For hundreds of years, pilgrims have journeyed to Glenwood Springs, for its restorative hot springs — even legendary Doc Holliday came here for relief — and stayed. Although there’s so much more to do than a soothing and healing soak, travelers still make their way to this Colorado mountain town for its water and outdoor activities. One of its iconic hotels is the historic Hotel Colorado, located steps from the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool and near its downtown.
Known as Colorado’s Land of Waters, this spring, my two grandkids and I road-tripped from Denver, just three hours west (160 miles) on I-70, for a 3-day /2-night getaway to one of our favorite Colorado destinations, Glenwood Springs. We opted to divide our two nights between the historic Hotel Colorado and the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort (and across the Colorado River in downtown is the Hotel Denver). Both of these hotels offered walkable access to the Glenwood Hot Springs, considered the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool, and a short drive to the Iron Mountain Hot Springs.
The Hotel Colorado provided accommodations for our second overnight, and my 11-year-old grandson was stoked — and a bit spooked — to stay in his first historic and “haunted” hotel.
Arrival in Glenwood Springs
Usually, Interstate travel is tedious, but when traveling to Glenwood Springs, road trippers on I-70 enjoy a scenic view of Glenwood Canyon, with its cliffs towering a maximum of 2,000 feet above the Colorado River. Even the usual construction delays can’t deter from the amazing Rocky Mountain scenery to the Exit 116 to downtown. (For those have visited Glenwood recently, this exit features a new roundabout, so it can be confusing..)
Celebrating 125 years in 2018, Hotel Colorado really is a beauty with its towers, seemingly rising out of the mountains behind with the steam from the hot springs in front. The hotel arrived on the scene in 1893 in the midst of the American West era, welcoming many famous (and infamous) guests including many U.S. Presidents.
Perhaps the most celebrated was President Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt loved his visit so much that he visited nearly annually to the hotel, combining his love for hunting with a relaxing getaway. The main lobby area and hallways are lined with museum-worthy artwork documenting the history of the hotel and the area. The legend of Hotel Colorado says that this is also where the loveable “Teddy Bear” was born. To celebrate that, guests can purchase the cute furry bear in the Legends Trading Company Espresso & Juice Bar.
Check-In at Hotel Colorado
Located just a few minutes off that I-70 exit is the Hotel Colorado. Parking is limited in this area (likely due to the flow of visitors at the nearby hot springs), but hotel guests receive a parking pass for the lot behind the hotel. Drive underneath the awning for a short walk into the hotel past Legends, a hallway displaying a bust of President Roosevelt on the right and restored cash register on the left end of the reception desk, and into the large and roomy lobby area.
Both the reception desk and the lobby area are beautifully decorated with Victorian period antiques — and I love the Grand Lobby fireplaces at each end of the lobby. The closest fireplace to the reception desk is also where the complimentary computer and printer are located.
Check-in was smooth, but there is only one elevator off the lobby. It is small and moves slowly, so when carrying luggage to the room, there may be some delays just waiting for the elevator. However, if lightweight luggage, then opt for the wide-sweeping stairway, and enjoy the artwork along the way.
Accommodations at Hotel Colorado
As befitting a historic hotel, the furnishings are elegantly Victorian. DO take time to examine some of the antique furniture as there are some really beautiful pieces.
Our room for me and my two grandkids was a King Parlor Suite 552…which caused my grandson to freak out. He’d researched the ghosts of the Hotel Colorado. In his spooky searches, he had discovered that Suite 551 was haunted by a chambermaid and a love triangle (which I had to explain what that meant). Although there was some questionable flickering of lights, we didn’t encounter any solid proof of hauntings…much to his disappointment.
For those wanting to splurge (hello Colorado romantic, couples getaway), consider booking Hotel Colorado’s signature suites, such as the Premier Balcony Suite, Roosevelt Suite or the Molly Brown. Traveling with family or multigenerational family? Then the Classic Family Room with 3 beds will offer additional space to accommodate.
During the winter, the mountains around the Hotel Colorado are softened by a delicate dusting of snow. From the peaceful reflecting pools at the Hanging Lakes to the rush of riding manicured slopes at Aspen-Snowmass and Sunlight Mountain, the destination is exhilarating. And, Christmas is not-to-be-missed at the Hotel Colorado; with 10,000 sparkling lights on our famous outdoor decorations, and enchanting winter scenes inside.
Coffee, tea, juice and light snacks are available at Legends Trading Company.
The hotel also offers casual dining at Polo Wine & Lounge. My grandkids and I stopped here. While I enjoyed a glass of wine, the kids ordered a non-alcoholic drink, and we all snacked on their Local Cheese Tray.
Adjoining the lounge is the casually elegant Baron’s Restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In the summer, step outside to enjoy the fresh Colorado air and sunshine at the Courtyard Cafe & Copper Top bar, open seasonally for cocktails, lunch and dinner.
Photos courtesy of Diana Rowe and Hotel Colorado.
Disclaimer: I was provided a hotel room at a discounted media rate in exchange for a review; opinions expressed are my own.