Last updated: 10:58 AM ET, Thu March 17 2016

First Look: Westin Denver International Airport Hotel and Conference Center

Hotel & Resort | Karen Goodwin | December 23, 2015

First Look: Westin Denver International Airport Hotel and Conference Center

Photo via Twitter/Westin

Until recently, if you wanted to stay at a hotel near the Denver International Airport, you had to choose from a collection of mid-priced chain properties roughly 15 to 20 minutes away.

Now there’s a new premium on-site lodging option: the Westin Denver International Airport Hotel and Conference Center, located just steps from the airport’s terminal.

The Westin offers a new paradigm of seamless travel, combining airport terminal, lodging and ground transportation in a single project, said Andy Cohen, CEO of Gensler, the architectural firm that designed the hotel.

The $580 million hotel sits atop a new transit center, with a rail line that will travel the 23 miles between DEN and downtown’s Union Station in 37 minutes, beginning in April 2016.

Passengers arriving at the transit center will take an escalator from Level 1 to the hotel’s plaza on Level 5 and cross to the airport terminal — a process that will take about five minutes. Within a few years, officials say they plan to open an airport security checkpoint with 20 lanes on Level 4. The hotel’s stark white lobby, which resembles some kind of sci-fi starship, is located on Level 6, along with a hotel bar.

The design of the 519-room property is decidedly futuristic. The interior is bathed in white, with sweeping architectural curves and walls of huge windows.

But it’s the exterior that has people talking.

Taking a cue from the airport’s iconic, tented terminal — whose points represent the peaks of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains — designers infused symbolism into the Westin’s outer form. The hotel’s roof, which curves into a saddle, is said to mimic the wings of a bird in flight. Despite its odd shape, there’s still enough room for a 37,500-square-foot conference center with two ballrooms and 15 meeting rooms, making it possible for fly-in, fly-out same-day meetings.

Designers also made great use of the outdoors. A vast open-air plaza located between hotel and terminal will be used for events, entertainment and relaxation, attracting airline passengers, hotel guests and the community at large.  

Accommodations: All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and unique artwork from Colorado artists, along with Westin Heavenly Beds, bath amenities and shower. But amenities are meaningless if you can hear the sounds of planes taking off and landing. The good news is that you can’t, due to triple-pane windows, soundproofing and the hotel’s overall design. In fact, the rooms are exceedingly quiet.

Traditional rooms, at 400 square feet, are minimally designed, with clean, modern lines and unobstructed terminal views. Deluxe rooms, also at 400 square feet, are on higher floors, with views of the Rocky Mountains. The 35 suites range from 680 square feet to 1,492 square feet. At 1,230 square feet, the 15 Executive Suites feature a separate room with a large, flat-screen TV, sofa, workstation, a small dining table, powder room and views of the Rocky Mountains.

What’s for Dinner? The hotel has an all-day Grill & Vine restaurant, complete with outdoor patio and views. The menu focuses on light, fresh foods using locally sourced ingredients and handcrafted cocktails and wine. A Colorado brewpub is expected to open in the future.

Fitness: The 11th floor has a workout room with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, as well as an indoor heated lap pool and a hot tub. All have floor-to-ceiling windows, offering wide-ranging views of the Colorado landscape.

Accessing the Hotel: The hotel is about 30 yards from the south doors of Jeppesen Terminal. Beginning April 22, 2016, you’ll be able to take a train between the airport and Denver’s downtown Union Station for $9. Trains will depart in both directions every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes during non-peak hours. The Westin’s valet parking is $33 per night. 

Just the Facts

Hotel: The Westin Denver International Airport

Size: 519 rooms, including 35 suites, adjacent to Denver International Airport

Opened: November 2015

Facilities: A 37,500-square-foot conference center with two ballrooms and 15 meeting rooms. A large open-air plaza between the airport terminal and the hotel featuring events and performances. A fitness room and indoor lap pool and hot tub. A health-conscious restaurant that sources local ingredients. Easy access to the new transit center, which will open in April 2016 and whisk passengers to Denver’s Union Station in 37 minutes.

Price: Rates begin at $185 per night, but could rise to $500 or more, depending on the weather, time of year and demand. 

For more information, visit Westin Denver International Airport

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