Step Back to the Old West at Durango's Strater
Just keep in mind that you may never be satisfied with any other hotel after staying here. The Strater has been hailed down the ages as Durango's "home away from home". I am willing to give up my home...
Just keep in mind that you may never be satisfied with any other hotel after staying here. The Strater has been hailed down the ages as Durango's "home away from home". I am willing to give up my home and live here . . .!
I arrived tired and travel weary. I strode into the Strater with mixed expectations; this hotel is renowned by the locals as not only a historical landmark, but as part of the life of this "Old West" town.
The Strater, in fact, has bridged the past into the present, bringing the grand quality of 100 years ago forward and merging it with modern technology and conveniences, all accomplished without any compromise in quality. The result is a perfect blending of the best of both worlds that has made the Strater not only a legend in its own time, but a true masterpiece of time.
Only one-step into the lobby, and I stepped back a century in time. It is incredulous.
The Strater is drenched and framed in warm woods, carved, notched, and formed everywhere you look. The lobby just opens up before you, and yet there is a comforting feel to it that just invites you in. Every bit of space is thoughtfully laid out to maintain the solid elegance of this great hotel.
I walk across the lobby and try to take it all in, and I am amazed by the style and grace. I simply could not have imagined the quality of craftsmanship and the attention to the smallest detail, all defying words.
After a moment of adjustment, leaving the weariness of travel and the bustle of the streets behind me, I find myself "snapped up" by my surroundings and proceed to the front desk. The staff match up to the environment with grace and style in action . . . professional, friendly and personal, I was clearly a welcomed guest..
I was attended to in detail, then offered a drink (they had me at hello . . . but now they really had me), and tending to my needs. Soon I had not one, but several staff all offering to make my night easy by helping to park my car, and getting me into the fully booked Mahogany Grille for dinner. There was not a table available, as the entire night was completely reserved, but somehow they got me in. To be honest, I had no doubts.
You won't get the typical hotel experience at the Strater; the staff is genuine and devoted to the guests and patrons. They have it down — professionalism tempered with the personal touch, and its done with class and style. They clearly understand the importance of your experience from the moment you arrive.
That alone would bring me back to stay here.
I was escorted to my room by a young gent on staff, and where do I start? My room was chock full of gorgeous walnut antiques and marble topped tables; the room and doors were all trimmed and sculpted in wood that just amazed the eye. My bed was a massive structure with a solid headboard that had to be over five feet tall. And in the middle of the beautifully laid out bed was a large fresh fully opened red rose surrounded by ferns. It was a welcome clearly felt.
A small bottle of liquor was placed on the marble topped table, a well heard, "make yourself at home, and take a moment to have a drink on us". Actually, I can't remember my home making me this comfortable in a long time.
The coffered ceilings were wallpapered, and while I have never been a fan of wallpaper, this room cured me of that. The design of the wallpaper was made to fit the room, dramatic and involved and yet fitting all the angles of the ceilings and walls; I couldn't figure out how it could be done. I later was told by the owner that the wallpaper is actually hand stenciled to fit the individual angles and idiosyncrasies of each room and it had to be custom ordered and paid for in advance, much like a commissioned painting. (I actually overheard a guest saying he woke up early to look at the wallpaper. Keep in mind this was a guy.)
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By Mari Clifton, Colorado Correspondent. Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo.