Lifestyle Photography by Casie Zalud | @casiezalud
My husband and I had been looking for an anniversary destination for – what seemed like – months! Living in Aspen allows us to enjoy nature at a level most people only travel to a few times a year. And, although we appreciate our surroundings, the “city crave” often nips and we find ourselves longing for the hustle and bustle of an urban playground.
We make use of our proximity to Denver, A LOT, but often stay with family, and, enjoy the city a few hours at a time. Since our anniversary planning seemed to fall by the wayside – following the first weeks of September/school – we decided to simply book a hotel in the downtown core and, truly, become city people for a few days…kids included! The Crawford Hotel in Denver’s Union Station was our first choice; its “beachfront property” provides the perfect access to sporting events (Coors Field, Sports Authority Field @ Mile High Stadium, Pepsi Center), a variety of dining venues in established and up-and-coming neighborhoods (Lodo, Highlands, RINO) and some go-to, family haunts (Denver Aquarium, Museum of Modern Art, Children’s Museum).
Our brood pulled into the Union Station vicinity around 6:45 PM Friday night and the kids were ready to rumble. Fortunately, The Crawford’s valet stand had two young guys, Daniel and Daniel, at-the-ready to make that happen as quickly as possible! They greeted our pack, grabbed the bags and rushed the cars out of our sight. We sauntered through the Friday crowd – al fresco diners, homecoming picture-takers, train riders – hanging both outside and inside of the Terminal building; upon reaching The Crawford’s front desk, we felt quite “VIP” as we were a few of the lucky people to play AND stay for the weekend.
Anya assisted us in getting our room and planning our next few days. She offered, without our inquiry, suggestions on dining OUTSIDE of Union Station…something that would be more of an adventure for the family than just a meal. New to the area is the Dairy Block, “a unique micro-district featuring delectable bites and beverages to personalized retail and small batch goods”. And, not-to-miss, is Colorado’s famed chef, Frank Bonanno’s, new 16-venue concept: Milk Market. Think European indoor food market with, specific, Italian flair and fancy. And, all just 1 block away from your temporary downtown crib! An epicurean’s small slice of heaven.
She also informed us of The Crawford’s sister locations: The Maven (one of the NEW “it” places) and The Oxford (SPA included…need I say more?), both of which are operated by Sage Hospitality – one of Denver’s premier hotel and restaurant groups. As guests of The Crawford, we could enjoy access to The Oxford Club’s Fitness Center and classes, as well as 10% off spa services and 20% off merchandise. Make the time, parents!!
The kids’ eyes lit up when Anya also suggested the we were all granted a scoop of ice cream at Mailbox Ice Creamery PER DAY (open until 11 PM); my husband cracked a smile at the offer of a single craft beer (per adult) daily…or, perhaps, per evening…at the Terminal Bar. And, if that’s not enough, adult guests can enjoy a $5.00 cocktail at The Cooper Lounge, overlooking the terminal. Sounds good coming from Aspen where a cocktail will run you $14+ during the off-season!
After making sure to book our breakfast reservation at Snooze for the following morning (if you don’t use the “priority seating” bonus that comes with your Crawford stay – forget breakfast! Snooze garners an average 1.5 hour wait at all of their locations), we fled up to the room. This was no ordinary hotel for the kids; you’d think they were expecting a circus once we opened the door. The activity downstairs certainly called for continued entertainment upstairs…right? They weren’t disappointed! We found bunnies, and bathtubs, and treats…oh my!
*Note to those celebrating 1, 5, 10 or 17 (wowsa!) years of marriage: The Crawford sent up an unexpected special gift of fruit and homemade cookies with milk, accompanied by an antique toy train! A bottle of champagne and decadent truffles were hoarded by the husband and myself. The milk and cookies disappeared before we could even suggest a bite. Kids.
Each delicacy was certainly appreciated, and devoured, entirely.
The rooms are unique in size and offering with soaring ceilings; be sure to ask for a Premium or Loft room if you’re a family of four. It’s a little ‘Classic Victorian’ meets modern elegance, as noted by Tryba Architects…the genius’ behind the overhaul of the century-old transit hub. Each beautifully appointed space provides ample room for additional bedding (crib, roll-away) and luxurious bathing…in the surprisingly quiet ambiance that is found after your door is closed for the evening. Bliss.
The following morning, we woke in time to hit our breakfast check-in time. We, literally, pushed our way through what felt like a concert crowd at Snooze. No name dropping or suggestive “tip” will service you there. The food was solid; the waiter was on-spot.
*As a side note, however, Union Station’s Mercantile Dining and Provision offers a Euro-style market and restaurant that serves up art-worthy dishes and take-aways…without the wait! And, the naturally lit and authentically decorated bistro offers another taste of simple luxury in their artisans’ products. Sounds intriguing? Go for it!
Our next move was memorable…
The influencer of the group – our 10 year old – suggested a “ride” to her commitment at Mile High; she is a Junior Denver Bronco Cheerleader with clinics at Sports Authority Field @ Mile High Stadium. (If you live in Colorado, or the surrounding states, look into this special activity for your 6-12 year old.) We called upon the Tesla to provide our equal-to-or-less-than-two-mile-ride to Mile High, dressed in full Bronco Cheer regalia. Photos cannot do the memory justice; her excitement to be in a computer-run-car: off the charts! Her naive comment: “Why don’t we have one of these, Mom?” Why don’t we all? That’s another discussion…..
*Special highlight: The Tesla is available until 11 PM, so be sure to have a reason to take it somewhere, anywhere!
We ended the weekend, slowly and comfortably. A stroll to The Tattered Cover Bookstore (a small off-shoot is located in Union Station, as well), a walk around Lodo to “see the people”, a few coffees to-go at Pigtrain Coffee Company and we were OFF! The kids weren’t going to offer up an anniversary surprise, but The Crawford DID. And, on their beautifully appointed greeting card, it read, “Thank you for choosing The Crawford Hotel. We hope you find that we truly are LIKE NO OTHER!” And, there you have it.
The Denver Beer Experience
Of course Denver is known for its amazing beers and countless breweries, but The Crawford has got an expert collection of favorites to exclusively share with you. Experience your own Denver beer tour, starting right in your hotel room. You’ll be greeted with:
- Local craft beers in our custom Belgian glasses with a keepsake, specialty-engraved wood bottle opener
- Tokens for two curated beer flights at Denver Union Station’s very own Terminal Bar
- A specialty-designed map of our favorite, carefully-selected Denver breweries in town to extend your palate outside of Denver Union Station’s walls
- Complimentary drop-off/pick-up on your self-guided brewery tour, with our Crawford courtesy Tesla
Every beer lover’s dream!
Family Jones Spirit House Tour & Tasting
Looking to explore a neighborhood favorite and sip on local spirits and cocktails? The Crawford Hotel is proud to be an exclusive partner with The Family Jones Spirit House – a distillery, restaurant and bar in Denver’s popular Highlands area. Receive two tickets to tour the distillery, sample all seven signature spirits and one cocktail, and return home with a special-edition, complimentary bottle of the Crawford Rockin’ Rye Cocktail to enjoy!
Book The Family Jones Spirit House Tour and Tasting and receive:
- Two tickets to tour The Family Jones Spirit House
- Samples of all seven signature spirits and one complimentary cocktail
- Complimentary bottle of the Crawford Rockin’ Rye Cocktail
- Exclusive discounts at The Family Jones Spirit House*
*Crawford guests also receive an exclusive discount of one complimentary
cocktail upon purchase of one cocktail. Cheers!
- Drop-off/pick-up at The Family Jones Spirit House with our Crawford courtesy Tesla (based on availability)
Friday at 3:00pm
Saturday at 12:00pm and 1:30pm
Hospitality by The Crawford Hotel and Union Station Denver
Clothing by WAUW CAPOW by BangBang (Denmark)
“Our designs are inspired by modern and conceptional arts and colors, different animal shapes and textures and the comfortable and functional elements of streetwear. The details on our designs are often three dimensional and made of materials that stimulate the senses. The artworks come to life during the creative process in the form of childish and funny characters. These characters inspire us and gradually we have created a whole Wauw Capow family of loveable characters. We hope our clothes will make both you and your children happy!”
With Love — Louise and Mia (Owners/Designers) Instagram