The fact that locals off the street stop in to Denver’s Hotel Teatro (pronounced tee-at-trow) to relax in its lobby area is proof enough of the property’s cool factor. After undergoing renovations in August 2014, the lobby, known as The Study, took on a mountain-chic vibe and added a 24-hour barista bar where guests can order a handmade espresso drink (made with local beans from Method Roasters, to boot) around the clock. The space is so popular, says Jeremy Andrews, sales manager at Hotel Teatro, that it’s frequently requested by meeting planners. “We like to take out some of the furniture and make it an open reception,” Andrews says. “People want couches where you can sit down, prop your feet up and have a conversation with somebody over coffee.”
Being an independently owned boutique property gives the 110-room Hotel Teatro a lot of flexibility for meeting groups, Andrews says, noting the sweet spot is groups between 20 and 30 people (buyouts are also an option). For example, a group of lawyers recently met in Upstage, its eighth-floor meeting space, which has views of the Rocky Mountains to the west. His team redid the room, normally set up with standard chairs and tables, to feel like a lounge, with completely different furniture and a custom menu for a tea hour.
Another option is The Nickel Mezzanine, a private space above its on-site The Nickel restaurant with many windows—a feature that’s attractive to many meeting coordinators. “One of the most common things planners are asking for is natural light,” says Andrews. “I don’t have an RFP that comes across my desk that doesn’t have that request.”
Hotel Teatro’s prime location in the heart of downtown Denver, next to Denver Performing Arts Complex, the second-largest performing arts center in the world, lends itself to teambuilding experiences and activities that give attendees a true sense of place. For example, one popular option is arranging complimentary bicycles for small groups to take around downtown to local breweries.
Insider Tip: Arrange a cocktails and canvas event, in which the hotel brings in a local artist to teach guests how to make a painting while a beverage instructor talks about the hotel’s barrel-aged cocktail program. Samples provided, of course!