Initially, my travels were going to take me to St. Julien Hotel & Spa June of 2018 for the Ironman race, a knee injury had me postpone to August of 2018. When I finally did visit, I was so excited to experience what “the most elegant hotel in Boulder” was all about! The first thing that struck me was that they had the option of valet or self park. I like to take my time and organize my car, come and go without having to call down to valet, etc., so I really appreciated the self-park option. Believe it or not, many hotels don’t even offer anything other than valet, which can feel rushed and stressful at times. With that said, the Bellmen were so helpful regardless at taking my luggage and road bike even, up to my room. I didn’t have to lift a finger, which was great especially when exhausted from the Ironman 70.3.
My trip began almost immediately with an 80 minute, “Back in the Saddle” massage. I’ve had hundreds of massages in my day, so it comes without saying that I can be pretty picky about them in general. But I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful this massage was, and how attentive the masseuse was to my needs. She knew I had a 70.3 race the next morning, and advised not to go too deep so as to feel groggy the next day. I heeded her advice, and enjoyed a wonderful stretch/relaxation massage.
I then headed to Jill’s Restaurant where I sat near the window and enjoyed taking it all in. I’d only driven through Boulder once, so it was really exciting to be able to just get an idea of what it was like was like as I enjoyed my pre-race dinner. There were two couples sitting across from me who were also racing the half Ironman the next morning. We had a great time chatting about it all. I started off with Jill’s Tots which was what my Waiter recommended, they were so incredibly delicious. Then I followed with a taste of the grilled artichoke, followed by the Market Special of duck. It was all really tasty and left me very satisfied for a long race the next day. I loved the ambiance of the restaurant, and the staff were really kind and helpful as well.
The rooms were wonderful with all the right amenities. I loved the minibar and the oxygen they had for purchase, which was definitely needed for my race! The little touches make all the difference for me when it comes to luxury. The balcony faced the courtyard and the mountains, which was just stunning at sunset and sunrise. The St. Julien is a wonderful place for weddings and parties, there was actually a Jewish wedding on the second night I stayed, which was cool to watch from my balcony. However, if you’re one to go to bed earlier than 10pm, then I’d advise a room on the opposite side so as to avoid the noise. There was a party in the courtyard with live band the night before my race. The good thing was that the staff at the hotel made sure that after 10pm, it was quiet time, but I needed to be up at 3am, and even with earplugs when I went to bed at 8:30, I didn’t end up falling asleep until it quieted down at 10ish. Other than that, I’m really glad that the hotel staff were kind enough to respect the wishes of the other guests for quiet time. And if you’re seeking a beautiful venue for weddings or parties, the St. Julien is a great location for that!
The overall rating that I gave the St. Julien Hotel & Spa was a 9/10.
What I loved: The staff were wonderful and helpful and you really can’t beat the location being in such close proximity to the mountains with sweeping views. The cuisine was eclectic and delicious… any restaurant that incorporates lobster and truffle oil into their menu is winner for me! The rooms were cozy and amenities were wonderful. The spa provided such a relaxing experience with lots of choices when it came to pampering oneself. Last but not least, I love their attention to detail when it came to their sustainability initiatives, which you can learn more about here, that’s very important to me.
What Set It Back: Any other weekend I would be having dinner at the restaurant and drinks until 10 or 11pm, but on this particular weekend, personally, what set it back was the loud noise outside my windows from the courtyard from the weddings and parties. I had 5 hours of sleep the night before my race due to this, and the Saturday of my race when all I wanted to do was conk out at 8pm, I had had hard time staying asleep because of the noise. For those who do go to bed early on the weekends or are noise sensitive, I’d recommend staying in a room opposite the courtyard on weekends, and when I go back, I’ll likely do the same. Again, just personal preference, and most people are up past 10 on the weekends anyways, so it wouldn’t matter :).
Overall: Highly recommended for the most luxurious stay in Boulder!
What makes a sustainable or regenerative hotel? A reverse osmosis water system, farm to table produce, supporting local dairy and meat farmers, engaging with local non-profit or community organization endeavors to address an issue within the country or community, energy efficient lighting, low pressure water systems, recycling, employing locals and offering fair and equal pay, replanting what was lost during the construction, use of biofuel (for boats), engaging guests in local cultural experiences and making them aware of environmental and cultural needs, LEED Certification, educating staff on importance of sustainability (turning off lights, observing for wasteful practices, etc.), reducing bathroom amenities waste (using bamboo toothbrushes instead, locally made/organic soap, shampoo and conditioner that help the environment), the list goes on.