One of the oft-overlooked aspects of an active vacation is the experience you’ll have off the road, walking path or ski trail. At the end of an adventure filled day we want our guests to slip in to the lap of luxury. A delicious meal, a few laughs with some new friends over a drink, a toasty fire to unwind near and an inviting, comfortable bed to rest up for the next day’s experiences. One of our favorite accommodations is featured on our new Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness vacation and where guests will stay on their last night, the iconic Old Faithful Inn.
The Old Faithful Inn is a rustic-style lodge, with a log and wood shingle exterior in close proximity to the world famous Old Faithful Geyser in the heart of Yellowstone National Park. Initial construction on the Inn began in the fall of 1903 to replace the Upper Geyser Basin Hotel which had burned down. Robert Reamer, a 29 year old architect known for designing train depots, was hired to design the new lodge. Reamer’s enormous vision was inspired by the rustic camps of the Adirondacks, just on a much grander scale, as the seven-story log and frame lobby is quite unique in American architecture. Most of the building materials used, including lodge pole pine and rhyolite stone, were found within a 5 mile radius of the Inn and a temporary sawmill was built to assist in the log preparation. When the Old Faithful Inn first opened in the spring of 1904, it boasted electric lights and steam heat.
The Old Faithful Inn, a designated National Historic Landmark, is one of the few remaining log hotels in the United States and is the largest of its kind in the world. The Inn is a masterpiece of rustic architecture with its unique design and fine craftsmanship and has even hosted six presidents and all Three Stooges. Its influence on American architecture, particularly park architecture, was immeasurable due to the use of natural materials to create a feeling of high-style rusticity. In fact, in 2007 the American Institute of Architects conducted a survey to determine the 150 favorite buildings in America and the Old Faithful Inn ranked 36. Recently the Inn was featured on Travel + Leisure’s list of Great National Park Lodges.
Of course the most famous “feature” of the inn is its location within Yellowstone National Park. At a mere eighth of a mile from the most famous geyser in the world, guests can use the viewing platform on the porch’s roof to see Old Faithful’s eruptions , while the front of the Inn faces Geyser Hill across the Firehole River. But let’s get back to the Inn itself. The century-old heart of the inn, known as the “Old House,” features a cavernous 7-story lobby with a handmade copper, wood and wrought iron clock and an 85-foot stone fireplace in the center -classic examples of the “Golden Age” of rustic resort architecture. Guests can stand in the middle of the lobby and look up at the exposed structure, or climb up a gnarled log staircase to one of the balconies and look up, down, or across. Visitors could even climb up to the roof via the staircases before the 1959 earthquake damaged the hotel. In the lobby, you’ll enjoy relaxing by the magnificent fireplace or take in the sunset on one of the giant porches with spectacular views
Despite its 109 year history, the Old Faithful Inn features many modern amenities complimenting its rustic charm, making it an attractive place to stay and not simply visit. It remains the most requested hotel in all of Yellowstone Park and the east and west wings where the rooms are, built in the 1920’s, have been remodeled in recent years. The Geyserside premium rooms look out on the geyser basin, and include one or two queen beds. There is also a full service dining room as well as the Bear Pit Lounge, where guests can enjoy appetizers and drinks while discussing the day with friends. A deli, gift store and interpretive tours are also available at the Inn.
We are very excited to share this new Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness vacation with you. We hope learning a bit more about this gorgeous lodge piques your interest and you know that while you’ll spend your days in the vast Wyoming wilderness, you’ll have wonderful accommodations waiting for you at days end, as with all VBT vacations. To learn more about this vacation please visit the tour page on our website.