Mile High Dine and Recline: Hilton Garden Inn Thornton

By Aryell Mattern and Scott Ranweiler, Spirit Hospitality

Each month, Mile High CRE will highlight a new place to “dine or recline” in the Centennial State. October’s feature is the new Hilton Garden Inn Denver/Thornton, which opened its doors to the North Metro Denver community on May 22, 2019. This property is located in the heart of the Denver metro area and showcases a Rocky Mountain backdrop. The Flagship Hotel, built by Willco X Development, is an upscale property that features Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse as the onsite restaurant, as well as a catering partner for conventions and banquets. The property is conveniently located at Interstate 25 and 144th Avenue between The Orchard Mall and Denver Premium Outlets.

The Hilton Garden Inn Thornton is owned and managed by Spirit Hospitality. Spirit is a development and management firm based out of Fort Collins with a diverse portfolio across Northern Colorado. Spirit begins with market analysis and land acquisition, design and construction, and then transitions into staffing and operations. The unique approach of the company allows for the opportunity to perfect and personalize the product from start to finish, which in turn allows it to provide a curated hotel experience for its guests.

Hilton Garden Inn Thornton is a “podium” type construction, meaning there is a concrete slab on the second floor that allows for a vertical development with four more stories of wood framed construction, for a total of five stories. The building consists of 93,845 square feet, including the 6,000-square-foot Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, swimming pool & spa, and a 4,448-square-foot
conference center. There are 122 beautifully appointed guest rooms ranging from single king rooms, to double queen rooms, to junior suites, and even two-room king suites with five-piece bathrooms. The largest of the suites also feature wine refrigerators and oversized soaker tubs.

The banquet and conference space within the hotel is located on the 2nd floor with a glass overlook to the grand entrance below, allowing beautiful daylight in the pre-function space. The conference center features five flex spaces for events and private hosting opportunities that can subtly be reconfigured to the space requirements of the guests. This flexibility in conference space allows the Hilton to serve a wide variety of meeting planners. All of these spaces feature built-in audio-visual capabilities, including Polycom technology, to easily accommodate hybrid teams.

Just downstairs, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse transports guests back to the Rat Pack era for an intimate, fine-dining experience. The executive chef curates classic steakhouse cuisine with an Italian infusion creating a menu that is sure to amaze. The property features the signature Johnny’s blue bar; the tap system was upsized from the prototypical system in order to provide a larger selection of beer, as is expected in Colorado. Private seating was also added in the bar area to accommodate larger groups while maintaining an intimate setting. The restaurant is welcoming to locals but also conducive to any guest’s event needs, large or small. Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse functions as a partner space to the larger meeting rooms inside the Hilton Garden Inn. As a preferred caterer, Johnny’s provides catering for events of any size, ranging from weddings to intimate corporate meetings.

Willco X Development was the first to adopt the new modified prototype for Hilton Garden Inn that allows Johnny’s to flow efficiently with the lobby and breakfast serving area. Johnny’s Thornton reversed the original layout prototype so the placement of the bar is now near the patio. The patio was designed for three seasons and to provide additional event use. The metal element of the patio was added for dimension, visual impact and to protect a portion of the seating from the weather.

All stakeholders were consulted and accounted for in the development process. This ensured that the building was inclusive and welcoming to all visitors and guests, including those with visual, hearing and dexterity impairments, and other disabilities, not only through wheelchair accessibility in public areas but also in the ease of use of room features.

Hilton Garden Inn Thornton and Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse are true gems just North of Denver. The hotel’s modern artistic style with Rat Pack Era infusions throughout the lobby and common areas, maintain the ambiance from Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse. Throughout the property, there are beautiful art pieces from New Orleans-based artist Kristen Albrecht. Every inch of all common areas and guest rooms has been expertly designed to give guests a modern and welcoming feeling.

CLICK HERE for a virtual tour of the Hilton Garden Inn Thornton.

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