Road Warrior

Denver rides airport hotel trend, builds $580M Westin

Harriet Baskas, Special to CNBC
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Denver's new $580M Westin airport hotel

Chicago O'Hare International Airport has one, and so does Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Orlando International Airport. There are also two at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, while Frankfurt Airport has three.

Now, Denver has one of its own — an airport with an on-site hotel, that is. The 519-room Westin at Denver International Airport is open for business, with the city now joining the ranks of travel hubs that can send travelers to their destinations, or put them up for the night in style.

The city- and county-owned airport spent at least $580 million to build the hotel (Denver owns it, while Westin manages it), an adjacent public plaza and a commuter rail station that will begin operation in April. It's part of a trend of cities that are looking to make airports less transitory.

The swooping, sleek Gensler-designed Westin is adjacent to the city's iconic tented main terminal, which sits 25 miles from the city center. The hotel walls are all glass, and the top-story pool and fitness center offer views of the Rocky Mountains. There's public art inside and out, a conference center, and welcoming places to eat or have a drink. At some point, an airport security checkpoint with 20 lanes will open in the building.