Great Western Colorado Lodge, Salida: A Comfortable Classic

Great Western Colorado Lodge, in Salida, Colorado hits the marks for clean, comfortable, and convenient. It also fits the bit of local flavor descriptor. These are the qualities I look for when choosing overnight hotel stays on a several days road trip. We headed to Salida from Denver with a short visit stop in Colorado Springs. Our goal was to hit Raton, New Mexico the next day. 

Great Western Lodge, Salida

Located on Rainbow Blvd., a short walk from downtown and the Arkansas River, Great Western Colorado Lodge is a terrific hub for exploration. In the lobby, there’s a rack with brochures touting plenty of ideas for adventure. The mountain rises above the hotel in the near distance where hiking and mountain bike trails beckon. In the meantime, the lodge is a fine place to hang out. When we checked in, the manager upgraded us to a one king bed, one queen bed room. The single queen or the single king rooms were sold out by the time we arrived.

Great Lodge Colorado guest rooms and mountain

We parked right outside our room’s door making unpacking the car a quick endeavor. Our room was in the one floor section. There are second floor rooms in another part of the hotel. All rooms are accessible from the outside. Even though this is an older hotel, it has a charming coziness. There is an authentic road trip hotel feel. Bedside tables with table lamps and quilt spreads with a moose and pine tree motif set a tone of homeyness. A table and chairs for two, a refrigerator, a coffee maker and a microwave work well for making and sharing a meal which we did. 

Great Western Lodge Colorado guest room

The 32-inch flat screen TV had good reception and several channels. The bathroom, in particular, the light fixtures have a retro quality. I liked the sensibilities of this decor since it evokes a feeling of road trips from days gone by. The glass block windows and ornate design around the mirror add to the aesthetic uniqueness.

Retro hotel bathroom lights

Although my husband and I were traveling solo on this leg of our trip, I could see how a stay here would suit a larger family. A king bed and a queen is not a configuration I usually see. Another type of room has 1 king bed, 1 queen and a bunk bed. This sleeps seven. Rooms also include two queen beds. 

There is an indoor swimming pool, a sauna and grills for guest use. We didn’t have time to take these in. The sauna is not something I’ve seen often at hotels either. Hot tubs, yes. Saunas no. The Great Western Colorado Lodge does have a hot tub, but it’s not in use.

We did have a bit of time to take in the town even though we were mostly passing through. My husband looked for breakfast, while I headed out on a morning walk through a residential neighborhood of tidy yards and flower beds. I ended up in the historic district.

Historic district Salida, Colorado

A stagecoach stop in the 1880s, and a stop on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, Salida has turned into a vibrant town of restaurants, boutique stores, and much to do. If you like the outdoors and history, Salida is your town. As the largest National Historic District in Colorado, there are 136 historic buildings that hearken back to the wild west days. In addition to being historic, Salida is a “certified designated Creative District.” This means plenty of public art. 

I can’t remember exactly why our car wouldn’t start before our hotel departure. Maybe the dome light was left on overnight. I do remember the helpful manager who found his jumper cables to help us out so we could be on our way. Before we left town, we headed to a grocery store for lunch time eats in a downtown park, then walked along the river to watch people float by in inner tubes.

As a hotel note, pets are not allowed but service animals are. There are also rooms with bathrooms that have wheelchair accessible showers. To book through the hotel, call 719/539-2514 or 800/777-7947. We booked our room at You can also check rates on or other online booking sites.

Post and photos by Jamie Rhein

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