PHOENIX—Visitors to Denver will now be able to spend a night in the museum thanks to a $4 million prehistoric makeover at the Best Western Denver Southwest. Continuing the trend of truly innovative design within the Best Western International hotel family, the 112-room hotel in Lakewood, Colo. has been transformed into part hotel, part natural history museum and a tribute to all things dinosaur.
“We wanted this to be a one of a kind, immersive experience that feels like you’ve entered an old explorer’s club and a storied natural history museum,” said Best Western Denver Southwest Co-owner Greg Tally.
Outside the property visitors are greeted by a life-sized stegosaurus statue named Stanley, which serves as the hotel’s official mascot and is a nod to nearby Dinosaur Ridge, the location of the world’s first stegosaurus discovery and an active site where fossils are still being unearthed today. Throughout the inside of the hotel visitors will encounter dinosaur skulls, interactive fossil tables, classic dinosaur artwork and fun facts about the study of dinosaurs.
To ensure scientific integrity and verisimilitude in the design, the Tally’s partnered with paleontology experts from across the country, including several from the nearby Morrison Natural History Museum. To create the classic museum feel, millworkers pulled pieces from an early 20th century bank lobby and used them to rebuild the hotel lobby with an antique fireplace, mahogany and pine paneling and louvered glass bookcases. The space is complemented by a marble floor, overstuffed leather furniture and a coffee table created from a vintage steam trunk.
“The renovations at the Best Western Denver Southwest really epitomize the independent spirit of Best Western and the commitment to creating a unique experience for our guests,” said Ron Pohl, Best Western senior vice president brand management and member services. “We take pride in giving our hoteliers the freedom and support to make their design dreams a reality and you can see the personal passion that the Tally’s put into making this a one of a kind hotel.”
Rooms at the property feature updated amenities and decorative touches to enhance the explorer experience, including the historic artwork of paleontologist Arthur Lakes. Other amenities include a new pool in the shape of Western Interior Cretaceous Seaway of 85 million years ago, newly renovated hot tub, and daily complimentary full breakfast. The property has also added both a coffee bar and interactive learning station, as well as a restaurant and bar named Roof Lizard Lounge. On the ceiling of the restaurant swims a 40-foot dig panel of a tylosaurus named Sophie.