Sunday, July 31, 2011

Denver: The Brown Palace Hotel

“They have the greatest hotel you ever saw. Brown Palace. You can look right up through the center and see the top floor.” So says Heyes to Brigitte Jordan in The Posse That Wouldn’t Quit, as he answers her question about what Denver is like. Perhaps one reason Heyes was impressed was because the hotel (see photo at right) is in the shape of a triangle, like many of the saloons he and Kid frequented!

Henry Brown (see photo below), who had come to Denver in 1860 to make money off the miners who hoped to strike it rich during the Pikes Peak or Bust gold rush, opened the Henry C. Brown Palace Hotel in 1892. It cost $2,000,000 to build the hotel; the china, linens, and other furnishings were all imported. There are 318 guest rooms on the second through seventh floors—the first floor is for Reception, restaurants, shops, and the atrium in the lobby. When the hotel opened, guests were charged between three and five dollars per night and, because the city had no skyscrapers at the time, they were asked if they preferred the morning or afternoon sun in their room. The Brown Palace also has its own artesian well that provides water to guests’ rooms.

Centrally located, the Brown Palace has hosted every U.S. President since Teddy Roosevelt except Calvin Coolidge and Barack Obama. Three executive suites are named after TR, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan. Many other famous celebrities have also stayed at the hotel. A 75-minute tour of the Brown Palace is offered, for a fee, every Wednesday and Saturday by the hotel historian, who shares many additional interesting facts about the building.

Afternoon tea in the atrium is a special treat, though I doubt Heyes and Curry would have ever had the means to enjoy it, unless they became very successful businessmen after receiving their amnesty. Guests can enjoy pots of three different types of tea, along with scones, finger sandwiches, and other petits-fours. Gazing up at the stained glass skylight in the ceiling (see top photo at right) from the lobby (see bottom photo at right), it is easy to understand why Heyes thought the Brown Palace was a great hotel!

Article about the Brown Palace Hotel:

Website for the Brown Palace Hotel: