If Victorian-era vibes, mining history and mountain views are key ingredients for your dream Colorado vacation, Delaware Hotel in Leadville is the place for you. Set waaaaaaay up at 10,151 feet, Leadville — aka Cloud City — is the highest incorporated city on the continent. Boost your high-elevation bragging rights by staying on the hotel’s top floor so you can gain some extra vertical footage.
Much like the peaks surrounding it, this ornate beauty rises majestically on the corner of Leadville’s lively main road (Harrison Avenue) and Seventh Street. The Delaware offers 40 rooms — from singles to suites — decked out in decor that’ll transport you to the late 1800s … but with WiFi. You’ll also find The Mineral — the hotel’s on-site restaurant — as well as a staff that goes above and beyond to make sure your stay is amazing.
What makes it special?
It’s such a cool historical building with a warm and welcoming staff. Each stay is truly an experience. But we especially love the lobby, which keeps its doors open to let in mountain air on nice days. It also serves as a communal gathering place for guests, where you can watch TV, play cards or have coffee.
The most “Colorado” thing about this place
Leadville is steeped in Colorado gold- and silver-mining history, from the Tabor Opera House (built by a notoriously unlucky silver magnate) to Matchless Mine and the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum. A stay at the Delaware lets you feel like you’re living that history, keeping it going well after your last tour of the day.
Quirkiest thing to expect
Now, listen … this is a historical accommodation in a former mining town, so if you’re looking for a stay where the shower asks you what temperature you’d like your water while simultaneously massaging your feet, this is not the place for you. Expect old-hotel charms, like the occasional creaky floorboard, hearing neighbors doing morning burpees in the room next door and maybe running into a friendly ghost in the hallway. TLDR: If you’re a light sleeper, bring earplugs.
Our favorite traveler review
“What a gem we found. An authentic, historic hotel who, thankfully, didn’t renovate their charm away. The floors squeak, the shower takes a couple of minutes to heat up, there’s no AC, and it was perfect! It was loaded with charm, comfy beds, tons of space, a room rate a quarter of what you’d expect and smack in the heart of a safe, walkable, quaint town! Service was great and super clean, and there was even free popcorn, coffee and more. The town is loaded with antique shops, history, mountain views and Quincy’s Steak & Spirits with a steak dinner that is an insane value and unforgettable. A great memory and a perfect place to stay. Definitely deserved more than a night! Next time.” — GFam1999, Tripadvisor
Things to see & do nearby
Hold onto your gold pans because there’s so much to do in the area. Mountaineers will find mounts Elbert and Massive — the state’s two highest peaks — in close proximity. Meanwhile, runners and cyclists will be a block from the start lines of many of the endurance beastfests of the Leadville Race Series, like the world-famous Leadville 100, Leadville Trail Marathon and Leadville Trail 100 MTB. If shopping’s more your style, you’ll find boutiques selling everything from discounted ski boots to local artwork and vintage hats. (Not to mention outdoor clothing at the exclusive, reservation-only Melanzana.) And don’t miss an alpenglow-enhanced dinner on the rooftop of the Treeline Kitchen, where the food is only outdone by the stunning views.
Historical photo courtesy of Delaware Hotel