Monday, February 21, 2011

Reflections of the St. James Hotel Cimarron New Mexico

As I pulled up to this tan Adobe hotel in the small town of Cimarron NM I could almost hear the whip and chains of a Stagecoach coming to a stop just up the road. The St. James Hotel (originally called the Lambert Hotel) part of the Santa Fe Trail was a stop of famous names from the Wild West. With Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Annie Oakley, and Clay Allison, and many others sleeping and well shooting their way into history; I crossed into the lobby wishing I had a colt .44 on my hip. A bobcat and one of the largest Buffalo heads I have ever seen greets you, with furniture that has been a part of the hotel since it opened back in the late eighteen hundreds let me know this was going to be more than just a stay in a hotel.
The feel of this hotel is that of the past, long hallways with rooms and community bathrooms really not much has changed from its heyday boasting as one of the most elegant hotels west of the Mississippi. No Television in your room, and the wireless internet really only works in the lobby. This Hotel really is a place to escaping into the past, and brush the modern world off you like dust at the door. Some of the rooms are just beds, but all made to help you rest. My wife and I stayed in Room twenty three the Waite Phllips Suite, a King size bed with a mattress to die for; a little sitting room off from the bathroom and an old fashion claw foot tub; but each room holds its own little feature to make it unique.
Around every corner not only did I find more to explore but a place to just sit and talk, hang with friends, or just enjoy the peace and quiet. The hotel has two floors each with their own walk tour down history; on the walls are pictures from the hotel, and the town of Cimarron’s past. A long stairway leads to you the second floor, where you can spend time playing cards in the poker room, or sit in the hall next to T.J’s room one of the past owners who was shot only to died three days later from his wounds. His room number eighteen is known by the staff as the most haunted spots in the building, they keep it locked at all times and no one is allowed to rent it out. Many of the staff will take whiskey up to the door and down a shot in honor of his loss. Each room still are open with a key, showing signs of the hotels past, with a Transom Window hand panted with scenes of the Wild West; just adds to the home feel to this hotel. Time has taken its toll on this hotel, but I felt it only added to the charm and love you could feel from its walls.
The Bar and restaurant is just off the lobby, offering food that is an authentic taste of New Mexico. A fire place in the middle of the restaurant, rifles hanging from the wall, its hard wood floors; painting’s hang from the walls of the gunmen from the west. The bar is not just a place to get a beer, but is a full bar, and could be called the town hall, with the mayor, and town Sheriff talking to guest and town members over a beer. Bewared Drunkenness is prohibited but a good time is required by all. Really how could you not in this place where the staff is not just nice but have just as much fun as you. When you eat in the restaurant be ready for real food, not some small portion but steaks that could be a side of beef, chicken full of flavor and plump. All made with the same care and love you feel from all the staff. I look forward to heading back soon, just to relax and enjoy the company of some new friends. When you’re looking for some time away from all the madness going on these days it is worth the trip to relax, enjoy the hospitality, make some new friends, and maybe if you are lucky meet some ghost from the past.

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