New, improved Hotel Colorado guest rooms combine modern aesthetics with hints of yesteryear

Remodeling doesn’t always mean bringing in the new. Hotel Colorado President Christian Henny said a significant portion of the project is dedicated to refinishing the hotel’s original stairwells, revitalizing the wood with a stain reminiscent of what the first guests might have experienced.
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Hotel Colorado’s renovations are fashioning a modern motif through a historical lens, Hotel Colorado President Christian Henny said.

“We’ve emphasized the need for clean Italian lines, a neutral and modern palette,” Henny said. “But we’re also going for a period-correct aesthetic.”

With an investment of more than $8 million, hotel staff are revamping the hotel’s rooms, hallways and stairwells. Design work for the renovations began more than a year ago, and crews could be substantially complete with the project by Memorial Day, Henny said.

Each room’s furniture is slated to be replaced with all custom-made articles, including marble-topped desks and night stands as well as new, elaborate headboards, which feature embroidered upholstery.

The hotel interior was last remodeled in the mid-1990s, Henny said.

A section of the Hotel Colorado’s hallway prior to renovation showcases a theme set in mauve and hunter green. While exemplary for the time, President Christian Henny said the “Grand Dame” was due for a new look.
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Built in 1893 by Walter Devereux, a silver baron and one of the early settlers of Glenwood Springs, no expense was spared in the construction of the hotel, which included tennis courts, a Victorian garden, a bird sanctuary and an indoor waterfall. Devereux referred to the hotel as his “Grand Dame,” and modeled the establishment after the Villa de Medici.

In place of the mauve-heavy theme previously featured throughout the hallways and in the rooms, Henny said the hotel is moving forward with a white-and-blue color scheme, paying homage to its history as a U.S. Navy hospital during World War II.

Paying homage to its roots as a U.S. Navy Hospital during World War II, the Hotel Colorado’s newest color scheme is blue and white. Furthering the hotel’s nod to American servicemen and women, the renovation is scheduled for substantial completion by Memorial Day.
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Guest rooms are being remodeled half a floor at a time to minimize impact on the guest experience, a news release states. Throughout the renovation, hotel staff will catalog historic furniture and discoveries, setting aside choice pieces for use in signature suites. Additional historic items are scheduled to be featured in a future Hall of History planned for the lower level.

In addition to new carpeting, lighting and furniture, two of the hotel’s elevators are slated to be replaced with fully functional models, which will be available for public use, Henny said.

“Though COVID-19 delayed our plans,” said Craig Melville, a spokesperson for the Melville family, who purchased the hotel in 2018, “we are back on track and remain dedicated to giving our ‘Grand Dame’ the attention and investment she deserves.”

During the renovations, crews uncovered 16 original fireplaces on the fourth floor alone. Although the flues were filled with concrete by the U.S. Navy during World War II, the uncovered fireplaces, constructed of bricks made on site in the 1890s, will feature prominently in the newly renovated guest rooms.
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Emphasizing a modern look, Hotel Colorado’s new guest rooms don’t forget their history. Additionally, all the hotel’s new furniture was custom-made to meet the hotel’s high standards of a unique experience.
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A renovation crew member resurfaces a ceiling in one of the Hotel Colorado’s guest rooms. As part of an extensive renovation, the old-style “popcorn” finish will be replaced with a sleeker, modern finish.
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While not all of the grand old hotel’s base boards or moulding is slated for replacement, Hotel Colorado President Christian Henny said crews are repairing damaged areas with period-specific replacements, intended to keep the guest rooms looking fresh while keeping their historic grandeur.
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Silver baron Walter Devereux built the Hotel Colorado in 1893, dubbing the establishment his “Grand Dame.” Renovation crews are working to restore the first impressions the hotel made on its guests by revitalizing the wooden accoutrements throughout the hotel.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Marble-topped end tables are one example of the Hotel Colorado mixing elegance with efficiency as it redefines the customer experience for the 21st century.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at [email protected].