If you ever go to Denver, this is the place to stay! With all that we have seen on our world tour, who knew that a castle in Denver would steal our hearts? There are so many wonderful things to say about the amazing family that owns this special historic mansion and who sponsored us during our stay in Denver, that it is hard to know where to begin.
From the moment you see the enchanted castle and walk in the door, you know you have entered a magical place, filled with love through every detail, from 3 generations of tremendously generous souls. Jim greeted us at the door and he couldn't be better cast in a Hollywood movie, as the quintessential classic innkeeper.
It was almost mystical in the way it felt like he was a long lost friend who was so happy to see us again and we, feeling like we knew him, were equally excited and touched. This connection was a unique situation for both them and us, yet somehow it felt like it was a destiny that we meet and we later found we had much in common. I think many of their guests feel like this and we seem to have that kind of life too, where we seem to meet people for a reason and this trip seems to bear that out daily.
The beauty and warmth of the romantic inn, immediately enfolded us and we could feel the rush of the world from our flights to Denver, just melt away with Jim's warm voice and demeanor, guiding us to our room. Instantly, we knew this was not going to be an ordinary few days.
As luck would have it, they had a cancellation and we were upgraded to their premier offering, the three room, luxurious Presidential Suite with Solarium, balcony and Jacuzzi tub for two! We were bowled over and we three weary world travelers have not been indulged in this much sumptuousness since our stay at world renown Esbelli Evi in Cappadocia, Turkey.
They had absolutely the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept on! As I glanced around the room which had been restored lovingly to how it looked over 107 years ago, I grabbed a few of the journals where people left notes about their stay. I was whisked away by the many touching stories, as this is indeed, an enchanted place where weddings, anniversaries and special occasions were celebrated by locals and people from all parts of the world. There were hundreds of stories and all were overwhelmingly positive!
Someone could do a hit movie or TV series with these stories. Some were absolutely astounding. Page after page, book after book, year after year, there was great love being manifested here and it made me even more curious to get to know this family better. In this day of such poor service in so many places and B&B's that come and go, how had they maintained such high quality since 1988?
We were also very curious to know their story and how it all began. We have interest in architecture, hospitality, historical places, renovation and have considered opening up a B&B from time to time.We have stayed in many and have had friends who have owned them. My oldest friend started one on the east coast during the same time period that we were building our dream home and vineyard in Santa Cruz, so I had a lot of inside stories on the challenges and joys.
First we had some business to handle, as that was our main purpose on being in the Rocky Mountains and we really appreciated the great wifi there and access to an office ( so both DaVinci and I could do some catching up).Normally they do not allow children under 10, but since we were there on midweek in early November and they were interested in our story, they made an exception for us.
Jim Peiker, his wife Diane, their Daughter Melissa and her husband Louie Feher-Peiker were each exceptional people. Jim and Diane were from pioneer Denver families and Louie's family came from Hungary. They bought this once regal property as a derelict building in 1988 and lovingly restored it before opening their doors as a B&B in 1989.
The Denver Chapter of American Institute of Architects has noted, "...the Castle Marne is truly one of Denver's great architectural legacies". One really gets a sense of history here and they have lots of detailed photos of the property that were taken in it's hey day. This rusticated lava stone house was built in 1889 by famous, eclectic architect William Lang who also built the Unsinkable Molly Brown House.
To many of the guests delight, the running of this lovely inn, is by three generations as the Feher-Peiker's have three adorable children who are learning everything about running a B&B from their parents and grandparents. We got to compare and contrast how "the world comes to them" in a similar way to Mozart's seeing the world. Diane was a teacher and we found we all have similar interests in education.
There was an instant bonding between Mozart and their daughter of a similar age. They even ended up having a sleep over party together with another local friend at their house nearby, which just added to the happy Denver memories for Mozart. This family takes tremendous pride in all that they do and it shows not only in every aspect of this spotless, charming B&B, but also with each of the children.
The breakfasts there are just outstanding! The kind where, after the first day you get really excited in anticipation for the next day and it is just too hard to decide which was your favorite. No wonder they are already on the 2nd edition of the Castle Marne Cookbook! They also have Denver's finest tea parties and six-course Dinners.
I talked them into getting on Twitter and you can see their spectacular stained glass peacock window on their @castelmarne Twitter page which is extraordinarily beautiful.If you are on Twitter, please follow them to keep up with the latest or check out their website.
As beautiful as this luxurious urban inn was, it was really the owners who provide the magic and they will stay in our hearts forever. We had a dinner with them all one night with lots of great discussions on various topics. We found it interesting that Jim was given a book by a friend that was about to be published and it turned out the book was The Celestine Prophecy .
We liked that book and Jim's philosophy of believing that everyone who comes to Castle Marne has something to share. We have a similar philosophy with the people we meet on the road and though the internet. The synchronicity of it all is sometimes so amazing ( like when we met that Japanese film crew 3 different times or when we ran into one of the teachers we liked on our gulet cruise in Turkey while walking on a country road over a year later in Ireland!). Even our meeting this wonderful family was by chance and perfect timing.
The stories in Castle Marne's many journals had some amazing tales how each happened upon Castle Marne. There is a reason why they are listed in Trip Advisor as the #1 B&B in Denver with so many glowing reports.
Looking for some sweet magic in your life? Stop by that sparkling quartz castle on the corner of Race on Captiol HIll in Denver and say hello to some of the nicest people you will ever meet! Tell them the Soultravelers3 sent you!