Hotel Colorado’s new and improved rooms combine a modern aesthetic with hints of yesteryear

Renovating does not always mean bringing something new. Hotel Colorado president Christian Henny said a significant part of the project was spent refinishing the hotel’s original stairwells, revitalizing the wood with a stain reminiscent of what early guests could have lived.
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Hotel Colorado’s renovations shape a modern motif through a historic lens, said Hotel Colorado President Christian Henny.

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

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

Furniture in each bedroom is expected to be replaced with all bespoke items, including marble desks and bedside tables as well as elaborate new headboards, complete with embroidered upholstery.

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

A section of the Hotel Colorado’s hallway before the renovation features a theme set in mauve and hunter green. Although exemplary for the time, chairman Christian Henny said that the “Grande Dame” needed a makeover.
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Built in 1893 by Walter Devereux, a silver baron and one of Glenwood Springs’ first settlers, 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 “Grande Dame” and modeled the establishment on the Villa de Medici.

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

Paying homage to its roots as a US Navy hospital during World War II, Hotel Colorado’s new color scheme is blue and white. Continuing the hotel’s nod to the U.S. military, the renovation is expected to be largely complete by Memorial Day.
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Rooms are being renovated half a floor at a time to minimize the impact on guest experience, a press release said. Throughout the renovation, hotel staff will catalog historic furnishings and finds, reserving select pieces for use in the iconic suites. Additional historical elements are expected to be showcased in a future history room planned for the lower level.

Along with new carpeting, lighting and furniture, two of the hotel’s elevators are scheduled to be replaced with fully functional models, which will be made available to the public, Henny said.

“Although COVID-19 has delayed our plans,” said Craig Melville, spokesperson for the Melville family, who purchased the hotel in 2018, “we are back on track and remain committed to giving our “Grande Dame” the attention and investment she deserves.”

During renovations, crews discovered 16 original fireplaces on the fourth floor alone. Although the chimneys were filled with concrete by the U.S. Navy during World War II, the uncovered chimneys, built of bricks made on site in the 1890s, will feature prominently in newly renovated rooms.
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Emphasizing a modern look, the new rooms at Hotel Colorado do not forget their history. Additionally, all of the hotel’s new furnishings have been custom-made to meet the hotel’s high standards for a unique experience.
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A member of the renovation team resurfaces on a ceiling in one of the rooms at the Hotel Colorado. As part of a complete refurbishment, the old-fashioned “popcorn” finish will be replaced with a sleeker, more modern finish.
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While not all baseboards or moldings in the Grand Old Hotel are scheduled for replacement, Hotel Colorado President Christian Henny said crews are repairing damaged areas with period-specific replacements, intended to keep the rooms cool while retaining their historic grandeur.
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Silver Baron Walter Devereux built the Hotel Colorado in 1893, calling the establishment his “Grande Dame”. Renovation teams are working to restore the first impressions the hotel made on its guests by revitalizing wooden amenities throughout the hotel.
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Marble-topped side tables are an example of Hotel Colorado’s elegance and efficiency redefining the guest experience for the 21st century.
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Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at [email protected]

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