Marriott’s AC Hotel shares the same building with its Le Méridien Hotel in the heart of Denver’s city center. But similarities stop there on the corner of 15th and California Streets. Inside, AC is totally different from its feminine French-Influenced sister hotel. Inspired by a Spaniard, AC’s art and architecture are decidedly earthy and manly, sleek and sophisticated, while the experience is totally urban and unfussy. It’s ideal for entrepreneurs and corporate travelers.
Art at The AC Hotel
NINE dot ARTS curated the AC Hotel’s fabulous art collection featuring iconic contemporary works mostly by Colorado artists.
For example, this richly textured painting by Denver artist and University of Colorado alum Johnny Defeo depicts Yosemite National Park seen from the window of a rustic cabin. It hangs in the elevator lobby.
The Spanish theme is well represented in the lobby lounge with The Bull charcoal on the wall by Denver artist Michael Dowling. A matching charcoal of The Matador hangs on the opposite wall. Both were commissioned by NINE dot ARTS for the hotel.
Here’s another view of the lobby lounge. I found this room to be the ultimate in masculinity, not just because of the pool table but the rich, bold decor as well.
Rooms at AC Hotel
Our king room is pared down to essentials: a super comfy bed and linens, a long, skinny desk with wall-mounted TV, a lounge chair, bench, clothes rack (no closet), iron/ironing board, safe and coffee maker. One large picture window allows lots of light and city views. The walls are textured with a soft grey wallpaper; behind the mirror sits the bathroom.
Space-saving reading lamps shine light on either side of the bed. Note the alarm clock and ports below the light. Standard WiFi is free.
The tiny efficiency bathroom surely was designed for males! There’s little counter space, but a large walk-in shower and a separate room for the loo. But I managed, even without a vanity mirror. I did find a hair dryer and robe.
I love the shiny textured wallpaper in the hallways.
Dining at AC Hotel
There’s no restaurant at the AC, but Bar AC on the first level serves wonderful Spanish tapas, such as Spanish Omelet with Manchego and potatoes ($6) and Calamari en Frito with Garlic Aioli ($9). They have a small selection of tonic drinks, beer, wine and Spanish beverages. You can get half price on drinks at happy hour (4-6) and half off tapas every Tuesday. Bar AC opens at 4 p.m. every day. An upscale European-style continental breakfast buffet ($15) is served in the AC Kitchen. If you want a full restaurant meal, you can stroll over to Corinne on the Le Méridien side without having to go outside. Or you can order food from Corinne and pick it up to eat in room through a food service they call “Zoom.” We liked having dinner at Corinne. The food is excellent, and it has a pleasant ambiance.
The best place to be for apres work or late night clubbing is 54thirty rooftop bar. It’s a stunner! Cocktails and small plates are served beginning at 3 p.m. weekdays; 1 p.m. weekends. You can watch the sun set over the mountains and stay until midnight Friday and Saturday nights; till 11 p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Other amenities include a 24-hour rooftop fitness center, valet parking ($45/day) and pets. You can bring Fido for $50 per night if he’s 50 pounds or less. I would not recommend this hotel for children. Rates start at $215 and are 10-15 percent lower than Le Meridien.
What To Do Near AC Hotel
The AC Hotel is across the street from The Denver Center for Performing Arts. It’s a short walk to 16th Street Mall and the free mall shuttle that takes you to Larimer Square and the Union Station neighborhood and all its shops and restaurants. Museums, restaurants, shops and spas are less than a mile away; and sports venues access are quick rides on light rail and by foot. Elitch Gardens Amusement Park is 1.4 miles. The hotel truly is in the heart of downtown Denver!
CityPASS offers discounts to some of Denver’s most popular attractions near the hotel like Denver Art Museum, History Colorado Center and more.
AC Hotel Denver Downtown, 750 15th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202 USA; 303-825-2888; www.marriott.com.
Claudia Carbone is an award-winning travel writer based in Denver. Read about other hotels she’s visited in Sleepin’ Around.