My Review of The Brown Palace – A Historic (Marriott!) Hotel in the Heart of Denver

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Meghan:   My family and I recently took a fantastic long-weekend trip to Denver.  We stayed at the historic Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, visited the Denver Zoo and the Children’s Museum, and ate delicious food.

It was the perfect getaway, because Denver is only a ~2 hour direct flight from our home base in Missoula, Montana.  And we especially enjoyed all of that Colorado sunshine!

The Brown Palace Review
The Lobby at The Brown Palace Is THE Place to Be! The Jazz Music Every Night Made for the Perfect Atmosphere

I’ll share my impressions of The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa.  And why you should consider it during your next trip to Denver.

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

Staying at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection was a real treat.  I’d highly recommend it if you’re planning a trip to Denver!

1.   Location

It’s in a great location, within walking distance to a number of fantastic restaurants and attractions, including the Denver Art Museum (which is part of Bank of America’s “Museums on Us” program!), Paramount Theater, and the state capitol.  It’s also just a short drive away from popular spots like the city’s zoo, aquarium, and children’s museum.

The hotel even offers a complimentary car service anywhere within 5 miles of the hotel.  And while it isn’t available 24/7, we used it 3 times during our 3-night stay without ever having to wait more than ~5 minutes.  It saved us at least ~$40 in Uber costs.

The Brown Palace Review
No Need to Call a Taxi. The Brown Palace Has a Complimentary Car Service to Anywhere Within 5 Miles of the Hotel!

One afternoon, we hitched a ride with the complimentary car to the Children’s Museum of Denver (more on that awesome spot in another post!), and walked back to the hotel along the South Platte River that runs through the city.  The ~45 minute stroll was the perfect opportunity for my daughter to catch a nap after all the fun at the museum. 😉

2.   Rooms

The hotel itself is an attraction!  It has lots of old-world charm, with beautiful architecture, marble floors, and a stunning stained glass ceiling.  The entrance to the spa was once the building’s grand fireplace!

I was also delightfully surprised with the automatic upgrade we received because of my Marriott Gold status (matched from the complimentary Starwood Gold status from The Business Platinum Card® from American Express), giving us a larger room on a higher floor.

But the rooms themselves weren’t the most spectacular I’d ever stayed in.  They felt a little shabby.

The Brown Palace Review
The High Ceilings Made the Rooms Feel Much Larger

Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten used to the more modern design of so many hotels these days?

Even though the room itself wasn’t that impressive, the bathroom was quite beautiful!  I loved the big marble showers and double vanity.

The Brown Palace Review
The Bathrooms Were Nicely Updated, With a Clean and Spacious Feel

3.   Food & Beverages

The Brown Palace is well known for its afternoon tea service in the lobby.  When we arrived on a Thursday afternoon, there were dozens of groups enjoying tea and treats.

The spot radiates vintage elegance.  But it doesn’t feel snooty!  And I can attest to the fact that their tea cocktails are to die for.  The “Sophisticate” was one of the best drinks I’ve had!

The Brown Palace Review
Y’all, I Could Have Drank Dozens of These Tea Cocktails. They Were as Yummy as They Were Pretty!

Plus, because of my Marriott Gold status, we each received a $30 breakfast voucher every morning of our stay.  They were good for anything off the menu at Ellyngton’s, the hotel’s more casual restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and a Sunday brunch.  We could also used them at the hotel’s coffee shop, Coffee & Tea Co.  This perk alone saved our party of four $360 ($30 voucher per person X 4 people X 3 days)!

We ate at Ellyngton’s all 3 days, and the food was outstanding.  We made it a point to try a few different things off the menu (I’d highly recommend the waffle panini!).  And every morning, the server was sweet enough to deliver a mini smoothie to my daughter…which made breakfast all the more enjoyable for everyone. 😉

The Brown Palace Review
Em Sipped Her Pint-Sized Strawberry Smoothie While Mom and Her Friends Enjoyed Their Coffee

4.   Booking

The Brown Palace is a Marriott Category 8 hotel that cost me 40,000 Marriott points per night (though I don’t know what it will cost with the new award chart).  Depending on the time of year, or whether there’s a special event happening in the city, standard rooms go from ~$225 to $500+!

So the savings can definitely add up if you decide to book an award stay.  But I’d suggest checking the cash price before using your hard earned points.  Because it could make more sense to save your points if you can get more value from them elsewhere.

Also, if you have a car (like we did) and want to save even more, opt to park at a garage nearby.  The hotel charges $47 per night for valet parking, but I found a garage ~3 blocks away that cost just $17 per night.

Bottom Line

If you’re headed to Denver, consider staying at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection!  It’s in an incredibly convenient location, within a short walk or drive to most every attraction in the city.

The rooms weren’t anything to write home about, but the hotel as a whole offered a great setting for a comfortable and fun long-weekend stay!  The hotel breakfast was outstanding, and drinking tea cocktails and listening to jazz music in the lobby felt very Great Gatsby-ish. 😉

A 4-day trip wasn’t nearly long enough to see and do everything in Denver.  So we’ll definitely be back!  And I’ll share some ideas for activities (both adult and kid-friendly) in my next post.  Stay tuned!

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