LoHi boutique hotel will compete with Airbnb prices in Denver

Walk a few blocks in any direction in Lower Highland, and you’re sure to come across a coffee shop or cafe or retail store. But traverse the same postcard picture of a Denver neighborhood, and you’d be hard-pressed to find any vacation lodging outside Airbnb rentals.

By early 2020, the first boutique hotel of its kind will open in north Denver, and over the next five years, the venture capital-backed brand Life House has plans to build as many as 10 similar small hotels in neighborhoods around the city.

“(Lower Highland) is obviously rich in history and culture,” said Rami Zeidan, Life House’s New York-based CEO and founder. “It’s just flush with local restaurants and bars and creative culture, and there’s no hotels.”

(Provided by Life House)

The lobby of the Life House Lower Highland hotel, opening early next year in Denver.

According to Zeidan, local property owner John Reilly reached out to Life House with a single lot and a blank canvas on the block close to 38th Avenue.

Now construction is underway at 3638 Navajo St., in the heart of the longtime Navajo Street Art District where, in recent years, many of the galleries have closed because of rising rents. Across from the three-story, 17-room hotel, a new restaurant, Acova, replaced the near-100-year-old Patsy’s last fall after its owners retired.

“It’s such a small hotel (property) that it would never get the attention of the Ace (hotels) or Standard (hotels) of the world, so it’s right up our alley for creating locally rooted concepts,” Zeidan said.

Once built, Denver’s first Life House should offer travelers an option right in between Airbnb and new Denver boutique hotels like The Source or The Ramble. Life House hotels are priced competitively with the former (less than $150 for the cheapest private room, with hostel-style accommodations also on-site), while the design, food and drink more resemble the latter, Zeidan says.

To keep customer costs down in each market, Life House streamlines processes from architecture and design (done by in-house teams) to check-in (done with iPads), according to Zeidan. To stay on par with the luxury brands, Life House tries to ensure that each hotel will “tell the story of the nuances of the neighborhood.”

Inside its brand new building, Life House should come across like a hip mid-century-meets-Western mansion, filled with low-slung furnishings and plush fabrics, fancy cocktails and also some decorative succulents, based on the hotel’s renderings.

The majority of guest rooms will be outfitted with double-sized bunk beds for groups of travelers (most of these are rented out entirely, while one is reserved for individuals, like at a hostel). The rest will come with a king bed or a combination for families.

(Provided by Life House)

A rendering of the restaurant and patio at the new Life House hotel in Lower Highland.

On the main floor, you’ll feel more of a living room vibe than that of a lobby, attached to a swanky bar and restaurant, plus an outdoor patio.