The Rochester Hotel
Built in 1892, The Rochester is one of the oldest hotels in town. Its brick facade harkens back to Durango’s silver-boom days when it was a rough-and-tumble public boarding house. Hallways are adorned with relics of the past like historical photos, old newspaper clippings and posters of critically acclaimed films like “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” (This classic Western flick was partially filmed along the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.)
Outside, you can explore the hotel’s lush garden filled with old-growth trees like fluttering aspens. Relax with a selection of natural wine and beer from the lobby as you mingle with fellow guests. And, for eco-conscious travelers, convenient electric-car-charging stations round out hotel offerings.
What makes it special?
We’re going with The Rochester’s warm and welcoming atmosphere. The moment you stroll into this beautiful hotel, you’ll be met with homemade refreshments, warm pastries and cordial greetings from the hospitable staff. Huddle around the crackling fire, or — if the weather’s nice — grab one of the classic Rochester-branded cruiser bikes to explore the Old West downtown.
The most “Colorado” thing about this place
It fully embraces its outdoor spaces. While cozying up in a historical hotel is pretty great, nothing beats Durango’s crisp mountain air. The on-site venue hosts a summer concert series with local artists on its glorious open-air veranda. Chat with locals and visitors alike as you embrace the vitalizing melodies of bluegrass, country and more.
Quirkiest thing to expect
You won’t only be enjoying live concerts in these gardens. Lavish picnics, outdoor art sessions and wine tastings are all part of the itinerary when you book a stay at this boutique sleeping spot.
Our favorite traveler review
“Our family booked three rooms at The Rochester for a southwestern road trip. After a long day on the road, walking into the gorgeous lobby was such a breath of fresh air. The staff was incredibly friendly and made sure we were very well taken care of. We immediately felt right at home. Our rooms were clean and spacious. There were freshly baked breakfast items and delicious coffee and tea available as well. We couldn’t have been happier during our stay.” —Sara L., Tripadvisor
Things to see & do nearby
What can’t you do? The Rochester Hotel is perfectly situated for a quick walk to some of Durango’s finest restaurants. For locally sourced fare, visit Eolus Bar & Dining to indulge in a prime-rib dinner for two. To kick off your mid-day siesta, stop by Switchback for a juicy combo of tacos and elote (traditional Mexican street corn). And save room for dessert, because the Animas Chocolate & Coffee Company will have you feeling like a kid again with its mouthwatering selection of bars, brittles and brews.
“Outdoor adventure” is Durango’s middle name. Meet up with a guide at Mountain Waters Rafting to kick off the day with an adrenaline-packed whitewater-rafting experience on the Animas River. On the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, you’ll steam through narrow valleys and across jaw-dropping cliffs toward Durango’s northern sister city. And no southwest Colorado vacation would be complete without a stop at Mesa Verde National Park. This 700-year-old archeological gem tops the list of must-see destinations in Colorado for its rich history and Native American dwellings.
The Durango area is replete with hiking, biking and OHV trails, as well as cliffs to climb and peaks to summit, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
Photos courtesy of The Rochester Hotel; Elizabeth Wells (first two photos) & Renee Cornue (second two)