Lodging inside Yellowstone National Park is all operated by the same contractor, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, but that does not mean those lodges and cabins are all bland, cookie-cutter establishments. Yellowstone offers visitors a range of lodgings that include both the modern and classics of early 20th-century architecture, and in some cases Yellowstone's lodgings are as much of an attraction as the park's outdoor features.
Yellowstone National Park encloses a major swathe of northwestern Wyoming, spanning a vast tract of more than 3,470 square miles. Individual lodgings can be separated by dozens of miles, so visitors with particular interests in the park, such as Old Faithful, should examine a park map and choose their lodgings carefully. The geyser at Old Faithful has its own set of lodgings, while the accommodations at Grant Village are roughly 10 miles away and those at Roosevelt Lodge are 25 miles away.
The lodgings at Grant Village consist of six two-story lodge buildings built in the 1980s, making this both the park's most contemporary and its southernmost set of accommodations. The result is something of a trade-off. Grant Village offers its guests tastefully appointed rooms, but compared to the other hotels in the park, the complex is rather ordinary in appearance. However, the location is in one of the less trafficked parts of the park and offers a prime base for exploring the southern end of Yellowstone.
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins
Old Faithful is not the only volcanic feature of Yellowstone, with the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel situated directly beneath the namesake steaming terraces of hot springs. In addition to the springs, the lodge is also a magnet for elk in the fall. This is also only one of two hotels in the park that remains open year-round. Accommodations at Mammoth Hot Springs consist of rooms in the inn and rental cabins, but some rooms and cabins lack en-suite bathrooms.
Old Faithful Inn
The Old Faithful Inn earned both a Fodor's Choice award and an "exceptional" rating by Frommer's, which labeled the inn "the crown jewel of Yellowstone's man-made wonders." The inn is a National Historic Landmark masterfully designed to blend in with its surroundings, graced by a lobby with a 76-foot-high stone fireplace and high internal balconies. However, many of the rooms in that same historic building also have shared bathrooms, and Frommer's recommends reserving a room as far in advance as possible.
- yellowstone image by Dave from Fotolia.com