Boulder is steeped in history and culture — and so are its hotels! Find out which elegant hotel is harboring honeybees on the roof, which inn is a hit with award-winning athletes, and where to ride one of the last original Otis elevators in this behind-the-scenes look at Boulder’s best hotels, motels, inns, and lodges.

Stay on a Historic Train Route (Minus the Trains)

One of Colorado’s oldest resorts, the Alps Boulder Canyon Inn was constructed in 1870 to house travelers en route to Colorado’s mining towns and was once a stop on the short-lived Switzerland Trail narrow gauge railroad line during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Excursions on the Switzerland Trail of America, courtesy of Boulder Historical Society.Excursions on the Switzerland Trail of America, courtesy of Boulder Historical Society.

Camp Inside the Comfort of a Hotel

Can’t decide between the adventure of camping and the comfort of a hotel? Basecamp Boulder offers the best of both worlds with its Great Indoors room, which features four twin beds sunk into the floor, a sunset mural of Boulder’s Flatirons, a faux fire pit, glowing stars on the ceiling, and a grassy carpet on the “ground.”


Get Inspired by the Presence of Great Artists

The Best Western Plus Boulder Inn seems to be a magnet for creativity. The hotel once hosted writer and journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and now it is home to a pair of permanent guests: an eight-foot-tall copper sculpture entitled “Father and Son” by award-winning American sculptor Bernard Brenner. Look for it across from the hotel lobby.


Hear Live Music Under the Stars

The Boulder Adventure Lodge isn’t just for outdoor enthusiasts — it also caters to music-lovers with its weekly Thursday-night Bluegrass Jam and monthly Second Saturday Music Series. Both events are free and take place in the lodge’s outdoor beer garden.


Eat Local, Right on Site

Boulder is home to around 20 craft breweries and hundreds of farms. Get a taste at Canyons Restaurant and Lounge, Boulder Marriott’s on-site eatery. Their cuisine is sourced from some of the area’s best farms, ranches, breweries, and distilleries. We especially love the locally sourced burger and the Boulder Boulevardier, a spin on a classic cocktail made with local Mile High Spirits Fireside Whiskey.


Walk in the Shoes of Champions

Easy access to trails makes Boulder Twin Lakes Inn in Boulder’s Gunbarrel neighborhood a favorite with runners and other athletes. In fact, 2019 Bolder Boulder winners Hiwot Yemer (from Ethiopia) and Benard Ngeno (from Kenya) stayed at the Boulder Twin Lakes Inn while in town for the race.


Soak Up Boulder’s University Vibes

A favorite with visiting parents and prospective CU students, Boulder University Inn is one of a handful of hotels that are about as close to CU campus as you can get without staying in a dorm room! Check out the postcard on the wall in the lobby to see what it looked like when it opened its doors to guests in 1959 as a Travelodge.


Free Cookies, Wine and Cheese? Yes, Please.

Rachael Ray Every Day magazine described a stay at the Bradley Boulder Inn as like “being at your wealthy aunt’s mansion.” That is if your wealthy aunt made fresh-baked cookies and hosted a wine-and-cheese happy hour every day. Don’t worry — you can work off the calories at the nearby One Boulder Fitness for free, part of a partnership with the inn.


Stay Where History Meets the Mountains

Founded in 1898 as part of the Chautauqua cultural and nature movement, the Colorado Chautauqua continues to offer guests inspiration, respite and wellness. There are more than 40 miles of open space hiking trails at its doorstep, and you can enjoy the on-site Chautauqua Dining Hall and year-round cultural programming during their stay. You’ll be surrounded by nature — but also cultural riches, like concerts, lectures, readings and more.


Take a Soak with a View of the Stars

Fancy a swim under the stars? You can soak up the Colorado sky all year long in Courtyard by Marriott Boulder’s indoor pool with an overhead skylight or in the whirlpool spa situated beneath a bank of angled floor-to-ceiling windows for optimal stargazing. The hotel will also be completing a full renovation of guest rooms and meeting space in spring 2020, with the first Courtyard Bistro in the state of Colorado.


Live Inside an Art Gallery for a Few Days

The Embassy Suites Boulder serves as a mini art museum or contemporary art gallery, showcasing some of the best artistic talent in the area. The hotel’s art collection, centered around Boulder’s wildlife and natural environment, engages guests while highlighting the local community. Guests and locals alike are invited to enjoy the hotel’s free weekly art walks.


Stay Greener Than Green

Interested in traveling greener? The Hampton Inn & Suites Boulder-North in Gunbarrel has a gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its eco-friendly construction and practices, including water-efficient landscaping, green energy, and locally sourced building materials.


Be a Part of a New Artistic Legacy

The Hilton Garden Inn has developed an innovative mentorship program with University of Colorado, selecting CU student artist Johnny DeFeo’s work for installation in each of the hotel’s guest rooms. Over 70 percent of the artists featured throughout the hotel have ties to CU Boulder as current students, faculty and alumni.


Be Nestled Among Boulder’s Foothills

The Holiday Inn Express’ location affords it some of the best views in Boulder. Call ahead to request a mountain-facing room overlooking the nearby parks, trails and North Boulder Foothills. Keep an eye out for deer and other wildlife.


Be Whisked Around Town for Free

Love exploring but don’t want to drive? Homewood Suites by Hilton offers a complimentary shuttle Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. anywhere within a five-mile radius of the hotel, which will get you nearly anywhere you want to go in Boulder! Just make sure to come back in time for the complimentary evening social (Monday–Thursday), where you’ll be treated to small plates and drinks.


Take a Ride (or Sip Your Way) Through History

Visiting the historic Hotel Boulderado is like stepping back in time. The lobby boasts the only remaining Arapahoe Glacier-fed drinking fountain in Boulder, as well as the original (and still working) Otis elevator that was installed in 1908 — one of only five left in the entire country. Learn more about Boulder’s culture with free history tours led by Hotel Boulderado’s in-house historian (reservations are required).


Choose Tech-Savvy or Historic Charm

Hyatt Place Boulder anchors one of the city’s newest developments, Boulder Junction, home to tech giants like Google. But not everything around here is brand new. In addition to the hotel and a transit center, the area also includes Roadhouse Boulder Depot, a restaurant housed inside of Boulder’s original 1890s Victorian-era train station.


Sit Where an Astronaut Once Did

In addition to its 269 guest rooms, the Millennium Harvest House offers multiple event spaces, including the historic Boulder Creek Living Room. This unique room features an arched ceiling with vintage stained-glass skylights, and it was here that President Richard Nixon honored beloved Boulder astronaut Scott Carpenter.


Pick Your Own Veggies for Dinner

It can be tough to eat well on the road. Get your veggie fix with a visit to Residence Inn by Marriott Boulder’s on-site community garden, which grows fresh produce like cucumbers, green onions, yellow squash, beets, leafy greens, and juicy tomatoes for guests to enjoy during their stay. Help yourself, then prepare them in your room’s fully equipped kitchen or on the patio’s BBQ grill.

The Residence Inn Boulder 3030 Center Green Drive

Get an Insider’s Map to Boulder’s Trails

Sure, you can work out in Residence Inn by Marriott on Boulder Canyon Boulevard’s state-of-the-art fitness center or swim laps in their indoor pool. But for those who prefer to exercise in the great outdoors, Residence Inn has partnered with Under Armour to create and map a running route that winds through the nearby CU campus. Find it on the hotel’s website or in the MapMyFitness app.


Sip Cocktails Sweetened with Honey Harvested on Site

You’ve likely heard that honeybees are vital for both the health of our ecosystem and for agriculture. The St Julien Hotel and Spa is doing its part to preserve these plucky pollinators by tending to not one but two honeybee colonies on its rooftop! The honey produced by the bees is used throughout the property, including in baked goods, cocktails, and spa treatments.