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Old Faithful Inn: Historical and Cool At The Same Time

July 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM | by | ()

Hotel lobby design is something that hoteliers have been focusing on to wow guests upon first impressions. Grand lobbies are nothing new and the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park is no exception. Walking into the log cabin lodge certainly elicits oohs and ahhs and might cause some stick necks from gazing upwards. While the lobby is quite impressive, the awe inspiring design isn't left just for the lobby. The uniqueness and 'wild west' feel is carried through the guest rooms, dining room, and gift shop.

The Inn is smack in the middle of Yellowstone's most visited geothermal attraction, Old Faithful. The accommodation is as consistent as the geyser since it has been open for business since 1904, when it boasted steam heat and electric lighting. It has seen almost as much as the surrounding land, by successfully dodging forest fires, earthquakes and the throngs of tourists coming to admire the timber hotel.

The lobby is an impressive use of local lodge pole pine trees with a hint of gnarled wood to add a level of interest. The entire lobby is open to the public with a full dining room, gift shop and lots of sitting. The second level opens up to a large sun deck that over looks geyser fields including the Inn's namesake, Old Faithful.

As impressive as the lobby is, the rooms leave a bit to the imagination. This is not a full service hotel, remember, this is government owned. Most rooms have just a bed and a sink, sharing a communal bathroom and shower facility for each wing on each floor. There are a handful of suites that offer a full bath and shower. These suites are situated on the front of the hotel one floor above the sundeck.

A massive stone chimney, hardwood floors, and lots and lots of wood, the lobby is the epicenter for all things Old Faithful. The 'clock' informing visitors of the approximate time of the next eruption, a massive dining room and a cafeteria style deli all call the lobby home. The lobby once boasted live orchestral music from a platform high up near the roof of the 5 story center. Since and earthquake ruined the structural integrity of the staircase, the Crow's Nest has since been retired.

The price can't be beat at about $499 for a suite with an en-suite bathroom. One challenge is that the hotel only accepts reservations for the next three months and, due to the popularity, usually sells out quickly. Weather permitting, the Inn is open from late Spring to mid-Autumn

[Photo: Rayme Gorniak for HotelChatter]

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