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A Sip-and-Stay Getaway in RiNo

Guests of The Crawford Hotel at Denver's Union Station can now be winemakers for a day at nearby Bigsby's Folly



Photo courtesy of The Crawford Hotel

If there’s a wine-lover in your life, we’ve discovered the perfect Denver getaway (or staycation). This dynamite hotel package is being offered by one of the Mile High City’s most unique properties.

The Crawford Hotel is located inside historic Denver Union Station in the heart of Lower Downtown, fondly referred to by locals as LoDo. The Crawford opened just three years ago, but there’s a bit of Denver history around every corner.


Photo courtesy of The Crawford Hotel

More than 600 pieces of eclectic Western art adorn the walls, including vintage family photos, travel postcards, inherited objects and original art. Don’t miss the “found objects” collage, which features items that were discovered in the building during the $58 million renovation of Union Station in 2013-2014.


Photo by The Crawford Hotel

This elegant 112-room hotel offers one-bedroom suites, loft rooms, classic guestrooms and, in a nod to the hotel’s location inside a train station, Pullman-style rooms with a subtle Art Deco influence.   

Once a guest checks into The Crawford, they don’t need to leave the property until check out, with all the restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other fabulous spots available inside Union Station. However, the hotel’s new Wine Packages with Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery & Restaurant will transport guests out the hotel doors and into RiNo (River North Art District), about two miles northeast of LoDo.


Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

The transformation of the RiNo neighborhood into a Denver hot spot has occurred over the last several years, and the renaissance of the area continues with the recent opening of Bigby’s Folly. Owned by Chad and Marla Yetka, Bisby’s is named after the couple's first golden retriever. This well-loved pooch’s face is visible throughout the property, a 130-year-old warehouse along the train tracks at 3563 Wazee St.


Photo courtesy of Bigsby's Folly

The building features many of its original beams and brick walls, along with new, modern details, like glittering chandeliers. Overall, the space is reminiscent of an upscale Denver brewery, but here, their first love is wine, although they do feature beer, cocktails and a contemporary food menu.

“Part of our business plan was to do for wine what brewpubs have done for beer,” says Marla Yetka as she walks through the large and open space of Bigsby’s Folly.

Bigsby’s Folly’s winemaker, Brian Graham, studied at the University of Bordeaux and worked at wineries in France before returning to Napa, California, in the mid-90s to study at Napa College. He continues to work for Bigsby’s Folly out of the Napa Valley, where he makes his old-world styles for Colorado drinkers.


Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

Now, at the Bigsby’s Folly Winemaker for a Day Package with The Crawford, amateur winemakers can try their hand at artfully blending wine. Included with the guests’ stay at The Crawford is a one-of-kind opportunity to rub shoulders with an expert and spend the afternoon creating a blend of wine that’s perfect for their palate.

At the end of this fun process, participants will take home a personalized bottle of wine with a customized label.


Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

Less hands-on but equally delicious, the Wine Tour & Tasting Package (available for purchase by guests at The Crawford) includes transportation to Bigsby’s Folly, a tour of the facility, and a five wine-tasting flight served with a selection of artisan cheeses.

This outing is perfect for couples, a girls’ getaway, bridal parties and anyone else who loves wine and wants to experience one of Denver’s coolest areas. Learn more about this Denver hotel package here.

Author’s Note: The Crawford Hotel is a dog-friendly property, and we think Bigsby the golden retriever would have approved.

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