things were booked up fast. Especially those reasonably priced options at the boutique and upscale hotels that I really love. After scouring the affordable options, I found an affordable rate at the Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown – right across the street from the Convention Center. Score!
Centrally located in downtown Denver, between the 16th Street pedestrian mall and the 14th Street Streetscape, this is an ideal conference location. You’re close enough to the Convention Center so you don’t have the worry and expense of getting a cab to get there on time, and you’re also right in the midst of the restaurant, bar, and nightlife on downtown Denver. If you want to venture a little further afield, the complimentary 16th street shuttle will get you to a few more places.
The room was far more spacious and comfortable than I was expecting at this property toward the budget end of the Hilton brand. Decorated in muted earth tones with a pop of blue-gray for accent, the room was spacious enough to comfortably accommodate a king-sized bed, a couch and sitting area, work desk with ergonomic chair, and entertainment area with a microwave, coffee maker, and refrigerator. Free wifi, a nice gift bag for Hilton Honors Members, and a great location – my delay in booking a hotel room connected me with a brand I would otherwise have overlooked.
The public areas of the hotel are equally attractive and welcoming. The lobby is compact, with a long check-in desk that manages traffic flow well. I never saw it crowded on the many times I passed through. A couple of large water containers on a side table are always full and ready to quench the thirst of a thirsty traveler. Off to the side, a lounge area provides a comfortable spot to wait for friends or a ride back to the airport.
There is an indoor pool, whirlpool, and fitness center, although I didn’t have the opportunity to try them out. Two restaurants are on the property – DazBog, a coffee shop with an interesting selection of gourmet coffee (I stopped here every morning), and Territory Kitchen & Bar, which is open for breakfast as well as dinner.
Several times during the course of my stay in Denver, I was reminded that I shouldn’t overlook the moderate-range business hotels. Friends complained about the high rate for wifi at their hotels, mine was free. Another friend complained about the fussiness of the shower in the bathroom, the faucets as well as showerhead; mine was perfect. When I was full up at dinner one evening, I took my leftovers back to my room, knowing that I could warm them up the next day. Friends had to leave theirs behind.
And seriously, when it came time to head off each morning, I left my room later, stopped off at DazBog for coffee, and was still there before most of them.
While I’ll still be seeking out luxury boutique hotels for most of my personal travel, when I’m traveling on business I won’t overlook the Hilton Garden Inn choices.
The Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown is located at 1400 Welton Street, Denver, Colorado. Rates start around $145 on weekends, about double that during the week, and climbing higher when there are major events at the Convention Center. You can compare rates at Priceline or other booking sites.
Valet parking is $42/day; there is no self-park lot, so if you have a car you’ll need to find a nearby lot. If you don’t need a car while you’re in Denver, you can take the light rail from the airport to Union Station ($9 one way, it takes about 37 minutes). While the hotel is walkable from Union Station, if you have bags, I’d recommend grabbing a cab or Uber to the hotel.
Photo credit: Exterior shot courtesy of Hilton.