Boulder’s first luxury hotel survives today on a steadfast foundation of service and luxury that is over 100 years in the making. Located in the heart of Boulder, steps from the famous Pearl St. Mall, history and luxury intertwine in this shining star of Boulder at Hotel Boulderado.
A stained glass atrium with period furniture, rich dark woods, and late 18th century Grandfather clock greet guests to the stunning property in the main lobby of Hotel Boulderado. From the tiered central Cherry wood staircase to the welcoming fireplace with cozy lounge areas and the Arapahoe Glacier-fed marble drinking fountain, guests feel as they’ve stepped back in time to a lavish experience in Boulder.
The 160 guest rooms of today include renovated suites, a North Wing constructed in the 80s, and uniquely decorated rooms in the Historic Section. A staple of Boulder’s history, the community of Boulder erected the hotel by purchasing $100 shares in stock, accumulating $172,000 (in today’s dollars over $3 million) to build what was to become Boulder’s first luxury hotel.
Made into a landmark in 1977 and joining the National Historic Registry in 1995, the meld of Italian Renaissance and Spanish Revival architecture provides a hotel haven for guests that is steeped in history and reflects a true affection from the residents of Boulder.
Off the main lobby area, Q’s Restaurant is a bustling culinary destination. Steps from the busy Pearl Street Mall, business lunches and family celebrations alike are at home in this chef-owned and operated establishment.
Opened in the late 90s, Q’s utilizes in-season, fresh produce for their outstanding meals. Brining varieties of fresh vegetables and herbs from his own at-home garden, Chef John Platt is no stranger to accolades, receiving the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence with consistent culinary brilliance.
1911 marked the first wedding at Hotel Boulderado. Steeped in decades of tradition, the ceremony is only conducted at one location—on the steps of the beautiful central stair. Bridal parties only have 20 minutes to say their vows before heading to the reception, as the entire lobby is shut down for the event.
“You’re not just getting married here,” explains Sales and Marketing Coordinator Lynn Brewer, “You become a Boulderado Bride.”
Built by the community, Hotel Boulderado fosters a unique atmosphere of camaraderie and partnership, a place to do business and celebrate in Boulder. A self-proclaimed “lifer,” Brewer is just as taken by the hotel as an employee as she was when she first stepped on property—not an uncommon feeling within the prized luxury hotel for both guests and personnel, the General Manager himself having worked at the hotel since 1978.
Whether taking a ride in the 1906 Otis Elevator or enjoying a cup of tea on the veranda, the historic experiences and stunning views of Downtown Boulder and Flatiron Mountains are just as beautiful as they were when the hotel opened.
Large suites, converted from two guest rooms into one larger space, are complete with antiques in the Historic Section and reproductions in the North Wing. Complimentary Wi-Fi may not have been around when the property made its debut, but modern guests enjoy flat screen TVs, mini-fridges and contemporary luxury services in the historic space.
Reminders of guests from years gone by line a few of the hallways, with steamer trunks, a fan collection and vintage photos lining the walls, providing an interesting tour in and of itself. Details like the original tile floor in Q’s and the coal room-turned-nightspot Catacombs which provided hot water and electricity to guests 24/7 are reminders of history and a love of providing guests with an amazing experience—a sentiment that can be felt throughout the property.
The centrally located Boulderado in Boulder, Colorado is an excellent stay for those seeking a modern twist on a legendary Colorado Hotel. Elegant touches, convenient location, and fine dining options land this spectacular property squarely in the luxury category for those seeking time-tested character and dedication to excellence.
If You Go
Hotel Boulderado is located in Downtown Boulder, Colorado. Located just under an hour from Denver International Airport and 45 minutes from Downtown Denver, Hotel Boulderado is a convenient stay along the Front Range.
2115 13th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Chad Chisholm (www.creationize.com) is a Denver-based travel writer and photographer, his work is featured in AAA EnCompass, JustLuxe, Denver Life Magazine, Colorado Expression, Denver Post and various other outlets.
Photos courtesy of Alison M. Fleetwood Jr. Photography.