Boulderites are quick to tell you that their mountain town is one of the most beautiful in the world—and there’s no argument there. But when it comes to choosing where to stay in Boulder, Colorado, every area & neighborhood has its own charms, and you’ll be hard-pressed to decide.
Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this northern Colorado town has several suburbs surrounding the bustling downtown hub of Pearl Street and Canyon Boulevard, where you’ll find many of the best hotels in Boulder. From the laid-back student vibe of University Hill to the arts-centric North Boulder, each of Boulder’s beautiful districts offers something special, from cool attractions to unique accommodations.
Need some help deciding on the perfect lodgings for your Colorado vacation? Check out this complete guide to the best places to stay in Boulder, CO, including the top hotels, areas & neighborhoods.
Best places to stay in Boulder, CO
Radiating from the bustling downtown hub of the Pearl Street Mall, Boulder’s areas & neighborhoods are lively, leafy, and full of character.
If you’re a first-time visitor wanting to be near all the action, head for Downtown Boulder. In the downtown area, you’ll find a fantastic choice of hotels, plenty of shops and restaurants, and a buzzing vibe.
For fantastic shopping, Twenty-Nine Street hits the mark. From big brand-name stores to hip boutiques and everything in between, you can shop until you drop and head back to a comfortable hotel within walking distance.
Student-centric University Hill is a great neighborhood for watching sports games, enjoying live music, and soaking up the youthful, energetic atmosphere. For a vibrant arts scene, make North Boulder your base and soak up some of the city’s incredible creativity.
Chautauqua is a history buff’s haven where you can stay in traditional cottages within a National Historic Landmark, while Gunbarrel is best for breweries and enjoying the great outdoors.
The best areas to stay in Boulder, CO, are:
✓ Best area to stay in Boulder for first-time visitors and for entertainment & nightlife
Downtown Boulder is the beating heart and soul of the mountain town. The lively neighborhood is centered around the historic Pearl Street Mall, a brick-paved pedestrian walkway lined with beautiful Victorian-era buildings.
Trendy boutiques, charming cafés, casual restaurants, and buzzing bars continue into Pearl East and Pearl West, and sidewalks are packed with strolling visitors. You’ll find an array of entertainment here, from seedy dive bars and German beer halls to swanky restaurants and sleek nightclubs. Exploring the area is easy on foot or by bike, with a pathway winding along Boulder Creek.
If you’re a first-time visitor to Boulder and want to be in the middle of the action, Downtown is the place to stay. You’ll find an excellent choice of accommodations in the area, ranging in price from budget inns to luxury hotels that are all within walking distance from many of the top tourist attractions in Boulder.
A cozy, homely bed-and-breakfast, the Bradley Boulder Inn is a short walk from the shops and restaurants on Pearl Street. Relax in one of 12 comfortably furnished rooms with en-suite bathrooms and DVD players. Book a room with a private balcony, fireplace, and spa tub. Enjoy a hearty homemade breakfast every morning and wine and cheese receptions in the evening.
The Hotel Boulderado is an elegant 1909 hotel with a magnificent stained-glass ceiling and beautifully appointed Victorian-style rooms and suites. Unwind over drinks in one of two bars before dining in the steak and seafood restaurant. Stay connected with free Wi-Fi and stay fit in the state-of-the-art fitness room. The Pearl Street Mall is a five-minute walk away from the hotel.
Relax in the lap of luxury at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa. Located a few blocks from the Pearl Street Mall entertainment area, Boulder’s top luxury hotel has exquisitely decorated rooms with four-poster beds and designer linens. Enjoy high-end amenities like a lap pool, a fitness center, and a full-service spa. Experience fine dining at its best.
Twenty Ninth Street
✓ Top neighborhood to stay in Boulder for shopping
If you are a shopaholic, make Twenty Ninth Street your Boulder vacation base. The outdoor retail district is a shopping haven with a wealth of shops, from designer boutiques to brand-name stores. Boasting beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, the area has a fantastic choice of restaurants, from fast-food chains to fine dining spots.
Summertime sees crowds flocking to the area to enjoy the Twenty Ninth Street Live music series. Well-known hotel brands offer plenty of accommodation choices in the area, from family-friendly inns to deluxe all-suite hotels.
Just a mile from the University of Colorado Boulder, the Hilton Garden Inn Boulder offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee in your room in the morning and stay connected with free Wi-Fi. Sip cocktails at a sleek bar and cool off in the outdoor pool. Laundry services are available for an additional fee.
Boasting beautiful views of the Flatiron’s rock formations a few miles away, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder offers airy, well-appointed suites with minifridges and microwaves. Tuck into a complimentary hot breakfast every morning and stay fit in the gym. Relax next to the rooftop pool and enjoy happy-hour drinks. Twenty Ninth Street is a short stroll away.
Located in Transit Village, just a few miles from Pearl Street Mall, the Hyatt Place Boulder/Pearl Street offers an informal and relaxed place to stay. Casual rooms have en-suite bathrooms, wet bars, and iPod docks. Book a suite for a kitchenette and dining area. Keep hunger at bay with snacks from a mini-mart and 24-hour snack bar. Enjoy an indoor pool and a 24-hour gym.
Boulder Marriott is a boutique-style and pet-friendly hotel just a mile from Pearl Street Mall. Unwind in warmly decorated rooms with coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs. Enjoy private lounge access and complimentary breakfast and snacks when you book a club room or a suite. Amenities include a spa, an indoor pool, and a fitness center.
An informal, all-suite hotel within walking distance of a retail area off Route 36. Bright unfussy studios have kitchens and living areas, and free Wi-Fi allows you to stay connected. Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast buffet every morning and barbecues under the stars on the outdoor patio.
University Hill & Chautauqua
✓ Recommended place to stay in Boulder for live music
Centered around the University of Colorado Boulder campus, the University Hill district (aka The Hill) is a leafy, laid-back neighborhood with a youthful vibe. The main hub of the area is 13th Street from Broadway to College Avenue, and lined with cheap-eats spots, dive bars, and the iconic Fox Theater.
There’s always something on around University Hill, from football games in the fall to basketball games at the CU Events Center and touring acts at Folsom Field. Accommodations in the area lean toward budget-friendly, and you’ll have a good choice of comfortable hotels.
Chautauqua is a quiet neighborhood at the foot of Boulder’s Flatirons with beautiful landscapes and a close-knit, family-friendly vibe. Named for educational summer retreats held here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the historic area Chautauqua is now a designated National Historic Landmark.
The leafy district is popular with outdoor lovers who come to enjoy the stunning scenery and sprawling parks. Stay in a charming 1925 cottage and head to the historic Chautauqua Dining Hall for a special dinner.
Located a mile from the University of Colorado Boulder campus, the Boulder University Inn is a basic hotel with standard rooms with exterior entrances. Rooms have coffeemakers and satellite TVs, and you can help yourself to coffee and tea in the lobby all day. Cool off in a seasonal outdoor pool, and continental breakfast can be ordered at an additional fee.
Basecamp Boulder is a simple downtown hotel with comfortable rooms and suites and a guest laundry facility. Enjoy MP3 docks, free Wi-Fi, and wet bars, and stay fit in a fully equipped fitness room. The hotel is a short walk from the University of Colorado Boulder and the Pearl Street Mall.
Set in a charming 1880s house surrounded by lush gardens, Boulder Guest House is a warm, eco-conscious bed-and-breakfast that offers a home-away-from-home stay. Relax in elegantly decorated, country-style rooms with antique furnishings and en-suite bathrooms. Cozy up to the fireplace and soak in a whirlpool tub. Tuck into a delicious homemade organic breakfast on the porch every morning.
A great budget-friendly option, the Foot of the Mountain Motel offers a cozy log cabin with warm, wood-paneled rooms, private bathrooms, and cable TV. Book a suite to get a kitchen, living room, and a shared deck with a BBQ grill and hot tub. Enjoy easy access to hiking and biking trails and a lovely picnic area on the grounds.
Step back in time with a stay at the Colorado Chautauqua Cottages. Situated just a mile from the Flatirons mountains, this casual lodge offers cozy cottages with wooden floors, kitchenettes, and sheltered porches. Dine at the historic Chautauqua Dining Hall. Cottages are TV-free, so take a book!
✓ Recommended area in Boulder for the arts
Hip and happening, North Boulder (NoBo) is the hub of Boulder’s burgeoning art scene. Once a grungy industrial area on the outskirts of town, this trendy neighborhood has fast become the go-to place for artists and creatives, and young families.
The NoBo Art District is lined with galleries displaying up-and-coming artists’ works. First Friday art walks draw the cool crowd, and independent favorite Lucky’s Market is the place to shop.
In North Boulder, you’ll find plenty of great little places to eat. Accommodation-wise, there’s a good choice of comfortable hotels and bed & breakfast inns.
Set against a beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountain foothills, the Comfort Inn & Suites Boulder is a basic hotel with comfortable rooms and modern amenities. Kitchenettes, sofa beds, and cable TV provide creature comforts. Enjoy access to an outdoor pool and fitness center.
Part of an apartment community near the University of Colorado, 1555 Norwood Avenue is a comfortable air-conditioned apartment with two bedrooms, a private bathroom, and a fully equipped kitchen. A lovely garden has a sun terrace and a barbecue area. Free Wi-Fi is available around the property.
Situated a few miles outside of downtown Boulder, the Residence Inn by Marriott Boulder features spacious rooms with fully equipped kitchens. Work out in a state-of-the-art fitness room and cool off in the outdoor pool. Enjoy a breakfast buffet every morning and relax by the outdoor fire pit and barbecue area.
✓ Top-rated neighborhood for hiking and craft brews
Not too far from the maddening crowd of Downtown Boulder, Gunbarrel is a lovely leafy outpost in the northeast of the city. Craft breweries with lively tasting rooms pack the neighborhood, which has a laid-back, youthful vibe, along with casual eateries and some very cool dive bars.
Popular hiking trails Sawhill Ponds and White Rocks Trailhead are easy to access, and it’s a great jumping-off point for exploring the more rural East Boulder County on some of the most popular day trips from Boulder. Twin Lakes Open Space has lush wetlands full of local fauna and flora and is a great spot for a relaxing picnic.
This up-and-coming neighborhood has a few mid-range hotels that are within walking distance of the main attractions in and around town.
Surrounded by peaceful gardens and a tranquil lake, Boulder Twin Lakes Inn is a comfortable spot with simply furnished rooms and a guest laundry. Rooms have kitchenettes or full kitchens for self-catering purposes, and a gazebo with BBQ grills in the garden is ideal for alfresco dining on warm summer nights. Work out in the fitness club and chill out in the hot tub.
Overlooking Boulder Reservoir Park off Highway 119, Hampton Inn & Suites Boulder North has an indoor pool, a hot tub, and a gym. Relax in well-appointed rooms and suites with en-suite bathrooms, microwaves and minifridges, and coffeemakers. Stay connected with free Wi-Fi and enjoy a hot breakfast and or weekday breakfast bags to go.