I've never written a review of a hotel before and I hope that I can accurately describe my visit at The St. Julien in Boulder, CO.
Having only been to Boulder once, and that was just for a few hours, there was something about the charm and energy of the city that made me want to return when I had some leisure time to explore. When I visited for a day (while returning from Estes Park a month earlier) I had walked by one of the vintage hotels near the Pearl Street mall area and almost made a reservation there. However, having stayed at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO just a few weeks earlier, I was ready for something a bit newer. I then came to this site and found the St. Julien, checked out their website and decided to gamble on a site-unseen hotel. I'm not one to trust hotel photos and I will say that they are accurate, if not understated. I did not make my reservations online, but I did check the rates. I then called one evening and I experienced a high level of personalized service and made the reservation over the phone. I was surprised that I was speaking directly to a front desk person and not a back-room reservations agent. It was never a sales pitch, although I did opt for the upgraded Spa package...which I used. In a nutshell, not being a Spa person, the facilities and the service was first rate. I also knew I would be staying over a holiday weekend and was not expecting any bargain-basement deals.
Simply stated, in case you don't want to read further, my expectations were exceeded and the St. Julien delivered an experience that mirrored the best of the upscale Boulder lifestyle.
From the moment I drove up to the entrance and the method in which I was greeted to the time I checked out, it seems that this hotel prides itself on personalized service. Being a solo traveler, I depended on the staff to guide me to various restaurants, areas and sights and every recommendation was exactly what I was looking for. One great touch was the "loaner" bicycles that can be used to ride around the city or the designated bike paths and the details of the bike paths delivered by the staff. Yes, Boulder is a very bicycle-friendly city and this hotel is located just a few blocks to the entrance of great canyon and city paths.
I happened to be there over a holiday weekend and was told that the Friday Evening parties were something I needed to attend. The weather was perfect and the live band had the locals and guests on the outdoor dance floor for hours. I'm guessing there were a few hundred folks at the open party. The attitude of every employee I encountered was superlative and everything I experienced from having a late night dinner at the bar, using the spa to the Concierge services far exceeded my expectations.
I paid for a top of the line room and although I arrived in the evening and didn't see the balcony's backdrop, in the morning, when I saw the view of the Flat Iron Mountains, I was taken aback. Yes, the room was pricey and definitely not a bargain, but for what I was seeking in a getaway trip, it was exactly what I was looking for. This hotel may not be for the bargain hunter, but those looking for a well located, full service experience will want to consider the St. Julien.
If you've ever traveled to higher altitude cities, you already know that consuming water is a necessity due to the dry climate. It was a pleasure to see a constantly well stocked supply of bottled water without price tags. Yes, free bottled water! (It's funny how the small touches make such a large impression!).
While I don't consider myself a demanding guest, the staff could not have been more accommodating and professional and the location to Downtown Boulder was great...just a few minute walk to numerous restaurants and retail stores. One one occasion, when heading out for a late breakfast, I stopped by the Concierge to ask about a specific restaurant and asked if there would be any problem getting a place at the bar to eat (it was, after all, a holiday weekend). Without hesitation, she called the restaurant and had them hold me a place. I'm glad she did as it was the only seat in the house!
I never felt that the staff was working for tips and when tips were offered, they were very gracious without making you feel that you had to tip at ever corner. In this category of hotel, that was an unexpected pleasure.
In my opinion, this hotel seems to be what Boulder is all about: Modern, Young, Hip, Fun and yes, Green. With that said, and as stated previously, the lobby and outdoors area can be rowdy at times. But, unless you want to go to bed before 10pm on a weekend, it will not be a problem. Yes, depending on the room location, you may be able to hear the band playing on designated evenings. For me, this was not a problem as I was enjoying the party atmosphere. At other times, the lobby can be a great place to read or have a drink and the surroundings are modern and gorgeous.
The criticisms I have are minor. One is something that I share with many other hotels and that's with the in-room TV system. These days, just about every hotel has flat screen TVs, but don't offer HDTV channels. While I'm not staying in this type of hotel to watch TV, it would be nice to have at least the local channels in HDTV.
The wireless Internet could use some improvement. But, it was free.
When I arrived it was after sundown and it seemed that the driveway entrance could have been lit better. There was an illuminated canopy entrance though.
The only other thing I can add is that I was there for four days prior to the fire and left (as scheduled) on the morning of the second day of the fire. When the fire started (you could see the smoke as this hotel is located near the base of the mountain range), the news channels were delivering wall-to-wall coverage. Since I was scheduled to depart the next morning, I considered checking out a day early and staying near the airport in Denver. I asked a few hotel Staff Members is this is something that I should be concerned about and was told that if it became a dangerous situation that the guests would be notified and assisted.
While (obviously) the hotel staff had no control over the fire and the ensuing smoke, I felt comfortable, (although a bit troubled about a fire in the mountain range) that if it would have headed this way, the guests would be attended to in a timely manner.
As I write this (long-winded) review, my thoughts are with the people of Boulder that the fire is extinguished and that the city promptly returns to the great, fun place it was as recently as last week.
Will I return to the St. Julien?
Yes and I will recommend it to my friends!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.