- Brown Palace Hotel (Denver; tel. 800/321-2599 or 303/297-3111): Denver's finest hotel, the Brown Palace has been open continuously since 1892, serving high society and celebrities -- from President Dwight Eisenhower to the Beatles -- with elegance and charm. Although most of the rooms are Victorian in decor, with Tiffany lamps and other accoutrements, my favorites are the Art Deco rooms, which have an undeniable feel of the 1920s and 1930s.
- The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs; tel. 800/634-7711 or 719/634-7711): Colorado's top-rated resort hotel has it all -- excellent dining, golf courses, pools, tennis courts, a state-of-the-art fitness center, full-service spa, and shopping, plus extraordinary service -- in a magnificently restored historic building set in immaculate grounds. Although extremely impressive, the Broadmoor is never pretentious, and it certainly knows how to pamper its guests.
- The St. Regis Aspen (Aspen; tel. 888/454-9005 or 970/920-3300): At the base of Ajax Mountain, the St. Regis offers great views of the mountains or town, impeccable service, luxurious rooms, and all the services and amenities you'd expect in a fine hotel. Although a bit pricey, especially at Christmas, the hotel is supremely elegant in a comfortable, cozy way.
- Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch (Avon; tel. 800/241-3333 or 970/748-6200): A stunning structure modeled after the grand national park lodges, the rock-and-log "parkitechture" exterior sheaths one of the most luxurious hotels in the West. The rooms are also studies in "New West" glitz, complete with mountain and earth tones, decor inspired by wildlife and forests, and jaw-dropping views
- Hotel Jerome (Aspen; [tel] 800/331-7213; www.hoteljerome.com): Historic hotels don't get any more luxurious than the Jerome, but don't expect Victorian frills: The 1889 hotel's redbrick facade belies the contemporary décor inside.
- New Sheridan Hotel (Telluride [tel] 800/200-1891; www.newsheridan.com): With historic cachet to spare, the New Sheridan has been the place to hang your hat in Telluride for a dozen decades running. The place first opened in 1895—a year after the old Sheridan Hotel burned down—and has seen it all in the time since.
- The Sebastian-Vail (Vail; [tel] 800/354-6908; www.thesebastianvail.com): An architectural and artistic marvel that opened in early 2011, The Sebastian-Vail is among the best new luxury hotels in the West. It eschews Bavarian and New West motifs for a more contemporary look.
- The Strater (Durango; [tel] 800/247-4431; www.strater.com): Opening in 1887, the redbrick-and-limestone Strater has long been the landmark piece of architecture in Durango. Most requested is room 222, favored by Western writer, Louis L'Amour, who was inspired by the piano music and carousing at the Diamond Belle Saloon just below.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.