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The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection
Ranked #23 of 160 Hotels in Denver
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 7 April 2014

I planned a surprise weekend for my husband's birthday last weekend; I spent a lot of time and effort trying to make it perfect and what a better place to celebrate than this historic hotel in Denver... or so I thought. Since we are Mariott Rewards members, we prefer to stay at hotels under this brand. I was somewhat disappointed with the customer service at the Brown Palace Hotel.

A day prior to our arrival, I called reservations to see if they do anything specials for birthdays. The very nice individual that I spoke to put me on hold and then said she will transfer me to a "room controller," but I got disconnected. I then called again and got another individual on the other line; I explained to her that I just spoke to someone and she tried to connect me to the "room controller." The second person I talked to seemed a bit puzzled as to why I would need to speak to that specific person. I explained to her the situation and if I needed to pay for something, like chocolate covered strawberries or a small cake, for example, that would be fine. She said she will note the birthday in our reservation but nothing is guaranteed. At this point, I was a bit frustrated; it just did not seem as I was receiving the customer service one would expect from this property, based on the communication with the reservation staff; perhaps the individuals did not know. I was happy, however, that the next day, the hotel did put together something small for my husband, which was very much appreciated! Thank you!

Upon arrival around 2:45pm on Saturday, we were told our room was not ready, which was definitely not a problem as we did not mind waiting. 3:15pm came around and still no call from the front desk about our room. At that point, I figured check-in may be actually at 4pm and instead of waiting until then, we could perhaps go get something to eat or have a few drinks. So at 3:15pm, I decided to double check with the front desk who said that a room just opened and that a guarantee check-in is, indeed, at 3pm. I wonder how much longer we would have waited until someone called us about our room. Neither time that we were at the front desk did anyone told us which room they were giving us and I could not find that detail on the print I had to sign when signing for our room (maybe I missed it). We travel often and I can't remember the last time any hotel forgot to mention or verify with us such an important fact.

Of course I knew what room I booked - a Signature 400 SF room under the local rate. The rate rules listed on the Mariott's website are the following: "Local Life rate, includes 50 percent valet parking discount, upgrade upon arrival." And again under another rate rules section it mentions: "Rate includes a complimentary upgrade upon arrival and 50 percent off of valet parking."

Based on the information provided on the Mariott's website, I was expecting a room upgrade upon arrival, which we did not receive... no where on the website it said (says) that it is based on availability. I am an experienced traveler and see "based on availability" normally listed for upgrades, etc. and so I figured this was a guaranteed upgrade by the Brown Palace Hotel, which was another great incentive to book a room there to surprise my husband. The front desk told us that the upgrade is based on availability and the hotel was full.

We visited the Tavern for a few drinks and ordered room service for breakfast - both were great.
Our room was very nice and comfortable; bathroom was a little small, but clean. Our room faced the atrium and we actually enjoyed the piano music on Saturday afternoon played during the tea.

This was our second stay there and overall, it is a lovely hotel with a lot of charm. However, our last experience left us slightly bitter and mislead. Perhaps the hotel staff was stressed and busy since they were full, but we just did not feel that we were important customers during our check-in process nor during my prior communication with the reservation staff a day before.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank luciez29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BPManager, General Manager at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2014

Dear Luciez29,

Thank you for staying with us and for taking the time to write about your time with us. My apologies for the disconnect in service you experienced in regards to your husband's birthday. We pride ourselves on making wonderful memories for our guests and are dismayed when we do not provide a flawless luxury service. I will make sure the we use your comments as a means of retraining our associates.

I have also reached out to our marketing department about the misunderstanding of the upgrades - which are based on availability - and they are going to research the look of the online guidelines and make the information more accessible.

Please be assured that your feedback is most valuable to us and will help ensure that your future experiences with us, as well as that of all guests, will be enjoyable and memorable.

Regards,
Managing Director
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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861 - 867 of 1,807 reviews

Reviewed 7 April 2014

The manager at one of the other restaurants on the property recommended that I put my Yelp review of Ship Tavern on here. I will post another review of the hotel which was beyond excellent:

Our visit to Ship Tavern last night was the definition of a mixed bag. We got into the hotel a little late and after a full day on the mountain we didn't want to go venture out into the cold Denver night for food. I had a $10 discount at the hotel's restaurant so we stopped by here:

Food: I had a Caesar salad. Got the appetizer portion and it was so big that my GF mistakenly thought that the waiter brought out the entree version. Not being that hungry we both ordered something off the appetizer menu. Her lamb chops and me crab cakes. While the lamb chops were good they were ultra salty. As my GF said "I enjoy salt but that was way too much." I thought the crab cakes were pretty good. Definitely enough to fill me up. The highlight of the meal was definitely dessert. I had the homemade apple pie which takes 25 mins but was totally worth it.

Service: Saw a previous review that said Francisco was a good waiter. I would have to strongly disagree. I found the gentleman to be disinterested at best. It took about 10 mins for him to acknowledge our existence and then everything was a struggle after that. Water took at least 5 mins to be refilled, he brought other tables complimentary bread but forgot our table and then he admitted that he accidentally gave our bread to a single diner a couple tables away. Again we ordered appetizers and they took 40 mins and the response from Francisco was "Oh let me call and see where they are". At the end of the meal I was trying to grab his attention so that we could order dessert to take back up to our room and tried to wave him down 3 times and he looked right past me all 3 times. I remarked to my girlfriend that I must be in the Sixth Sense or something and she's the only one that could see me. If the restaurant had been busy I might have understood some of this behavior but each member of the wait staff had maybe 2-3 tables at that time. When we were waiting for our apple pie I went over to Francisco, who was at the hostess station tabulating receipts, to tell him we were going to explore the lobby while we were waiting he told me he was leaving for the night and someone else would handle us for the rest of the night.

When I finally spoke to the MOD she seemed very uninterested that two appetizers took 40 mins to come out but was at least apologetic about the salt chops my GF ate. If I was 15 years older and dressed in a button down shirt I'm sure that we would have been treated differently.

The service and manager reaction of that service left a lot to be desired. Not sure if I'll ever make it back here but the service of the hotel definitely doesn't match the service in their restaurant. Night and day difference.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Thank JPearlman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BPManager, General Manager at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2014

Mr. Pearlman,

We always strive to provide a flawless luxury hotel experience and regret that you were disappointed with the service in the Ship Tavern. I was dismayed at the shortcomings you experienced and the lack of geniune service from our staff.

Please be assured that your comments will be shared with our management team and we will use your feedback as a means of retraining our associates.

Regards,
Managing Director
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

In today’s absolute world, these words might have become cliché’s but for me these words still render images of magnificence and opulence. Such is the case with Brown Palace hotel. My stay at the turn of the century hotel, which is part of the autograph collection of Marriott brand of hotels, was truly an unforgettable experience. From the time that I stepped in the door to the time I checked out the hotel staff kept a track of every detail and ensured that my stay was memorable.
As mentioned the hotel was a renovation project. The façade of the building is the original stone masonry. Once inside the grandeur of the building continues with multiple references to its gloried past including the wall paper, the intricate glass ceiling, elevators and even the hand rails around the staircases and corridors.
The rooms are spacious but no major differences that any of the other hotels. The bathroom did seem a bit cramped, but the double shower heads (ceiling and wall) really made up for it. I would however point that the shower heads could have used a little bit of cleaning.
The hotel has a spate of excellent restaurants. To boot, the lobby has a great tea service offering during the afternoon and drink service in the evening with piano player serenading the guests.
The service was impeccable, from the front desk staff, to the housekeeping personnel. Everyone was cordial and wanted to make sure that my stay was an excellent one while I was in Denver. I will stay here again in a heartbeat especially because this is close to downtown with a bit of nostalgia to boot.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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Thank gillbhai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

I stayed in probably the smallest room category offered by the hotel, but it had plenty of space for a short visit. Additionally, although the property's decor and architecture are quite historic, the interior of the guest rooms has all the modern conveniences. It's a great mix of the old and new. The staff are consistently very professional and service-oriented, from the parking attendants to the room service personnel. They are truly the reason I gave this property a five rating.

For those wanting something quick in the morning, I really enjoyed the cozy coffee bar between the lobby and the exterior - it's quick and easy to take something to go. I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the room service dinner, but it was okay overall and didn't diminish my experience enough to impact my review.

I didn't use the internet so can't comment on that.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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Thank KPfeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014

This is a beautiful old historic hotel downtown Denver. The history and self guided tours were fun for us to do at our leisure. The hotel concierge gave excellent referrals for places to dine within walking distance.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tonja W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BPManager, General Manager at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2014

Thank you for staying with us during your trip to Denver. I know how valuable your time is and we truly appreciate your willingness to share your experiences.

I loved reading all the highlights from your trip. We take great pride in our staff and are always thrilled to hear that our dedication to giving our guest a true Brown Palace experience comes through. I will take great pleasure in sharing your comments with our associates.

It would be an honor to welcome you back to the hotel again!

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Reviewed 1 April 2014

This beautiful historic hotel, with so much more personality then more modern hotels, didn't fail to deliver a luxury room with modern amenities. I like the way it was modernized carefully to keep the romance and flavor of the past, but not sacrifice the modern comforts we all love.

We stayed at one of the 'Top of the Brown' rooms. It was roomy, beautifully decorated in a way that made you feel it was your own bedroom and not a hotel room. Maid service was twice a day and excellent. How nice to come back to your room after a busy day sight-seeing to have your bed turned down, room spruced up, and classical music gently playing in the background! Perhaps it was the isolated placement of our #801 room, but this was the most quiet hotel room I've ever been in, and it felt like you were in your own little world. Although the bathroom could have used more counter space, it was roomy with ample plushy towels, and a wonderful walk-in rainhead shower. The large Victorian windows in this bedroom provided plenty of light and a wide-enough sill to sit upon and watch the city-life below. There was a desk-area with chairs & internet hookup capabilities, coffee area with its Keurig machine, and a table/chairs to relax near the 3 tall windows. (Connecting to the internet is an extra charge per day if you use it outside of the atrium area...this I hope they change, as most hotels nowadays provide this for free.)

The elegant atrium of this hotel draws you in with its genteel activity during tea-time & cocktail hour. You find yourself torn between wanting to enjoy the comfort of your room or the lovely music-infused atmosphere of the atrium. I think one of the strengths of the atrium is that it is large enough (without feeling cramped), but small enough to feel warm & vibrant. Of course the rich decor of this area can easily transport your imagination to another century!

This hotel has a very good location. We didn't use our car during the 3 nights we stayed here, as everyplace we needed to go was in walking distance. Museums, high-rated restaurants, nightlife, 16th street mall, Larimer Square....we walked it all and also used the free shuttle that is on 16th street- despite being senior citizens! If you are young...well, the center of Denver & more is at your feet! Of course, you don't have to go elsewhere to find a good place to eat if you don't want to. The restaurants in the Brown are wonderful & convenient (although a bit pricey).

As to the staff ...they are the shining jewels! A hotel stay can be broken by poor employee attitudes and they were dedicated. Not only did they provide great efficient service, but they would enthusiastically provide information about the past history of the Brown Palace as well. Service like this is so lacking in our modern world! How refreshing! Never a lack of good will and no one came across as condescending... from the doormen, the maids, the porters, the waiters in the restaurants... I have no complaints and admire the great pride they took in their jobs!

As you can tell...I would go back to this wonderful hotel (that is so full of good character) in a heartbeat! What better way is there to enjoy Denver then with a happy mix of a bit of historic elegance with the comfort of the modern?

Room Tip: Room #801 'Top of the Brown' was the most quiet hotel room I've ever been in. It truly...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Greyhdnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BPManager, General Manager at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2014

Thank you so much for staying with us at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa. We know how busy and precious time is so greatly appreciate the time you took to detail the stay you had with us.

I was especially thrilled to hear how much our staff impressed you. It is one of our greatest goals to provide exceptional service and we love to hear when the associates efforts to make your stay memorable are appreciated. I will reach out to our staff and let them know of your gracious comments.

It would be an honor to welcome you again!

Regards,
Managing Director
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2014

This is a historic hotel in downtown Denver. Walking distance to everything. You feel like a prince while there. The restaurants are terrific, 24 hour room service and a beautiful cigar bar to end the day right. There are less expensive places to stay, but no place comparable.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
1  Thank Chad H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection

Address: 321 17th St, Denver, CO 80202-4003
Region: United States > Colorado > Denver > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Denver
#7 Spa Hotel in Denver
#14 Luxury Hotel in Denver
#19 Romantic Hotel in Denver
#20 Family Hotel in Denver
#31 Business Hotel in Denver
Price Range: £170 - £300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 241
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Presidents, rock stars, executives, and discerning travelers all choose the one-of-a-kind ambiance of the historically luxurious Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Denver's only four-star, four-diamond hotel. Guests are treated to grand architecture, 6 unique dining venues, a full service spa and salon, and distinctive accommodations. Experience Tradition With a Twist. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Brown Palace Denver
Hotel Brown Palace

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