Gaylord Rockies is a large convention center and resort, near Denver International Airport, in Aurora, Colorado. It is about 19 miles from downtown Denver. Gaylord Rockies opened in 2018 and is one of five Gaylord Hotels in the world, which are all managed by Marriott.
While I usually recommend booking directly with your hotel, this time I booked via a third party since the conference I attended offered a significantly reduced rate by booking through them. On this platform, I booked the “Standard Run of House” option which means they’d put me in any available room at check-in. The conference rate I paid was $239 per night – but booking directly at Marriot was well over $400 per night so the savings were substantial. Gaylord Rockies also charges a $28 per night resort fee which includes access to the water park, discounts at Relache Spa, and two bottles of water per day. Surprisingly, the hotel acknowledged my Gold status, and my points and elite credit were posted about a week after check out even though the Bonvoy terms say you won’t earn points or elite credit for stays not booked directly.
Lobby & Check In
I took an Uber to the hotel, which was about a 12-minute ride from Denver International Airport (DIA). It is an impressive sight arriving at the hotel, which looks like a giant mountain lodge! I was really impressed walking into the resort complex as well. The lobby is warm and welcoming – featuring a large fireplace and high ceilings.
The check-in process was quick and painless for me, but I could see it being a bit of a wait depending on what’s going on during your visit, given the size of the property. There are usually several front desk employees available at any given time, and there is a line reserved for Bonvoy elite members (Gold and higher).
My Gold status was acknowledged at check-in. I was able to get into my room a few hours early and I’m pretty certain I scored an upgraded room though I wasn’t able to tell via the app like I can at Hilton (I don’t stay at Marriot properties often – let me know if I missed something!!).
I stayed in Room 8328 during my stay, and it was definitely larger than what I was expecting! It wasn’t an end-unit, but did seem like with how the tower was designed and laid out. It had a King bed and small sofa, along with a separate bathroom with two sinks.
Dining at Gaylord Rockies
There are a ton of food and beverage options at Gaylord Rockies.
- Mountain Pass Sports Bar (lunch and dinner)
- Old Hickory Steak House (dinner)
- Monte Jade (dinner)
- Vista Montagne (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
- Cantina Montara (lunch and dinner)
I tried a few different places during my stay and wasn’t really impressed with anywhere except the Marketplace which served Starbucks – the baristas were great and I really enjoyed my Bacon, Egg, and Cheese bagel in the morning! I know that isn’t saying much, but the main restaurants were expensive and the food was mediocre. I had a Cuban Sandwich at Mountain Pass Sports Bar (the french fries were decent) and the Sesame Chicken at Monte Jade. One thing I did appreciate is there were several non-alcoholic beverage choices at all of the restaurants, including beer!
In addition to the restaurants, there are low-key spots throughout the property for drinks and light snacks:
- Cocoa Bean (coffee shop in the convention center)
- Compass Rose Lobby Bar (opens in the evenings at 5pm)
- Lazy Horse Trailer Bar
- Arapahoe Springs Bar & Grill (at the waterpark)
Gaylord Rockies Pool & Other Amenities
Gaylord Rockies is also a resort, in addition to a convention center. This means there are a ton of other amenities and activities at the property.
The outdoor waterpark at Gaylord Rockies features a pool, waterslide, and lazy river. It wasn’t huge but I found it relaxing and the kids seemed to enjoy it! Arapahoe Springs Bar & Grill is located here, and there are also a few other kiosks around the waterpark that sell things like ice cream. The indoor waterpark (with the larger waterslide) wasn’t open during my stay – it seems to be only open in the cooler months. Mini golf, tennis, and basketball courts are also outside!
Gaylord Rockies also has a spa and 24/7 fitness center.
I enjoyed my stay at Gaylord Rockies. It is a great place to attend an event. I loved the proximity to the airport and the overall relaxing vibe of the property. The standard nightly rate seems a bit high but I was able to get solid value during my stay. I was really impressed with my room for it not being a suite – especially the bathroom! While I wasn’t a fan of the food, I did appreciate the variety of on-site restaurants. If you have the opportunity to stay at Gaylord Rockies, I recommend it!