The Imogene

The Imogene Hotel + Rooftop Bar

The peak-peppered views alone will make your stay in Ouray, a southwestern Silver Rush town, one for the ages. To up the ante, seek authentic accommodations at The Imogene, a Wild West saloon and brothel turned tiny hotel that boasts gorgeous panoramas of the surrounding mountainsides from its rooftop bar.

The newly renovated Imogene, dating back to 1898 and built in a Queen Anne-style of architecture, first operated as a saloon and sporting house serving miners. Here you’ll stay in former brothel rooms refurbished with updated industrial finishes while also showcasing relics from its glory days, like the original wood floors and red-brick walls.

The Imogene boasts two bars: One is on the rooftop, boasting eye-popping town and mountain views, and the second is the historical lobby’s Whiskey Bar, located inside.

Gotta dog? No prob. Two of the hotel’s whimsically named hotel rooms — The National Belle and The Mountain Queen — are fur-baby friendly.

What makes it special?

We’re going with all the locally made art that hangs on its walls, plus the custom-built wood-stove sauna.

The Imogene
The Imogene
The Imogene

The most “Colorado” thing about this place

It’s all the Old Western Colorado history, of course. The Imogene is housed in the historical, brick-and-stone Columbus Building. Besides being run as a brothel and saloon, the building is also said to have operated as a hotel, restaurant, barbershop, grocery store, pool hall and resale shop over the years.

Coolest amenity

The panoramic scenery from the rooftop bar tops this hotel’s “cool” list, for sure. Be forewarned though: It being open is weather dependent.

Quirkiest thing to expect

In some respects, The Imogene is more like a do-it-yourself vacation rental with its own bar than a traditional hotel. This quirky spot offers just six rooms; upper-story accommodations are walk-ups (there’s no elevator, and lots of stairs), so expect to be doing some do-it-yourself luggage hauling. Check-ins are done via text — you get a keyless door code — and service staff does not stay on-site, though you’ll have a number to text for assistance. That’s OK, though, because you’re coming for this spot’s central location, the locals’-favorite on-site bar and restaurant, plus all the historical ambiance and gorgeous surroundings. See more things to know before your arrival >>

The Imogene
The Imogene
The Imogene

Our favorite traveler review

“My girlfriend and I showed up to town not knowing what to expect. We found ourselves in this cute lobby with great art on the walls and an overall ‘cozy’ vibe. Rich checked us into our room with ease and explained in detail how to operate the key lock. He even gave us the low down on parking and food recommendations around town. The room was very clean and looks out to a beautiful valley. The rooftop bar is a must. Drinks were delicious. Service was great. Rich even brought us out some good Casamigos shots. He recommended a great hike to a waterfall just down the street from our room! Can’t wait to come back and explore more!” — Oscar D., Google

Things to see & do nearby

Ouray — known as America’s own lil’ Switzerland — has no shortage of breathtaking San Juan Mountain views. Take all the beauty in with a hike to Box Canyon Falls or drive the San Juan Skyway (known especially for its leaf peeping in autumn). As the ice-climbing capital of Colorado, Ouray boasts its own ice-climbing festival and celebrated Ouray Ice Park — a destination for savvy climbers from all over the world.


Photos courtesy of The Imogene Hotel + Rooftop Bar

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