The Occidental Hotel (and museum) is a literal piece of Americana history. Visitors can sit at the bar and drink a sassafras or a beer or just see the place where Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, Hemingway, and Buffalo Bill have visited or stayed. The historic hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming was founded in 1880 and has been well known since then for its renowned hospitality and fine dining.
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That reputation was the reason, so many famous visitors visited and continued coming back through the years. Unfortunately, like happened to many establishments, the Great Depression hit hard and the hotel continued to decline from the 1930s until its proposed demolition in the late 1990s. Luckily, Dawn Dawson stepped in to purchase the premises and, after a ten-year historical renovation, it reopened in 2006. It has now been named “The Best Saloon in the West.”
The Occidental Hotel, besides being “just” a hotel, also functions as a museum which is a large part of the allure of both visiting and staying there.
Museum - Located in the Grand Lobby, the museum has an immediately striking historical effect starting at the window panes (which are intricately etched) and the immaculately restored saloons, rooms and suites, and restaurant. Guests have reported actually being able to “feel” the history. Through actual artifacts and photographs from the (late) 1800s and (early) 1900s, visitors will learn all about the history of the hotel and the region in general. Focusing on the Bozeman Trail, the Johnson County Cattle War, and how the small town developed dirt roads to a thriving town based around their agricultural prowess, guests should wander through the rooms and make sure to see everything.
Saloon - While visiting the hotel, make sure to stop in the Saloon and have a beer or an old-fashioned sassafras while counting the bullet holes (try to find all 23!). The Saloon opened in 1908 with a tin ceiling, a large back bar, and period decor everywhere.
There are many rooms and suites (most of them are pet-friendly) that guests can also stay at while visiting The Occidental. A lot of them have had famous people - Buffalo Bill, Sundance Kid - stay there! Below are just a few of the choices:
1.The Bordello - On the second floor is the Bordello, a suite with three bedrooms and a claw foot tub and shower that is shared with other suites on the floor.
2.Clear Creek - Also on the second floor is Clear Creek, a suite with a king-sized bed and a claw foot tub and shower that overlooks Clear Creek.
3.Cloud Peak - The second floor is also home to Cloud Peak, which can be either a one or a two-room suite depending on the guest’s needs. The largest bedroom features a king-sized bed, and the second bedroom features a queen sized. There is also a fireplace, a private bathroom, and an oversized balcony.
4.Hemingway - On the hotel is first floor, this bedroom has a double bed, a private shower, a fireplace, and a deck along Clear Creek.
The hotel hosts many different special events throughout the year, all of them with an old-timey feel and spirit.
Monday nights at The Occidental are Trivia Night. Starting at 7pm, trivia nights happen most weeks and are played for real cash prizes (or shots). Teams can be from 1 to 8 players.
Thursday nights at the hotel are Bluegrass Jam session nights. Starting between 6:30pm and 7pm, visitors can come, listen to some live bluegrass, western and/or folk music and drink a beer! There is no cover charge and occasionally some famous faces will stop in!
The facilities are also open for guests to rent out for their special events and is frequently used for weddings. Contact the hotel for additional information about pricing, availability, and any other information people may need to make the decision to rent space for a special event. The Occidental loves to host themed weddings specifically.
Dining and Shopping
The gift shop located at the hotel offers a variety of gift options to either keep remembering a visit with or to give to friends and family members for special occasions. They have sweatshirts, hoodies, aprons, and household goods like mugs, beer glasses, and shot glasses. While visiting or staying there, guests should make sure to dine at The Virginian and eat the famous prime rib, seafood, and steaks. There is also the Busy Bee, which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as an old-fashioned soda fountain that offers malts, shakes, and more!
The Occidental Hotel, 10 North Main Street, Buffalo, WY, 82834, Phone: 307-684-0451