Thursday, July 28, 2005
The Union Hotel - Westward Ho! Part 7
Tonight we are spending the night as guests of the Union Hotel. It is a sweet, little hotel that was built in 1919 for the whopping sum of
$150,000. Today you can’t even buy a small ranch style home for that, but in 1921 I suppose it was a lot of money. As with many of these buildings, the place opened with great fanfare, but then the town declined and the hotel fell into disrepair.
Eventually a couple bought it and began renovating. They’ve done a good job, the hotel is charming and the rates are a steal. The room (actually it is two rooms connected by a bathroom) we are staying in is called The Garden Room. The Garden Room(s) is (are) decorated in a palette of blue and yellow, which is used to a cheery effect.
If any decorating faux pas has been committed, it would be that the rooms are almost too cute. The furnishings are as “wicktastic” (or predominantly made of wicker) as a set from the Golden Girls, and the beds have white picket fencing as headboards. Truthfully, the fencing is an almost too precious touch. It is purely cosmetic and really does not make a very useful headboard. My room also has a mural of a tree painted on the wall, but Jen‘s does not. This has cemented in my mind that the Union Hotel likes me better. Clearly it is no match for my charm.
We are separated by a blue bathroom with an old clawfoot tub that I won’t be bathing in, because I have an almost OCD thing about hotel tubs. The thought of stewing in the remnants of some stranger’s funk grosses me out, so unless they are exceptionally clean, I only take showers in hotels. It is, nonetheless, a relaxing, comfortable place to stay, even for a whack job like myself.
The owners have cultivated an environment that makes the visitor feel like she has stepped back in time. That is my favorite part about this place. While the hotel has a community parlor and television room for those who require modern amenities beyond electricity, the guest rooms themselves have no televisions or telephones, making for a nice, quiet retreat to read, write, think or spend time alone together. The view from my window is also pleasant as it overlooks a city park with a stream (Catherine Creek), gazebo and veteran’s memorial. The hotel website also claims there is a view of the Eagle Cap mountains, but I do not remember seeing them. Either the proprietors of the Union Hotel are damn dirty liars or the cloudy conditions prevented my mountain viewing pleasure. It is okay, though, because we will see plenty of mountains as the trip goes on for tomorrow we head to Joseph, Enterprise and the Blue Mountains.