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“Family Suite is great value!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of General Palmer Hotel

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General Palmer Hotel
Ranked #10 of 32 Hotels in Durango
Certificate of Excellence
santa monica
Level Contributor
90 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Family Suite is great value!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

Booked the Family Suite (Rm 257) for 2 nights for my family: myself, husband and 2 adult kids. The suite is actually 3 rooms: the main room has a queen bed with table, 2 chairs, coffee maker but no storage; the other 2 have full beds so that a maximum of 6 people could stay and have a large closet/large dressor. All rooms had a flat screen TV. The cost was very reasonable with a AAA discount, especially when you factor in the all-you-can-eat continental breakfast.

Wonderful ambience with the Victorian wallpaper and furniture. Large windows to overlook Main St with pullshades that block the streetlamps at night. The hotel does provide wonderful cookies in the afternoon and evening with tea/coffee. Continental breakfast was good but as 1 previous reviewer noted, the staff can be slightly slow in replenishing the warm breads (waffle on one day, biscuits another, always with muffins)--but there was always yogurt, granola, oatmeal, juice, coffee/tea, bread to make toast available.

The location can't be beat to catch the Durango-Silverton train. I did not find the train whistle bothersome. All the wonderful restaurants, bars are easy walking distance. The only downside that might be found with the family suite is that there is only 1 bathroom and inadequate counter space for toiletries beyond 1 person. Problem solved by making agreements as to who got the bathroom first, second...

Room Tip: Claustrophobic people should not ride the antique elevator.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank uzengirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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310 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
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English first
New Jersey
Level Contributor
91 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

We had a corner suite overlooking the train station area and stayed three days. Comfortable bed and the room had nice old timey decorations. The cleaning staff did an excellent job each day. Good WiFi in our room, however the signal was spotty in other parts of the hotel. The continental breakfast was filling but a bit disappointing as there was no fruit. The hotel location is perfect as it's in a good location within the historic district. From the hotel you can walk to the river walk, narrow gage train station, numerous restaurants and bars, theatre both legit and movie. The hotel is quiet other than for the 8AM or so train whistles which are part of the adventure. Actually, you'd hear the whistle anywhere in the downtown area! Free parking right at the hotel is a major plus.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Larry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

Right next to all tourist activities and restaurants this a gem. Great Victorian style rooms and nice breakfast. It's a part if Durango and American railroad history.

  • Stayed October 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RKSglobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Level Contributor
502 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 294 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2011

The General Palmer is overrated. On one of our trips to Durango we opted to stay here instead of the Strater. Big mistake!

Our room was unacceptable. Looked like something from the '70's. Small and no ambience. The exterior and lobby is exceptional, but our room was not what we expected from an "historic" hotel. We'll stay at the Strater in October - our choice of room is already confirmed.

Most disappointing. Will never stay THERE again.

J.T.
Houston

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jtchapman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
60 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2011

My husband and I stayed for 2 nights at this hotel. We didn't have reservations and felt happy to find a room. We got room 209, which is on an interior wall.

I can only give this place, however, 3 stars instead of 4 based on what must be a philosophy driven by management to just get by as opposed to want the guests to want to come back. It seemed management wants to capitalize on a good location to get by, while the irony is, by stepping up the game just a little, I bet they'd have a lot more return customers...or maybe they feel they have enough already and don't care to try to improve their service.

My 3 stars would be 4 if this were a Comfort Inn or the like. However, this is a historic hotel with higher rates. Service should match the ambience and prices.

First the good things:
1) Great location with PARKING! Most everything is in walking distance from the hotel, and the parking lot is conveniently located just outside the entrance doors.
2) Quiet atmosphere. The decor and atmosphere was quiet, making for a nice low-key stay. There were nice lounging areas downstairs if you wanted to hang out. "Quiet" was the word that came to mind. That was perfect.
3) Quiet, clean, cool, nicely decorated room. There was an old time decoration, the room was clean, well lit, and comfortable. The A/C worked well. There was a Harley bike rally while we stayed in the hotel...and i didn't even hear one bike rumble, even though the streets were packed with bikes.

Now the areas that could use improvement:

1) The room had bright hall lights coming in through the stained glass in the window (?) above the door (not sure what the vent/window that opens above a door is called). It wasn't until you are trying to go to bed that you find you have the equivalent of a streetlight streaming into the room. There was no curtain or way to block it out. I called the front desk to request darkening the room/keeping external hall light out for sleeping. I asked if perhaps the hall lights dimmed during the night, but I was told no, there was nothing that could be done about that. One of the things I like about any hotel stay is how utterly dark a room could be. This felt like a neon sign shining in. I noticed some of the other hallway's lights were definitely dimmer than the 5-6 hall lights on our short hallway. Perhaps management could find a way to keep light like that from coming in so brightly into the room.
2) The notorious breakfast. I'd read reviews and wasn't sure what I'd get. Honestly, it wasn't as bad as I was dreading, however, it was not in line with what one would expect at a historic hotel. It wasn't even on par with a Hampton Inn style breakfast.
I went in at about 6:15 a.m. and the hot beverage station, while adorned with sterling silver beverage stations had tepid hot water. All the pastries were lukewarm and very store bought. There was not a single piece of fresh fruit. I went to get some orange juice and saw an empty juice jug that looked like it came from the convenience store thrown in the wastebasket below the juice station. Seriously, can staff not at least dispose of the all insta-food evidence someplace else? There was no one tending the breakfast room. Breakfast is your first impression of the day, and it felt like a very haphazardly thrown together offering. I personally would like to see better pastries, but the management could step it up by just doing things like having hot water, adding fresh fruit, and not throwing their non-fresh breakfast evidence in the small dining room's wastebasket to brag to all the guests, "We are proud of our lack of interest in your breakfast."
I read a lot about how the Strater Hotel breakfast was so much better...so i went over there to check it out. It was what you would expect for a historic hotel - steaming hot beverages, fresh fruit, quiche, what appeared to be fresher pastries, yogurt, hot soup, etc. There were also wait staff around (of course, Strater, has its own restaurant). It did look like it would be a better experience. My informal poll found people saing they liked their breakfast there (...and I tasted the quiche...it was tasty).
3) The antique elevator. On one hand, it's very quaint and appealing. That is, it's quaint until you are having to try to hold both doors open and get your bags in. It's not so fun then (maybe it is for staff to have a little light hearted entertainment). This isn't a deal breaker, but just a bit of a challenge with loaded hands.
4) Friendly but not helpful staff. When we checked in, the woman at the front was friendly and helpful. After that, we got consistently friend staff if we approached them, but none who were helpful or went out of their way to greet or make guests feel welcome. For instance, after I got back from the all-day Narrow Gauge train ride, I came into the hotel and 3 staff were talking at the front desk. No other customers were around. I smiled, but not a single one smiled or greeted. That is the "step up" type of stuff that makes you feel like you are staying in a special establishment. I also asked at the front desk if there were any scheduled Harley bike parades or other events that would close down any parts of the street , as we were planning to leave the next morning and didn't want to get caught in a parade, if possible. The young man smiled and said he "had no idea" of anything going on with that event (again, no other customers, and the phone was not ringing.) Fine, but no suggestions - really? There were a couple of other similar situations where I was very politely told, "Gee, I don't know." I noticed the 7 different front desk staff I saw all appeared to be 25 or younger. Maybe they work for lower rates as new entries, but management could teach them how to make a customer feel welcome.

All in all, if you don't care about the price and service level, you're fine here. I went away feeling like management was riding on location-location and not really as guest-oriented as it could be for the level of establishment it was.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mmhaustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
103 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

This was our 3rd stay at the General Palmer and yet again it didn't disappoint! This time we stayed in the Palace Wing and had a 3 bedroom family suite which was wonderful. Enough room that we all had a bit of space in lovely surroundings, great toiletries and a great location. Would love to have the opportunity to come back again!

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jennilewes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashland, Ohio
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

Our Corvette tour group stayed here two nights on a five-day tour and everyone really had a great time. This is a great location right in the middle of Durango near all the attractions. The parking lot is so close to the Durango & Silverton Railroad you can almost touch it as it puffs by. Cookies so fresh they were still warm with fresh coffee in the lobby. A great place to stay.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sknovr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about General Palmer Hotel

Property: General Palmer Hotel
Address: 567 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Colorado > Durango
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Durango
#6 Family Hotel in Durango
#7 Business Hotel in Durango
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — General Palmer Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rich with Victorian elegance, the General Palmer Hotel has all the modern comforts that you would expect of a Four Diamond establishment. Named after General William Jackson Palmer who established the hotel in 1898, the General Palmer is the only historical Four Diamond Hotel in Southwestern Colorado. Each room has been hand decorated in the Victorian era with luxurious amenities. It’s the little touches that make the General Palmer unique; freshly baked muffins each morning and Teddy Bears on every bed. Enjoy our southwestern hospitality with concierge service from a gracious and caring staff available day and night, year around. We are located in downtown Durango right next door to the Narrow Gauge Railroad and we are within easy walking distance of many fine dining restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
General Palmer Durango
Hotel General Palmer

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