After a long day of exploring the Yellowstone National Park, it was time to wind the action down for the day and find a place to stay for the night. During my drive to Yellowstone National Park, I passed through the small town of West Yellowstone and did a quick stop to grab a snack. I checked for available hotels and because I didn’t know if I would come back that way or take a different route, I didn’t reserve a hotel just yet.
Cell coverage is very limited in Yellowstone and I was to busy with this amazing place to even think about booking a hotel until it started to get dark. I planned on driving back to West Yellowstone and stay at the Holiday Inn there. I parked along the street in downtown to make a reservation for the hotel. Unfortunately, a lot of the hotels were now sold out for the night, including the Holiday Inn, and I looked for non-chain hotels to get a different experience. Many of the hotels are also closed for the season during my visit mid-October. I found the Yellowstone Park Hotel online, which also manages the Holiday Inn in the city. I booked a Deluxe King Room online through my smartphone and started the short drive over to the hotel.
It was already dark when I arrived in West Yellowstone. I typed the address of the Yellowstone Park Hotel into my GPS and started my short 2-minute drive. I missed the entrance to the hotel parking lot and hoped there would be another one at the end of the building but unfortunately not. There is only one driveway to enter the parking lot of the hotel. I parked my SUV in a stall near the entrance and headed inside.
Two people were behind the front desk and one couple was ahead of me. Checking in took forever, at least it felt that way. Only one person was working at the front desk and the other one was probably no front desk clerk. The couple had a ton of questions regarding the stay and it was my turn I got delayed a little bit because the person working the front desk had to fill out some paperwork for a guest request from a different guest. I heard the two staff members working at the front desk talking about how crazy it is, that all people check-in at the same time. Seems she never worked at a busy hotel, even tho I think it gets busy here in the summer. How crazy it is, that all the people check in the late afternoon until a few hours after dark. Well, that’s normal, as the usual check-in time begins late in the afternoon. This is a tourist destination, so people usually be outside all day to enjoy nature and the nearby Yellowstone National Park during the day, before the check-in. That’s exactly what I did as well. I felt like this should not be mentioned in front of a guest. If you don’t like to work with people, either get a different position at the hotel or work the graveyard shift (usually 11 p.m. – 7 a.m.).
After she checked me in. I got my room keys and she explained to me some of the amenities of the Yellowstone Park Hotel. I grabbed my bags and headed to the elevator up to the 3rd floor.
Deluxe Room – 1 King (Room 306)
My room was directly next to the elevator which was awesome for a one night stay. In that case, I didn’t have to carry all my bags upstairs and then down a long hallway. Once I opened the doors a spacious and wide open room presented itself to me. The name “Deluxe” was no joke in regards to the size. The center of the room is big and wide open. Perfect to store your gear, if you don’t want to leave it in the car.
On the right side of the room is the King Bed with a stuffed wolf on top of it which you were able to buy. I guess this is a good selling pitch if you come with small children. They will take it and want to have it, and you as parents probably have no way to get out of this. 😉
Each side of the bed had a small nightstand and a reading lamp. Further along, the same wall is a sofa. Adjacent to the bed is a 33″ flat screen TV on a closet with a coffee maker next to it. On the same site of the room is a small kitchenette with a sink, microwave, and a well-sized refrigerator.
On the far side of the room is a window with a few out to the back of the hotel property. You can see the neighboring buildings and the parking lot below but no real scenic views. Next to the window is a small desk to set up your laptop if you need too followed by a full-size closet. The door doubles also as a dressing mirror. Inside are the usual things: Iron and ironing board, extra blankets, hangers, luggage stand and the bag and paperwork for laundry.
Next, to that, you have a door leading to the bathroom with a vanity and mirror to the right side, the bathtub-shower combination to the left and the toilet in the middle against the wall.
Overall a great room with a very comfortable bed. Plenty of power outlets were also provided atop each nightstand to charge your mobile devices.
This Yellowstone Park Hotel is a great base camp for your exploration of Yellowstone National Park and all the other beauties of nature nearby. However, this hotel is closed for the season every year from about mid-October to mid-April. I stayed there the last night before the hotel closed for the season. During my long wait time before I got checked in, I had enough time to check out the lobby area. The lobby is rather small but offers a few chairs to sit down and unwind. In a corner, next to the main entrance, is the business center hidden. Not easy to spot, if you don’t know its there. The lobby also has a view of the indoor swimming pool.
A great amenity is the free laundry service. Even tho the machines look like coin-operated, but you don’t have to use coins anymore. They are free of charge. You only need to buy the detergent in case you don’t bring your own. Inside the laundry room is a sign with the opening hours from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. However, the little piece of info paper which comes with your room key shows the opening hours of the laundry facility from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. So if you stay here, make sure you bring some detergent and for a longer stay, you can buy some in town. Next to the laundry room are a snack and soda vending machine. Just down the little hallway behind the elevators, you find another room with the small fitness center in there. The selection of equipment is very limited but you can get some kind of a workout done.
A small market is located next to the Front Desk, just adjacent to the entrance door to the breakfast room. Also, take a stroll through the hallways of the hotel. You will find historic photos from Yellowstone and it’s vicinity hanging on the wall.
The breakfast room was downstairs next to the elevators. It was not very big and when everyone at the hotel would come down here to get breakfast at the same time, it would be a big nightmare. Grab your breakfast super early during the peak season to avoid any waiting time here.
The buffet was like a regular continental breakfast without any hot stuff like eggs, bacon or sausages. Otherwise, you got toast, cereals, yogurt, a selection of juices, some pastries, and coffee. The missing eggs were no big issue for me. I just went with whatever was available to get on my way as soon as possible back to the national park.
An additional coffee station is located in the lobby between the windows to the indoor pool. You can get coffee here all day long but as I tried to get some the pump mechanism for the creamer was broken.
With your room key, you get a 10% discount at The Branch Restaurant which is located inside the Holiday Inn. It is just a 5-minute walk to get from the Yellowstone Park Hotel to the Holiday Inn.
If you look for a good place at night either for dinner or just a bar to hang out, try Wild West Pizzeria & Saloon. Awesome place with great pizza and wings. Unfortunately, it was overcrowded even in the off-season.
Overall a good stay but I realized how convenient it is to stay with one of the major chain hotels. The whole booking and check-in experience are just easier and more seamless. I liked my room but was a little bit surprised that they don’t offer any eggs for breakfast. My check-in process took forever what I am not used to at other hotels, but this could be just a coincidence.
The room was clean and I can’t complain there. Free laundry service is a great perk as well, especially if you can make use of it during a longer stay.
This property is managed by Delaware North, the same company which also operates the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.