Get Boggled, Jenga’ed or Yahtzeed

By Julie Bielenberg

Hotel lobbies are often a meeting place for family reunions or long-awaited homecomings, a place to enjoy appetizers before dinner, or even somewhere to relax and have casual conversations. Yet, there’s a new trend in hospitality that’s making hotel lobbies they place to be—gaming!

Several hotels around the state are now offering old-fashioned board games (including newer ones), scavenger hunts, video game stations, and even life-sized experiences of the classics. Here are a few of my favorites:

SCP Hotel
The first hotel in America to offer fair-trade pricing, SCP (Soul. Community. Planet.), is dedicated to shared and specialized spaces. Close to the Air Force Academy and other military installations in Colorado Springs, the hotel serves as a hub for many visiting families, and offers guests access to pool tables, hammocks, life-sized games of Jenga and Connect 4, community tables, fire pits, and an outdoor color-changing pool.

Hyatt Place Peña Station
This newly opened, family-friendly hotel along the RTD A-Line, near Denver International Airport, is fully stocked with all the goods for a fun time. The Game Nook at Hyatt Place Peña Station has a selection of board games including Clue, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Operation, and Tic-Tac-Toe, as well as two XBox video game consoles, with multiple pre-loaded games.

Hotel Teatro
Adjacent to the AAA Four Diamond-designated Hotel Teatro’s lobby is The Study, an eloquently-designed lounge with large bookshelves, fireplace, and comfortable leather furnishings. The gathering space has several vintage board games to play, including Scrabble, Cribbage, Battleship, Jenga, Wood Teasers, Boggle, Monopoly, and Box of Nails puzzles.

The Elizabeth Hotel
This luxury hotel, in Old Town Fort Collins, has always had fun and family at its forefront. The music room, next to the lobby, allows guests of all ages to rent musical instruments throughout their stay, as well as old-fashioned records that play on record players in each room. New for 2020, is the “Do You Gnome the Lyrics” scavenger hunt which takes families around the hotel in search of eight hidden gnomes, using different music-themed clues. There are also a few tiny Queen Elizabeth crowns hidden in the lobby for younger kids to find, that move around daily.

The Limelight Hotel
The AAA Three Diamond-designated Limelight Hotel in Snowmass Village is home to Colorado’s largest indoor rock-realistic climbing wall. At 54-feet high, running directly up the front of the hotel, the climbing wall is free for hotel guests, and includes climbing shoes and harness rental. The Limelight also offers an extra-large game room for little ones, with vintage Pac Man, foosball, classic boardgames, books, and a variety of other toys.

The Peaks Resort & Spa
Located in the Mountain Village, this AAA Three Diamond-designated property has long been a pillar of family fun and mountain entertainment. After a day of skiing, hiking, or shopping, it’s great to settle around the lobby’s roaring fire and enjoy one of the selections of board games. Guests can choose between Apples to Apples, Checkers, Monopoly, Connect 4, Scattergories, Yahtzee, and playing cards. 

The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa
Behind the front desk of this AAA Four Diamond-designated hotel in Avon, is cabinet full of games available for guests of all ages to play, including Chutes and Ladders, Connect 4, Scattergories, Yahtzee, Trouble, Sorry, Monopoly, Uno, Candy Land, Life, Checkers, and puzzles.  The lobby has plenty of space to sprawl out and get into a good game, including a library, a massive fireplace, and a hotel bar. Plus, if you just want to stay in your room, you can borrow an Xbox or Wii, with lots of game options.

Highline Hotel
The lobby of the newly re-launched, AAA Three Diamond-designated Highline hotel in West Vail, offers plush seating in its spacious lobby that invites guests to sit back, relax, and play. It also, recently added of one of the only shuffleboard tables in all of Vail that welcomes guests, big and small, to a friendly competition.

Julie Bielenberg is Colorado’s leading dude ranch and agritourism writer, and frequent contributor to EnCompass.