Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Downtown In The City - Denver, Colorado

Downtown In The City - Denver, Colorado

I don't know who started the expression of, "Save the best for last," but I have to disagree with them, because I like to put the best right up at the top (see photo above) - so it's not missed. This past weekend I had a complimentary night at a Sheraton property, so I selected to stay at the Sheraton in downtown Denver. This isn't a review showcasing the property; however, I did add some of the photos of the property and the room, and one of their bars called 16Mix Lounge.
While the Sheraton property was relatively clean (there was trash in the trash can of my room????) It's not necessarily a property that would ordinarily appeal to me; however, I can say that for families or business traveler(s) it's great because it is:
  • Centrally located in downtown Denver off of the 16th Street Mall
  • Surrounded by a multitude of restaurants and sporting venues (Rockies, Broncos, etc)
  • A LARGE property to hold conferences and other events
  • While utilitarian (in my opinion) the rooms are practical and laid out well
  • As with most Starwood properties, the beds are very comfortable - that's always a plus in my book
  • The young lady, Tina, who checked me in was courteous and nice; however, the other staff members I passed and came in contact with were none too friendly - barring the wait staff at 16Mix Lounge - they were great!

I did not like the intricate, maze like way you had to get to the Tower I was staying in on the property. It's confusing and quite frankly, annoying. I had to go down one level; walk across the very large expanse of their conference/ball room areas to the other side, to elevators that were connected to the Tower area of the property.

I am from Colorado, so I decided to go to a few places I'd never been to before. I stopped into the Paramount Cafe on the 16th Street Mall. I had a mimosa, and while browsing the menu, I determined I really wasn't that hungry so I would wait until later to eat. The brunch menu was available at the time I was there, which consisted of a small array of pancake, French toast and egg dishes. I peeked at their regular menu, which consisted of typical appetizer dishes (wings, spinach & artichoke dip, nachos, and other small plate fare). They also had a nice selection of salads, sandwiches, and interestingly enough, they also had several mediterranean style dishes on their menu as well.

After I left the Paramount Cafe, I strolled amiably down the mall area; intermittently receiving phone calls. I poked my head into a few stores and restaurants. On this particular Sunday afternoon and evening, there was an early Colorado Rockies game, and an evening Broncos vs the Steelers game. Throughout the day I saw quite a few Steelers paraphanelia and jersey's being worn by those I assumed were likely going to the game.

Several hours later of my roaming the streets, I decided to check out The Tavern on Market street. It's owned by a group that has several restaurants throughout the metropolitan Denver area. Each of their restaurants have different menu items, so I know they have great bar food, and that's exactly what I wanted - and a beer or two...

Their rooftop bar area is HUGE. This location is directly across from the Rockies stadium, so everytime there was anything going on, you could hear the roar of the crowd. I sat down and had a Bud (it was on special, as it's not my beer of choice), and watched the remainder of the Golf tournament and soaked in the lovely day. I eventually ordered two of their awesome slider sandwiches, as well as (gasp) a basket of their fries. They have added a new assortment of sliders to their menu, so I tried the chicken slider, and the philly cheesteak slider. They were yummy, and hit the spot, and for $1.00 a slider (on Sunday's) that was a good deal!

After spending several hours at the Tavern, I decided I better make my way back to the hotel so I could enjoy the game and the Rocky Patel cigar that had been burning (not literally) a hole in my purse. In not my brightest moment, I had on high heels, and while the Tavern isn't far from the 16th Street Mall, it's not close when you are walking in 4" heels! Trust me, I typically always bring along a pair of my ballerina flats, but on this particular day I'd forgotten, and my poor feet paid the price.

I arrived at the small gate entrance to the 16Mix Lounge. It was getting cloudy and breezy, but I wanted to sit outside and enjoy my cigar before I started watching the football game - priorities! I stepped into the bar area and ordered a Jack Daniel's Whiskey Sour, and took it outside and lit my cigar. Ahhhhh...that's what I call the perfect ending to a laid back day. The patio area is actually on 16th street (hence the name 16Mix Lounge). I read a review about the bar before going (hey, I have to know the bars...) and one of the comments was (paraphrasing), "What a great bar; to bad it's connected to the Sheraton." My sentiments exactly. It's a bar that could have been plucked down in Los Angeles, California or Scottsdale, Arizona and competed with even the trendiest of bars. The decor of orange, brown and creams was well incorporated and subtle. While it wasn't a large bar, it was big enough. There were very few patrons at the time I was there, but it was a Sunday evening, so it didn't seem odd at all, and I enjoyed pretending that it was just my own private bar.

All in all, I had a great day. These are the moments that are taken for granted, but I revel in them and appreciate them at any opportunity. Now this is what a "staycation" is all about - cheers!

Lobby area of Sheraton in Downtown Denver

15Fifty Restaurant - off of the lobby area

View of Denver's skyline from my room

Desk area in my room

Closet area

Comfy bed


Picture of Coors Field from the Tavern rooftop

Outside of 16Mix Lounge

Patio area at 16Mix Lounge

The dark sky awaiting the rain

Bar seating area of 16Mix Lounge

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