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“like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead”
Review of Murray Hotel

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Murray Hotel
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Livingston
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead”
Reviewed May 2, 2014

"There once was a girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead
and when she was good, she was very, very good and when she was bad, she was horrid."

We got into Livingston late on a Tuesday night in April and had a wonderful dinner and the 2nd Street Bistro. We intended to stay at the Best Western before heading down to Yellowstone the next morning. At the urging of the Bistro chef, we decided to consider staying at the Murray instead.

It was quite late by this time and the night staff did not have the authority to be flexible with the room rate, which, even for the cheapest room, was significantly higher that what we would have paid at Best Western. The clerk warned us about noise from trains and bar music in this room. We asked to see the room, which I think was 209. It was on the corner, facing the train tracks and over the bar but it had two queen beds, looked clean and comfortable, and they included earplugs in the amenities. Perhaps because it was Tuesday, the bar was not particularly noisy. You could hear it, but it wasn't that loud. Despite being significantly more expensive than what would surely be an adequate and quiet room at the Best Western, we decided to fork over some extra cash to experience the charm of an old hotel. One of the deciding factors was it's proximity to a great cafe for breakfast. Breakfast wasn't included, as it would be at the Best Western, but a BW breakfast is an indifferent affair and the cafe sounded (and was) wonderful.

Going up in the old elevator was fun. Sleeping was ok. I wore the earplugs and my husband didn't. I was aware of train whistles a few times but it didn't fully wake me and was not a bother. I can sleep through almost anything but my husband, who has a harder time with sleeping well had no problems with the train or bar noise, even though he didn't wear the earplugs. He did, however, have a bad time with the light from the transom window over the door. The hall light shines through it directly at the head of the beds so this stripe of bright light is in your eyes in the otherwise dark room. I solved this by balancing on the rocking chair and stuffing a pillow over the window, which was possible because the sill surround is pretty deep.

The amenities were nice. There were chairs and luggage racks for both of us. The coffee, tea, and toiletries provided were much nicer quality than what one gets at a Best Western. They also had large ceramic cups, water and wine glasses. The bathroom was large. While they had lots of soaps and such, there were no tissues. In the morning, the shower looked very promising as a powerful stream of water came out the tub faucet. However, when you directed this mighty flow to the shower head, only a pathetic amount came out and most of the water was still gushing out from the faucet. I can understand putting in a flow eliminator but why bother if you are still going to lose the water anyway? You might as well let your guests enjoy it. Also the shower caddy kept slipping down the shower head tube so we finally removed it.

We would have spoken to the owners in the morning about the problems we had - lack of flexible pricing, light from hallway, unsatisfactory shower - but they were not available. Our conclusion is that this is not quite the premium experience one would expect when paying premium prices. Some of the problems, like the bar noise and train noise are beyond their control, but where they can control it, they should make sure that each room is as comfortable as possible and they don't seem to be doing this. It's pretty obvious they have never stayed in these bedrooms or used the bathrooms themselves.

Room Tip: Room 209 (second floor, corner) had train noise, bar noise, way too much light coming in from the ha...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank old_lady_who
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
murhot, Owner at Murray Hotel, responded to this review, May 21, 2014
In response to "little girl with the curl", I would like to thank you once again for taking your time to let me know of your unhappy experience. As I mentioned in the letter I wrote to your husband, the Murray Hotel is more expensive than the Best Western and it cannot and does not want to compete with the Best Western. The Murray Hotel features suites, is unique, historic and really the only hotel of its kind in Livingston. The hotel has only four rooms that are not suites. We do not advertise these rooms but offer them only to guests arriving without a reservation. That way a guest can see exactly what they are getting. And again, I apologize for the lack of Kleenex but more so for the light coming through the door transom. I should have noticed the problem and attended to it which I have since done. I was not aware, however, of the shower head situation, and will attend to that problem as well. I hope you decide to use the gift certificate I sent you for a nights stay in one of our suites. I hope to change your mind about my hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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214 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bozeman, Montana
2 reviews
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We live in a nearby town, and decided staying at the historic Murray Hotel would be a fun get-away birthday celebration for my husband. We LOVED the hotel. It's charming and the front desk was very welcoming and helpful. Although we offered to take the stairs up to our room, she insisted we might want at least one trip up in the historical elevator that only staff is permitted to operate. The room was very spacious with much more amenities than we needed for a one-night stay. However, we enjoyed the hardwood floors and real furniture. We walked to the Rib & Chop House for a great dinner, then spent the rest of the evening in the Murray Bar - again having great and friendly service and excellent drink recommendations. Also enjoyed the live band and people watching. We had breakfast next door at Gil's Goods before heading home - also great service and great food! Enjoyed our stay immensely.

Room Tip: We followed other reviewers' advice and asked for a room on an upper floor to avoid band noise...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tamgill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CiCiWtraveleratlarge
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2014

The Murray is as "old West" as it gets, right down to the "Guns must be checked a the Front Desk" sign. Rooms are a bit small but clean and as well appointed as many of the chain hotels. We had previously eaten in the restaurant adjacent to the hotel on our last trip to LIvingston and decided to stay at the hotel on a whim. We were really glad we did. Although the hotel is close to the train station - which can make it a bit noisy, the overall experience made it worthwhile. Definitely a must see if you are staying in the Livingston area and don't miss the "lounge" for great local musical talent in the evening. Also Gil's serves the best breakfast around.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank CiCiWtraveleratlarge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

There is not much I can say that has not already been said except to say, "this is a real piece of history". How often can you say "I stayed in the same hotel as Calamity Jane"? Yep, the trains run off and on all night but the management has provided ear plugs which are a cute and functional idea. I had not stayed for awhile so when I stopped in October I was pleased to see that the owners had continued to upgrade and maintain the property with style and taste of the old West.
Be sure you arrange after hours help if you are hauling luggage as the "lift" only works with hotel staff. Say "Hi" to Margie in the bar.

Room Tip: Rooms on the side of the building (entry side) toward the back.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank GraMicki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helena, MT
Level 6 Contributor
975 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 465 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2013

The Murray has a long history. It has been redone and some of the rooms and suites are permanently rented. The Director (Wild Bunch) Sam Peckinpah used to rent the top floor and it is said he would occasionally shoot holes in the ceiling when drunk, luckily he had the top floor.

We have stayed a few times because Livingston is just so much fun. They have connected the little rooms into bigger suites and that makes it a great place for mini vacations, family get togethers or just a better choice than the interstate chains.

The Bistro behind and attached to the hotel is a great place and you can spot some of the local residents of Paradise Valley who are also Hollywood stars from time to time. Like bears they don't usually bother you if you don't pester them.

The old elevator takes the desk person for assistance and it is a great relic by itself. Fun place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank vintagetrailer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level 6 Contributor
133 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2013

This is a gloriously authentic old hotel - I was amazed at the amount of period features that have been retained. The 109 year old lift requires staff to operate it (which can involve a long wait) so take the stairs after the first trip.
We had a Queen Suite room - which included a little sitting room with a separate sink, fridge & microwave.
All the furnishings are in keeping with the age/style of the hotel. A nice selection of complimentary toiletries. You also get ear plugs (which we didn't bother with) due to the proximity of the rail line.
There is a bar downstairs - nothing fancy, seems to be mostly frequented by locals plus the 2nd Street Bistro & Gil's Diner are in the same building. We recommend the pizza at Gil's diner for dinner, and the fresh squeezed OJ for breakfast!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KateE006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eureka, California
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2013

Overnighted in Livingston and choices in the downtown area of town are few but the Murrary stood on the corner still proud after a century of welcoming guests to this Montana town. This four story brick building is a class of the period and has been modernized without changing its original character. We had a suite on the fourth floor which was very nicely appointed with all the modern conveniences you'd expect. The fixtures are old school from the era but upgraded to work like their modern counterparts. The beds were luxurious and there was a flat screen TV in each of our rooms (if you're into such things). The furniture was new and the couch was leather.
On the down side, the elevator was 100 years old and only operated by staff who aren't there late at night or very early in the morning (we left early) so carrying your luggage down 3 or 4 flights of stairs might be an issue but they will arrange for the night manager to carry them for you.
The biggest negative is the trains nearby. They blow their whistle all night long about every half hour. There are ear plugs for you on the night stand but its still and issues if you're a light sleeper.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Randyfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Murray Hotel

Property: Murray Hotel
Address: 201 W Park St, (Corner of Second and Park streets), Livingston, MT 59047-2628
Location: United States > Montana > Livingston
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Livingston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Murray Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Murray Hotel is an authentic Western hotel with modern amenities in the beautiful destination of Livingston, Montana. The Murray Hotel occupies 4 floors with 30 rooms or suites that are tastefully furnished with attention to modern comfort and the hotel’s historic legacy. The entire hotel is a non-smoking facility with a rooftop patio that is available for smoking, or just enjoying the mountain views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Murray Hotel Livingston

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