Downtown Denver welcomed its newest hotel this summer. Opened in July 2014, the historic Crawford Hotel is located at the newly renovated Union Station, in the heart of Denver’s LoDo neighborhood and two blocks from Coors Field.
In addition to its prime downtwon Denver location, the 112-room Crawford Hotel manages to captivate the magic of train travel and the Victorian era. Named for Denver’s Union Station partner Dana Crawford, the Crawford Hotel is one of those magical places in Denver that will soon become a favorite.
My first stop at the Crawford Hotel was for its grand opening, and I parked near its neighbor the Oxford Hotel, half block east on 17th Street, walking toward Wynkoop. My most recent visit was an overnight. This time, my husband and I took the light rail into Union Station, coming up on the west side, near the Amtrak rails and the bus lines. When the light rail line is completed from Denver International Airport, Denver’s Union Station will be the stop for passengers arriving from the airport into downtown Denver.
Union Station is a 120-year-old train station, with a dramatic $54 million transformation. Crawford hotel guests are supposed to be met by a hotel ambassador for check in via an iPad. However, when we arrived into the stately Denver Union Station Great Hall, I did not see an ambassador.
It was a busy Labor Day weekend. The Great Hall was literally buzzing with people, lounging on the relaxed seating, playing a lazy game of shuffleboard or making their way to the east end’s Terminal Bar. The Great Hall, with its 65-foot ceilings, acts as the hotel’s lobby and main entrance. Tucked away on the north side of the lobby is the reception desk, a little difficult to spot at first. Upon arrival, we were checked in witin minutes, and surprisingly a front desk team member escorted us to our room on the south end, third floor.
The elevator to the guest rooms is located near the Amtrak station’s office, and your key is required to access any of the guest floors (with an electronic wave over the keypad).
As you walk toward your accommodations via the long, wide hallways, the art collection is pleasantly distracting, a hotel art museum. The collection is a celebration of the historic building, with a mingling of artifacts, antiques and artwork, even including original blueprints of the 1881 building, rescued artifacts – such as the Great Hall’s original benches, wallet-sized photos and more.
The 112 room boutique hotel includes three types of hotel rooms: Pullman style, evoking train travel with Art Deco nod; and Contemporary Loft Rooms occupying Union Station’s former attic, featuring exposed wood timbers and high vaulted ceilings; and our room type this visit: the Classic guestrooms.
Our hotel escort opened the door to our classic deluxe room, mingled with the fresh smell of “new,” is a sense that you’ve stepped back into the Victorian era. Modern deco merges with bright Victorian colors, the rich hues of wood accents, complimented by soaring ceilings and those expansive windows overlooking the square.
Our classic accommodations were divided into 3 separate rooms. Opening up to a foyer with a closet, to the right was the bathroom with my favorite fixtures: a clawfoot tub and double door, marble shower. The middle room was a sitting area with flat panel TV and a desk next to the window. The east side of the room was the bedroom, overlooking the south side of the square.
In-house amenities included your personal iPad, speedy WiFi, and the usual bath amenities. Coffee makers were optional, but a simple request to or hotel escort, brought a delivery of a coffee maker.
The Crawford also offers the Crawford Suite with a Butler’s pantry, separate living and dining rooms, powder room, and master bedroom with a sitting area.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry at Denver Union Station
The newly renovated Denver Union Station is an amazing experience in itself. After unloading our overnight bag, we returned to the Great Hall to check out the Terminal Bar, on the east end, marked by the original ticket windows. Order a drink at these windows and take them anywhere in the Great Hall, or walk into the bar where seating includes tables or bar stools.
The Terminal Bar pours more than 30 Colorado craft beers and the Cooper Lounge channels a glamorous Hollywood vibe with high-end cocktails and an extensive wine & spirits list. The food is pub-style from the nearby Acme Burger & Brat Corporation, and I have to say that the burger was yummy, but the Belgian style frites (fries) had me at hello!
Hotel guests can choose from 10 Colorado-based restaurants including the popular breakfast and lunch chain, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery; Mercantile Dining and Provision, Stoic & Genuine, and the Kitchen Net Door Community Pub.
Crawford guests can enjoy unparalleled access to the new Denver Union Station, which offers an amazing mix of 10 Colorado-based restaurants, including Mercantile Dining & Provision by Chef Alex Seidel, Stoic & Genuine by Chef Jennifer Jasinski, the Kitchen Next Door Community Pub and Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. You can also order from Milkbox Ice Creamery, Pigtrain Coffee, Acme Burger & Brat Corporation and Fresh Exchange, a fast casual salad concept.
I didn’t take advantage of this, but room service is available from Snooze and The Kitchen Next Door Community Pub. We did have breakfast Saturday morning at Snooze, my first experience, and even after a 20 minute wait, I will say it’s worth it, although maybe we should’ve ordered Snooze for our room service!
There are also shopping options within Union Station, including the independent bookstore, Tattered Cover. For those wanting a workout, Crawford Hotel guests receive complimentary access to The Oxford Club (complimentary) or can schedule a spa or salon treatment.
Denver Union Station will ultimately be the transportation hub of downtown, with RTD rail lines and buses connecting the entire metro area. In early 2016, the light rail will open to and from the Denver International Airport
The Crawford Hotel is now my new favorite in downtown Denver. I loved its location, especially that I could take the light rail in from west Metro Denver and not have to deal with the hassels of parking in downtown. The hotel managed to blend modern with historic, and I literally spent more than an hour wandering Denver Union Station and the Crawford Hotel admiring the art collection. . For those travelers looking for a quintessential and historic downtown Denver experience, hands down, book your room at the Crawford Hotel.
Photo Credit Crawford Hotel & Diana Rowe. Accommodations courtesy of Crawford Hotel.