Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Southwest Colorado Road Trip: Lodging

We lodged at a different location on each of the five nights of our southwest Colorado road trip during the second week of June. This post provides reviews and highlights from each of these five establishments.

We stayed in the following establishments in the following towns and cities:

Bross Hotel (Paonia, Colorado)

The Bross Hotel is a bed and breakfast in the small town of Paonia.

This beautiful home is over 115 years old and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The large home is within easy walking distance of the downtown's main street (Grand Avenue).

Each of the rooms in this home feature a custom decoration style and a private bathroom. The individual rooms are each described (including a photograph) on the Bross Hotel website. We enjoyed staying in the Blueberry Hill Room (room #9) on the third floor. We were able to take a peek at some of the other rooms on the third floor that were rented and they were each individually and tastefully decorated.

The time for breakfast at Bross Hotel is arranged with the innkeepers at check-in. There are two choices for start time when there are many guests or just one set time when there are fewer guests (the case when we were there). Breakfast was at 8:30 am and was excellent. It included a fruit bowl and orange-flavored French toast with sausage balls made from local sausage. The breakfast was heartier than we normally eat and that worked out well for that day in which we'd be doing a lot of hiking on the South Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

We stayed at the Bross Hotel on our first night after covering the North Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison and then the next morning traveled to the South Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison after breakfast.

Hampton Inn Montrose (Montrose, Colorado)

We selected the Hampton Inn Montrose for our lodging the night after a day at the South Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It was exactly what one expects with a Hampton Inn and there is value to that consistency. The room seemed clean and was comfortable and quiet even though the hotel is near the Montrose Regional Airport. The large hotel with a swimming pool is located on Townsend, a major artery in Montrose.

Due to COVID-19 precautions and protocols, we lined up for breakfast and requested what we wanted from the employee who would then bring it to our chosen table in the dining area. We had the breakfast platters (meat, egg, and potatoes) and fruit and toasted bagel. Although this approach to breakfast required a bit more time than the self-serve buffet, it took only a few extra minutes.

The Hampton Inn does not have the same historic charm as the older houses we stayed at on this trip, so I didn't take photographs of it. However, there are numerous images of it available in the website's gallery.

St. Elmo Hotel (Ouray, Colorado)

The Historic St. Elmo Hotel is located on Ouray's Main Street.

St. Elmo Hotel is located toward the opposite end of Main Street from the Ouray Hot Springs (nearer to Box CaƱon Falls entrance).

This historic house features ten rooms (including one large ground room floor right off the main lobby).

Like the lobby, the rooms feature historic decorations and furniture. We stayed in Room #4 on the second floor. The St. Elmo Hotel website features photographs and descriptions of each of its ten rooms.

Breakfast was served in the morning during an advertised hour and the small dining area got fairly full of guests early in the hour. We were able to select the main prepared food items (breakfast meat, eggs, potatoes) we wanted from the servers and then there were several other sides and milk and orange juice that we could help ourselves to. Because of the limited seating, we had another couple join us at our four-person table and it was interesting to get to know this couple from Texico that has been riding motorcycles across southern Utah and Colorado.

St. Elmo's Hotel is located very near Artisan Bakery, so we picked up breakfast sandwiches on bagels for a later lunch before leaving Ouray.

Silverton Inn of the Rockies at Historic Alma House (Silverton, Colorado)

Formerly a boarding house for miners run by Bridget Hughes, the historic Alma House is a beautiful building built in the very late 1800s and opened in the very early 1900s. It has a great location with close proximity to the main street (Greene Street) in Silverton but in a quiet area 1 1/2 small blocks from Greene Street (on 10th Street between Empire Street and Mineral Street).

We stayed in Room 10 (The Caboose), a large room on the main floor. This large room includes gorgeous period fixtures and antiques and feels like staying in early 1900s luxury.

We enjoyed a quiet night and woke up to very tasty miniature muffins left outside of our door in the morning.

We had scheduled the time for our breakfast at check-in. The beautiful dining area was just a few steps from our room.

The atmosphere for breakfast was great and the food was even better. This is one of the best looking and best tasty breakfasts we have had. It was not surprising to learn that Albert had gotten up several hours earlier to prepare this fine breakfast.

Betty and Albert are friendy hosts who made us feel very welcome.

Browns Canyon Inn (Salida, Colorado)

The last night of our Colorado road trip was spent at Browns Canyon Inn on the relatively busy Rainbow Boulevard. This hotel has a good location and was clean and comfortable. It was relatively unremarkable, but our ground floor room facing the street was quieter than I expected and the air conditioner made the night comfortable. The most interesting part of the hotel visually is the lobby (the hotel's photograph gallery gives a pretty good indication of the facilities). We left really early the next morning and the breakfast was the least remarkable of the breakfasts we had during this road trip (I read that this was due to the COVID-19 pandemic).


We were happy with all of our lodging choices on this trip, but out favorite lodging choices were the bed and breakfast establishments with their historical charm and personal nature. All provided good locations for basing our activities in their respecteive towns and cities. The breakfasts at the Hampton Inn (Montrose) and at the St. Elmo Hotel (Ouray) were good and the breakfasts at Bross Hotel (Paonia) and Silvertoon Inn of the Rockies were outstanding.

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