#108 New Sheridan Hotel
When we drove into Telluride last fall, the town looked like a storybook illustration.
Our hotel, with its red brick and green awnings sat perfectly on the corner. It looked charming and quaint, but the New Sheridan hardly looked new.
Actually, I believe the 2-story section on the corner is a new replacement of the original 1891 building that burned over 100 years ago. But the 3-story section of the hotel was built in brick in 1897.
That's when it became the New Sheridan Hotel. The lobby pictured above, still confuses me with its classy-new art and furniture. Maybe this part was built between the old and new buildings?
Our room wasn't ready at check in, so Don and I wandered. There was an idyllic " Truman Show" feel to the town. We saw lots of beautiful local folks, walking dogs and parking their bikes at shops.
We saw children walking home from school, stopping at the hot dog stand or the library. We admired the old bank with its stained glass and flowers. I'm not sure how a store selling just sunglasses could occupy such a grand space.
We studied the real estate adds and noticed a property for 10 million... and realized, we will never live here.
Stairs for Exercise!
When we returned to the hotel we killed more time wandering the 3 floors. With an elevation of 8,750, we got a real work out on the stairs.
But, I must admit, there actually was an elevator and on Day 22 of our road trip, that was a luxury with our luggage. Many historic hotels don't have that perk.
Finding the Room
There were only 26 rooms in the hotel, but there was a bit of a maze feeling. I loved the long, narrow hallway and the open areas with archival photographs.
When we were finally given the key to #20, we took our time finding it. The suspense! It's always fun in old hotels to open the door and see what you'll find.
A Sweet Room!
We were graciously given an upgrade since our check-in had been delayed. We had reserved the cheapest, so we were suddenly delighted to have a King room in the old building, overlooking Main Street.
It wasn't huge, but the high ceilings, tall windows and floral scented bath products, made the room feel airy and fresh.
I loved the note resting on the plaid blanket. It had the usual instructions about wifi and ice.
But we also had instructions for what to do if we needed to cool down the room. "Open the window and turn on the ceiling fan."
The air smelled clean when I opened the window. And just looking at the green ski slopes with splashes of yellow, made it all the fresher.
As I mentioned, the bathroom smelled of wonderful soaps and lotions. I enjoyed the "old" vintage, marble sink and tile... I loved "new" sparkling, clean smell.
Exploring the Hotel
Since we'd wandered the blocks surrounding the hotel earlier, we were ready to stay put.
We enjoyed a little beer on the rooftop lounge while the sun lowered over the mountains.
We could have eaten a more informal bite in the lobby bar, which they call The Parlor.
The name of the sleek looking bar and the crowds who arrived a little later, were a bit intimidating. Our "rumpled, traveler-look" wouldn't quite fit the scene.
The Chop House
We peeked earlier in the Hotel's, Chop House Restaurant. The place looked mighty classy, but the diners by the window were wearing (upscale) outdoorsy clothes and the waiter had sunglasses tucked into his collar, so I guess we could have fit in.
However our dining budget for our month trip didn't allow for nightly $50. steaks or even $11. bowls of soup. So we passed.
The Historic Bar
Luckily, there was one more interesting option at the hotel. This wonderful old bar has been a part of the New Sheridan since it first opened in the late 1800's. The mahogany bar was imported from Austria.
The room dividers with beveled and lead glass panels were also original. Some of the locals with long white beards, looked like they could have been sitting at the bar 100+ years ago!
Food or Drink?
We could have ordered a burger or steak, but we'd had a late lunch. We figured we'd have just one drink absorb our surroundings.
While we sipped, we wondered how different the atmosphere would be during busy ski season. And since our room was above the bar, we were glad it wasn't ski season.
Fun People Encounter
Don and I always appreciate chatting with locals or travelers on our trips, but it suddenly seemed like Telluride might be one of those places where we just enjoy the people watching. Then we met a very nice couple.
He was snapping a cell pic of her at the bar and I offered to take their picture together. We ended up chatting for quite a while. Roger talked to Don about just finishing a week hiking the Continental Divide. Cindy talked to me about what the town was like when she lived there in the 1970's. The talk of hiking lead to the fun trivia that Roger met the author, Cheryl Strayed when he first attempted hiking the Continental Divide. I am a big fan of the book and movie, "Wild" so it was fun to know that Roger was the "Greg" character in Strayed's book. He was the "nice guy" that Reese Witherspoon meets at the beginning of her journey, in the movie!
Before heading back to the room, we grabbed some food from the car and decided we'd just enjoy the rest of the evening, picnicking in our cozy room.
Before it got too dark, I told Don I needed to hurry down and get a photo of the building. "Look out the window and wave, so I know which one it is!" I requested.
A Haunted Head
I dashed out the front door and aimed my camera upward. Then I burst out laughing so hard that a nearby woman rushed over to inquire.
"See that!" I laughed as I pointed to the lower window on the left. "That's the ghost of my husband."
Don is very clever when it comes to using his pocket flashlight to amuse me!
We stayed at a 118 year old hotel, built during the San Juan Mountain gold rush... without all the creaks and odors of an aged building! Don and I are charmed by a lot of fabulous vintage places that we would never recommend to friends.
But the New Sheridan was totally renovated in 2008 and it would be comfortable and cozy for the snobbiest of travelers. It felt classy and comfy and fresh, but still retained the high Victorian style with the decor of wallpaper, moldings and fabrics. This stay was definitely in the top 3 of our 28-day road trip.
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My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!