Driving from Dallas to Denver I was driving through Clayton NM when I came up to the stoplight in the late afternoon. I glanced left and saw this old downtown hotel. I'm glad I turned around as it is a gem in this dustbowl area of the west. The pics I took don't convey how truly nice the building, the rooms, and the saloon/dining really are.
The owners and staff were so friendly I thought I was at my favorite Westin:) The room seemed like it was set in 1898 but was very clean and had everything I needed including a comfortable queen bed. The weather cooperated and I had a great beer sitting on the balcony outside my room overlooking main street. I ate at the hotel that evening and the steak was great but the best part was that chocolate sheetcake the owner made.
I'll finish with this about this hotel and other high quality boutique hotels in small towns; chains are great because they're homogenous, but you wake up the next day sort of missing your bed at home. I drove off from Hotel Eklund the next morning feeling like I had just experienced what was great about traveling in this country - great history, great architecture, and great hospitality. I'll stay again next time I'm in that area of the country.