Lake Yellowstone Hotel, The Hotel That Has Stood In A National Park Longer Than Any Other, Turns 125 as the NPS Turns 100
No TV, No Radio, No AC, and Limited WiFi & People LOVE IT
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – May 18, 2016 – Is it possible that anyone could improve on the natural beauty of Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, created in 1872?
Robert Reamer did. Twice.
In addition to creating the iconic Old Faithful Inn in the rustic style that came to be known as “parkitecture,” he also made his mark on the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. In addition, Lake Hotel will hold a commemoration event on May 13 to unveil its National Historic Landmark plaque and kick off the Centennial Summer in Yellowstone.
When it came to Reamer’s 1903 redesign of the circa-1891 Lake Yellowstone Hotel, the building’s genteel appearance, Colonial Revival style, and towering colonnades were no accident. At the time, seaside and lakeside resorts in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Poconos of Pennsylvania, Maine’s Bar Harbor, and New York’s Long Island were attractive destinations. Except there were no tennis courts, no golf course or swimming pools at Lake Hotel.
Ultimately, the most important feature Reamer worked into his design was a single element: peace. Imagine that. And in today’s rushing, worried world, it’s a very valuable commodity.
“Like every visitor, Reamer recognized Yellowstone Lake as the focal point of the hotel,” explains Ruth Quinn, an interpretive guide and author of Weaver of Dreams: The Life and Architecture of Robert C. Reamer. “So he added the Sun Room, also known as the Reamer Lounge, as a place where guests could surround themselves in the ambiance of this spectacular high altitude lake.”
“She is the Grand Old Lady of the Lake,” writes interpretive specialist Leslie Quinn, “The hotel that has stood in a national park longer than any other, anywhere. She’s a grand and glorious old dowager.”
Happily, “the dowager” recently received a two-year, $28 million facelift in which the 153 guest rooms, public spaces, dining room, and much of the interior were renovated. Room choices range from standard one- and two-double-bed units in the adjacent 37-room Sandpiper Lodge, to the Lake Hotel’s Superior and Premium rooms with one king or two queen beds that along with the Suites and the Presidential Suite vary slightly in size (from one to three rooms). While there is wired Internet service in the rooms (for a fee), no room in this seasonal hotel has a radio, television, or air conditioning.
Meals in the Lake Hotel Dining Room include bison tenderloin, Montana natural lamb, and wild Alaska salmon.
Lake Yellowstone Hotel is a National Historic Landmark and member of the Historic Hotels of America. Take the advice of those who know this hotel best. Find a seat in the Reamer Lounge, put down your phone, and pick up a glass of wine. As daylight leaves Yellowstone Lake, make a silent toast to the beauty of nature.
The hotel is open from May 14 to Oct. 9, 2016.
For more travel experiences available from Xanterra Parks & Resorts and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.