All posts by Sherel Purcell

Denver’s Top Luxury Hotels

Denver’s top luxury hotels showcase three different approaches in three different neighborhoods.

Four Seasons Hotel, Denver

Flagship luxury brand The Four Seasons has a great downtown address – The Colorado Convention Center, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and the Ellie Caulkins Opera House are all within easy walking distance.

Four Seasons Hotel Denver-Lobby photo credit: John Cameron

The  modern interior design subtly reflects the natural beauty of Colorado, and oversized windows offer both downtown and Rocky Mountain vistas.  At the EDGE Bar in the Four Seasons lobby, a tapas-style menu pairs well with local microbrews and over 50 wines by the glass.

Four Seasons Hotel Denver-Fireplace photo credit: John Cameron

Four Seasons Hotel Denver offers 239 ultra-spacious guest rooms and suites within a modern 45-storey building. Suites feature a lounge chair and ottoman in a separate living area. Generous bathrooms include a deep soaking tub and a shower in a separate glass-enclosed stall.

The fitness center on the third floor has views of the rooftop pool terrace. Guests can choose from cardio machines equipped with televisions, free weights and a yoga studio.  The spa ushers in new treatments each season, such as an Evergreen Massage for winter. All guests can use the spa facilities – a perfect ending to a session in the rooftop pool.

The Four Seasons is only one block away from trendy Larimer Square with some of Denver’s best dining options. Check out chef Troy Guard’s contemporary cuisine at TAG.

Hong Kong Sea Bass at TAG photo credit: Sherel Purcell

The savvy waiters have excellent wine pairing suggestions and must tries include the taco sushi, Miso Black Cod and the Hong Kong steamed seabass in a ginger soy vinaigrette.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver

Near the 16th Avenue Mall and the renovated historic Union Train station, pet-friendly boutique hotel brand Kimpton is renowned for its popular happy hour where guests mingle over drinks and snacks. Did I mention its free? No two Kimptons are the same, each property has its own personality.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver Lobby photo credit: Sherel Purcell

Walking into the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver, guests encounter a huge living room lobby complete with a grand ornate ceiling and an oversized fireplace – the perfect spot for the classy complimentary evening wine and beer tastings complete with hors d’oeuvres from the on-site Italian restaurant, Panzano. Tonight a free mini neck and shoulders massage and a singer/pianist complete the entertainment.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver guest room photo credit: John Cameron

Interior designer Susan Caruso’s urban and western redesign of the guest rooms mixes animal hides, satiny drapes, quirky lamps, and oversized headboards in bold oranges and turquoises.

There are complimentary bicycles to use during your stay, an on-site 24-hour fitness center with cardio and resistance equipment, complimentary overnight shoeshine, complimentary morning Lavazza coffee and tea service, same-day laundry and dry cleaning service and luxury bath amenities. You can even request a goldfish companion for you (and your dog) for the duration of
your stay.

Halcyon Hotel Cherry Creek

Denver’s newest luxury hotel, the independent Halycon, is located in Cherry Creek , a mixture of urban development and tree lined residential streets, just south of downtown. Hermes and Tiffany are just some of the luxury retailers that inhabit the upscale suburb, Denver’s Rodeo Drive.

Halcyon replaces the traditional reception desk with a kitchen counter where friendly staff will fix your favorite coffee drink or pour you a glass of bubbly. Enjoy complimentary drinks including red and white wine, beer and mixed cocktails from 3 pm to 10 pm daily.

Just past the kitchen counter is an inviting living room complete with contemporary art pieces, two fireplaces, books, tv and board games set up amidst lounging chairs and sofas. From there you can proceed to the Rooftop Pool Deck where you may catch a session of sunset yoga led by yogis from neighboring Pura Vida Fitness & Spa.

Halcyon Hotel Cherry Creek Living room photo credit: John Cameron

Spread across 2 floors, the 1300 square foot Presidential Suite features an open concept living space on the main floor with a bedroom and ensuite bathroom upstairs. The outdoor terrace, designed by local Halcyon partner Restoration Hardware, offers views of the Denver skyline. Halcyon elevates the cool factor with retro-style turntables and vintage vinyl in every room.

Halcyon Hotel Cherry Creek Gear Garage photo credit: John Cameron

Explore the Cherry Creek Trail bike path and surrounding city parks on complimentary Vespas, e-bikes, and Belgium cruisers.  The Gear Garage at Halcyon also offers a Hamboard which feels like surfing on wheels and made in Denver longboards. Outdoor adventure kits come in an Osprey Backpack that includes a Go Pro, binoculars, Swiss army knife, Bear Naked bars, and bottled water. Photographers will love the loaner Leica film cameras and Halcyon will even print and ship your prints home.

The Mighty 5© Signature Tour of Utah’s National Parks

We’re going to hike some of Utah’s spectacular National Parks on the Mighty 5© Signature Tour with experienced guide Mike Coronella, and our adventure begins in Moab.  There’s no more dramatic entrance to a destination than the drive south on 191 into Moab, Utah. With canyons of red shale on both sides of the highway and the snow-capped La Sal Mountains in the background, it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road.

Sunflower Hill Bed & Breakfast Inn, photo credit: John Cameron

Our first destination is The Sunflower Inn, a four-Diamond luxury bed and breakfast, where we’ll spend our first two nights. Located on a quiet street, the 12-room Sunflower Inn has a pool, hot tub and creative homemade breakfasts . We’re pleased to discover our beautiful room has French doors leading out to a terrace overlooking the pool and the hot tub.

While Mike is picking up the other members of our group at the Moab airport, we grab a quick swim. Later we get acquainted with our fellow hikers over dinner, a short walk away at Twisted Sistas Café. The café menu features creative farm-to-table dishes like a perfectly baked, melt-in-your-mouth delicious, halibut.

DAY ONE

Next morning after a tasty baked egg dish at the Sunflower, we head out on our first hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, a five-minute drive north of Moab. Mike is chauffeuring us in his new silver Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, outfitted with custom seats.

Arches National Park has the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches and the iconic Delicate Arch, seen on Utah license plates, is the best known of these. The hike, considered moderately challenging, is five miles round-trip from the trailhead at Wolfe Ranch to Delicate Arch, with a elevation gain of approximately 600 feet. Mike has given us backpacks and water bladders, much appreciated, as there is no shade.

Miss Utah framed by Delicate Arch, photo credit: John Cameron

On the hike we were lucky to photograph Miss Utah framed by Delicate Arch.

Murphy Point Overlook, photo credit: John Cameron

In the afternoon we hike Murphy Point Trail in Canyonlands National Park. I doubt we would have found this awesome viewpoint without Mike’s insider knowledge. Another great viewpoint in Canyonlands is Shafer Trail. Look way down to see Jeeps slowly negotiating the dangerously narrow, twisty trail.

Shafer Trail Overlook, photo credit: John Cameron

That night we eat at award-winning Jeffrey’s Steak House just off main street in Moab. The American kobe beef, sourced from a farm in Nebraska, is tender and grilled to perfection, served with spot-on wine pairings. Always willing to tailor the experience to the group, our guide Mike has graciously taken one of our group on a personal sunset photo shoot.

DAY TWO

After another satisfying home-cooked breakfast at The Sunflower, we check out and pack the Mercedes for a trip to Capitol Reef National Park. We spend the morning hiking the wide, dry creek bed of the Grand Wash Trail, enclosed by towering red rock cliffs – one of the flattest and easiest hikes in Capitol Reef National Park.

Grand Wash Trail, Capitol Reef National Park, photo credit John Cameron

Next up, a self-guided walk through the  phantasmagorical Goblin Valley State Park before our gourmet picnic lunch – curry-coated fish tacos accompanied by a healthy, fresh coleslaw prepared by Logan, Mike’s right hand man.

Mighty 5© Signature Tour has partnered with Red River Ranch to provide luxury lodging near Capitol Reef National Park. We arrive to find a herd of bison in the front yard and red rock cliffs in the backyard, a picturesque setting for the lodge, our accommodation for the next two nights.

Red River Ranch Lodge photo credit: John Cameron

This three-storey log cabin bed & breakfast, situated on the Fremont River, harkens back to trading posts and hunting lodges. Red River Ranch Lodge, complete with fine art and historic artifacts, features a grand fireplace in the great room and a wood-burning one in your own room, lit upon request.

DAY THREE

Hand-pressed apple juice and fluffy omelets appear at breakfast at the Red River Lodge. Today we will be hiking the Waterpocket fold and Strike Valley Outlook in Capitol Reef National Park. Mike has his trusty Toyota Land Cruiser, as the elevation changes are greater and the roads are more narrow and washboard bumpy. The Waterpocket Fold stretches for nearly 100 miles, running north-south from Thousand Lake Mountain down to Lake Powell.

Waterpocket Fold, Capitol Reef National Park, photo credit: John Cameron

Views from the Toyota are spectacular and we can’t wait to get out and walk around. After lunch Mike guides us over slickrock and flat stream beds to Strike Valley Overlook, an elevation gain of 600 feet. The snow-capped Henry Mountains in the east and the north-south 180 degree view is awesome.

Our final dinner is at the recent James Beard award-winning Hell’s Backbone Grill, accessed by a scenic mountain drive, where you can see deer and elk up close on route.

Hell’s Backbone Grill, photo credit: John Cameron

The Mighty 5© Signature Tour

Mike Coronella was headed for Wall Street when he discovered his true passion – the outdoors. He made a left turn into the Utah desert and has been there ever since, exploring and guiding others through Utah’s National Parks. Mike pioneered an 800-mile desert hike, the “Hayduke Trail” making him an authority on desert parks.

Over my two-plus decades of guiding and exploring these parks, I have amassed a lot of knowledge about the history of these iconic lands. There is nothing I love more than sharing a vista or a unique hiking experience with my guests and knowing full-well that I am blowing their minds.

Mike created the Mighty 5© Signature Tour to share his love of the desert with others. On the tour, a maximum of six guests travel from park to park in a custom Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van to hike, dine and stay in and around Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion.

Mighty5Tour Sprinter Van, photo credit: John Cameron

Every detail is taken care of, from luxury accommodations at the region’s finest properties to first-class dining prepared by caterers on location or enjoyed at the best and most renowned restaurants on route. A full-time, dedicated concierge accompanies guests in a separate vehicle to ensure a stress-free voyage.

Arrange your luxury Mighty 5© Signature Tour tour by contacting Mike at 435 259 1565 or mighty5tour.com