The opening of the Maven Hotel in Downtown Denver earlier this year created buzz in that city and across the hospitality design industry. The hotel’s architecture and interiors are inspired by the energy and history of the formerly industrial Lower Downtown (LoDo) neighborhood. Sage Hospitality’s fourth Denver hotel, the Maven celebrates creativity, craftsmanship, and maker culture with an urbane sensibility.
Local architecture firm Johnson Nathan Strohe designed the eight-story building and the 172 guestroom interiors. Jun Aizaki (see interview) and his New York–based firm CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design crafted the interior public spaces, including the lobby and restaurants Poka Lola Social Club and Kachina Southwestern Grill. With a palette of steel, wood, and concrete highlighted by moments of color and pattern, Aizaki’s Maven interiors playfully coincide with the straightforward architecture.
In the lobby, the orange hue of leather armchairs, brass, and bluestone stand out. Communal tables, with a mix of vintage furniture and accessories, create a shared experience. Overhead, a 10-foot-long sculptural hand by artist Andrew Ramiro Tirado punctuates the space. Composed of reclaimed wood, the hand is an homage to George Nakashima, a father of the American craft movement. Fingers on the hand point toward “Dark Matter Gathering,” a 300-plus piece black-andwhite photography installation by Travis Hetman.
CRÈME’s interior design intentionally blurs the boundaries between spaces, with unexpected ways to connect them. An Airstream trailer links the lobby and Kachina, the hotel’s main restaurant. Kachina emulates its Southwestern inspiration with an open kitchen and bold tiles and colors.
Along one wall, a mural by Emanuel Martinez depicts a Native American woman wearing sunglasses that reflect the desert with brightly colored ears of corn on either side. Poka Lola reimagines the typical hotel bar as an adult soda bar, featuring Art Deco influences and Aizaki’s Exchange bar chair with a custom back.
By design—with both industrial and artful, playful references—the Maven Hotel appeals to the experience of the contemporary traveler who understands the impact of evolving communities, startups, and makers.