With Denver Tourism on the Rise….

The growth of Denver just in the last few years is impressive to say the least. Condos and Apartments are popping up everywhere and there seems to be a new trendy restaurant opening up every week.

Denver currently has 8,500 hotel rooms downtown within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center and 43,000 rooms metro-wide.

More than 1400 new hotel rooms are planned or under construction in The Mile High City, including a new 500-room Westin at Denver International Airport and a 230-room Marriott Renaissance in one of downtown Denver’s most historic and beautiful buildings.

Denver currently has 8,500 hotel rooms downtown within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center and 43,000 rooms metro-wide.

With this recent growth, there are a lot of new hotel projects:

Union Station Hotel, Oxford Hotel
Open date: Spring 2014
This new, 130-room hotel will be built as part of the redevelopment of Denver’s Union Station and will be affiliated with the existing 80-room Oxford Hotel, located across the street and run by Sage Hospitality. In addition to the new hotel, the redeveloped station will feature retail and restaurants developed by the same group that runs Denver’s Larimer Square, home to some of the city’s top eateries including Bistro Vendome, Capitol Grille, Osteria Marco, Ocean Prime, Rioja and TAG, as well as some of the city’s one-of-a-kind boutiques.

Denver’s historic Union Station was built in 1881 and is undergoing a major restoration as it moves towards becoming the city’s main transportation hub. The station already serves as a downtown stop for light rail lines heading south to the Denver Tech Center and Littleton.  A new light rail line will open west to Golden in March 2013, and in 2016, there will be direct rail service from Union Station east to Denver International Airport.  Union Station is also the northern terminus for the free, electric shuttle buses that run up and down Denver’s mile-long 16th Street Mall and is the station for AMTRAK’s California Zephyr, with two trains daily heading east and west.

The new hotel will add to the accommodations available in Denver’s hip historic district, known locally as “LoDo.” This 26-square block area is home to more than 90 brewpubs, restaurants, rooftop cafes and music clubs.  It contains one of the largest collections of Victorian and turn-of-the-century brick warehouses in the nation, as well as being home to Coors Field, the 50,000-seat stadium for the Colorado Rockies.

The new hotel will also have easy pedestrian and biking access to LoHi, or Lower Highlands, a booming area of downtown Denver that is filling with chef-owned restaurants, breweries, one-of-a-kind galleries, rooftop view bars and boutiques. The neighborhood is accessible to Union Station by a series of pedestrian bridges and bike paths.

Marriott Renaissance in the Colorado National Bank Building.
Open date: 2014
This full-service, four-star, 230-room hotel is scheduled to open in 2014. The hotel will feature banquet and meeting rooms, including one inside the former bank’s vault, a ground-floor restaurant and retail space, and a lounge in the mezzanine overlooking the lobby. Built in 1915, the Colorado National Bank building is one of the most historic and beautiful in downtown Denver. The lobby space is surrounded by huge, wall-size murals painted by local artist Allen Tupper True. Considered one of Colorado’s premier native-born artists, True focused his work on Western subjects. The murals in the bank building depict the lives of American Indians on the Plains before white people arrived.


The Art Hotel
Open date: TBA
In November 2013, ground was broken on The Art Hotel, located in Denver’s Golden Triangle Museum District. The $50 million, 165-room boutique hotel will be part of a nine-story office/retail complex called the Museum Center. The hotel will begin on the fourth floor, and will feature art-centric furnishings and decor, including vibrant wall coverings in each suite.

Aloft Hotel Denver, Downtown
Open date: 2014
A new 150 room Aloft Hotel Denver at 15th and Stout, within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center and 16th Street Mall is expected to open in 2014.  Additional details are not yet available.

Westin Hotel, Denver International Airport
Open date: 2016
A new 500-room Westin Hotel is under construction at Denver International Airport as part of the South Terminal Redevelopment project. The new hotel is projected to open in 2015.  The hotel will have its own station on the electric commuter rail line that will run from the airport to downtown Denver, opening in 2016.  The 22.8 mile rail line will run trains as often as every 15 minutes, taking just 30 minutes to get from the airport and Westin Hotel to Union Station in downtown Denver.

“When the rail line is completed, Denver will be the easiest, most convenient and most central meeting location in the nation,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The city is just 340 miles from the exact center of the Continental U.S., closer to the exact center than any city our size. We are served by the fifth busiest airport – 11th busiest in the world – and we will have easy and fast rail service directly from the airport to our walkable downtown. Once downtown, meeting delegates will find 9,000 hotel rooms, 300 restaurants, great shopping, nightlife and a wide variety of cultural attractions and museums, all in a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment just a few minutes walk from the state-of-the-art Colorado Convention Center,” Scharf said.

The new South Terminal Redevelopment Program at Denver International Airport will complete the original vision of the facility. In addition to the new hotel and Public Transit Center, the Program will build an open-air plaza, complete with new concessions and leasable space, which connects the development to the existing Jeppesen Terminal. Denver household names such as the Tattered Cover Bookstore, Elway’s restaurant and the farm-to-table restaurant Root Down will be moving into the airport shortly, and dozens of new shopping and dining experiences are expected to be added over the next few years.

The new hotel comes on the heels of announcements that DIA will begin daily non-stop service to Tokyo in March 2013, and recently added direct flights to Mexico City and Reykjavik, Iceland with connecting service to 26 cities in Europe.

Hampton Inn / Homewood Suites from Stonebridge
Open date: Second Quarter 2013
Hotel developer Stonebridge Cos. has paid $9.4 million for the building at 550 15th St. in downtown Denver, formerly occupied by Xcel Energy. Stonebridge plans to develop the site as a 400-room Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites. Additional details are not yet available.

source:  visit denver 

Complete your Holiday Shopping at HMK

I just recently discovered HMK and absolutely love it! I found a few perfect gifts that I am actually excited to give!

HMK is a new (and improved) Hallmark boutique. With only three locations in the nation (Kansas City, MO, Southlake, TX, and Denver, CO), I am grateful to have one of them located right here in Denver in The Cherry Creek Shopping District.

Yes, HMK is similar to other Hallmark shops as it carries a large selection of greeting cards. But HMK also features a variety of unique customized gifts from home accessories to children’s gifts. I personally spent close to an hour in the shop discovering all it has to offer. And ended up getting 5 gifts checked off my list. The warm cookie offered to me as I entered the shop was delicious and quite the enticement to stay a while! Here are a few ideas for gifts:


Silhouette Art: 

You can create your own silhouette a HMK. This timeless traditional dates back to the 1700’s. Silhouette artists were hired by the royal class to attend extravagant balls to cut out the distinguished profiles of the attendees. I guess you could say that the silhouettes were the original photo booth. Today, you can drop into any HMK store and create your own silhouette. Yes, this is a perfect gift for any parent but I particularly love this idea for the dog lover making it a modern twist to a classic tradition. HMK will ask you to email them a profile photo of your subject. The print will be ready in just a few days.



Monogramed Products: 

From dishtowels to pot holders to pillows to coffee mugs to coasters to cheese platters, you can monogram just about anything at HMK. It makes for the perfect gift for a newly married couple or a new home owner.




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Thank you to HMK for providing me a gift card and compensation. Although I have been compensated, my opinions are true and honest.  

Holiday Cocktails

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Cocktails at The Four Seasons Denver.  

Spice up your holiday party with these recipes or drop by The Four Seasons in Denver………Price: $12 each. Mention the promotion, and receive a free one.

Partridge in an Apple Tree on Saturday, December 13th


  • 1 ½ oz Absolut Orient Apple-Ginger Vodka
  • ½ oz Apple Brandy
  • ½ oz Sherry
  • 2 apple wedges
  • 1 oz house-made sweet ‘n sour
  • ¼ oz 5-Spice Simple Syrup

Method: Muddle apple wedges and then add the rest of the ingredients with ice. Shake well and strain (or double strain) in to a martini glass. Garnish: graham cracker rim  

Turtle Cheesecake Dove on Sunday, December 14th


  • 1 ½ oz Bailey’s Vanilla Cinnamon Irish Cream
  • 1 ½ oz Ciroc Amaretto Vodka

Method: Shake with ice and pour directly into a rocks glass.

Faux French Hen on Monday, December 15th


  • 1 ½ oz Ciroc Amaretto Vodka
  • ½ oz Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters

Method: Shake all ingredients and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish: orange twist

Coconut Calling Bird on Tuesday, December 16th


  • 3 oz coconut milk
  • 1½ oz Bacardi Superior White Rum
  • 1 oz pineapple
  • Crushed mini peppermint stick

Method: Shake all ingredients and pour into rocks glass. Garnish: one mini candy and one large mint sprig

Golden Ring of Fire on Wednesday, December 17th


  • 1½ oz oz Jose Cuervo cinnamon tequila
  • agave nectar
  • lime juice
  • ½ oz Grand Marnier

Method: Top with apple cider.

Geese a Laying on Thursday, December 18th


  • 1 oz Grey Goose Cherry Noir
  • Splash of house-made sweet ‘n sour
  • tonic water

Method: Build all ingredients in rocks glass with ice, stir. Garnish: rosemary sprig and cherry

Ginger Swan on Friday, December 19th


  • 1 oz Stoli Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz hazelnut liquor
  • ½ oz butterscotch schnapps
  • 2 oz Fever Tree Ginger Beer

Method: Build all ingredients in rocks glass with ice, stir. Garnish: cinnamon stick

Molasses Maid on Saturday, December 20th


  • 2 oz Stoli Vanilla Vodka
  • 1½ oz Kahlua
  • 1½ oz Bailey’s
  • 3 tbs gingerbread syrup*
  • 2½ oz oz half and half

Method: Shake all ingredients vigorously and strain into a martini glass.

*Gingerbread syrup:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbs molasses
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Ladies Dancing on Sunday, December 21th


  • 1½ oz Grey Goose Cherry Noir
  • ½ oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1 oz cream
  • 1 oz chocolate syrup

Method: Shake and pour over ice in rocks glass. Garnish: mini candy cane

Lord of Manhattan on Monday, December 22nd


  • 2.5 oz Hennessy
  • 3/4 oz infused vermouth*
  • Dash angostura bitters
  • Twist orange
  • Sprinkle fresh nutmeg

*Infused vermouth

  • 2 cups sweet vermouth
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash sea salt


Piping Hot Piper on Tuesday, December 23rd


  • 1 oz Pinnacle Cinnabon Vodka
  • ¾ oz Bailey’s Vanilla Cinnamon Irish Cream
  • chocolate powder
  • 2% milk

Method: Steam milk at espresso machine. Add chocolate powder and stir. Pour vodka and Irish cream in toddy mug. Add hot chocolate. Garnish: whipped cream

Drummers Drumming on Wednesday, December 24th (Christmas Eve)


  • 1½ oz Smirnoff Raspberry Sorbet Vodka
  • ½ oz Kahlua
  • ½ oz half and half
  • soda water

Method: Build in Collins glass top with soda. Garnish: 2 raspberries on a prism stick

Photo credit to Carolyn Jaime

Christmas at The Broadmoor

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Christmas than at The Broadmoor.

Offering impeccable service, luxurious accommodations, and the unparalleled beauty of the Cheyenne Mountain backdrop, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado offers many ways to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season. The Five-Star, Five-Diamond resort features an abundance of merry festivities, family-friendly activities, and holiday stay packages.


To begin the celebrations, The Broadmoor’s culinary team presents the 12 Days of Christmas, beginning Friday, December 12 through Tuesday, December 23. The hour-long interactive demonstrations, held from 3:30pm to 4:30pm, showcase holiday specialties, from donut making to classic French cooking.

The 12 Days of Christmas Schedule:

  •  Day 1 / Friday, December 12: Partridge in a Pear Tree –  Pear Cocktails
  • Day 2 / Saturday, December 13: Two Turtle Doves – Chocolate Doves and Turtles
  • Day 3 / Sunday, December 14: Three French Hens – Classic French Cooking
  • Day 4 / Monday, December 15: Four Calling Birds – Poultry
  • Day 5 / Tuesday, December 16: Five Golden Rings – Donuts
  • Day 6 / Wednesday, December 17: Six Geese-A-Laying – Preparations of different types of eggs
  • Day 7 / Thursday, December 18: Seven Swans-A-Swimming – Pate au Choux Swan
  • Day 8 / Friday, December 19: Eight Maids-A-Milking – Cheese Making
  • Day 9 / Saturday, December 20: Nine Ladies Dancing – Tea and Canapés
  • Day 10 / Sunday, December 21: Ten Lords-A-Leaping – Winter Cocktails
  • Day 11 / Monday, December 22: Eleven Pipers Piping – Cupcake Decorating
  • Day 12 / Tuesday, December 23: Twelve Drummers Drumming – Wine Tasting and Pairing

All classes are $30.00 per person, with the exception of the Wine Tasting and Pairing, which is $50.00 per person. Pricing excludes taxes and fees. Each class includes a glass of Prosecco and space is limited. Please call 719.577.5733 to make a reservation.

The Broadmoor also offers two distinct holiday packages, the Classic Broadmoor Christmas 2014, and the New Year’s Eve Gala Celebration. Both include complimentary access to special holiday activities, as well as additional savings. In addition, the Spectacular Winter Savings Package, offered through February 28, 2015, is perfect for families. With rates beginning at just $105.00 per person, based on double occupancy, the package includes complimentary dining for children, and discounts on select spa services, bowling at Play, and adult entry into Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

The Broadmoor celebrates the season of decadent dining with holiday feasts, including spectacular Christmas Buffets and indulgent holiday menus. In honor of the holidays the Five-Star, Five Diamond Penrose Room elevates the culinary experience with Chef de Cuisine Greg Vassos’ seven-course Black Truffle Menu, a menu carefully crafted with rare and delicious delicacy, from November 28 through December 30 (with the exception of December 25). The menu is offered with 48 hours’ notice for $300 per person with wine pairings and $200 person without wine; pricing exclusive of tax and gratuity. For reservations, please call 719.577.5733.

Always a guest favorite, The Broadmoor’s annual gingerbread village returns, featuring a life-size gingerbread house on the mezzanine level of the resort. In the spirit of the Galette de Rois, the property once again offers the King’s Cake Celebration, a holiday tradition featuring a delicious way to win Broadmoor prizes. The pastry team will bake just 100 Galette de Rois, with several baked to include a special prizes, including $100.00 dining credit, $250.00 in spa services, and a two-night stay at The Broadmoor. Cakes are available for $75.00 beginning December 24th, and must be picked up in person. Pre-orders begin December 1st by calling 719.577.5808.

The Broadmoor closes the year in style with the annual New Year’s Eve Dinner and Gala. Featuring special jazz performances by Ken Miller and The Broadmoor Pops Orchestra and SOUL X it is a perfect setting for friends and family to dance, enjoy great dining, and celebrate the end of the year.

For more information on The Broadmoor, please visit The Broadmoor or call 800.755.5088. For more information on The Broadmoor’s holiday packages and events, please visit Holiday Packages and the Event Calendar.

Gifts for Her

My top gifts for her include the perfect weekender bag, one-of-a-kind jewelry, fashion-forward vests, locally made body scrub and stylish blouses.

All available on COUTUREcolorado BOUTIQUE.

Shop local for a good cause!!!!! When you purchase something from COUTUREcolorado BOUTIQUE you will be prompted to donate $1.00 to the World Food Program. World Food Program works to solve global hunger by building a world where everyone has the food needed to lead healthy, productive lives. From November 21 to December 31st, COUTUREcolorado will be matching your donations.


The Story of Outdoor Christmas Lights in Denver

It’s December! Thanksgiving has passed and it is time to break out the holiday decor including those outdoor Christmas lights. Did you know that the history of the outdoor Christmas lights dates back to 100 years right here in Denver?!

It was Christmas Eve 1914 and young David Jonathan Sturgeon was too ill to come downstairs to see the family tree. To make night a little brighter for his sick grandson, pioneering electrician D.D. Sturgeon dipped some clear light bulbs in green and red paint and strung them on primitive electric lines over an evergreen tree in the front yard.

The effect pleased not only the boy, but also the entire city of Denver. People came by horse-drawn carriages from miles away to see the brilliant, glowing tree. The Denver Post carried the story, which became the first written record of electric outdoor Christmas lights in Colorado.

Years later, when Denver decided to decorate the City & County Building with lights, D.D. Sturgeon was hired as a consultant. Today, the City & County Building lighting display is considered to be the largest single holiday spectacle in Colorado with tens of thousands of LED lights. It is just one of many light shows that brighten the skies over Denver during the holiday season.



7 Reasons You Should Visit New York

When we think of glitz and glamour, we automatically think of New York. It’s the ultimate go-to destination. New York is coveted by the rest of the world and with little wonder too. Here are seven reasons why you need to head to New York this year.

1.    Grand Central Terminal

In the onset of the 20th century, Grand Central Terminal was built and what a beautiful feat of architecture it is too. It’s one of the most stunning places in the whole of the state. It was nearly destroyed but has been lovingly restored over the years. It has a certain magic to it that you cannot deny.

2.    Lincoln Centre

The performing arts academy is the largest in the world. It has rather impressive alumni too. Some of the world’s greatest singers and performers have honed their craft here. But, it’s a beautiful building to behold. You can even watch the ballet here and admire the sheer talent that seems to ooze from every pore of this city.

3.    The Rockefeller Centre

When it comes to traditional winter fun, the Rockefeller Centre is synonymous with Christmas in New York. If you are keen to check it out for yourself, you have to go ice skating. It’s what the centre is most famed for. You need to see this fantastic place.

4.    The Statue of Liberty

According to www.housetrip.com, this is cited as the biggest reason as to why people head to the Big Apple. It’s a magnificent feat of history, and the sheer enormity of the statue is sure to make you feel like you are in New York City.

5.    The Abundance of Green Spaces

Contrary to popular belief, New York is actually a green and pleasant city. With Central Park, you can watch the world go by. There are ice skating, running, jogging and public events. It’s a beautiful part of the city, and the green lined park makes you feel as if you’re not in the city at all. You can dine al fresco or simply people watch. It’s a perfect park to relax in. You can do horse drawn tours in the winter or simply walk around and bask in the hot summer.

6.    Times Square

This area of NYC has had something of a facelift. Yes, it’s packed with tourists who want to experience Manhattan, but it’s a great part of the city. It comes to life at night. With a host of bars, cafes and restaurants, you’ll never want to leave.

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7.    All of the Museums!

Whether you want to submerge yourself in history or head out to see fine arts, New York has a museum to cater for every taste. The museums in New York are world class and are packed with amazing artefacts of years gone by. You may need to book a whole weekend just to see them all.


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