(Ph. © Crawford Hotel)October is makeover month here on Lonny, and what better candidate for a transformation than a historical landmark with deep ties to its community? Housed within downtown Denver's 120-year-old Union Station—a fully operational train depot that's been overhauled with modern restaurants and shops to the tune of $54 million—the Crawford Hotel honors its past yet maintains a firm footing in the present.
While the hotel shares its main lobby with the station's soaring Great Hall—a grand atrium complete with 65-foot ceilings—it's the quieter touches that get your attention on arrival. A hotel ambassador checks you in on an iPad, allowing you to savor your seat on a contemporary leather chesterfield. Sections of inlaid wood flooring add an Old World element that stands in stark contrast to the art collection, which features more than 600 avant-garde works by local artists. The juxtaposition of styles continues upstairs, where the 112 guest rooms serve as a visual tour of the station's ever-changing history.
Designed to evoke the golden age of train travel, the hotel's Pullman-style rooms call to mind long, narrow private sleeping cars , the preferred method of transportation in the early 1900s. Their Deco-style wood paneling and chrome sconces blend seamlessly with the Crawford's classic guestrooms, which nod to the building's Victorian origins while updating such details as tufted velvet headboards and armchairs. For those with a more modern sensibility, the Loft rooms—located in the station's former attic—incorporate original wood beams that act as a counterpoint to the sleek marble and chrome finishes. Interiors like this make living in the past look good.