Review: Denver's New Four Seasons Hotel

Denver passed a metropolitan milestone last week with the opening of its first Four Seasons hotel. It took a few years to build, as it was done from the ground up. The first 17 floors are the hotel and the 28 floors above that are very pricey condos, ranging from $895,000 to $7.5 million.

Four Seasons are probably my favorite hotels anywhere, and I've been fortunate enough to stay in more than my fair share around the world. (The Four Seasons on 57th St in New York is one of my all time favorites. Incredible beds, and the best bathtubs ever, that fill in 60 seconds.)

So what's Denver's Four Seasons like? Does it compare to those in fancier, more sophisticated or tropical places? I spent five hours there last night, celebrating a friend's birthday with a group of friends. I was tempted to spend the night, since they are offering an introductory special rate of $180 a night until January 31, but I didn't need to. I observed enough to know the hotel is a winner and a great addition to Denver. [More...]

Our group was loud and boisterous...three generations of criminal defense lawyers, all but one of us female, all of us loudly retelling our best stories, laughing and shouting over each other as we moved back and forth between tales of courtroom dramas and injustices to travel, romance, elderly parents and children... we probably weren't their ideal guests. But they treated us like we were the most important people in the room.

The Four Seasons is a plush place, but it's not fancy. It actually has a very homey sort of atmosphere. (I'm not the only one who's noticed this.) Even a rough group like us, not dressed fancy (I was in jeans and cowboy boots) was made to feel at home. The tables were spaced far enough apart so you didn't get drawn into others' conversations. The chairs were oversized, club type chairs, like one you'd curl up in at home to read a good book.

The drinks were really good, from the pear martinis to the shots of tequila, served in big glasses with lime. The food was even better. They kept bringing over plates of it. Tapas-sized portions of terrific skinny french fries (the kind you get with steak frites), sliders with perfectly cooked baby hamburgers, tasty barbecued chicken, cheese and fruit plates, Asian spring rolls that were fried but not greasy --just perfectly crisped. Halfway through a second order of sliders, we were joined by a friend who arrived late, who didn't like the blue cheese on the sliders. They brought us a third plate of them, minus the blue cheese, at no charge.

But I think it's the staff that really makes the place special. For a hotel buff like me, who as a kid thought Eloise had the best life ever, five hours provides a lot of time to observe and interact with a variety of staff, from the valets and doormen to the hosts/hostesses and waitstaff. Every one of them was upbeat and conversational, but not overly intrusive. A few even said goodnight to me by name as I was leaving. Considering I wasn't staying at the hotel and they only had my name because I left my car with the valets, it was an unusual touch, one I normally would find annoying, but instead felt genuine. One final nice touch: The valet parking was free, just for having drinks and appetizers in the bar. (Ok, a lot of drinks and appetizers, but still...)

So while I didn't get beyond the bar and lobby tonight, having stayed in enough Four Seasons, I didn't need to. It's a given that the rooms and spa are going to be exceptional. And I think a hotel's ambience, and how guests are treated in the common areas, bar and restaurants, can make the difference between a hotel you look forward to returning to and one which, on your next trip a particular city, you decide to skip and try something different.

If you're headed to Denver anytime soon, I have no hesitancy in saying this Four Seasons is not only the best hotel Denver has to offer, it's as good as it gets. And if you're a local, try checking it out this weekend for Halloween:

The celebrations start on Saturday night, October 30, with fun Halloween specials set to the “Playboy” theme. EDGE cocktail servers will wear bunny costumes, while EDGE bartenders will wear Hugh Hefner-inspired outfits. Guests can enjoy special Halloween cocktails such as Screaming Bunnies, White Russian Rabbits, and The Seven Deadly Sins. Halloween sushi rolls as well as decadent cupcakes—Red Velvet, Spider, and White Rabbit—will be served. A DJ will be spinning and Halloween Playboy Mansion footage will be projected on the EDGE back wall.

It may not be your father's Four Seasons, but it it is unmistakably a Four Seasons, and it's definitely cool and a welcome addition to Denver.

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  • Display: Sort:
    You make it sound so fun (none / 0) (#1)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 06:05:32 AM EST
    I want to book a flight now....but mostly to come to that party. Sounds like a blast.

    I grew up in the hotel biz, and am a bit of a buff myself. I know the staff makes all the difference. My mom was known to lend her car to guests who needed a late night cup of coffee, back in the days when there was not coffee in every room. Once a tired executive returned to the lobby driving a police squad car instead of my mom's car. He had hopped in it by accident when leaving the donut shop. Luckily she knew most of the police too, and tracked down one very relieved patrolman.

    Anyway, I'd love to try the 4 seasons sometime. My niece and I were laughing about our different travel budgets. At my age the lodging is the most expensive thing, and for her it is the air fare. At 24 a hostel sound peachy. At 53 I like a plush bed and bathtub that fills in 60 seconds.

    Today we met a young man (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 07:46:06 AM EST
    from Calgary who is traveling for a year or until he runs out of money. We were @ the rock temple caves. Very difficult terrain. And he was wearing flip flops. He sd. he has a bed.  Probably not @ the Four Seasons. I, on the other hand, just had a massage @ the Taj in Aurangabad  

    My view of the skyline... (none / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 09:37:11 AM EST
    ...in from the Southeast, so I like the new additions on that side of downtown (the Spire and the Four Seasons).

    But, I will say the architecture leaves a little to be desired.  It's not exactly the most daring of designs/materials.  I guess we'll never rival places like Vancouver in that regard though.    

    Nice (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 12:27:24 PM EST
    You could write a travel guide about hotels and food...  Just don't forget to bring your friends because part of the delight is vicariously partying with someone who knows how to have fun.

    Seriously... it would be a hit.