Play Time at the Curtis Hotel in Denver

June 2011

As adults, we are mostly encouraged to have fun by encouraging our vices and wallets to open widely. Grown-up fun can seem sadly to be limited to drinking, being entertained by a screen or eating until we burst. But, at the Curtis Hotel in Downtown Denver, grown-ups and people of all ages are encouraged to have fun in a different sort of way. When you stay there, you are encouraged to PLAY.

Curtis Hotel Lobby, Denver ColoradoThe Curtis hotel in Denver is a giant explosion of play. The lobby rocks with light, fun colors, funky music, and the cool lounge area comes complete with classic board games like LIFE, Monopoly and Sorry. Even the decor appeals to the kid in all of us with pop culture art, toys and candy all around and what is maybe the best thing ever: Warm cookies at check in. Yeah, that’s right, warm cookies just for checking into your room. All fun begins with melty chocolate.

Question: Why have I ever stayed anywhere else?

Every place should have warm cookies and art made of a lite-brights. After a quick game of rock/paper/scissors with the staff, we headed up to our room which was on the 13th floor. The 13th floor you say? Don’t most hotels not have a 13th floor because it’s deathly bad luck? Yeah, well, not the Curtis. The Curtis not only has 13 floors, but they embrace the curse of the number. Each floor at the Curtis has a theme, and guess which floor this paranoid, freaked out and easily jumpy girl ended up on? As the elevator doors chugged open, a voice came over the intercom that said “Heeerreee’s JOHNNY!”

We were on THE HORROR FLOOR. I felt a faint coming on.

Our room was gorgeous, all decorated in shades of brown and orange and retro fabrics. On the walls were hilarious and vintage photographs of kids playing with space guns, famous movie monsters and noir comic strips. It felt like we should start an impromptu game of Red-Rover or Freeze Tag.

Goodie Bags on our Girlfriend Getaway in Denver's Curtis HotelThere was a knock at the door, and a hotel staffer brought in a bottle of champagne along with the world’s COOLEST gift bag, containing a Etch-A-Sketch and a box of retro candy. Holla!! We busted it open right then and there. Razzlers! Bubblelicious! Pop Rocks! Fun Dip! With Champagne!

It turns out that Pop Rocks are much more violent than I remember. My thirty-two year old mouth didn’t appreciate them as much as my eight year old mouth had back in the day.

We took in a spectacular true-blue Colorado sunset from the great view in our room. Once it was dark, we put on some snazzy outfits and headed down to the Curtis’s restaurant and martini bar, The Corner Office. Whereas the whole hotel is centered around fun, the Curtis’s restaurant and bar has a sexy, 50’s Mad Men kind of vibe. It’s a different kind of fun, an adult kind of fun. The decor was buzzy and chic, and the drinks amusing names like Hawaii Five-Oh and Dark and Stormy Night. The menu was full of winky fun- even the breakfast menu, which we snuck an early peek at. Graham Cracker Maple Syrup? Yes please! And on Sunday’s they have a disco brunch! DISCO BRUNCH!! Bring your bell bottoms.

On our way back to the room we pushed all the elevator buttons giggling like you always wanted to do as a kid and visited each floor. Why not? They’re all unique. There was the television floor, the hot rod floor, the music floor, the movie floor, sci-fi floor, chick-flick floor and many others. We came and went, doors opening and shutting rapidly as we took in each and every floor. The Hawaii Five-Oh MIGHT have helped us there.

Curtis Hotel DenverThis hotel is all about feeling a bit different, feeling full of frivolity and playfulness. Everything is imaginative. This is a place where hotel conference rooms sport names like “Duck Duck Goose” and come equipped with pogo sticks. EVEN the bathrooms are hilarious, with their “Girls, Girls, Girls” sign.

The Curtis awakened in me this sense of sheer childlike joy and innocence. It really brims over with this sense of playful, unashamed FUN. It’s bold and bright and vibrant and tongue-in-cheek. It’s like being a kid again, only this time you can have a cocktail and that makes it even MORE fun.

Their tagline is “Stay Happy”. And I can tell you, even if you arrive in bad mood, you will LEAVE happy. You can’t help it. Your heart wants to play, and it will here.

Colleen Oakes lives in North Denver with her husband Ryan and two very naughty dogs. She enjoys writing, reading, swimming, pop-culture, and traveling (obviously). She is a pretty big nerd and blogs about it regularly on her lifestyle blog at the Ranunculus Adventures.

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