Many people think that the oldest lodge in Yellowstone is the Old Faithful Inn. Actually it’s the Lake Hotel. The bright yellow, columned building has been around since 1891. Upon your arrival, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel's massive white columns welcome you to a time of classic, yet casual elegance.
Today it is cozier and more upscale than ever before after the latest round of renovations, says Rick Hoeninghausen, director of sales and marketing for Yellowstone National Park Lodges.
While many of the hotel's amenities are new, it "still gives you a feel for the history and heritage part of golden age of touring in the park,” Hoeninghausen says.
According to Historic Hotels of America, the hotel was remodeled in 1903 by Architect Robert Reamer and has since undergone a series of remodels and additions over the years. The latest renovation was in 2014 when the Lake Hotel underwent renovations to the tune of $28.5 million. Beyond paint, the improvements include adding bathrooms (which cut down the number of rooms to 153), new fixtures, structural work, and new furniture.
Like most national parks, internet access is in scarce supply. This new renovation has included hard-wiring internet in each room and access is provided by a third party for a fee. And, there is a new business center that provides computers with free internet and printers. A new cell tower in the lake area also provides better mobile phone service.
The charming hotel, which is a member of Historic Hotels of America, takes guests back to a time before cell phones and televisions. Since there are no televisions or radios in the rooms, guests congregate in the common areas and often make new friends.
In the summer, a string quartet plays during the evenings in the lobby while people play board games or share the experience of putting a puzzle together.
“It’s one of my favorite things about the hotel – it brings people together,” Hoeninghausen says. “People recount the day’s adventures and amazing experiences with the string quartet backing you up.”
If a guest only has one night, Hoeninghausen recommends arriving early, taking a hike on one of the trails near the hotel, take the Yellowstone Lake Butte Sunset Tour to see views from a nearby overlook, have a nice dinner and relax in the lobby with a cup of tea or a cocktail.
Built in the 1920s but completely remodeled in 2003-04, these simple, comfortable duplex units are clustered near the hotel. Cabins are configured with two double beds and a private bathroom with shower only (no tub.) Coffee maker, fan and clock included in the cabins.
The season is open from mid-May to late-September. Rates will run from $149 a night for the Frontier Cabin to $629 for the Presidential Suite.
Access to business center is included with all Lake Hotel rooms and cabins. Televisions, radios, and air conditioning are not available in park lodging.