When it comes to planning a holiday party for your team or a client, isn’t it nice when you don’t have to worry much about decor? It helps not only the budget but also your checklist.
Here are four of Colorado’s best-known historic hotels from around the state that pull out all the stops to add sparkle and festive activities that delight groups and leisure guests.
The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Denver
The 34th annual Champagne Cascade at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa on Nov. 13 beckons the start of the holiday season and benefits Make-A-Wish Colorado, a nonprofit that grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the pinnacle moment is when swordsmen using Napoleonic sabers sever the bottlenecks of Moet & Chandon and begin pouring bubbly into the uppermost glass of an incredible two-story high, 6,000-plus glass pyramid in the multilevel atrium. As the champagne flows, it cascades into the glasses below. A visit from Santa and live music also are part of the event.
The Brown continues to dazzle for weeks after with sparkling lights, massive Christmas trees, and opulent chandeliers. Holiday teas are a favorite tradition and run from Nov. 14-Jan. 22, and Breakfast with Santa is again on the calendar along with group holiday parties.
Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs
One of the biggest events of the holiday season in Glenwood Springs is the 32nd annual Lighting Ceremony at Hotel Colorado on Nov. 25 from 3-8:30 p.m. This community tradition includes music and dance groups, a holiday photo booth, live ice carving demonstrations, a fire show, a gingerbread competition, visits with Santa Claus, and more. The pinnacle is when more than half a million Christmas lights are turned on simultaneously and a fireworks show is launched from the top of the hotel.
Hotel Colorado’s affinity for the holidays started back in 1893 when the newly opened hotel was lavishly decorated. Since then, the process has grown to include thousands of lights throughout the hotel exterior, lobby, dining areas, and banquet rooms and about 60 decorated Christmas trees. Each of the five signature guest suites are decorated with a tree and holiday lighting, and Legends Coffee and Gift Shop is transformed into a life-sized gingerbread house with 311 pounds of gingerbread and eight gallons of frosting. Breakfast with Santa and other holiday meals also are part of the property’s holiday extravaganza.
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
Creating holiday magic since 1918, The Broadmoor marks a grand return to that tradition this year. The season officially begins on Nov. 26 with a lighting ceremony for hotel guests and members that flips the switch on a million white lights and includes music performances, a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and the unveiling of the resort's annual massive gingerbread display that stays up through the New Year. Past years’ sweet creations have included a 10-foot-tall gingerbread chateau, a gigantic cog railway car, and the resort’s Pauline Chapel.
Anchoring all the holiday happenings is the Classic Broadmoor Holiday Show, a seasonal favorite for over a quarter century happening this year on Dec. 16, 17, 23, 24, and 26. Throughout the season, several groups book holiday parties and there will be special holiday dining menus in all outlets, wassail tea service, culinary and beverage demonstrations, breakfasts with Santa, and other moments of cheer for overnight guests, including the resort’s 12 Days of Christmas.
Hotel Boulderado, Boulder
This college town’s grand dame, Hotel Boulderado, opened in 1909 and continues to emanate holiday cheer with festive decorations inside and out and traditional holiday events. Each year, the property partners with Native Nursery in Golden to select the perfect white fir Christmas tree that will be placed in the historic lobby on Nov. 21. The tree reaches all the way to the top of the canopy stained-glass ceiling, and after being carefully decorated with hundreds of ornaments is a sparkling sight to behold.
Holiday teas and Christmas events at Hotel Boulderado feature decadent menus sure to please any attendee, and on-property restaurants and bars (Spruce Farm & Fish, The Corner Bar, and License No. 1) celebrate the change of seasons with new offerings. Holiday teas, held every weekend from Nov. 25-Dec. 17, are hosted on the mezzanine overlooking the grand Christmas tree.