Reasons to Stay
There are lots of reasons to stay at the Brown Palace, in Denver.
These are my reasons:
The Age! (125 years)
The Odd Name
The Crazy Shape
The Rich History
The Great Location
The Old World Glamor
The Modern Luxury
Why Not Stay?
There are a few reasons some might not stay at The Brown. Our main reason for never booking a room? We couldn't afford it.
The rates were out of our range, when we made our plans for a summer Colorado trip, this year. But on June 15, we stopped in for a drink at the classy, Churchill Bar.
The Book Paves the Way
We didn't spend the night, but we had drinks and ended up meeting the talented Chef Kasper, from the hotel's Palace Arms dining room.
My Dining Blog link below, tells how my silly cookbook helped introduce us. It also explains how Kasper's generosity and enthusiasm lured us back, to spend a night at The Brown!
A Week Later
A week after our evening at the bar, Don and I altered travel plans and headed back to Denver.
This time we actually had reservations for a night at The Brown. Chef Kasper was able to get us a rate we could afford. My Denver friend Martha, even offered to drop us off to avoid the $37.00 valet parking fee.
Even though we had seen the grand hotel a week earlier, I walked through the revolving doors like a giddy child.
Before checking in, I paused to sample water from the ritzy water fountain. The hotel was actually built on an artesian well, so there's a reason for the fancy fountain.
I love historic hotels, when they make me feel like I'm stepping into one of my favorite classic movies.
The escalator and retro elevator did the trick. If only I'd been wearing a hat and carrying a train case. Then I would have paused for sure, to make a call on that classic, house phone, near the escalator.
We didn't have a meal or a drink in the Ship Tavern, but I took a good peek. From the street, I could see the lovely stained glass and model ships in the windows. I studied the impressive way the tavern fit into the "rounded point" of the flatiron building.
I learned that there's a reason for the hotel's shape. It's because it was built on a pie-shaped plot of land. Now, I don't know why there happened to be a pie-shaped plot of land.
Red & Blue
If only we'd had more time! I would have loved to have had a drink, sitting on one of those nautical stools!
What a fun mix of old world wood and patriotic colors.
I took this photo of the Atrium, a week earlier, not knowing we'd be returning.
The gold and marble was just as impressive on the second visit.
It was much busier on Friday afternoon at check in. It was fun to watch the first time visitors arriving and smiling upward at the skylight.
The colorful glass was glowing above 8 stories, but I heard there are actually 9 stories. Evidently there is something up there, besides sky.
After we checked in, I took a hike as far up as I could go. It was a good way to burn a few calories before our dinner reservations!
I should have taken a close-up photo, to show the decorative iron panels on the stair and balcony railings. There are 700 panels!
Arches on the Second Story
There's probably a name for the second story with all the fancy arches. If I'd had a lot more time, I could have studied all the intricate designs on the panels.
I heard there are a couple that are upside down. You'd have to be pretty observant to notice that.
From the highest floor I had a good time observing the afternoon tea that was still going strong.
I was too high up to eavesdrop on the conversations. But it was fun watching and listening to the voices and the clinking tea cups and piano music, swirling around the open space.
I was excited to find our room on the 6th floor. Kasper had made it clear he could reserve any kind of room, all the way up to the Presidential Suite.
We weren't sure what kind of rates he would be able to get us, so we assured him we would be delighted with a basic room.
Our room was spacious and lovely. I really have no idea where this ranks in their line up of accommodations, but we couldn't have been more pleased.
Don and I spent a lot of time shaking our heads and grinning at our good fortune. We were getting the Brown Palace experience, for about the same price as 2 nights of valet parking!
The classy remodeling made it a little tricky to remember we were, in an old hotel.
But a glance at the triangular-shaped wooden windowsill, made it clear we were inside the iconic flat iron building. I love that!
Unfortunately, we didn't have a whole lot of lounging time.
If we'd had more time, we could have made use of the cozy robes and comfy sitting spots. We could have taken our time freshening up in that wonderful shower.
Don was getting dressed when we heard a knock on the door. He dashed into our very large closet while I answered. What a decadent treat!
This was yet another gracious gesture, on the part of Kasper! Luckily our dinner reservations were on the late side and our Denver friends weren't arriving for a little while.
Enjoying with Friends
By 6:30, the Atrium atmosphere had gone from Tea Time to Jazz & Martini Time.
My college buddy Martha and her hubby, taxied over to join us for drinks and music.
Double the Fun
It was so much fun having Martha and Bill to share our giddiness. They live in Denver and have experienced some fun at The Brown before.
In fact the piano player, recognized Martha from last December, when he picked up on her theatrical flare and managed to get a "White Christmas" performance out of her. It was the wrong time of year for that, but we did some dancing.
By 7:45, our friends had headed home and it was time for our reservations at the elegant Palace Arms.
There were other diners when we arrived, but by the time we finished our 6 courses of food, the place was dramatically quiet.
From Salt Block to a Bag of Jams
The Dining Blog shares more about our extraordinary meal, prepared by Chef Kasper. The first photo shows how our meal we began. Crisp vegetables, served on a cold salt block...
...and a gift bag full of jams and breads made by Kasper himself. What an amazing evening.
I started this write up with a list of all the things that made me want to experience The Brown. The name, history, glam, age, shape and location did indeed make the stay fun. But the real memory will always be about the people who helped us enjoy it!
Kasper made our stay possible! Then he made it unforgettable, with his feast and sharing! Martha and Bill arrived to cheer us on and they will be who we turn to in later years to ask, "Did that really happen?"
The Brown Palace is a dreamlike hotel, all on its own. The people, will be what made this historic hotel experience notable!
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!