These four his­toric ho­tels are a blast from Colorado’s past

The Denver Post - - TRAVEL - JOSHUA BER­MAN The Le­land House and Rochester Ho­tels, Du­rango. The The Stan­ley Ho­tel, Estes Park. This iconic 140-room ho­tel The Ho­tel Colorado, Glen­wood Springs. Built in 1893 next Ho­tel Boul­der­ado, Boul­der.

Bcapped by the sig­na­ture stained­glass canopy ceil­ing (the glass was orig­i­nally im­ported from Italy for the 1909 open­ing, de­stroyed in a spring snow­storm in 1959, and re­stored again in 2004). The lobby buzzes with peo­ple, some re­lax­ing on couches and chat­ting (mod­ern fur­ni­ture was part of the lobby up­date), some sit­ting at the old front desk, which has been pre­served but con­verted into a mod­ern work station cloaked in dark hard­wood — and the old key boxes and safe are still there. Servers swoop through with plates and drink plat­ters and some­where be­neath us, things are just get­ting go­ing in Li­cense No. 1, the base­ment speakeasy-style bar (which was also com­pletely re­done from the old Cat­a­combs bar just a few years ago).

Though Boul­der and its cher­ished Boul­der­ado are dis­tinct, there are other towns across the state with their own lov­ingly re­stored his­toric ho­tels. Here are a few fa­vorites: Rochester was first built as a 30-room board­ing house in 1892 and now con­sists of 15 lux­ury rooms around a gor­geous, shaded se­cret gar­den. There are other stately old ho­tels in town with more of a Wild West flair—I’m look­ing at you, Strater and Gen­eral Palmer—but at the Rochester, you’ll in­stead find a West­ern film theme, honoring the many movies that were shot in the area. (The Le­land, across the street, is a 1920s build­ing that has also been re­stored.) Sum­mer rates start at the Rochester at $199/night for queen ($249 for king, $259 for dou­ble queen, fam­ily suites from $399). 726 East Sec­ond Ave., Du­rango, 970-3851920, rochester­ho­ at the base of some dra­matic cliffs in Estes Park first opened in 1909 as the per­sonal guest­house of F.O. Stan­ley, an East Coast in­ven­tor whose steam-en­gine au­to­mo­bile still sits in the lobby. The ho­tel has since ac­cu­mu­lated more than a cen­tury’s worth of his­tory, haunt­ings and Hol­ly­wood in­spi­ra­tions. Even if you’re not stay­ing here for your Rocky Moun­tain Na­tional Park ex­plo­rations, at least swing by for one of their many his­toric walk­ing tours. 333 Won­derview Ave., Estes Park, 970-577-4000, stan­ley­ho­ to the Colorado River in Glen­wood Springs, this ho­tel was mod­eled after the Villa De Medici in Florence, Italy. To­day it has 130 rooms and suites, two on-site spas and two ball­rooms. Past guests in­clude Pres­i­dent Theodore Roo­sevelt, Pres­i­dent Taft, Al Capone and Molly Brown. Sum­mer rates range from $139 to $625 a night. 526 Pines St., Glen­wood Springs, 970-945-6511, hotel­col­ Choose from 160 guest rooms, 42 of them in the his­toric wing, the rest more mod­ern, from $279 a night. Dur­ing sum­mer, brunch goes un­til 3 p.m. daily. On Mon­days, the ho­tel of­fers free Mu­sic on Pine Street con­certs in a cozy (in­te­rior) out­door plaza from 5 to 8 p.m. 2115 13th St, Boul­der, 303-442-4344, boul­der­ Joshua Ber­man is the au­thor of “Colorado Camp­ing.” Find him at joshuaber­

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