Saratoga, Wyoming: Hotel Wolf

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I rolled into Saratoga, Wyoming just as a brilliant sunset lit up the sky.  Sunday night probably isn’t the best night to be visiting tiny Saratoga, especially if it’s in the middle of Labor Day Weekend, as was the case during my visit.  Everything in town was closed, with the possible exception of one bar.

Even though my hotel was full of guests, there was no one working there.  The historic Hotel Wolf operates several rooms on its second and third floors, but on Sunday nights, the management simply leaves the keys in the door for guests with reservations.  Find your room, and go in at night, then drop off your key in the morning.  During my entire stay, I never saw an employee, which was very strange.

I stayed in Room 15, which had a nice view of one of the town’s main intersections, at the corner of Bridge Street and Route 130.

I decided to stay at Hotel Wolf because of its history, and its reasonable price.  For $49, I received a room that felt more like a guest bedroom than a hotel room.

There was a bathroom too, with a big tub but no shower.

I would recommend the Wolf, and I would probably stay there again.  But, there are a few things you should know, that make this a unique experience.  I already mentioned the missing staff on Sunday nights.  There is also no ice machine, which meant I sipped on room-temperature tap water the entire night.  The bathtub looks relaxing, but it’s very difficult to maneuver, without sloshing water all over the place — especially when you lean back, and water shoots up and over the edge.  Using the hand-shower attachment was virtually impossible, since a wrong move would send water onto the walls or floor.

As for the room itself, it is small, but the bigger problem is the window.  You have to keep it open during warmer weather, since there is no air conditioning in the room.  And since there is only one window in the room, there is no cross-ventilation (thank goodness for the ceiling fan!).  Keeping the window open presents a big problem for privacy.  Since the window overlooks the street, it is very easy to see inside.  And, you have no choice but to keep the drapes open, in order to keep the air flowing.

So, it wasn’t a completely comfortable night.

I should mention one of Saratoga’s famous attractions:

It’s called the Hobo Pool, a free, natural hot spring that’s open to the public, 24 hours a day.  I considered going for a swim, but to be honest, I was a bit creeped out by it as I checked it out.  The Hobo Pool is behind Saratoga’s regular swimming pool.  I was hoping it would be quiet and empty, but instead it was crowded with noisy people, so I decided not to give it a try.

The Hobo Pool is located at the east end of Walnut Street.  You can read more about it here.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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