Forget the room key, just head to the bar
Come for the drinks, stay for the ambience
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 03:02
Hotel bars are hidden gems for a classy evening on the town. Most people might assume the bars are reserved for out-of-towners or convention-goers, but nestled deep, and sometimes high, in the lodgings of Denver is a surprising array of bars.
Hidden in a windowless room on the first floor of the Oxford Hotel is a charming joint called The Cruise Room (17th and Wazee). Always lit like a movie from the 1940s, the bar has an engulfing ambience, as the ceiling glows a deep red that sets the tone for any romantic evening out.
The Cruise Room is designed after a lounge on the Queen Mary and remains one of the best art deco spots in town. Additionally, it also has the bragging rights of saying it was the first bar opened in Denver after the end of prohibition in 1933.
Easily one of Denver’s best martini bars, two drinks can run a tab of around $20. It’s pricey, but elegant and of the highest quality. The free Jazz-era jukebox, transformative atmosphere, and sheer class make it well worth the price.
For the best view in Denver there is only one place to head: Peaks Lounge (14th and California). The bar sits on the 27th floor of the Hyatt with windows that look out in three directions and offer up beautiful sunsets. Every seat in Peaks Lounge has a view to remember. The lounge serves food after 5p.m. and stays mostly low-key throughout the night. The music is always quiet and the couches by the fireplace are ideal for a good snuggle, making Peaks a great bar for a good conversation.
While there is no happy hour in sight, Peaks boasts a wider and cheaper beer selection than The Cruise Room. And if you want to stay sober, it is also the ideal spot to order up a simple coffee and enjoy the city lights 27 floors below.
The best place for birthday drinking in town might easily be Charlie Brown’s. While the Colburn Hotel (10th and Grant) that rises above Brown’s might not be much of a hotel, it is still an awesome Denver landmark. Charlie Brown’s doesn’t excel in the food and drink category, but the bar offers a nearly absurd $30 tab for birthday boys and girls.
And it doesn’t disappoint, either. It may not be the shirt and tie fair that The Cruise Room or Peaks Lounge are, but the drinks run at around half of the price of these contenders. The crowds also tend to be larger, so reservations for that birthday bash aren’t a bad idea.
While these hotel bars may seem out of the way and on the pricey side, they earn the extra effort and the extra dollar for the unique personality they’ll give to any night on the town.