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6 Unforgettable Experiences You Must Have at The Brown Palace

From high tea to Champagne brunch, The Brown is always an experience

On August 12, 1892, The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa {321 17th Street, Denver; 303.297.3111} opened its doors to the public, and to this day, those doors have never been locked. Serving as the longest continuously operating hotel in Denver, The Brown Palace is truly one of the most iconic places in the city. The living relic—outfitted with an eight-story atrium with a stained glass ceiling and golden onyx in the lobby—has attracted its fair share royalty, presidents, and celebrities alike, while also maintaining its iconic status for the community.

To celebrate their 125th anniversary, The Brown Palace is hosting celebrations all year long, from a whiskey release party with Stranahan’s Whiskey to collaborating Strange Craft Brewery for their own specialty brew. In honor of its anniversary, here are five iconic things that can only be experienced at The Brown Palace Hotel.

Afternoon Tea in the Lobby

the brown palace

Photo courtesy of The Brown Palace

There is nothing more iconic than Afternoon Tea at The Brown Palace. Served in the atrium of the hotel, the elegant affair has been offered daily since 1986. Peruse a menu of herbal teas complete with housemade scones served with Devonshire cream—shipped directly from England—as well as finger sandwiches, chocolates, and pastries. Even the honey is sourced from a colony of bees located on the rooftop of the hotel. With views of the soaring atrium and melodies from the piano, make it an afternoon to remember.

Champagne Brunch at Ellyngton’s

brown palace

Photo by Morgan Carter

For a bubbly start to the day, make a reservation for Champagne Brunch at Ellyngton’s. Available on Sundays, this inimitable experience allows guests to indulge in a bevy of buffet tables offering waffles, freshly carved meats, make-your-own omelettes, seafood and sushi stations, and flaky pastry creations from the hotel’s own bakery. For bubbles, guests can choose from Domaine Chandon, Moet et Chandon, and Dom Perignon. Don’t forget to the peruse the dessert station, outfitted with a dual chocolate fountain and rows of puffed pastries, chocolate drizzled eclairs, and bejeweled truffles.

Cigars at Churchill’s 

the brown palace

Photo courtesy of Churchill’s

For a quiet retreat—and a few single-malt Scotches—make your way to Churchill’s. With a selection of 60 cigars and a customized humidor, this exclusive club is one of the few establishments left in the city where guests can indulge in a smoke. With an extensive list of vodkas, scotches, and small-batch bourbons, Churchill’s lets you live out your Mad Men fantasy.

A Taste of History at Palace Arms

Experience a lavish night out at the hotel’s crown jewel, Palace Arms. Offering French classics with a Rocky Mountain twist, the menu includes Colorado Lamb Loin and 5280 Beef—not to mention a seasonal tasting menu accompanied by wine pairings. With historical gems dotted throughout the space—including flags, uniforms, and dueling pistols that belonged to Napoleon—you can dine like you’re part of history.

Sing-alongs at Ship Tavern

A Brown Palace staple since 1934, Ship Tavern is the oldest restaurant inside the hotel. Aside from having one of the most drool-worthy Prime Ribs in the town, the vintage pub offers live entertainment on Wednesday-Sunday evenings, where you can sing your favorite jingle (Did we mention Ship Tavern is on the Denver Passbook?).

Signature Events

Champagne Cascade at The Brown Palace

From pictures with the prize steer at the Western Stock Show to sabering Champagne at the annual Christmas Champagne Cascade in November, The Brown Palace should be on your calendar year round. New this year, the Brown is hosting “Begin at The Brown” on Fridays from 6-8pm where guests can sample high-quality sips from breweries, wineries, and distillers paired with small bites from the Brown’s six renowned restaurants. For whiskey lovers, don’t miss out on the 125th Anniversary Stranahan’s Whiskey Release Party on May 18. More of a beer drinker? Stay tuned for the release party of 125th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Imperial Honey Brown Ale from Strange Craft, brewed with The Browns’ own artesian well water. For a full lineup of events, check their online calendar.

Morgan Carter, Editor