Is this what the future of the Colorado hospitality industry looks like? Hotel rooms that are weed-friendly, equipped with private, cannabis- approved balconies?
NATIV Hotel will open this week in the historic, 100-year-old building at 1612 Wazee Street that formerly held the Jet Hotel and, before that, the LoDo Inn.
NATIV founders Richmond Meyer, CEO, and Michael Alexander, COO, started construction on their project less than a year ago, and the hotel will welcome guests for a grand opening weekend that runs May 28 through May 30.
"NATIV means that no matter where you are from, when you're here, you are at home," Alexander says of the name and concept.
Although Colorado has several pot-pushing B&Bs, as well as a couple of hotels that definitely look the other way for clients who favor cannabis, NATIV is Denver's first officially cannabis-friendly hotel — even if you can't smoke in the lobby.
So you won't see pot leaves or stoner cliches on the walls, and you can't buy cannabis in the hotel (although there's a retail outlet right across the street).
The NATIV website explains the hotel's stance like so:
NATIV is just a swanky Denver hotel, where you happen to be able to rent cannabis approved smoking rooms. "We abide by the Colorado Clean Air Act like any other establishment," Alexander explains. "The smoking rooms all have patios where people can partake. But no, there's no smoking in the club or lobby; it's important to us to welcome all walks of life, not just cater to cannabis tourists."
NATIV is also all about art. Street-art climbs the west-facing wall of the hotel, adding dynamic color to the black canvas.
Michael Ortiz and Jonathan Lamb of Like Minded Productions are the artists behind the colorful facade; the piece is one of the largest they've painted, reaching the top of the four-story building. The work will be finished this week, just in time for the public opening.
And inside the pop-esque interior are hand-painted murals by international artist Alessandro Atrusco.
The CanBria coffee shop welcomes you as you enter the space; owner Courtney Meek has developed a unique, cannabanoid-infused coffee, using coconut milk, specially grown beans from local Corvus Coffee, and his own natural CBD oil.
That oil works as a mild pain reliever as well as an anti-inflammatory, says Meek; since CBD contains no THC, he doesn't need a government license for the coffee.
Meek is on the board of the non-profit Adaptive Action Sports, which works with disabled athletes, many of whom are living testaments to the power of CBD oil as a new "nutri-ceudical" niche beverage.
"My goal is to see how many therapeutic benefits I can put into one drink," he explains. Each drink contains 10MG of CBD and costs about $8-$10.
Upstairs, the floors each have their own theme.
The second floor is the gold floor, with glowing, trophy-case accents and light wood-tile paneling. One suite features a hot tub and a Monsieur electronic bartender.
The third floor is the platinum floor, with a bright, high-energy communal space, eclectic metal fans, blinged-out feminine throw pillows, and a sexy black-and-white tile accent.
The first floor is also home to restaurant and pour-house Pourtions, a steel-and-wood space lined with living plants.
But the real stars here are twenty Denver breweries on draft and iPad controls so that you can serve yourself. Customers will pay around thirty to fifty cents an ounce for everything from Dale's Pale Ale from Oskar Blues to Dry Dock's Apricot Blonde and Funkworks Tropic King, among others.
The menu was created by Food Network featured chef Aaron May, and includes shareable "pourtions" of Korean fried chicken wings, Nativ nachos and bahn mi sliders (each $10), as well as a NATIV burger ($16), duck confit club ($18) lamb chops ($28) and filet mignon ($28). Pourtions, which is already open, will provide room service for hotel guests.
Continuing the subtle yet swanky style is the Stereo Lounge, the downstairs nightclub that's been revamped with both a modern and end-of-Prohibition feel.
Brown leather booths and recycled speakers deck the walls; a glass ceiling with thick, luminescent glass panels look up to the lobby.
The lighting of the ceiling will be an opaque optical illusion — so no, you won't be able to see up women's skirts, but the thought that you could makes this space sexy.
Stunning as these surroundings are, the most impressive thing about NATIV is the attitude.
According to the owners, the hotel is leading the way in the marijuana revolution because it will give tourists and locals alike a place to stay, partake if they want (legally), and not feel judged.
The space is 21+, although the coffee shop will be able to serve 18+, and the hotel has completely sold out of rooms this opening weekend. Restaurant Pourtions is now open, in advance of the grand opening. Find out more here.
Continue to see more photos inside and outside of NATIV.