Most Best Western hotels adhere to a beige conformity sprinkled with a bit of Southwestern desert flair, but the Best Western Denver Southwest has blown the doors off by embracing the area’s paleontological history and decorating the whole place with faux dinosaur bones, statues, and other Jurassic bric-a-brac.
Run by hoteliers Greg and Meredith Tally, the hotel was given its five million dollar makeover in 2013 in order to celebrate the rich history of dinosaur discovery in the area. Nearby “Dinosaur Ridge” was the site where the first stegosaurus bones were found, as well as the first remains of an Apatosaurus, two major finds in the field of paleontology which forever associated the area with thunder lizards.
The Tally’s have their own stegosaurus, named Stanley, that greets guests in the front of the hotel, although he is simply a fiberglass statue (unfortunately). Once inside, visitors are greeted with a huge, replica stegosaurus skeleton that looks like it was just dusted out of the rock behind the reception desk. Nearby is a lobby lounge that is kitted out to look like a lush explorer’s club of yesteryear, complete with T-Rex skull and man height femurs. There is also a dino-themed restaurant and other smaller touches like colorful murals covering the exterior walls and a Pterosaur-shaped weather vane.