THE MOUNTAIN VIEW HOTEL
On April 1, Levi & I were treated to a night at the Mountain View Hotel, a historic establishment in Centennial, just about 30 miles west of Laramie on US Highway 130. Due to our crazy lifestyle with our businesses, we weren’t able to make it until later that Friday evening. However, the owners, Kat & Mike, were kind to us and showed us around, regardless of the hour – part of that Wyoming hospitality that they literally offer around the clock.
Fine hospitality at the Mountain View Hotel isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is something Kat & Mike are proud to continue. Opened in time for the June 4, 1907 arrival of the Laramie Plains, Hahn’s Peak Railroad opening, the establishment was dedicated in a “golden spike” ceremony. Painted white with black trim and built at a cost of $8,000 at the time, it boasted 20 guest rooms, a dining room and a “most improved system of plumbing” – never mind that the bathrooms ended up in the stables. Today, you can find the historic register books and china in the nearby Nici Self Museum.
The hotel has received a lovely face lift by Kat & Mike, and its rooms and suites include a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, coffee roaster and espresso bar. Kat & Mike showed us the suites that make a great stay for a small group, and work well for snowmobilers, hunters, summer vacationers… We discussed how the hotel also makes a great stay for wedding parties getting married in the Snowies – many groups rent the entire hotel for their wedding party to enjoy historic accommodations prior to the big day.
Our room was the Mountain Sage Room, a comfy space with two queen beds and a beautiful en suite bathroom. I had to grab many pictures of the eye-catching antiqued ceiling. We settled in with snacks and a late night Myth Busters marathon, and ended the night soaking in the peaceful silence that I remembered from nighttimes of living in the Snowies as a kid.
In the morning, the room had a lovely sunlight glow and still remained peacefully quiet. I prefer to wake up to a good book, especially on the weekends, so I grabbed my Doris Kearns Goodwin The Bully Pulpit (a great read if you like presidential – or just Victorian – history like I do!) and waited for Levi to wake up. Meandering downstairs, the smell of freshly roasted coffee greeted us and Levi, our family java hound, made a beeline for the espresso bar while I thanked Kat for a great & peaceful night’s stay. Families of snowmobilers were enjoying breakfast in the quaint restaurant, and since we had to rush back as we had a full day of parties with our Laramie bounce house business, I eyed their plates greedily and noticed everyone was having a good meal. There were lots of options for Levi when it came to his coffee, and he went for black with a little extra milk to go. The early spring sunshine was bright and there were still hints of snow – winter season adventure may have been winding down, but you wouldn’t have known it to see the cars with skis and snowmobiles go swishing by through Centennial on their way to the Snowies and Snowy Range Ski Area.
If you’re heading to Laramie or Saratoga to partake in the beauty of the Snowies or enjoy Laramie Jubilee Days, you must make a stay at Mountain View Hotel high on your priority list. After all, if you’re right there and adventuring, you’ll want to fall into a comfy bed that’s nearby and enjoy fresh Joe in the morning. Why not do all that with a little history besides? And when you’re there, be sure to take the hop, skip and jump across the highway to the Nici Self Museum and learn the history of the area. Gold star for those who can email us and let us know where the village got its start and its intriguing name …
Til the Next Adventure …
Kati Hime, Editor