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A Night At A Pop Culture Hotel In Downtown Denver

When planning a trip to Denver, I wanted to find a hotel in the downtown area that was within walking distance to great restaurants and entertainment. It needed to suit a modest budget and if it appealed to kids, all the better. The answer: The Curtis, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, located at 1405 Curtis St.

Disclosure: We were hosted at a media rate at The Curtis. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

Plan your own trip with this three-day guide to Denver!

What makes this downtown Denver hotel unique

There are no shortages of hotels in downtown Denver. Most chains, many boutiques, and everything in between seems to exist in Denver. The Curtis stands out because it fully embraces quirky pop culture. And for some people (like me), it’s deeply entertaining. (Seriously, read the reviews)

The Curtis Hotel lobby during the holidays in 2021

The lobby is your first introduction. Colorful, Instagram opps galore, and quirky seating areas, the lobby is a place you don’t mind hanging out in.

They had nostalgic movies projected onto a screen when we arrived (“Neverending Story”!), and a sign showing that prior to our visit, they had a trivia night along with a movie screening. 

And it gets better. Each elevator has a “view” to enjoy, from what looks like a ski resort gondola to a spot on a roller coaster.

The elevator area on the Fun & Games floor of The Curtis Hotel in Downtown Denver

There are 13 floors, each one has a different theme. Themes are:

  • Perfect Pair Floor
  • One Hit Wonder Floor
  • Fun & Games Floor
  • Sci-Fi Floor (a pet-friendly floor)
  • Big Hair Floor
  • Floor of Champions
  • Chick Flick Floor
  • Dance Floor
  • The 13th Floor – Dun Dun Dunnnnn!
  • TV Mania Floor
  • Mad About Music Floor
  • Pedal To The Metal Floor

We stayed on the Fun and Games Floor, so it was more of a video game theme, which was perfect for my kids. The elevator area had Pac-Man characters and decor.

The standard rooms, for the most part, aren’t really designed for the theme. Our room was comfortable for the four of us, but indistinguishable from other DoubleTrees except, perhaps, a little more stylish. Which, reminds me, you do get the DoubleTree cookie at check-in.

Two queen beds in a standard room at The Curtis

I digress. Back to the rooms.

For a really memorable stay, opt for one of the Hyper Themed Rooms. There’s one on each floor and the space fully embraces the floor’s theme. Picture staying in a Star Trek or Ghostbuster room (which is, of course, on the 13th floor).

The front desk had games that you could check out, and luckily my daughter forgot she really wanted to bring Monopoly up to our room. Dodged a bullet with that one. The last time we played, we were five hours into it and still nowhere near finished.

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Stay happy… even when things go wrong

We were warned ahead of time that the hotel had a water main break and all the hot water was going to be out for more — if not all — of our stay. We could deal with it, I figured. 

Neon Stay Happy sign

So, at worst, we didn’t take showers while we were there.

The hotel staff more than made up for it, for those families and guests who chose to stay in spite of the water issue. So, meals at the connecting restaurant, The Corner Office, were comped. Underground parking was comped. 

And honestly, we didn’t miss the hot water. Our sink still had warm-ish water (and the most powerful stream ever). It was winter when we stayed at The Curtis, so it wasn’t like we were a sweaty, stinky mess at the end of each day.

And there was no pool, so while that was a bummer for my kids, it did mean we didn’t need to rinse off the chlorine each night. 

Pool-themed lobby area of The Curtis

Parking in downtown Denver

The Curtis has a guest parking garage. I found most downtown Denver hotels either had self-park and valet, just valet, or just street parking. I liked that this place had self-parking without the need to sidestep valet. 

If paying extra for parking is a turn-off, I recommend looking for hotels outside of downtown Denver. 

The good thing about hotel parking in downtown Denver is that you’re going to have to pay for parking regardless if you’re planning on doing anything in downtown Denver. It’s just city life. But the city is both walkable and full of public transportation options, so you can leave your car parked for your whole stay and get around easily. 

What’s near The Curtis

Big Blue Bear sculpture in downtown Denver at the convention center

The hotel is a block away from the Denver Performing Arts Complex and about two blocks from the convention center, so it’s a good location for those coming to the city for performances, shows, concert, etc. The Denver Convention Center is the location of the iconic Big Blue Bear sculpture.

The hotel is also about two blocks from 16th Street Mall, the city’s well-known street of shops and restaurants. There’s a free bus service along 16th Street that’s pretty convenient for moving you east to west. 

The hotel is also pretty close to Larimer Square, a charming area of shops and restaurants known for its strings of lights providing a well lit canopy at night. 

Pedestrians strolling along Lamier Square in Denver

Most of the attractions and restaurants we visited on our Denver trip were within about 1 to 3 miles from downtown Denver, and really, even the further away places (like the Denver Botanic Gardens and Denver Zoo) are no more than 5 miles from downtown. A few of those attractions include:

  • LoDo district
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • Metro State University CSU Denver
  • Coors Field (home to the Colorado Rockies)
  • Ball Arena (home to the Denver Nuggets, Denver Avalanche and Denver Mammoth)
  • Denver Aquarium
  • Museum of Nature & Science

If you’re looking for nearby restaurants, one of the closest restaurants is Sam’s No. 3. Read about all the nearby restaurants we visited in Denver.

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