This place is older and has a lot of character. If you’re picky and want nice and new you won’t be happy. I gave 5 stars because the staff were real people with nice attitudes. Todd the Mgr called to alert of an employee who was tested with COVID and wanted to know if we wanted to find a different place and he would help. I declined his offer and we continued with the reservation. There haven’t been much updating in the past 20+ years but the brand carpet was interesting as well as the thick roped stair handrail. The restaurant was open and Dana served us breakfast along with good conversation and great tips on places for our travel. I’m not gonna tell you about my socks, just that it was quaint and people were nice. If you’re picky and expect too much, don’t go there.
This is an AWESOME independent property on the National Register of Historic Places. The property is right in the middle of downtown Billings. From the Dude Rancher I took the Lamar Valley/Beartooth Highway into Yellowstone National Park. If you take this route into Yellowstone check the weather before you go. It is a breathtaking road that is almost 11,000 feet at the summit. I travel frequently and greatly enjoy historic non cookie cutter hotels like the Dude Rancher.
May 2020. I thought it would be nice to try something other than a chain. Kind of neat as a historical site. There was no air conditioning. It was raining & we had a ground floor room so didn't want to leave the windows open. The owner did bring us a fan. Recently I watched Hotel Impossible so I know it was the owner. I don't think she took his advice because the bathroom had not been updated. There was only one wall outlet on one side of the bed; I know it is an old building but the lack of outlets was a little annoying. The parking lot was full. It seems some of the guests were weekly stays. There was no morning food service and the pretty lobby with the fireplace was closed (due to covid). They do allow dogs. Rustic charm but lacks comfort.
This was my first time staying at the Dude Rancher Lodge, although I have fond memories of my Dad and I having Thanksgiving Dinner in the hotel restaurant many years ago when I was a child and my mom was in surgery. I also used to work across the street from Dude Rancher when I was in high school. I have always wanted to stay at Dude Rancher, especially after their appearance on Hotel Impossible. I was in Billings for a doctor appointment, and the Dude Rancher is located near my doctor's office, so finally had a chance to check it out. The hotel parking is off-road in a mostly enclosed courtyard, which gave me a secure feeling....for about 30 minutes. The lobby was locked, although it was not yet 10:00 p.m. (The desk is 24 hr.) There was a number to call on the door, so I called and soon a young lady came to the door, let me in, and checked me in. The lobby looked nice, but it was hard to tell exactly how nice because it was closed due to COVID19. I was also informed the restaurant was closed for the same reason, so no chance of getting breakfasts on site. I was given an old style key for the door (yes...a metal key). There were only a few guests staying at the hotel, so I figured it would be a nice, quiet evening and I would get a good night's sleep. It was dark when I arrived, so I did not get a good look at the outside until the next morning. When I opened the door and turned on the light, I was struck by how filthy the carpet was. Not just surface dirt, but deeply ingrained filth and grime. It appeared they were trying to hide the worst of it with a table, but honestly, the whole carpet was gross. I started to uppack my few toiletries and other items. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. I opened the door, and was greeted by a young man who waved me off. Strange. Soon after, there was a commotion outside. I could not tell if someone was getting kicked out of the hotel, wasn't supposed to be on the property, or what. I started to worry about the security of my car and belongings in the car (which was parked right outside my door.) Eventually that episode ended, but noises, voices, and such continued throughout the night. I should add the hotel is old and in the downtown area, which does have its share of issues, but I have never felt unsafe downtown. I soon discovered the walls are paper thin - even though they are at least partially brick. I could hear everything coming from the rooms on either side of me. I decided to take a shower, and so took of my shoes and socks and walked into the bathroom. The carpet felt sticky on my feet. Gross. The ceiling appeared to have recently had a leak or something. The walls throughout the room were covered in disgusting dirt and grime. Old grime....nothing that could have gotten there in a few days. This was long accumulated filth. So disgusting. I have attached pictures of a little bit of the disgusting filth in the room. If I hadn't prepaid the room, and if I didn't have only a quick sleep before heading to the doctor, and if I hadn't been alone, I would have gone back to the desk and either asked for another room (would any other rooms be different?) or asked for my money back and gone some place else. However, since I booked from a third party website, I knew it would be a fight to get a refund, so decided to stick it out. The sheets on the bed had either not been changed or were worn out. They felt grungy. The pillows - the same, and they were stained. I decided to sleep on top of the bed, as I didn't want to crawl into it. The t.v. was messed up, but after many minutes, I was able to get it to work. I had to take some medication so searched for a plastic cup for some water. There were only glass cups and ceramic mugs. They were dirty. The sink drain was stuck and did not work, so when running water in the sink, it kept filling up. There were no full size towels, so I had to dry off with a couple of hand towels. As I looked around the room after my shower, with a much sharper eye on the condition of the room, I noticed so much long accumulated filth everywhere. On the brick wall, on the lamp shade. In the corners of the room along the floorboards, on the walls in the bathroom. On the bathroom door....everywhere! There was a microwave and refrigerator in the room. The microwave appeared to be clean. The refrigerator was not cleaned out. I have stayed in hundreds of hotels, and this was, without a doubt, one of the dirtiest and most disgusting I have ever been in. If it is any consolation, the staff seemed friendly and my car did not get broke into. The next morning I discovered the deadbolt did not work properly, so was relieved that both my car and I survived the night. During these days of COVID19 when most hotels are working hard to make things cleaner and better sanitized and disinfected, I expect every hotel to step up and and least provide guests with a clean, safe, healthy room. This was certainly not the case at this hotel. This poor old place (on the National Register of HIstoric Places, but don't let that convince you to stay here.) is not fit for humans - especially not now when a clean and disinfected room can be the difference between a healthy hotel experience and a health risk.…
My wife and I were staying one night in billings before our early morning flight the next morning. So we went with the cheapest place we could find that we thought wouldn't be awful. The Dude Rancher was very unique but really nice. I got nervous with the dingy-ish stairs and hallway, but the rooms were surprisingly nice and comfortable. Seriously, I've stayed at $500/night hotels in major cities with beds not as comfortable as these. The rooms were very clean and charming. We couldn't stay for breakfast, but if I was staying in Billings again I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.