Luxury Escapes Guide to Denver & Colorado

From unique dining experiences to awe-inspiring national parks, fascinating archaeological sites and truly moving rail journeys, Colorado offers absolute splendour at every turn.

It’s the sheer amount of space that sets Colorado apart – impossibly grand, improbably diverse and irresistibly beautiful, the state offers access to the great beyond like nowhere else. Here, sprawling sand dunes shine beneath desert stars, hot springs murmur from beneath the earth, valleys yawn and the mountains stretch into the sky. In Colorado, there are moments of sheer majesty and unexpected brilliance around every corner – see it best by historic rail or road trip and soak up every precious second.

Small towns and the spectacular abound – taste your way through fiery chilli bliss in Pueblo, explore the otherworldly Garden of the Gods Park at Colorado Springs or hit the slopes at world-class ski resorts in Aspen and Vail.

No Colorado trip is complete without a stay in Denver, the state’s laidback capital. Explore the city’s sublimely walkable downtown – including micro-districts such as the whimsical Dairy Block and historic Larimer Square – before returning for an evening of bliss beside tremendous mountain ranges. With near-endless sunshine and easy access to some of the world’s best restaurants and museums, excitement is only a stroll away – catch some of the city’s best creative works at Denver Art Museum, sample the city’s electrifying craft beer scene (with dozens of small breweries, it’s one of the country’s best), or step through the red brick façade into history at the restored Union Station.

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Things to see and do

Relive rail’s golden age at Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Take a thrilling journey back in time to the heyday of the American rail industry with a trip on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Climb aboard the heritage-style train, sit back and relax while it makes its way down the historic stretch of rail between Durango and Silverton. Watch as picturesque countryside, verdant rolling hills and the magnificent San Juan National Forest stretch out in front of your carriages as you drift through the scenery. So much more than a traditional train ride, hear stories from the “Golden Age” of rail as you soak up the virtually untouched surrounds while enjoying this natural historic landmark in action.

Journey across Royal Gorge Bridge and admire the region’s natural wonder

Soaring heights and life-changing panoramas, experience America’s highest suspension passage across Colorado’s breathtaking Royal Gorge Bridge one step at a time. Slowly inch your way across 1257 wooden planks hanging almost 300metres over the flowing Arkansas River by 4100 steel cables and conquer some of your biggest fears. If crossing the world-famous bridge isn’t thrilling enough for you, live life on the edge with a trip on the World’s Scariest Skycoaster, or glide across the gorge like a bird in flight on the teeth-chattering zip line. It’s a highlight of any Colorado roadtrip – but hold onto your hat, this one’s not for the faint of heart!

Admire masterpieces at the Denver Art Museum

Spend a cruisy afternoon wandering one of the largest museums between Chicago and the West Coast, the Denver Art Museum. Spanning 12 breathtaking collections across two massive buildings, both permanent and temporary exhibitions offer ample subject matter to keep you engaged for days on end. Fall head over heels for vibrant contemporary pieces, splashing hues across mixed media and even life-sized interactive installations alongside preserved traditional pieces from ancient sculptures to historic Japanese brush strokes. The museum boasts an array of interesting stories to be told, heard, and understood – all encapsulated within a striking neomodern façade that’s equally as interesting as the artwork inside. Don’t miss the museum’s permanent Indigenous Arts of North America exhibition – covering a dazzling range of contemporary and historic art pieces from across the country, it offers countless extraordinary glimpses into emerging, and historic, Native experiences.

Embrace the call of the wild at Mesa Verde National Park

History buffs and nature lovers unite! Soar to new heights in this picturesque national park and discover the history of the Ancestral Pueblo people, who constructed and lived in thriving communities on the mesas for over 700 years. Now, visitors are invited to respectfully explore these mountain ranges and learn about the rich cultural heritage of 26 Pueblos and tribes of the past. A UNESCO World Heritage-listed site and home to over a thousand species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects – some of which only exist here – Mesa Verde, or ‘green table’ in Spanish, offers a rare opportunity to explore some of America’s best-preserved archaeological sites, from unique cliff dwellings to ancient farming structures. Guests are welcome to tour the cliff dwellings, with advance reservations, from May to October.

Soak up serenity at Strawberry Park Hot Springs

If a day spent soaking in natural mineral pools and basking in the warm Coloradan sunshine sounds appealing, a day spent at Strawberry Park Hot Springs is sure to tick all your boxes. Strawberry Park offers the perfect place to relax: sink into the unique stone masonry thermal pools and soak up the breathtakingly beautiful natural forest that surrounds the springs. Book your two-hour slot in advance and come along with an open mind – particularly if you’re visiting after dark, when clothing is optional. Specialised massage and aquatic therapy are also available onsite to ensure you’re getting the most out of this unique spa experience – sleet, snow or shine. Keen to discover more? There’s more than 30 hot springs throughout the state, and they’re all exquisite.

Sizzle your tastebuds with a chilli tour of Pueblo

Seekers of all things hot-hot-hot can turn up the heat with a spicy tour around some of Pueblo’s best and most notorious chilli-slinging spots. Whether you prefer a guide to show you the way or want to forge your own path, you’ll have no problems finding extra spicy chilli, especially in the form of slopper burgers – a Pueblo specialty. About as messy as it sounds, this delicacy consists of a burger bun, often open-faced, drowned in green chile, cheese and onions. Crispy French fries also often make their way to the side of the dish. Although there’s an array of local chilli-loving eateries, rival venues Gray’s Coors Tavern and Sunset Inn take out the top two spots for locals and should make their way to the top of your list too.

Enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park all year round

Though there are incredible hiking trails to explore the picturesque Rocky Mountain National Park during the warmer months, the best time of the year to experience the park’s immense beauty is when the weather turns cold. Admire mountainous peaks rising into the sky – take the chance to walk through the park in spring, summer or autumn and you’ll be rewarded with countless soul-stirring sights. It’s also a wonderful place to catch a glimpse of the region’s abundant wildlife – black bears, elks and bighorn sheep all call the park home.

Rock out beside ancient monoliths at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater

Regularly hosting some of the biggest names in music, over the years Red Rocks Park & Ampitheater has borne witness to some of the most unique and breathtaking performances of all time. A naturally spectacular and top-attended arena, experience the unique open-air ambiance of this magnificent stadium alongside thousands of other enthralled ticket holders. Historically graced by the greats – from The Beatles and U2 to Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen – Red Rocks continues to book mammoth acts across genres, from rock to EDM. Tucked within a magical mountain range just a 20-minute drive out of Denver, visitors are invited to sing their hearts out while enjoying the incredible towering red rock surrounds. It’s also worth a visit when there aren’t acts in town – Red Rocks’ is completely free to visitors, open year-round, and features a lively visitor’s centre, restaurant and countless walking trails.

Hike, raft and mountain bike your way across Colorado's wilderness

Feel at one with nature, breathe in the fresh mountain air and feel completely at ease as you marvel in the wild beauty that lies at Colorado’s core – from the incredible vistas of Rocky Mountains’ sprawling wilderness to the emerald groves and fields of Snowmass and Pike National Forest, the state offers no shortage of things to do outdoors. While summer presents countless opportunities to the eager mountain cyclist, the first moments of spring are especially exciting to Colorado’s outdoorists – as mountain snow begins to melt, rushing down into whitewater rivers and lakes, rafting becomes irresistable.

Sled up a storm at Great Sand Dunes National Park

Tumble your way down the tallest dunes in North America with a sand-filled adventure to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Tucked away at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and spanning 604 square kilometres, this magnificent preserve is not only a sight to behold, but also a popular playground for thrill-seekers. Rent a sled – or sandboard – and glide down the uniquely shaped dunes to your heart’s content. Travel down one of the park’s iconic mounds, from the aptly-named High Dune to the Star Dune, which soars nearly 230 metres into the sky.

Top places to eat and drink

Chez Maggy

Classic French cookery meets the flavours of the wild west at downtown’s Chez Maggy, located within the boutique Thompson Denver hotel. Brunch is the crowd-pleaser – the French Denver omelette, packed with capsicum, onions, juniper-forward Parisian ham and creamy Gruyere cheese is an unbeatable start to the day – but stick around for dinner and enjoy as Michelin-starred chef Ludo Lefebvre’s menu surprises and delights. Start with oysters dashed with a yuzu mignonette or opt for the escargots cooked to perfection in garlic butter and Espelette pepper, before continuing on to the restaurant’s signature burger – an almighty blend of American cheese, pepper gravy, pickled mustard, beer-braised onions and smoked mayonnaise. Mon dieu!


Colorado’s freewheeling culinary spirit meets Mediterranean flavour profiles at Rioja, located in the heart of Denver’s historic Larimer Square. The acclaimed venue’s pared-back copper-topped bar and exhibition kitchen allows simple, locally sourced plates to shine. Relish every bite of Rioja’s robust starter menu, including fresh bacon – cured with cardamom and served upon curried garbanzo bean puree – and roasted bone marrow with black garlic caramel. For adventurous diners, the Amish natural chicken is an unmissable flavour explosion – accompanied with an aji amarillo puree and brandy jus, it’s spicy and sweet in all the right ways.


Just moments from Union Station’s historic red brick exterior, Tavernetta plates up fireside la dolce vita aplenty in Denver’s bustling heart. Fresh handmade pastas, seasonal antipasti and a devilishly delicious tiramisu all deserve consideration, but it’s the restaurants’ sharp cocktail menu that demands your attention. From the ‘Late for the Train’s’ honey, coconut and grapefruit notes to the Japanese-inspired gin and tonic, each concoction is elegant and inspired in equal measure. Don’t miss the classic negroni – it’s a rip-roaringly good start to the evening.

Mercantile Dining and Provision

Farm-to-fork dining with a side of fondness is Denver wunderkind Mercantile Dining and Provision’s mission, bridging the gap between high-concept culinary vision and Colorado’s extraordinary local growers. Meals are humbly named but pop on the plate – start with spicy hand-shaved capocollo and melon, served with candied cashews and fresh basil, and continue to perfect lamb delicately placed upon a bed of zucchini, yellow squash and zesty, ultrabright gremolata. Peruse the restaurant’s expansive local wine list or order from the free-spirited cocktail menu – sips like the ‘Naked Neighbour’ (mezcal, tarragon, yellow chartreuse, Aperol, grapefruit and absinthe) truly work to tickle the tongue.


Mizuna constantly pushes boundaries in its pursuit of what’s culinarily possible. The menu changes monthly to reflect the season – each choice backed by one of the chefs’ individual passions and interests. It’s French-touched American cuisine, handcrafted and filled with tremendous soul. Dishes have included mac and cheese with butter-poached lobster and mascarpone, and roast duck plucked from the Hudson Valley, served with purple snap peas, tabbouleh and a gooseberry chilli gastrique.

New Belgium Brewing

There’s possibly no better way to experience the flavours of Colorado than with a visit to New Belgium Brewing, one of the state’s most-beloved breweries. A bike trip through Belgium back in 1988 inspired two local men to bring Trappist-style brown beer to Fort Collins – fast forward to now and the brewery is home to over 30 unique pours, ranging from fruit-forward imperial ales to cherry blossom–infused sours. Stay for the good vibes and rotating food truck menu, playing host to Colorado street food royalty on the regular.

Frasca Food and Wine

Inspired by the frasca tradition of northeast Italy, where friends and family would informally gather to share wine, food and stories, Frasca Food and Wine offers a uniquely Colorado spin on the Italian Alps’ cosiest flavours. The restaurant’s seasonal tasting menu sweeps across countless culinary peaks and valleys – eel in aged balsamic, rabbit angolotti pasta cooked with stinging nettle, and artichoke and rhubarb apple terrine are each breathtakingly delicious. If you’re in the mood for something truly luxe, go for the imported wine pairing and savour every handpicked drop.

The Farm Bistro

One of the earliest pioneers of Colorado’s thriving farm-to-plate scene, The Farm Bistro draws on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients to put a new spin on beloved American classics. Every bite is steeped in the vivid flavours of Colorado valleys, mountains and plains – try the grass-fed yak burger, served simply on a pretzel bun with pickles, onion and lettuce, or go for the restaurant’s signature ‘The Chicken and the Egg’ salad, brimming with grilled chicken, hard-boiled egg, apple, sunflower, avocado aioli and blue cheese.

Tacos Fuego

Beloved taqueria Tacos Fuego brims with a grandmother’s love for all things fresh and fiery. Expect fresh, handmade tortillas, ‘street fries’ topped with grilled beef and pillowy queso, and a closely-guarded secret tomato-and-chilli birria recipe that dances wickedly between spicy, sweet and savoury. Like any great Mexican restaurant, Tacos Fuego’s margarita menu more than deserves your time – hotheads will love the ‘Pick-Your-Pepper,’ utilising jalapeno-, habanero- and chipotle-infused tequila to level up your standard spicy marg.

Bin 707 Foodbar

To those in the know, Colorado’s dazzling spread of wineries and breweries – totalling over 300 – is near-legendary. Bin 707 Foodbar is committed to sharing as many of these unique seed-to-sip stories as possible, with an innovative, uniquely Coloradan, New American food menu to match. Go for the chicken liver mousse ‘PBJ’ – slathered with apple butter and stuffed with radishes and pistachio – or hit up the restaurant’s signature ‘Binburger’ for a truffle-infused flavour bomb, perfectly accompanied by house-cut, twice-cooked skinny fries. Wash it all down with a bright, citrus-forward Gruner Veltliner from Grand Valley and you’re in flavour town, baby.

Lux moments

Imbibe in true style at The Cooper Lounge at Union Station

Food aficionado’s reach for The Cooper Lounge’s perfectly-prepared libations, locally-sourced tipples and industrial-chic interiors. Enter the unassuming Union Station and discover elevated elegance as you step into The Cooper Lounge, which pays homage to a bygone era of chic cocktail lounges. Peer out to inspiring views of downtown Denver, framed by eight-metre-high cast-iron windows on one side, and panoramas of the iconic Great Hall on the other. Marvel at the artistry of skilled mixologists as they craft exquisite cocktails, served alongside a sumptuous menu that pushes boundaries through imaginative pairings. Order the tenderloin carpaccio and a Cooper Lounge Old Fashioned – spend a moment (or several) capturing snaps for the ‘gram, taking in the iridescent glassware, glittering chandeliers and charming atmosphere, then tuck right in.

Relive the golden age of rail travel on the Rocky Mountaineer

Journey through the splendour of ‘the Rockies’ and relive the golden age of rail travel aboard the iconic Rocky Mountaineer. Beginning – or ending – in Denver, the ‘Rockies to Red Rocks’ route transports you to a realm of timeless elegance and breathtaking vistas as you traverse the magnificent landscape and luxuriate in plush, meticulously-designed interiors that capture the very essence of opulence and comfort. Gaze out of panoramic windows and marvel at nature’s grandeur, from cascading waterfalls to red rock formations and snow-capped peaks. The Rocky Mountaineer is far from your standard train experience: expect impeccable service, delectable gourmet cuisine that showcases the region’s finest flavours, comfortable reclining, pre-assigned seats with ample legroom, plus complimentary drinks throughout.

Shop Until You Drop at the Luxurious Cherry Creek Neighbourhood

In the heart of Denver, sophistication meets natural beauty at the Cherry Creek Neighbourhood, which stands as a luxury haven for discerning shoppers. Surrounded by elegant architecture, towering mountains and lush landscapes, Denver’s premier shopping destination is packed with specialty boutiques, restaurants, luxury brands and signature events. Enjoy a world-class retail experience as you find yourself surrounded by designer boutiques with everything from bridal wear to skincare, homewares and ski gear. Between the neighbourhood’s two spectacular districts – including Cherry Creek North and indoor Cherry Creek Shopping Centre, located just across the street – it’s easy to fall in love with Denver’s most vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood.

Experience legendary hospitality at The Broadmoor

For incredible hospitality with a side of history, you can’t bypass The Broadmoor. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscape of Colorado Springs, this legendary resort has been crowned The Longest-Running Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond Resort in the World. It’s safe to say that the staff at The Broadmoor know a thing or two about refined luxury and extraordinary service. Immerse yourself in artfully-designed accommodation, where timeless charm meets modern comfort, creating a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation. Let your taste buds dance with delight as you savour the delectable creations of award-winning chefs at one of the resort’s renowned restaurants. Indulge in moments of pure bliss at the luxurious spa, where skilled therapists pamper you from head to toe or embark on a resort-run, authentic Colorado Wilderness adventure, with a touch of luxury.

Sink into romantic bliss at Valley View Hot Springs

There are hot springs, and then there’s Valley View Hot Springs: a geothermal wonderland, which exudes romance. This clothing-optional retreat boasts six mineral-infused soaking ponds, saunas and a charming off-the-grid village that stands so peacefully, the outside world seems not to exist. Nestled between towering mountains, iconic hiking trails and 360-degree vistas of the sweeping wilderness, this idyllic retreat is guaranteed to take your breath away. Enjoy a restorative day trip or stay a few days, with rustic on-site accommodations allowing you to rinse, relax, and repeat.

Discover a new level of secluded luxury at Vista Verde Ranch

Immerse yourself in a world of refined serenity and breathtaking views at Vista Verde Ranch, a collection of luxury log cabins and lodges located on a working ranch. Just a short drive from Steamboat Springs, each accommodation is perfectly positioned to soak up their surroundings, with large decks overlooking the ranch and the alpine mountain range. Get cosy inside your rustic elegant cabin with either a wood-burning stove or gas fireplace or enjoy a soak in the private hot tub on your deck under the star. Explore the area on horseback or by bicycle in the summer months or take to the slopes in winter – either way, you’ll be ready to refuel at the end of the day with the ranch’s culinary program featuring local produce, fine wines and an elevated take on farmhouse flair.