The Best Happy Hour Ever

Think you know where to get the best happy hour deals? Allow the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver to change your mind

And you thought happy hour was only about the drinks.

It’s been a long, hard day. You need a break before weighing yourself down with dinner. You need to kick up your heels, to down a few cocktails. Especially if your long, hard day involved a lengthy flight in economy.

Which is why I’d like to officially nominate the happy hour at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver as the galaxy’s best place to truly “get happy” during that now famous hour. And it happens like clockwork every afternoon from 5 to 6 p.m.

Traditionally, happy hour meant maniacal discount drinking, regrettable choices in front of your boss, and, all too often, sticker shock. How in the heck did those $4 pitchers and $1 wings add up to a $76 bar tab?

At Hotel Monaco's happy hour, wine and beer is marked down to an amazing zero dollars. That’s free — as in nada, zilch, might as well pour me another one.

So you probably suspect a catch. Must be rock gut, poured out of a cheesy box, right? Au contraire, my doubting Thomas. Because this downtown Denver boutique hotel just happens to have a Zagat-rated, 4-diamond Northern Italian restaurant, the wine has a reputation to uphold. Panzano, in fact, has been long rated as one of Denver’s best restaurants.

Happy Hour at Hotel Monaco Denver

Pam Grout

So it’s good wine, quality wine, the kind you’d proudly serve your beloved nonnina. (That’s Italian for “grandma,” for those who don’t know or have drunk too much free wine.) But the free wine (and beer…and hors d’oeuvres) isn’t even the best part of the Hotel Monaco happy hour. In fact, you might want to don one of the hotel's animal print bathrobes and sit down on one of the lobby’s brightly-colored couches, next to its chic objets d’art, before I announce the real reason I’m nominating this happy hour as hand’s down the galaxy’s best.

Not only do imbibers get the free wine, etc., but masseurs from the hotel’s VEDA Salon & Spa offer free chair massages — which, in my long history of attending happy hours, is unheard of. And Hotel Monaco has been offering them at every single happy hour since it opened in 1998 in the former Railway Exchange Building.

No doubt having a glass of wine is a good antidote after that day from hell, but combine it with a chair massage and you’re suddenly all “Stressful day? What stressful day?”

And if your day was really bad and you couldn’t even check in until AFTER the 5 to 6 p.m. happy hour window, the front desk will give you a voucher for a complimentary wine at Panzano


May I have the envelope, please?