Foot of the Mountain Motel takes guests through a time portal of 1930s cabin charm — but with modern amenities
I woke up to the sound of birds chirping and the Boulder creek rushing by at the Foot of the Mountain Motel one foggy morning in early summer. My rustic cabin motel room was the perfect spot to cozy up and pull the sheets high above my head as a light rain trickled down outside. There was no sound of cars or the normal hustle and bustle that Boulder is slowly beginning to accumulate as our city grows larger by the day. There was only peace.
This is a common experience at the Foot the Mountain Motel, located on West Arapahoe Avenue near the canyon.
“We always get people saying how relaxed they were after leaving here,” says Alex Gower, the general manager of the motel. “That’s the best compliment you can get as a hotelier—that you positively impacted someone’s vacation or trip through this region.”
Foot of the Mountain Motel is the oldest operating motel in Boulder. It was built in the 1930s by Charles and Mary Siebert as an “upscale” retreat option besides the car camping that took place in Eben G. Fine Park across the street. Although the owners have changed throughout its life, the experience is very much the same. The motel offers a rustic, charming cabin experience with mere steps outside some of the best hiking, biking and climbing in the area.
The room I was given for the night was paneled in knotty pine, had exposed wood beams and had vintage national park poster art hanging. There was a red, vintage-inspired mini-fridge and accompanying red, vintage-inspired phone that felt like I stepped into a time portal or the set of a 1950s television show.
“It’s really got a Boulder feel to it, just being what it is—log cabins on the outskirts of town—it’s not trying to be anything that it’s not,” says Gower.
Although the room was decorated in timely pieces from the origin of the motel, the modern amenities were of this decade. Gower explains that the motel has recently undergone a massive structural facelift. The motel redid the gas, water heating, electrical, air conditioning and heating to modern standards. Plus, televisions provide streaming and casting, and the internet is faster than ever. Next on the list is updating the roof and remodeling the lobby for a better guest experience during the complimentary continental breakfast. Gower also plans on hosting recreational activities like Bingo and movies on the lawn to foster a stronger community.
200 West Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, CO 80302
1-866-773-5489 for reservations
The motel is dog-friendly and provides a grassy space to let your puppy stretch his legs. And a long, scenic walk up the Boulder Creek Path is easy to access across the street for dogs that need more exercise.
Wildlife is abundant on the property. Deer frequently graze on the lawn and management keep a few squirrels happily plump. A white pigeon released during a recent wedding has decided to take an extended stay at the Foot of the Mountain Motel. The staff has lovingly nicknamed her “Betty White.”
Guests at Foot of the Mountain Motel get an experience unlike anything else. It is authentic and offers great customer service that can be hard to find in the cookie-cutter hotels across the country. By supporting your local hotel, you are preserving a special piece of Boulder history.
“We love our little piece of Boulder,” says Gower. “We’re doing everything we can to keep it going and continue its success. We’re here to stay, and we want everyone to enjoy it with us.”