We recently stayed at a Boutique Hotel. The website called the Patterson, an Inn. A wonderful breakfast was included, so shouldn't we say B&B?
None of those fit. I'd just say, we were guests at an Impressive Mansion, for one night! That works.
In 1891, State Senator Thomas Croke built this grand looking, red sandstone home, on Denver's Capital Hill. It had even more embellishments, than it does today.
Croke lived only a short time in the home, before selling to another Senator named Thomas. Senator Thomas Patterson was actually a U.S. Senator in later years, but he and his family, moved into the stately mansion in 1893. The property has changed hands numerous times in 130+ years.
When I first spotted the mansion from across the street, I thought of a French chateau. Then I thought of the beach. I was reminded of an elaborate sandcastle.
Even the carriage house on the right, had turrets and towers.
From our parking spot on the corner, I studied the side of the house and wondered where our room would be. It was perfect weather for sitting out and I longed to relax on the lower terrace.
But, I was pretty sure the terrace was for the use of guests in the DaVinci Room. I viewed that room on the website, when we booked. It was $75. more, but the spacious room also came with a fireplace and a sunroom. The rounded room with windows, was visible in back. Ahhh... next time we'll splurge.
It was a little early for the 3:30 check in, but we headed up the stairs to the arched doors.
The doors were locked, but we were soon greeted by Phoebe. A few days earlier, I'd chatted with her, when she called to welcome us in advance and ask about food allergies. That seemed surprisingly gracious for a hotel in 2022!
We followed through 2 sets of doors. Once inside we were met with a grand, yet somehow homey space. Fresh flowers, stained glass and lots of lovely wood.
It was hard to imagine this home in the 1970's, when it came close to demolition. It was rescued but never renovated properly until recent years. By 2010, the vacant building was under contract to become a group facility for homeless men. That didn't happen,
As we followed Phoebe into an office area, she pointed out the entrance to the breakfast room. It's been about decade since the mansion was gutted and turned into a B&B.
I've seen "before" photos and they did an amazing job. I believe the woodwork and intriguing fireplace are all original.
Haunted Guest Room?
Just across from the breakfast room, I noticed the door to the DaVinci Room.
Could that room have once been the Patterson's bedroom? I should have asked.
I read that Senator and Katherine Patterson both died in the home. He in 1916 and she in 1902. And then there was another resident (Dr. Sudan's wife) who committed suicide in the house in the 1940's. Ugh. I guess we don't need to know more specifics about these deaths. I do know this home is considered one of the most haunted on Capital Hill.
Up the Stairs
Phoebe was warm and chatty as she checked us in. We were told about breakfast and given coupons for free drinks in the basement lounge. Then she had us put our luggage into the elevator. There was just enough room for the bags, so they traveled alone.
We headed up the beautiful stairs to the second floor. Since the elevator only went to the second floor, we grabbed our bags and headed up some more stairs.
It was a more narrow stairway to the third floor. The floor where the servants once lived.
Inside the Turret
The third floor may not have been the most luxurious in its day, but it seemed the most intriguing. Phoebe opened up a door not far from our room and switched on a set of tube lights.
She pointed to the glow from a window, at the end of the odd passage. We were invited to explore. The round room was the inside of a turret.
There was a sloppy circle of carpet inviting us to sit a spell. We didn't, but we did pause to wonder about all the people who have looked out this window over the years.
It was odd to see the crude, wooden interior of the cone. From the outside, the pointy roof looked so perfectly smooth.
As we peered out the curved glass, we hadn't yet heard the story about the dogs who supposedly leapt (or were thrown) from this window.
I learned later about the pair of guard dogs, that fell to their death in the 1970's. The vacant mansion was being renovated and there were problems with theft and vandalism. The dogs were left in the building overnight to scare away troublemakers. In the morning they were found dead below the (open or broken?) window. I can see why we Phoebe avoided that story while we were up there.
The guest room where we stayed was right beside the turret. It was a little confusing, but Phoebe hinted that the somewhat hidden turret, might have been open to our room at one time. Later we went outside and I looked up at the rounded window directly beneath the cone. That's where we'd been looking out.
There was also a good view of the two dormer windows, beside the turret. The windows look much smaller in my photo, than they did inside our room.
Room No. 9
Phoebe showed us to our room with the brass plaque. I didn't think about it until later, but the other 8 rooms had names like "Biltmore" and "Prague" and "Cheshire". Surely there's a reason for the "No. 9" name!
The wonderful angles and bold stripes were a fun surprise when the door opened.
Our dormer window gave the room a little nook for a desk and chair. Love a window that goes to the floor! And more bold stripes!
It was entertaining having our room in the front of the building. I could spot the gold dome of the capital. Did Senator Croke walk to work?
Pops of Yellow
I was happy to have something different than Victorian furnishings. I liked the bold black and white, along with splashes of bright yellow.
There was no claustrophobic attic feel to the room. The steep roofline, gave us a lots of headroom. That pleased Don, who often has to watch his head.
The bathroom was wonderfully spacious and bright.
Having separate sinks was a treat. The hotel we'd stayed in the night before, barely gave us room for a toothbrush.
Four mirrors and lots of light! I could pretend I was in my dressing room, sitting down to apply make up, before hitting the stage! Not bad for staying in the servant's quarters.
I like to make use. I made sure to allow time for a luxurious bath. I loved it that the tall windows had frosted glass and I could happily open the drapes. Poor Don was less pleased. These fancy tubs are tricky for tall people, but the rigged shower and curtains worked well.
I was also happy to realize the "fancy phone" was not just a prop. There was indeed a dial tone. I wanted to make a call... just to make use. But in this cell phone age, that means I'm required to remember phone numbers. I made no calls.
12 Spirits Tavern
There were so many fun and funny surprises during our stay. The basement lounge had some good ones. The sneaky entrance from the street had no sign, so it felt like a speakeasy.
The Tavern had just recently opened to the public. Hotel guests were given a couple comp. drink tickets. Word of mouth seemed to be how other visitors had learned about the place.
Looking Around for Spirits
The Tavern was named for the 12 spirits, that supposedly roam the mansion. Don and I took a quick peek into some areas of the basement, in case any were lingering in the shadows.
We only found an old laundry sink. We found no old cigars boxes or animal cages. We'd heard that Senator Patterson had a cigar lounge in the basement and in later years a vet lived had his office in the basement. Were there any little ghost animals?
Social Time in the Tavern
The basement felt more cozy than eerie. It felt like a neighborhood bar, where a few locals gathered. Don and I felt like we were hotel guests AND locals at the same time, when my local friend Martha, came and joined us in the Tavern.
We actually wore these fine glasses the next day, but we should have put them on while we visited in the 12 Spirits Lounge. These whacky glasses could have scared spirits away... while we sipped on spirits!
After Martha departed, Don and I shared a couple goodies from the Tavern menu. The general manager, Scott served our drinks and recommended the Savory Hot Pie, with bacon, maple syrup, sherry and thyme.
The Grilled Cheese with sourdough, Brie, Gruyere, caramelized onion and cranberry-tomato jam, was equally satisfying and reasonably priced at $6 and $8. A delicious surprise, in the basement!
Owner, Chris and Scott made the atmosphere welcoming. Chris chatted with us earlier about how he'd had his eye on this mansion years ago, but finally became the latest owner, during the pandemic.
He verified what I'd read in a Forbes article about plans to open a licensed "Marijuana Consumption Lounge" in the coach house portion of the inn. And what an interesting conversation that was. Chris was actually open to hearing the concerns of an open minded guest who happens to hate the smell of pot. Not enough space in this blog post, but it was an interesting converstaion.
Evening & Night
Don and I were able to get out at dusk and enjoy exploring the neighborhood on foot. What a beautiful walk, spotting the mansions in the area once known as "Millionaires' Row".
We returned in time to see a "Ghost Tour" standing on the corner. Too bad the group spotted us going in, or we could have dashed up and flashed lights in the turret room.
The yellow walls greeted us in the morning at breakfast.
A chalkboard above the fireplace told us our sweet and savory options.
Where to Sit?
I had my eye on the cute round table in the turret!
But we were actually more comfy at the table beneath a very interesting framed photo. We sipped some coffee (which happened to be extra good) while we enjoyed our surroundings.
Curious Photo and Curious Floor
"Watching the Turtle - Xmas 1893" was written in the corner. Was this photo taken in the mansion? And what was with that turtle activity, anyway?
A close look at the floors was interesting. The design was nice, but the nails were odd. The carpenter must have used 100 nails per foot!
When Chef Wess appeared from the kitchen with our food, we were pretty darn impressed. I went for sweet, with Raspberry Challah French Toast!
Don did the savory. Fried Chicken Biscuit with Sausage Gravy! Man, were these tasty! The colorful gravy had an exotic flavor. Curry? Not even sure, but both were amazing. What a great addition to our stay.
We had our chance to ask Wess about his recipes, but after we raved about breakfast, we were off on other subjects.
Not only was Wess a great chef, but he was another pleasant member of the staff. He was about done with breakfast duties and had time to fill us in on some of his experiences, that got him to this point in his career. A very nice and humble guy.
Good Bye Neighborhood
We were able to late check out, so Don and I squeezed in one more long walk before heading off.
Here are just a few of the amazing mansions that have managed to survive the ups and downs of this historic neighborhood. Love them all!
We stayed on the top floor of a stately mansion, overlooking Colorado's Capitol. That's enough right there.
We also had great conversations and some memorable feasts. The location was a huge plus and the price was surprisingly low, for our Castle-like stay! ($275) Next time we'll go for the DaVinci!
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!