"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.
- 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