Hotel Boulderado: A Unique And Historic Destination

Initial Awe Inspiring Thoughts On The Hotel Boulderado

Historic, charming, unique, and luxurious are a few thoughts that came to mind right away. It’s classic brick architecture, attention to detail, and over the top service took me back to a throwback era where going to a hotel was considered a big deal. 112 years in the making, and going strong, the hotel lobby, bars, and restaurant were all buzzing with activity (as were the streets of Boulder as Colorado University was back in session). Upon entering, the grand lobby with its stained glass ceiling truly sets the scene.

Boulder has been called many things, but in my world it is the “uber athlete” capital of the world. I know many elite athletes make their home in this unique small city. The diversity of its landscape, people, activities, are endless. Nestled among the famous Flatirons, the setting is quite stunning.

Not only is Boulder home to many elites, but with its world class events, it is also a fantastic destination for the active outdoor crowd. There is amazing rock climbing, hundreds of miles of hiking and running trails, endless road and mountain biking options to name a few. Rocky Mountain National Park which boasts one of Colorado’s challenging 14-ers, Longs Peak, is down the road approximately 45 minutes. Runners, cyclists, and triathletes live here because of the training options, and many others come for the world class events that occur here. I’ve run the Boulder Bolder which is one of the world’s largest 10k runs that finishes in the University of Colorado Football stadium. I’ve also tackled a couple of Ironman Triathlons with a finish on Pearl Street

To truly experience Boulder, visiting and staying in the downtown area is a must with its fun and lively shopping and dining area. Situated in the midst of all that is the historic Boulderado!

The history Of The Hotel Boulderado.

The hotel opened its doors in style with an elegant Gala Ball on New Year’s Eve in 1908. The first guests were able to check into the hotel on New Year’s Day in 1909. Needless to say, the New Years Eve festivities are celebrated to the max each and every year.

Designed by local architects William Redding & Son, the five-story brick building incorporates both Italian Renaissance and Spanish Revival features. It follows a trend of open court hotels started by the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and carried over to Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel, built in 1892. In 2018, they won an award for Best Renovation Project from Colorado Meetings + Events due to the extensive updates completed in the lobby and mezzanine spaces.

The elevator has to be manually operated by a bell boy, and that’s an opportunity you surely have to take. The grand stair case is also quite elegant and elaborately detailed (see photo above) to preserve a level of craftsmanship that’s hard to find in today’s hotels.

Memorable Package Options At The Hotel Boulderado

At the Hotel Boulderado, they’ve put together some fun options that help visitors explore the area. And Boulder has a lot to offer. Whatever your passion, you will likely find it here nestled up against or in the hills.

Stargazing package

The “explore the stars” package is the one I opted for. I wanted a unique angle that I could share with my wife. Many of the other options looked really appealing, but I figured we could do those on our own as well. The one caveat to this package is how the current weather and global conditions played a role. Wildfires out West have created for some really high levels of smog this past month severely reducing visibility. Plus, it happened to be a full moon which shed a lot of light on everything, and diminished the visibility of the stars. It didn’t really matter as we took the location information provided and headed out to one of the recommended locations, Chautauqua Park.

We climbed a bit to find a nice level spot. got situated with the provided lawn chairs, blankets, and thermos full of hot cocoa. We downloaded a star gazing app that helped us identify several constellations. The thing is, we really just enjoyed the solitude, the stars, and maybe even more so, the twinkling lights that were spread out in front of us.

Reel Outdoor Fishing

This is a 4 hour guided fly fishing excursion plus happy hour (all equipment provided), and is a great way to become one with the solitude of the streams in the area. If you are an outdoorsman and fishing is your thing, I’d say, take advantage of this one. I am usually on my bike along these streams, and I do wonder what it would be like to be in that river catching some fish.

City Cycler

Here you will get a guided tour on an e-cycle. And of course, drinks and appetizers afterwards at the corner bar. We skipped this one, but I brought my bike anyway, and went for a PR attempt up Flagstaff Mountain while my wife was getting a Mani-Pedi. If you like steep climbing, views, and high heart rates, this would be an option if you brought a bike or rented one. If you wanted to a more leisurely cruise with some e-assist, the City Cycler would certainly be worth your while.

View from the Mt. Sanitas trail. Bring plenty of water and some solid hiking shoes.

Happy hiker

Breakfast for two with Happy hour to follow. Sandwiched in between is a day full of amazing trails. Options are endless, and the Hotel will offer up the perfect excursion for you and your party.

My wife and I did explore the trails by running a local favorite, so we got up early to attempt a run up Mount Sanitas. 5 miles roundtrip from the Boulderado doorsteps.  Be ready for nearly 1400 feet of climbing which will surely raise the heart rate, but the views on top are awesome. Boulder below, and the Rocky mountains to the West. Plus, Longs Peak to the North.

That smaller leg on the top is pretty much straight up hill, so be prepared.

The Stay and Play Golf Package

This sounds pretty cool. If I had more time, this would be an option I would certainly like to partake in. Breakfast, 18 holes at the Flat Irons Golf Course, and Happy Hour would be a fun filled day. Next time!

Shop Local

Most of the above packages require a get-up-and-go spirit, but the Shop Local Package allows you to hang back and enjoy the local scene. It comes with pastries, coffee (plus a keepsake Boulderado Mug), and a $50 Gift card.

What Else Can You Do In Boulder?

As mentioned before, there’s a lot to do and see in Boulder. With our 24 hour window, we decided to find a patio for some drinks first. Our room wasn’t quite ready, so it gave us a perfect opportunity to walk to a nearby watering hole. We walked the Pearl Street Mall. People watching is an activity, right? We thoroughly enjoyed the Street Performers. Apparently, this is a dying art form, so I appreciated the fire juggling hackey sack world champion.

World renowned chefs and restaurants are also in abundance, so if you are a culinary fan, you won’t be disappointed.

We spent an hour just wandering the halls and floors of the hotel before dinner. Even though Boulder is home to so many fantastic restaurants, we decided to dine at the Spruce Farm Fresh restaurant situated on the main level. Lobster and Buffalo Steak hit the spot!

Final Thoughts On The Hotel Boulderado

The historic charm of the hotel is one of a kind. The attention to detail with regard to its architecture, and range of services is fabulous. It was certainly a real treat for us to enjoy the Boulderado. Whether you relax with a spa and enjoy the restaurant scene, or you get out to enjoy the wonders of the mountains, Boulder is an epic destination.  And of course, staying at the Hotel Boulderado is so much more than a place to rest your head. It is an experience in its own right.

Prices vary, but please check out the website or call for options that may work for you.

Check out more details HERE

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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