The AC Hotel Denver Downtown is a smart, contemporary hotel that forms one half of the first dual-branded hotel that’s combined a Marriott hotel brand with a Starwood hotel brand to open since the two lodging companies’ mammoth merger in 2017.

Part of the 20 storey building operates as the AC Hotel Denver Downtown and the other as the Le Meridien Denver Downtown with each having their own lobbies, restaurants, and facilities. but there are some crossover points as this guest who took a wrong turn and wound up at the Le Meridien elevators discovered.  Both of these hotel brands are new to Denver and sport a sleek, modern European design as Le Meridien has its roots in France while Marriott’s AC Hotel brand started in Spain.

Guests flying into Denver International Airport have a few choices for transportation to the hotel but I found the best value to be hopping on the A Line train to Union Station as the 37-minute ride costs a mere USD$9 one-way per person. Tickets can be purchased at track side kiosks and trains depart every 15 minutes from 4:15 AM until 6:30 PM. There’s more on that rail ride in this video but once at the beautifully restored 1914 Beaux-Arts Union Station it’s a short walk to the 16th Street Free MallRide for the short ride on electric buses to 16th Street & California Avenue which is 2-blocks from the AC Hotel Denver Downtown. 

After a long day of travelling on planes & trains room 1213 is a welcome retreat with its floor-to-ceiling window and city skyline view. While rooms in this category average an cozy 237 sq. ft. the king bed isn’t oversize for the space.

photo by author 

photo by author 

What makes this room different than most is the open concept with the bathroom integrated into the bedroom which for solo travelers is fine but may be a little awkward if sharing with someone you don’t know well.

photo by author 

The toilet hides behind a sliding frosted glass door while the shower stall is wrapped in pristine white tile and features an excellent rainfall shower head and wand. Despite the ultra-modern room design I was a little surprised to see the eco-unfriendly small bottles of bath products from the Greek company KORRES instead of the wall mounted refillable dispensers that are becoming more the norm.

photo by author 

I like the amount of counter space on the vanity for toiletries but would’ve liked a hook on the wall to hang a toiletries bag or face cloth.

The closet is also open to the room and is fine for a short summer stay for one traveler but with only four hangars wouldn’t work well in Winter for two guests with bulky outdoor clothes.

photo by author 

The room lacks a mini-bar which would be useful especially on hot Summer days but does have a coffee/tea maker.  Note that ice for beverages is only found on the 2nd floor convention level so a bit of a trek from upper floor rooms.

The workspace was comfortable and equipped with enough power outlets for several electronic devices.

photo by author 

While Marriott’s website lists the flat screen TV as 32-inch it’s actually more like a 55-inch model to my eye.

Bar AC is the hotel’s lobby bar and has a number of seating areas between the bar and the red felt pool table.

photo by author 

photo by author 

Kitchen AC is adjacent to the lobby bar and features a European-inspired buffet breakfast with varieties of cheese, cold cuts, breads, eggs and cereals. Room rates do not include the buffet breakfast which is USD$15 per person, a not unreasonable amount for a hotel breakfast but I opted for the “Early Bird” special at Sam’s #3 retro diner 3 blocks from the hotel which goes for only $6.99 without coffee weekdays until 10 AM.

Denver’s highest seasonal outdoor rooftop lounge is 54Thirty and this 20th floor venue offers views of the Denver skyline and Rocky Mountains.

photo by author 

photo by author 

The hotel’s central location is within a block of both the mile-long pedestrian promenade 16th Street Mall and giant Colorado Convention Center and offers easy access on foot to these and all other city center sights.

The AC Hotel Denver Downtown is a thoroughly modern hotel barely a year old that delivers a quality upscale stay in a great location but the room layout and modernity may not be to every travelers liking.  This isn’t however a trendy hotel so hip it’s uncomfortable so balances form with function and I enjoyed my 3-night stay.