Minneapolis Hound seeks best hotel lobby bar in Denver
My wife and I will be visiting for 3 nights in November and are looking for a classy place to stay. The lobby bar is one of my biggest criteria, since we'll probably be spending a good amount of time there.
Anyone have recommendations as to the best hotel bar to have a nightcap? I'm hoping for inventive, well crafted cocktails. House-made bitters wouldn't hurt, either. My wife would prefer a nice, well balanced wine list. For ambience, we'd both prefer something classy, elegant, and not too noisy.
I don't know that you're going to find a hotel bar in Denver with a serious cocktail program. The Oxford may be an excellent choice because it is a short walk to Green Russell and TAG and a longer but still doable walk to Colt & Gray, which is a bit inconsistent based on who's behind the bar but probably offers the best cocktail experience in Denver on a good night. If you do end up considering the Oxford go for one of the larger exterior rooms - the smaller interior rooms should be avoided. And be aware that the Cruise Room is not a classic lobby bar, but rather a smallish, dark room tucked between the lobby and the larger, more casual bar. It's atmospheric but may not be what you're looking for if you're thinking about settling in and hanging out for a while.
Colt & Gray
1553 Platte Street, Denver, CO 80202
Cruise Room in the Oxford is very nice and they have another non-martini bar on the property as well. The truth is, there are so many options downtown that I wouldn't necessarily recommend a place with a good hotel bar. Check out TAG for some great cocktails. Green Russell is supposed to have some great drinks as well in a speakeasy way. ChoLon Bistro also has some very creative cocktails. (although noisy) Brown Palace has a few different classy bars also.
Although I've read that it's been massively renovated, I cannot personally testify to what the rooms are like. However, one of the classiest hotel bars in town is at the Hotel Oxford; the Cruise Bar is an exact replica of the main bar on the Queen Mary (the original one!), and an exceptional example of Art Deco architecture. It would be worth a visit for a drink or two whether you stay at the hotel or elsewhere. Their martinis are simply great, and the service impeccable!
I'm not super knowledgeable about bars, or of hotels in Denver, but I know of a few that are in hotels and the hotels seem nice:
the Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel, great martinis
Prima in the Hotel Teatro, good food (and Restaurant Kevin Taylor is also there, really fancy and good)
Corner Office in the Curtis Hotel (fun atmosphere, ok to good food)
Ship's Tavern in the Brown Palace Hotel (the Denver classic)
Brown Palace Hotel
321 17th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Restaurant Kevin Taylor
1106 Fourteenth Street, Denver, CO 80202
The Corner Office
1401 Market St, Denver, CO 80202