Where to stay in Denver near the opera house?
August 12, 2007 8:13 PM   Subscribe

Where to stay in Denver near the opera house?

Labor day weekend, my wife, my 5 year old daughter and I are going to Denver - the main reason is to see the pre-Broadway performance of The Little Mermaid at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

I'd prefer to stay downtown and avoid renting a car, yet the musical is only a couple hours of the trip. What else can we do nearby, and most of all, where should we stay?

posted by thilmony to Travel & Transportation around Denver, CO (11 answers total)
Even though its rated 3 stars, may I highly NOT recommend the Ramada Inn Downtown. Thats all I have for you - Expedia got it all wrong for me when I needed a hotel in downtown Denver 2 weeks ago.
posted by jeffmik at 8:18 PM on August 12, 2007

What else can we do nearby

If you have time, definitely see the Denver Museum of Nature and Science or the Denver Zoo (each are a short drive from downtown).
posted by amyms at 8:43 PM on August 12, 2007

Best answer: There's a brand new Hilton Garden Inn nearby that just opened. It looks like it's only a block away. I haven't stayed there yet, but just last weekend, I stayed at the newish Hilton-owned Hampton Inn a few blocks further away and was quite pleasantly surprised.
posted by Carol O at 9:18 PM on August 12, 2007

The Brown Palace is the memorable downtown recommendation.
posted by paulsc at 9:52 PM on August 12, 2007

It will probably just about kill you and your wife, but your five-year-old will absolutely love Casa Bonita.

Denver's Chilren's Museum is also quite good.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:41 PM on August 12, 2007

Best answer: The Brown Palace is a fun hotel, but if its rates are more than you wanted to spend, you could check out the Comfort Inn that’s across the street and joined by a walkway to the Palace. It’s not exactly the same thing, obviously, but you get to partake in some of the atmosphere at a lower price.

You’d have to take a bus or a taxi there, I think, but the Children’s Museum that palmcorder_yajna mentioned is right next to the Aquarium, both of which my children love. The latter was bought by a god-awful seafood restaurant (!?) a few years ago, and they’ve dumbed down the information in the exhibits in favor of random gift stands and cutouts of anthropomorphic sea life, but some of the larger tanks are quite impressive. Anyway, a trip to the two is easily a day’s work. Likewise with the Nature and Science museum; it’s next door to the impressive but exhausting Denver Zoo.

If you can figure out a bus route or take a taxi, I also recommend the Denver Botanic Gardens. We’ve had a wet summer in Colorado, and the Gardens are as lush as I’ve ever seen them.

If you don’t want to deal with public transportation, the 16th street mall runs a free shuttle down the length of the districts. At the Northernmost end, you’ve got the Tattered Cover bookstore, which I feel the need to recommend in every Denver thread. They’ve got a great kids section. Also, you won’t be too far from either the newly renovated Art Museum, which has kid-themed activities, and the downtown public library, which is a trip, architecturally (and again, right next to each other).

If you do want to deal with public transportation, you can use the RTD trip finder to plot your routes and estimate your travel time.

Have fun.
posted by bibliowench at 6:07 AM on August 13, 2007

Your daughter is exactly the right age for the Children's Museum. Do this.

Casa Bonita is out in the 'burbs and would require you take a trip on our less-than-stellar bus system. It would also scar your soul.
posted by boo_radley at 6:31 AM on August 13, 2007

Response by poster: This is all great info. Maybe I should get a car? I was planning on a $19 shuttle bus from the airport, but with 3 of us, and this awesome Casa Bonita idea...
posted by thilmony at 6:41 AM on August 13, 2007

I'd recommend the Westin in the Tabor Center on 16th.
You're also right by Coors Field so you could catch a baseball game as well. Elitch Gardens is close by.
I am a grown ass man and I love Casa Bonita for all the reasons other people hate it.
posted by mattbucher at 7:55 AM on August 13, 2007

If you do rent a car, you'll open up possbilities like The Butterfly Pavillion, Estes Park, and Cave of the Winds. Depending on your family's interests, it might be worth doing.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:46 PM on August 13, 2007

Also, this is kind of a long day-trip, but when I was a kid, I absolutely loved going out to swim in Glenwood Springs. The minarals in the water make you really buoyant, which is great for little ones who aren't strong swimmers yet.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:49 PM on August 13, 2007

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