Hotel of the Week: Denver’s The ART, a hotel

Where did you stay in Denver?
The ART, a hotel, located in downtown Denver is filled with an incredible contemporary art collection on display throughout the property. Purported to be worth more than the building itself, the collection contains original works from Sol Lewitt, Frank Gehry, Ed Ruscha, and many more. It’s no wonder that this hotel has appeared on so many “best of” lists.

What were your favorite works?

I’m a huge fan of Deborah Butterfield’s sculpture and her work here doesn’t disappoint. The “driftwood” horse standing in the lobby area is actually made of bronze. It’s gorgeous. Leo Villareal’s dazzling 22,000 LED light installation builds anticipation as you enter (and each pattern that appears has been programmed never to repeat). There are three works by Odili Donald Odita just inside that I love too. If only I could have taken one home.

What’s the crowd like?
One thing I noticed about Denver is how young and fit the people there are, a product of the city’s population boom during the last decade thanks to a lot of new tech jobs. The crowd at the hotel reflected that youthful, hip vibe. Of course, there were plenty of business travelers, but also people who love art and other stylish jet-setters staying there or enjoying the lounge and restaurant.

Describe your room?

As you exit the elevator on each of the guest room floors, you are greeted by a work of contemporary art. On my floor, the ninth, the work was an oil painting called Continental Divide (Rob Reynolds, 2014) that depicted a dreamy, cotton candy wisp of a cloud floating in a vibrant blue sky. (I’m guessing that there’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek “cloud nine” reference to be had there.)

To reinforce the artist’s work, each room on the ninth floor contained a digital print of the photo Reynolds used to create the oil painting. How can you not feel relaxed next to such a beautiful, uncomplicated image?

Beyond that, the spacious rooms were modern with pops of color, offered stunning views, and came complete with an Illy espresso machine, and snacks.

How were the bath products? Were they worth stealing?
The shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, etc. were Gilchrist & Soames; totally fine but nothing remarkable. What you should steal, however, is the sea creature-shaped soap bar that pays homage to Frank Gehry’s Fish Lamp on display in the Portico Gallery.

What is there to do nearby?
Totally on brand, the ART lives just steps away from both the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum, two stops to add to your must-see list when you visit.

Closest gay bar to snag a friend to show off your hotel room?
Nearby X Bar usually attracts a young, attractive crowd with its nightly line-up of events that includes lip-synch battles, drag shows, and art parties with LGBTQ artists.

Queer Quotient?
Probably a 3 on the Kinsey Scale: Definitely not what I would call a gay hotel per se, but certainly fluid enough to dabble regularly. The style alone makes it pretty queer.