Seize the weekend – at long last I’ve taken my own advice and had an ideal staycation in Denver, just a half hour from home. After promising two of my boys a night in Denver for years, we decided to make it happen. We chose to stay at the Grand Hyatt and for an activity, a night visit to the Downtown Aquarium. After you experience our adventure along with us, I hope you’ll plan your own nearby getaway. There’s no time like the present to have all the fun of a vacation and very little of the travel expense. You deserve it.
The Grand Hyatt’s lobby was buzzing when we arrived on a Friday night. The hotel is next to 16th Street, a pedestrian mall with a free train running down its length. It’s also close to the Colorado Convention Center and the area’s best restaurants, so I wasn’t surprised at the hotel’s obvious popularity. The Grand Hyatt recently completed its expansive renovation, leaving it all looking brand new. Check-in was quick and painless. Instead of a large check-in desk, front desk agents each have their own standing desk and laptop. I felt more like I was being helped by a concierge than checking-in – an effect I liked.
The weekend we stayed at the Grand Hyatt coincided with the largest volleyball tournament of the year in Denver. Because of this, we were first put in a corner king room. The room was spacious, but as it only had one bed, Connor, the 16-year old, was left without a place to sleep. He took this news well and settled in on the floor, but was saved when we received a welcome call letting us know a last-minute cancellation had opened up a room with two beds. Our new room was just as spacious and smartly outfitted with high-tech touches and all-new finishes. After a quick hotel exploration (vital to both children), we requested our car from the valet and headed to the aquarium.
DOWNTOWN AQUARIUM DENVER
The boys and I have been to the aquarium dozens of times, both before renovation and after. This was our first time at night, however. There were no crowds, no strollers and no waiting. The night casts a delightfully eerie atmosphere over the shark area. Every time I visit, I have to stop myself from rushing past the river exhibit to get to the best part of the outing – seeing the sharks in all their toothy glory glide past me, just inches of Plexiglas away. Luckily, the boys held me back, showing me patterns on the cutthroat trout and other items of fascination. We happened upon the sharks eventually and without the pressure of people waiting, we sat cross-legged on the floor, enjoying the moment for as long as we wanted.
GRAND CLUB LOUNGE
The next morning, Liam (seven years old), was ready in his swimsuit when I woke up. We spent a half hour swimming and enjoying gorgeous view of the city. The pool is located on a high floor and has an outdoor patio. After a quick change, all three of us made our way to the 1,100 square-foot Grand Club Lounge, an amenity that was included with our room. The lounge has a delicious breakfast every morning (not to mention gourmet hors d’oeuvres and desserts in the evening) for those who have booked a room with access to this feature. We loaded up our plates with yogurt, granola, oatmeal and fruit, then settled in to watch the morning news on the big-screen TV. After lounging a bit, our staycation was deemed over and we left the wonderful Grand Hyatt and headed home.
The Grand Hyatt is a comfortable, modern hotel in a fantastic location in downtown Denver. It’s a great choice for a staycation or any type of visit to the city. It has my seal of approval.
For more information on the Grand Hyatt Denver or to book a stay, please visit their website.
Examiner’s Note: Thank you to Maryann Yuthas for so kindly and professionally arranging our stay.
Please write to me at email@example.com. My husband, David, and I occasionally create luxury hotel video reviews for our YouTube channel, Travel by Lori. See them by visiting http://www.YouTube.com/TravelbyLori.