While traveling to visit family in Denver, we got the opportunity to stay at the historic Hotel Boulderado located in Boulder, Colorado. It was our first time in Boulder and we absolutely loved it. You can read more about what we loved about this great little town here.
Should you choose to give Boulder a visit, I can’t imagine a better place to stay while you are there. Not only do you get to stay in a small piece of history but it is located just steps away from Pearl Street Mall, with tons of restaurants, bars, and shopping. You are just a short walk from most of what Boulder has to offer!
Overview of the Boulderado
The Hotel Boulderado is a historic hotel located in the heart of downtown Boulder, Colorado. The building was constructed between 1892 and 1895 by architect William Wirtz then opened in 1909 on New Year’s Eve. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since January 29, 1980. The Hotel Boulderado is also an active member of the Historic Hotels of America, which means it is required to maintain authenticity, architectural integrity, and a “sense of place.” This is one of more than 295 hotels in this group. This Hotel is definitely like walking into a piece of history.
A Little History of the Boulderado
Boulder was a small little town. Economically, it was farmers and miners that’s it supported, so it’s where you would go to get supplies. Dynamite for mines if you were a miner supplies or farm implements if you were a farmer. But there were bigger dreams for Boulder it was even referred to as the “Athens of the West”, which was a bit grandiose for, what it was back then. Boulder needed a few things to be the city it wanted to be, a theater for one (which you can see still from the corner of the street the Boulderado is on. Of course, it would also need a luxury hotel in order to bring people there, People weren’t going to come If there wasn’t a luxury hotel, there were little hotels, but it wouldn’t be anything that those from the likes of New York would really gravitate to.
The other thing was when you came out west in, in those days. Water was an issue, it wasn’t purified the way it was on the East Coast so it was a concern for travelers. Boulder purchased the Arapaho watersheds and they piped in purified water. This was a huge amount of money over $150,000. With this, the next step would be a Hotel.
So the citizens got together and they sold shares in a hotel company, they wanted to run it as their hotel, not just the developer coming in and going for a profit. They felt that it might not even be a positive profit for them, they felt that by bringing the tourists here, their businesses would thrive, and therefore it was worth it. So it’s always been a community hotel so to speak, everybody felt very invested in it. This is how the name came about.
Why the name Boulderado?
They wanted to come up with a name that you would never forget when you came here. There was lot of controversy over the name, they wanted it to be something elegant, like the Plaza, or the Grand, those were two common names for hotels then (and now really) but how many are there? They wanted a name as unique as the property, so what they did was they combined Boulder and Colorado to get “Boulderado”. There was a lot of pushback on that, people felt like it wasn’t elegant enough of a name, but yet it was unique and that’s what this is all about. So It stuck.
Fun Facts about the Boulderado
- The Hotel Boulderado is home to one of the last operational Otis elevators. It is manually operated so you will need a hotel associate to assist you to your floor. It is so cool to ride in a little piece of history!
- This hotel really put Boulder, Colorado on the map. It took the town from a sleepy minor town to a town of blooming tourism.
- The Boulderado was built when electricity was still fairly new and many were still wary of it. These lamps have the look and feel of the gas lamps, even a pipe to the gas, but they are electric. This was to ease the guests.
- At its opening rooms ranged from $1 to $4.50. The cheaper rooms only having access to shared bathrooms. Can you imagine?? Wander the halls of the third floor and you will see 4 storage closets quite close at the end of the hall that was the original bathroom and showers. You might also notice some of the doors swing out instead of in. This is becuase at one time these led to other rooms instead of the hall.
Eating at the Hotel Boulderado
Hotel Boulderado is home to Spruce Farm & Fish, Boxcar Coffee, The Corner Bar and License No.1. The Boxcar is great for a cup of coffee on the way into town. It is located in the lobby as you come into the lobby.
Located under the hotel is the speakeasy, License No.1. We did not get to experience this gem since it is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays which is when we were there. I hear it is a great place for blues music. If this is something you are interested in, check the opening hours before planning your trip.
The Corner Bar is appropriately located on the corner of the hotel. If offers
Spruce Farm & Fish
Spruce Farm & Fish is a great place for dinner and is interestingly enough, the oldest existing restaurant in its same location in Boulder. Though the cuisine has changed over the years, it has always been a restaurant. It was Fred’s Steakhouse and it was a Chinese place called Prosperity Garden among a few others.
We enjoyed a great meal on our first day in Boulder. The restaurant is part of the original building and has been a restaurant since its opening so it shares the charm of the rest of the main building. We sat near the window so we could see the view of the street. This turned out to be very handy as our almost one-month-old was not in the most patient of moods. My boyfriend, David, took her outside and I opened the window so we could still chat while we waited for the food.
We ordered drinks to start, we ordered the Boulder mule and Boulderado Barrel-Aged Manhattan. Then we had the Clam Chowder as a starter. David also got a couple of oysters and the calamari. For dinner, we ordered the Rocky Mountain Trout and the Sea Scallops & Corn Nage. My Daughter gobbled up more of the fish and rice than David had anticipated since they were going to share. Good thing he ordered those extra starters! It was very flavorful and cooked to perfection. I had the Scallops. Oh My G! I had no idea what a “nage” was but it was so good! the scallops were perfect and went so well with it, the roasted vegetables paired with it were just as good. I highly recommend any of these dishes and definitely have dinner here while you stay! Oh and don’t forget dessert, the berry cheesecake was fabulous!
Rooms at the Hotel Boulderado
Guests have the choice of staying in the Historic Main Building or in the newer north wing. With the historic rooms being the traditional Victorian rooms in the main building, then more modern rooms in the new part of the hotel. Of course, there are differences between the Victorian and modern rooms, but all 160 have free wifi, cable TV, a fitness center, and lots of green initiatives
Historic vs. Modern Room Comparison
If you want to stay in a room that looks exactly as it did when it opened back in 1906, then go with the Victorian Room. They’ve got everything from period furnishings to antique mirrors and chandeliers. You’ll find them in the main building.
This is where we stayed. It was a beauty! It felt like I was staying in a small piece of history. We stayed in a suite, it was large and spacious. Very clean and had everything we needed. We also had a wonderful view of the whole city from our room.
These newer rooms were designed by architect John Wurster. He wanted to create something different than the traditional style of Colorado lodging. So he created these sleek, contemporary spaces.
Parking at the Boulderado
Valet parking is available at the hotel for $30 per day. This is the preferred method to park unless it’s the weekend and you manage to score a good spot near the Hotel. Street free on weekends paid during the week for 1.25 per hour with a maximum of 4 hours at a time so this really isn’t a great option. We lucked out and got a front spot across the street for Sunday and then used valet for Monday.
Thank you Hotel Boulderado!
We would love to thank Hotel Boulderado for our stay. Our rooms and meal at the Spruce were provided for us in exchange for our honest review. As always, the opinions here are always our own.
For more information or to book a stay head over to boulderado.com