Can’t travel due to the pandemic? Denver hotel staycation likened to ‘summer camp for adults’

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) – A lot of us are desperate for a vacation after being stuck at home for months during the pandemic. But if it’s a change of scenery you’re after, you might not have to leave town. You could visit a new Denver hotel that bills itself as a “summer camp for adults.” Some rooms have as many as eight built-in bunkbeds.

“Yes, we do have the traditional king bed in a room, but we also range from a king plus two bunks all the way to eight custom built bunk beds in one room,” said Oren Cohen, general manager of Life House Lower Highlands, a new boutique hotel opened on Denver’s north side.

The hotel wasn’t designed with the pandemic in mind, but the people who run it say it might be a good place to take a socially distanced break from it all.

“People are just tired of being pent up in their homes,” Cohen said.

Oren Cohen, General Manager of Life House Lower Highlands, stands in a new hotel room filled with six oversized bunk beds. The hotel plans to challenge Denver’s short-term rental market by offering rooms that can sleep as many as eight people.

Opened just days ago, the hotel was actually designed to compete with Denver’s short-term rental market, like VRBO and Airbnb. If a group plans to visit Denver for a Broncos game or a concert at Red Rocks, the whole group could stay together in the same room, saving money. Cohen says rates, which start at under $150, are a bargain compared to many short-term rentals, especially when you factor in cleaning surcharges that are often tacked on to short-term rental stays.

“Just hanging out with your buds, just glamping up in a room, and staycating like a rock star,” Cohen said.

And unlike those short-term rentals, you don’t have to cook for yourself. Wild Flower, the high-end restaurant downstairs, with a New York-trained chef, will do it for you.

“A traveler (who) visits Life House and Wild Flower, or even a local that lives two blocks away, is expecting to have the flavors of their home, and have it be unique to Colorado, and I think that’s what we’re providing,” said William Harris, executive chef at Wild Flower.

Part of a boutique chain with hotels in places like Miami and Nantucket, Life House is looking forward to an influx of out-of-state travelers once the pandemic wanes. But that won’t happen overnight. A new survey from the American Hotel and Lodging Association shows that 72% of Americans are unlikely to travel for Thanksgiving, and 69% are unlikely to travel for Christmas. And only about three in ten (32%) of those surveyed had taken an overnight vacation or leisure trip since March.

“Exciting, challenging, but at the same time these all create opportunities,” said Cohen.

That’s why, in the meantime, this newest entry into the Colorado hotel industry – and others like it – want you to know, if you’re looking to get away, without actually going away, maybe a staycation is in order.

“Absolutely, no. We can’t wait to host one and all,” Cohen said.

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