A historic hot springs inn that remains in Hot Springs State Park.
It is now operated by Best Western, a global hotel chain.
I love Best Western
One of my particular favorites for road trips in the US is Best Western.
They are generally less expensive than Hilton, Marriott, or IHG affiliates, but they are of better quality than budget motels and are often located in rural towns, so I have great confidence in them.
A beautiful brick building in Hot Springs State Park.
This is the Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel.
Built in 1918.
It is the only surviving building of the six hotel apartments built during the period when the state park, inaugurated in 1896 when the federal government purchased the property from the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, began its commercialization.
Its predecessor was the Callaghan Apartments, which were built by bricklayer James Callaghan, who made and assembled the bricks himself in a kiln on the property.
It was sold in 1921 and renamed The Plaza.
At that time, there used to be separate men's and women's indoor baths and steam saunas.
It was renovated in 1999 and became what it is today.
The guest room was functional with a microwave and mini fridge, as is typical of Best Western, but room size was minimal.
It was an accommodation whose value could only be appreciated when you know its historical background.
Surprisingly authentic hot spring
With the renovation, the indoor baths have been eliminated, and only outdoor pools are available.
The courtyard section of the U-shaped building.
The pool is generally available until 10 p.m., but is fine for quiet adults' use until 8 a.m. the next morning.
A cold pool for the summer season only.
The octagonal hot tub at the back was fed by thermal spring water.
Further in, there was a circular pool, but it was shallow and did not appear to be for soaking.
In the indoor baths that once existed, it is said that the distribution pipes were cooled to a temperature suitable for soaking through the Bighorn River.
The water temp of the Big Spring, the gushing point, is 135 degrees F.
The water temp at the water outlet from which the water was drawn was 115 degrees F.
The water was naturally cooled in the circular pool, and the overflow poured into the hot tub.
I preferred it a little hotter, so I turned on the valve hidden in the ground by the pool and increased the amount of hot water put in.
The water quality was excellent, which is common in Thermopolis.
The superb sulfur spring water with large dancing mineral deposits.
This hotel is notable among the many Best Westerns and is highly recommended.