A Mansion in Denver
On our road trip to Colorado, Don and I decided to spend a night in Denver. One night in the Mile High City, would help get us acclimated, for the even higher elevation in Breckenridge.
We searched online for historic hotels and were surprised at the mile-high prices! Then we found Capital Hill B & B. It seemed hard to believe, we could spend a night in a mansion, for less than the nearby Holiday Inn Express.
The Keating Home from 1891
Mr. and Mrs. Keating built this home 126 years ago, in an area known as "Millionaire's Row".
They built their splendid home with ruby sandstone, in the "Richardsonian Romanesque" style. I had to look that one up and I didn't absorb much. Let's just say, the cylindrical tower with conical cap, have something to do with that style.
A Rounded Porch
I adore any house or hotel with a good porch.
But this one was extra fun, with it's curved, wrap-around shape.
Stone, Tile and Wood
I loved the tile work around the curved stone. And the beautiful door with square panels and window.
The worn brass plate underneath the window made me chuckle. "No Peddlers" That's an oldie.
Restored in 1994
After being a private residence, the mansion rooms were later used for hotel guests, office workers, apartment rentals and my favorite, "The Happy Home Convalescent Home".
In the 1990's the building was purchased and renovated. The parlor shows much of the original detail that was saved. The maple window trim, marble fireplace and relief molding on the ceiling are all mighty impressive.
Stairs and Window
The whole home was surprisingly bright and fresh, for an old mansion. The beautiful stairway was lit by the colorful stained glass window, which I believe is original.
The railing was sort of magical. It seemed to invite some kind of drama, like an ascending bride or a banister riding youngster... or a very creative musician, who could play those rails like a harp!
Looking down from the stairs also had a whimsical feel. What an odd little platform, built in the space of the round tower! I wonder how it was used originally?
We were pretty amused the next day to see how the owner's granddaughter made use of the space. As we passed by after breakfast, she spoke to us from the pink chair. "This is my office." She announced. She pointed to the bell on the hotel desk and said we could ring it if we needed to check in.
She told me I could take a picture of her office if I wanted to. Then she scooted out of the way. I didn't ask about the teapot or the crucifix. I'd already annoyed her just a bit when I said I liked her chef's hat. She replied to that comment with a silly you tone, "Oh that's not a chef's hat. That's just my work hat." She was pretty adorable.
There were 8 guest rooms in the home.
Ours was on the second floor, along with a few others, which opened up to a wide hall/sitting area.
The Other Turret
Besides the main tower, (visible from the front) there was a rounded turret on the side.
Our room was the one beneath the balcony, within that wonderful round shape. I was a little jealous of the people above. I think they had a fireplace, too.
The Forget-Me-Not Room
The odd shape of our room, made furniture placement a little tricky.
Our queen, French Country canopy was angled into the center of the room.
The curved shape is more evident in the photo that shows the windowsill.
The other photo shows a bit of a view of the garden patio, as well as a large mansion across the street.
This evening photo, shows Don wearing his tropical shirt, standing on the porch calling up an Uber driver.
It was such a treat being so close to the city. We could have walked many places. We paid less than $10. for a ride to Adrift Tiki Lounge!
The dining room was empty in the morning, because when weather allows, breakfast is served on the patio.
It was lovely in the morning and we had the pick of numerous tables when we arrived.
The garden growth and water features, helped block out the sounds the nearby streets.
Don and I were a little weary after our tiki night, but we hoped to meet the owner/chef. We'd heard he was also from Texas and that his breakfasts were delicious. We spotted him in his cowboy hat on the porch, but he didn't make an appearance.
The breakfast was indeed delicious. We had our own pot of pressed coffee and the egg souffle with Rosemary and goat cheese was perfect. But there is one thing that would have made our breakfast so much more enjoyable.
Our breakfast was served by someone who wanted to talk. She was in and out, attending to us numerous times. Each time she stopped and chatted non-stop, pretty much about herself. If I could have gotten a word in edgewise, I would have asked more about the house history or Denver. But we learned about her history, her childhood, her likes and habits and talents etc. Don and I are travelers who love to engage with others. But there was no sharing of conversation. My suggestion is: Read Your Audience! If no one is asking you questions or making eye contact, it's time to retreat!
The idea that we could stay in a mansion, within walking distance of the capital, was pretty amazing. Especially for the price of about $170.
I will never forget how grand and lovely this old home felt. I wish I could have spent more time on the porch, or we could have stayed in a room with a balcony. I wish we had felt more welcomed by the owners. In general, Don and I are pretty enthused guests. We would have had so many questions and compliments if we'd been given a chance to share.
Maybe another time.
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!