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The neon sign outside the Rochester Hotel in Durango, Colo. was definitely an interesting first impression, and even moreso of an eyebrow raiser when we saw it again upon checkout.
The Rochester was built in 1892 and is one of the oldest hotels in Durango. Once a 33-room boarding house, the current owners remodeled it into 15 king and double queen rooms. The original antiques and woodwork are still found in the hallways and rooms, but the hotel has adopted a Western movie theme based on films that were shot in the area. Think framed movie posters, film histories, and photographs in the hallways.
Despite the images that movie posters and out-of-place neon signs bring to mind, the hotel was incredibly genuine, feeling more like a B&B than anything else. It essentially was at the end of the day, with a free made-to-order breakfast included in the rate, and a little housekeeping trick that did a really good job of making us feel like we were a guest at someone's house rather than customers at a hotel: After it was made up, they left the doors of all the unoccupied rooms open.