The Charm and Allure of Boulder, Colorado

Boulder isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind when you think of Colorado, but it should be. Just 40 minutes from Denver, this historic, quaint town is home to two charming, luxurious hotels.

The Boulderado was built in 1909 by the citizens of Boulder to host visitors and future students of the new university up the hill. The original structure – a landmark property – stands proudly on a city block, steps from the bustling Pearl Street. It is home to one of the most inviting lobbies I have ever seen. The original wood frames the reception desk leading you up the grandiose staircase to the mezzanine, and the rail that skirts around the atrium held up by a colorful stained-glass window.

Mia, the wedding director, picturesquely described a ceremony at the helm of the mezzanine landing halfway up the staircase that suspends the couple mid-air as their family and friends sit along the rail. Imagine how the bride must feel descending the staircase running her hand along that smooth wood like so many before her.


The suites in the original building are typically offered for the wedding party preparation and have gorgeous natural light and original furnishings and wallpaper, making each one unique.

The new wing built in 2017, houses additional rooms and the main ballroom large enough to host 240 guests. A late-night must is the after-hours Liquor No 1 bar, aptly named as it was one of the first watering holes that received a liquor license in Colorado – it is the perfect place to invite your guests after the reception.

The St. Julien Hotel sits atop an enormous property on the town’s border. It was built in 2006 and renovated in 2020. A private family owns it, and you can feel the warmth as soon as you enter the expansive lobby. Folks are welcomed by dozens of comfortable couches, lounge chairs, a view of the mountains through the glass wall ahead, and the warmth of the rumbling fireplace.

The property is vast; I stayed in a corner suite with a view of the Flatiron mountains. A storm came the first night I was there and I was privy to watching it climb over the mountain and settle for 24 hours above, dropping snow and covering the streets in white. The rooms are impeccable and comfortable, while the bathrooms have modern fixtures, deep baths, and stone walls. On the main floor, there is a lap swimming pool, jacuzzi, and gym opposite the full service Spa that has a steam room, sauna, and beauty parlor.

An outdoor area in the center of the hotel is typical for weddings with a pergola and a well kept lawn that overlooks the mountain. After the ceremony and outdoor cocktail, couples usually have the reception in the ballroom through glass doors.

Boulder is 45 minutes from the closest ski resort and only 5 minutes to the nearest trailhead. On my two-hour hike, I appreciated the beauty and majestic views before returning to a delicious hot chocolate at Piece, Love, and Chocolate and contemplated the idea of a snow capped winter wedding in either of these hotels.

On my way back to Denver, I drove to Golden, a quaint town that prides itself on being home to the Coors Beer factory and the historical Table Mountain Inn, a landmark built in 1925. The Inn has large, comfortable rooms, a lively, delicious restaurant serving southwestern cuisine, and is run by a friendly, professional staff. I strongly recommend going before heading home.

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