My husband and I decided to take off to Denver for a romantic weekend sans kids and chose to stay at the charming, Victorian-era Castle Marne, which really does look like a castle! We were there for three days and stayed in three different rooms while we were there -- Van Cise (complete with private balcony and hot tub), Conservatory, and John T. Mason (with jacuzzi tub in the room). We really enjoyed all three rooms (and that private hot tub and balcony the first night!), but I think we liked the bright and airy Conservatory (which, surprisingly, is the cheapest room) the best. All of the rooms we stayed in were really spacious and had great water pressure in the showers, super comfy beds, and individual a/c controls (which was very nice since I tend to get very hot at night). We also got a peek at most of the other rooms during our stay, and they all look very clean and inviting, too.
Another big bonus about the Castle Marne is the free parking in back. Even though the inn was completely booked two of the nights we were there, we never had any problem getting a parking spot in back. Also, you can't talk about the Castle Marne without discussing the wonderful and very friendly family who runs the place. Melissa and Louie, along with Melissa's parents and a handful of very outgoing and polite teenagers and staff keep the place running smoothly and are a wealth of information about the history of Denver, places to visit, etc. They also provide a lovely and quite tasty breakfast (fresh fruit and compotes, stuffed chilis, pancakes, etc.) that rivals any restaurant in town -- really!
As for the location of the Castle Marne, after driving around Denver all day the first day, my husband and I quickly came to the conclusion that we chose very well. The inn is a short block from all kinds of restaurants, shops, and taverns that run along E. Colfax. Although I had heard that Colfax can be a bit dodgy, we walked along the street in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night and didn't have any problem at all. We stopped in at the Satire Lounge (with the best neon sign in town!) and the Lion's Lair for cold beers and really liked both places.
If you go from the Castle Marne a block in the other direction to 17th Street, you'll find a little cluster of trendier restaurants and pubs (and a bakery). We hung out at the Thin Man there and had some great paninis and a few beers that didn't empty our pockets (like I heard the Italian place next door will do), so we were very happy. In addition, we decided to walk to a Rockies game one evening (about two miles in each direction) and stopped along the way at some neighborhood restaurants for snacks and drinks and didn't feel the least bit uncomfortable roaming Denver's streets at night because people are EVERYWHERE riding bikes, walking, and hanging out in the parks -- the whole area from the Castle Marne felt very safe and neighborhood-y and friendly.
Denver restaurants I'd recommend are the Buckhorn Exchange (oldest restaurant in Denver and has great food and ambience), Snooze (a great, great breakfast spot downtown with amazing pineapple upside down waffles -- we ate here when we first got into town and before we checked in at the Castle Marne), and Bastien's (a great and reasonably priced steakhouse that has been a Denver fixture for 70 years and is within walking distance to the Castle Marne). We also got some to-die-for white chicken chili at the Cherry Cricket, another Denver institution.
So, if you're planning a trip to Denver and want to stay someplace with a ton of character, friendly staff, and excellent location, I'd highly, highly recommend the Castle Marne.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC