Let me start off by saying that the manager, Melody, is a very nice, very friendly woman. I hesitated to write this review, but then I realized how much I rely on the honesty of Tripadvisor reviewers in making my travel choices. It would be a disservice to anyone using this site and considering a stay at Gold Hill NOT to give an honest assessment of my experience. So, here goes:
Our family stayed in the "Miner's Lodge" (Rooms 18 & 19) for 2 nights. I've stayed at several historical places so I generally know what to expect. I'm willing to forego amenities in exchange for the character and charm of older places; however, I don't believe "historical" should be synonymous with "just plain dirty."
The lodge is the original mining office for the Yellow Jacket Mine (the fenced-off mine opening is directly behind the rooms). The outside is corrugated metal walls and roof. As a historical building, the manager explained that it couldn't be touched, however, both on the phone and at check-in, we were told that the inside had been completely remodeled and was very nice. I was shocked when we opened the door. I've been in Motel 6 rooms that looked better.
The indoor/outdoor carpeting was worn; the kitchen had old lino flooring and a fake butcher block Formica counter; the bathroom vanity was chipped up pressed board. I didn't mind the warped painted wood siding on the walls & ceiling or the old mismatched doors -- they added to the "character" of the place. But everything else in the rooms from the furnishings to the venetian blinds (literally everything) looked like it came from a garage sale from 30 or 40 years ago.
All of this could have been overlooked if the place had been clean, but it was really dirty! I wiped over the stovetop with a paper towel (not the burners, just the white enamel surface) and it came up black. The handle of the refrigerator had dirt embedded in the texture all up and down the length of it. Again, I wiped it down with a Clorox wipe and it turned the wipe black. There were food spills inside the refrigerator. The floors -- I can't even talk about. I told everyone to keep their socks on while walking indoors. And feathers, little white down feathers, were everywhere. It looked like someone had had a pillow fight in the room and only a half-hearted attempt to vacuum them up had been made. It was weird!
I was searching through a shallow little basket on the counter for creamer. I finally dumped it out to look and there were feathers and a couple dead spiders in the bottom. The built-in cabinet that held the "clean" sheets for the futon and the extra towels was just rough plywood inside. How do you really clean unsealed plywood, you know? The cabinet bottoms were dusty and the clean linens were just wadded up in there. When I went to make up the futon, I found a "wad" of sheets in one of the compartments and an uncovered pillow with a big yellow stain on it. When I pulled the mattress cover out, I wound up flinging mouse droppings across the room. Ewww! (The office did give me clean sheets when I walked down and asked.)
Regarding those droppings . . . let's talk about rodents. While sitting in bed reading, I see a black hindquarters and tail disappear under the bed I'm in. As my husband scoped it out with a flashlight, two more heads poke out from under the closet from which the first mouse had come. And where did that first mouse disappear to? He went right under my bed and into the built-in cabinet where the "clean" sheets and towels were stored. Double ewwww!!!!!
The drawers of the cabinet had droppings in them and the phone book in there was shredded. The outside shed that is attached to the cabin (the door next to the bed leads to the shed and is the point of entrance for the mice I saw) has the corners stuffed with steel wool. Clearly, the hotel is aware of the rodent problem, although acted surprised when I reported it.
Frankly, I don't know how you keep rodents out of such a structure. There are gaps and holes everywhere. I would suggest they either don't rent out the cabin OR warn people up front when they rent, "Do you mind sharing your room with scurrying mice?" (AND, of course, they need to store the linens in a mouse-proof Rubbermaid container and provide some disinfectant wipes so folks don't prepare food on surfaces that had rodents scurrying across them hours earlier.)
The lack of basic maintenance wasn't limited to the inside either. Both inside and out, there were so many examples of yucky stuff that it just made for a depressing environment. It's a simple enough situation to remedy if they would just hire a competent maid or handyman. For example, right outside the door to the cabin was a dirty, balled-up sock; shoved into the rocks bordering the cabin door was a dirty paper plate; behind the planter box in front was a taped shut dirty disposable diaper, on and on. Walking around the cabin was like walking on a stretch of highway with rubbish just stuffed into nooks and crannies.
I read the other reviews of Gold Hill and was surprised there were so many 5 ratings. Maybe the rooms in the hotel are in better shape, but I would advise against renting the Miner's Lodge. (And, yes, I should've known better than to rent a place that doesn't have a picture on the website.)
As for the mouse situation, Melody only charged us for 1 night instead of 2. But, you know, it isn't really about the money. It's impossible to relax in a place that is dirty and that has mice scurrying under your feet. The place is cool cus' it's so old and Melody is very, very nice, but I would just stop for a drink in the bar and not stay there.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.