It’s hip, it’s luxurious, and it’s green. The St. Julien Hotel & Spa, one of Boulder, Colorado’s downtown hubs has awesome ambiance, live music in the lobby or outdoors almost every night, and a fantastic bar and restaurant (Jill’s).
Since the hotel was built five years ago on a long-vacant lot at the corner of Ninth Street and Canyon, I’ve been going there for happy hour and music, but recently my husband and I visited overnight. (Staying in a hotel in your own town feels like a decadent treat!)
Mountain Ambiance, Indoors and Out
Our luxurious King-size Flatiron-view room was decorated in sleek urban lines with décor that picks up on the mountains’ color palate: browns, golds, slate, rusty red, and tan.
In case you didn’t know, the Flatirons (diagonally oriented stone outcroppings) are to Boulder what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, the Pyramids to Cairo, and the Statue of Liberty to New York City.
Our room’s french doors opened up to a completely unobstructed view of those glorious Flatirons. If you happen to check in after dark, you’ll still feel the Flatirons’ presence, thanks to the large photograph of them in the room. The photo is almost exactly to scale as what you’ll see the next morning when your throw open the curtains in the morning. (After a night snuggled between layers of down on the extremely comfy four-poster bed.)
The stone walls and floor in the bathrooms also echo the Boulder landscape. Organic coffee and fair-trade tea were just luxurious finishing touches.
St. Julien’s Green Stuff (some of it anyway):
- The elegant, onsite Jill’s Restaurant sources local organic food and beverages when appropriate.
- Housekeeping uses green cleaning products
- No-VOC paint
- Hotel gardens and lawns are pesticide free
- The St. Julien provides cruiser bicycles to guests free of charge. (Totally cool! There are so many fun places to cycle near the hotel, including the Boulder Creek Path.)
- Employees get an Eco-Pass for free public transportation.
- The spa utilizes cruelty-free products not tested on animals.
- The hotel uses integrated pest management instead of poisons on weeds, insects, birds, pigeons or rodents.
- Business cards, marketing materials, etc. are printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks
- The hotel donates linens, towels and its opened shampoo and conditioner bottles to the local homeless shelter.
- The hotel contributes a percentage of sales to the Prairie Dog Coalition. (Prairie dogs are a huge bone of contention in this neck of the woods. Some people want them eradicated from the face of the earth.)
- Rooms are lit with energy-efficient CFL bulbs.
- Motion sensors control lighting in low-activity areas.
- The laundry utilizes cold-water wash cycles to save natural gas and extra spin cycles to reduce drying times.
- The hotel recycles paper, newspaper, cardboard, commingled plastic, glass, metal containers. It also composts food products and waste.
- Single-steam recycling bins are available in every guest room.
- Compostable food and beverage products (to-go containers, straws, etc.)
- Reusable hand towels in public restrooms to cut paper usage.
- Paper keycards to reduce the amount of PVC plastic reaching landfill.
- Low-flow toilets are installed in both the public areas and guest rooms.
—Laurel Kallenbach, freelance writer and editor