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Kitschy Is Catchy at the Curtis
By Brad Barth November 01, 2011
It wasn’t hard for the Curtis Hotel to win me over. They pretty much had me the moment the employee at the front desk handed me a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie upon check-in.
In many ways, this funky, kitschy, downtown Denver hotel is a junk food junkie’s psychedelic dream, with promises of candy and bottled soda pop, retro toys and board games and an eclectic/eccentric array of quirky pop culture themes.
The lobby’s front desk area looks straight out of the 1970s Dating Game set. The adjacent five-and-dime gift shop sells classic kids’ favorites like Bazooka Joe bubble gum and chattering teeth. A small lounge area offers a selection of oversized books and family board games, while cartoons play on the television. If that’s not enough, a glowing Lite Brite sculpture on the wall beckons you to regress back to childhood.
With such quirky, boutique-style accommodations, it might surprise you to learn that the Curtis is a Hilton Doubletree property. Consequently, the rates are quite reasonable for any budget-conscious consumer looking to stay downtown. Rooms often go for less than $100 a night for a party of two, and while it would be a stretch to describe the modest accommodations as the “lap of luxury,” there’s certainly no shortage of fun and whimsy, making this an ideal spot for nostalgia buffs, pop culture fans and kids at heart.
Each floor in the 16-story hotel has its own theme, which is comically announced by the talking elevator. Now, before you have grandiose visions of Disneyland, note that the theming is relegated to the hallways, not the rooms themselves, and generally consists of a few framed props, posters and silhouette cutouts. Nevertheless, I found it irresistible not to stop at other floors just to learn the other themes, which include the “One-Hit Wonders” Floor, the “Big Hair” Floor, and the “dun dun dunnnnn!!” Floor (horror). My floor’s theme, by the way, was “TV Mania” — it’s like they read this couch potato’s mind.
Another nice touch: My wake-up call was from Mr. T. Apparently, he pities the fool who can’t wake up on time.
The Curtis offers a fitness room, business center and martini bar. Its full-service restaurant, The Corner Office, is a retro-chic bar and eatery with international influences. The hotel is also pet-friendly, so Fido’s not excluded from all the family fun.
My only big complaint (not really): no cookie upon check-out. Good thing my stay there was already plenty sweet.
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