When visiting, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, it’s hard to miss two of Walter Devereux’s lasting legacies. One of these attractions, Hotel Colorado, is in the second phase of a major transformation. First, let’s look at the hotel’s heritage before providing a glimpse at what’s underway.
When Hotel Colorado was built in 1893 by Devereux, a silver baron and one of the early settlers of Glenwood Springs, the West was booming. Glenwood Springs, notable for its healing hot springs, was full of opportunity as a destination for travelers and locals alike. Devereux sought to attract the wealthy and elite to Hotel Colorado, located across from Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, which Devereux opened to much fanfare on July 4, 1888.
No expense was spared in the construction of the hotel, which included amenities like a Victorian garden, bird sanctuary, indoor waterfall, and tennis courts. Over the years, the hotel has been used as a temporary White House, as a place of healing for the U.S. Navy during World War II years, and a community gathering place since its inception.
Hotel Colorado celebrated its 125th birthday in 2018, the same year that the Melville family purchased it from the Bastian family of Wichita, Kansas. Patriarch Ralph Melville started the Mountain Chalet in nearby Aspen in 1954 and grew the property over the years, and the Melvilles purchased the 21-room Cristiana Guesthaus in Crested Butte, Colorado, in 2017.
The first phase of a $10 million restoration of Hotel Colorado began soon after the purchase, and six restored meeting and banquet spaces were introduced in August 2019. Major surprises were uncovered like original brick fireplaces in four of the rooms and white oak flooring. Additional phases were put on hold temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and renovation restarted in early January 2022.
- Floor-to-ceiling remodels of all guest rooms are underway, working on half of a floor at a time. Upgrades include carpet, paint, window coverings, furniture, mattresses, linens, televisions, telephones, ceiling fans, lighting, fixtures and artwork. All of the new furniture is custom made, and the overall look is designed to be fresh and clean while respecting the hotel’s original Italian villa design.
- All guest corridors, including the main stairwell to the lobby, are receiving makeovers, and traveling between the floors will soon be quicker. The current service elevator is being replaced with a fully modernized guest elevator, and the existing guest elevator will have a new interior and modernized controls.
- Throughout the process, the renovation team is cataloging all historic furniture and finds, and the best pieces will be used in signature suites. Everything else of interest is being saved for a future Hall of History planned for the hotel’s lower level.
This renovation phase is expected to wrap up this summer pending no major supply chain issues. Next, 14 rooms will be added to the hotel’s inventory by splitting some larger rooms and building out three units that have been unused for approximately 30 years.
It’s truly a new era for Hotel Colorado.