While many travelers have heard of Denver and Colorado Springs, fewer may have the northern Colorado college town of Fort Collins on their radar. The Elizabeth Hotel Fort Collins, Colorado, is another boutique hotel recently added to the Marriott Autograph Collection. This unique music-themed boutique hotel will steal your heart with its in-room turntables, vinyls, local artwork, and bold mixed with traditional decor. Read on as I share my experience at another urban Colorado hotel, The Elizabeth.
Once you arrive in downtown Fort Collins, it might tickle a memory as this magical destination is the inspiration for Walt Disney World’s Main Street, U.S.A. The college town, home to Colorado State University, is also known for its hospitality, beer, bikes, outdoor recreation, and restaurants.
For a quick 24-hour escape, I invited my hubby, our daughter, and son-in-law to explore downtown and experience The Elizabeth Hotel, Fort Collins, Colorado.
This hotel is a new concept by Denver-based Sage Hospitality, which is also at the helm of some of my favorite hotels in Denver: The Oxford Hotel, The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block, and The Crawford Hotel at Union Station.
Located 70 miles north of the Denver metro, Fort Collins is the perfect adult getaway. The other members of our road trip had spent little to no time here. I knew they were in for a pleasant surprise because I visited “FoCo” multiple times and always left wanting to return soon to experience more.
Arrival in Fort Collins, Colorado
We turned our short road trip into a more scenic one, avoiding the often congested Interstate 25 North. Instead, we choose to drive Highway 121 straight north, just over an hour drive. We passed through several small towns enjoying the views of the Rocky Mountains to the west, before arriving in Fort Collins.
A member of Marriott’s Autograph Selection, The Elizabeth Hotel is conveniently located right next to Old Town Square, a designated national and local historic district with 28 historic buildings. This four-star boutique hotel joined the smaller boutique Armstrong Hotel, to add only the second hotel option in Old Town Fort Collins.
The hotel is named after a historic figure from Fort Collins, “Auntie” Elizabeth Stone, known for her hospitality and who ran the first hotel in this town.
Check-in to The Elizabeth
My son-in-law parked in front of the hotel, with the entrance just a few steps away. The hotel is a brick-inlaid building with large windows, almost industrial-looking, part of a mixed-use development called Firehouse Alley. Yet the exterior doesn’t prepare the guest for the combination of bold modern and traditional beauty beginning inside the lobby.
Step inside the hotel and the focal point is the sweeping marble staircase — and that’s the first time I simply said “wow.” The staircase, spiraling up to the guest room floors, is the perfect spot for a selfie, and in fact, on our visit in May, it was the scene of a photoshoot for a local teen’s quinceañera with family and friends dressed to the nines.
We oh-ed and aw-ed over the grand staircase, the metalwork on the balconies, and the cast plaster molding on the balconies on the ceiling, and then walked to the front desk. The large bear painting behind the reception desk is the first of many by local and state artists scattered throughout the hotel.
After a short wait, my son-in-law and I checked in without any issues, while my daughter and husband unloaded our overnight bags onto a cart.
Covered on-site parking for the hotel was conveniently located next door for just $20 (while $25 valet service was temporarily suspended due to COVID). And compared to downtown Denver hotels and other cities, that parking fee is reasonable.
We opted for the elevator, located just behind the reception desk behind the staircase, and we passed a nook with a turntable and a selection of records.
Later, I discovered the hotel includes a music lending library of over more than 1,000 album records AND musical instruments.
Accommodations at The Elizabeth Hotel
The guest hallways are also elegantly decorated with straw-colored wallpaper, leather and, even here, so much design detail.
Choose from 164 guestrooms including three signature suites: Beer & Bike Suite, Music Suite (with a baby grand piano), and the CSU Ram Suite, the latter a nod to the hometown college. Our guest rooms offered large bathrooms, bright lighting, and super comfortable bed and bedding.
My favorite feature is that each room includes a record player and a pre-selected handful of records. I couldn’t resist trying it out. As soon as I unloaded my overnight bag, I powered on the turntable and dropped the Ella Fitzgerald record, and set the needle on to play. Can I tell you? The music gave me goosebumps!
Our rooms also included a balcony with seating that opened onto outdoor space with informal seating, open to guests, but also doubles as meeting space — and the perfect setting for weddings as it overlooks Old Town Fort Collins.
Our family joined each other multiple times in the outdoor space to kick back and enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather in May.
Dining at The Elizabeth
On-site dining included a local favorite, The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market, which we were told was amazing. Unfortunately, we only had time to sip on Sunday brunch cocktails (Bloody Mary’s are worth the stop!) at the Emporium, but the service was excellent and the vibe was fun. I also noted the extensive wine selection in the Wine Market. Choose a bottle to go and enjoy in that outdoor space or in your room.
We did visit the Sunset Lounge on the first evening, and true to its name, it offered a beautiful sunset view of Old Town and Front Range Views.
Another on-site option is Magic Rat to listen to live music and get one more nightcap in before calling it a night.
While coffee is available in your room and the lobby, add a stop at the on-site Bowerbird Coffee, an American cafe and bistro.
Old Town Fort Collins
As amazing as The Elizabeth Hotel is, a big part of its attraction is its convenient location to exploring the pedestrian-friendly Old Town Fort Collins. This town is truly a Northern Colorado gem, and our 24-hour getaway wasn’t nearly enough time to experience this town.
Disclaimer: The Elizabeth Hotel provided accommodations in exchange for a review; however, the opinions expressed are my own.