At first, we didn't think much of it, walking the hallways and peeking in, happy for the glimpse inside the other rooms. But the more time we spent in the hotel, the more the openness contributed to the vibe of our stay. We truly felt like guests in someone's house, like we could just walk in and lay on the bed if we wanted, like it was our siblings room or something.
With so much emphasis placed on security these days, not to mention the tendency for hotels to be extremely heavy and self-closing, it was refreshing to see the true power of the word "guest room" win out over "hotel room," something that only comes along with a stay at a small inn. By day two, this contributor found himself leaving the door open when he was in the room at his desk and when he ran down the hall for a coffee or to visit the front desk. This approach might not be a fit for larger hotels concerned about security, but we think its a great touch for all small properties. And, at the very least, perhaps bigger places could think about ways to make the doors not seem so heavy.
As for that neon sign, even the owner is unsure of the its origins other than it was there "during the 40s or 50s" and liked by locals. When he began renovating the hotel, he said the community showed concern that he would take it down, and so it remains today.
Rates start at $129/night.
Will stayed as a guest of the Rochester Hotel while on assignment for another publication, but all opinions are his own.
[Photos: Will McGough/Ryan Dearth]