I love the history behind the Hotel Colorado. It was constructed in 1893 in response to the number of out-of-towners (out-of-staters, in fact) who descended upon Glenwood Springs, Colorado (45 minutes from Aspen), to soak in the natural mineral hot springs that had been harnessed into an enormous swimming pool. Wealthy silver magnate and railroad mogul Walter Devereux build the Hotel Colorado after the 16th-century Italian Renaissance Villa de Medici Castle.
The “Grande Dame of the Rockies” is indeed majestic. It’s comprised of two six-story towers that are the focal point of the U-shaped hotel. Guest rooms feature imported Italian wallpaper, individually selected artwork and unique antique furnishings.
It’s certainly been home to some illustrious guests as well. President Theodore Roosevelt stayed here in 1905 during a three-week bear-hunting expedition. Legend has it the “Teddy Bear” was born here. To cheer Roosevelt after an unsuccessful day of hunting, the Hotel Colorado housekeeping staff stitched up a stuffed bear. His daughter Alice later gave the name “Teddy” to a real the President had bagged. The name stuck and the rest is history.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown, the famous Titanic survivor and Colorado resident, also stayed at the grand hotel. Al Capone and a member of his gang, Diamond Jack Alterie, were other notorious guests.
Today, Glenwood Springs visitors glimpse of this interesting hotel history through many old photographs and plaques on the walls. You can even book the Roosevelt Suite, and stay in the same room Teddy did 100 years ago. If you do stay at the property, don’t miss soaking in the historic Glenwood Hot Springs Pool or enjoying a pampering treatment at the brand-new Spa of the Rockies just across the street.
Photo courtesy Hotel Colorado.