Gateway to Yellowstone: A look at the brand-new Kimpton Armory Hotel in Bozeman, Montana
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There's a brand-new high-end hotel in the rapidly growing city of Bozeman, Montana. The Kimpton Armory hotel opened in August, and I was lucky enough to be among the first guests at the first four-star hotel in the city known as the gateway to Yellowstone National Park.
I booked a standard room at the hotel a few weeks before my stay, and rates were consistent at a little over $200 per night. I paid a base rate of $207.20, though a state occupancy tax and a city tourism fee brought the total to $225.78. When I last checked, rates through September ranged from $259 to $262 a night. However, I was able to find cheaper rates in October by using IHG's "Stay Longer and Save" promotion, which brought prices down to as little as $174 per night.
I received 2,072 IHG Rewards points plus 1,036 elite bonus points for my stay, plus an additional 600 points as a welcome bonus. I have platinum status with IHG because I hold the Chase IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card (no longer available for sign-ups) which comes with free IHG® Rewards Club Platinum Elite status as a perk of the card. It also gives a 50% bonus on base points and an annual free night certificate (at properties up to 40,000 points).
Related: What is IHG status worth?
If you're looking to boost your IHG account, consider signing up for the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, which is currently offering a 140,000 bonus points + 1 free night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Bozeman is such an interesting city. It was once known as a sleepy cow town, but it's now one of the hottest and fastest-growing cities in the West. The Kimpton Armory Hotel is in the middle of the oldest part of the city, right off the main drag. Main Street offers tons of shopping, bars and restaurants in walking distance.
One of my favorite activities was taking one of the free bikes offered by the hotel on a ride around Bozeman including seeing some of the historic mansions nearby.
Not only is Bozeman itself a great town, but it's less than 90 minutes away from Yellowstone National Park. Many folks headed for the park fly into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN).
Kimpton properties are some of the nicest in the IHG family, and this hotel is a great example of why people love the brand. The hotel was built inside and above the old National Guard building that dates back to 1941. Here's how the hotel describes it, "Originally designed by prolific Bozeman architect Fred Fielding Willson and built in 1941 to house the Bozeman National Guard, the landmark Armory building is a timeless example of Art Deco design."
The interior design is very modern, masculine and comfortable. The decoration actually reminded me of some Park Hyatts and the Cathay Pacific lounges in Hong Kong.
There are bikes for guest use, a nice gym with Peloton bikes, and a rooftop pool that will open sometime in late 2020.
I had a corner room and it was lovely. There was a large, modern bed with two end tables. I loved the small desk and chair. Wi-Fi was fast. The furnishings were modern and masculine, just like in the lobby. The only thing I didn't love was the small windows, but there were nice views of Bozeman nevertheless. The coffee was brought up (on demand), and came in pour-over packets that I'd never seen before, and it was very good.
The bars and restaurants
One of the best parts of staying at a Kimpton is their fun "secret password game," that runs a few times a year. You simply mention the latest secret password when you check in and you get a special welcome amenity. My colleague Summer Hull had just written about the return of the secret password promotion the week before my stay, so when I said "road trip" to the front desk they offered me the choice of a waived $25 valet parking fee or $25 to spend at the brand-new Fielding's restaurant. I made the right choice as my burger from this chic little lobby-level gem was delicious.
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Fielding's, named for the architect of the original 1941 building, features a full bar and an open-air kitchen. There are many seating options including banquettes, tables and booths. You'll be able to get locally-sourced food with a Montana twist like local trout and beef.
There's another speakeasy-style bar in the basement called Tune Up. It's billed as a whiskey bar, and it looked like a fun space, though I didn't stick around for a beverage.
Another restaurant called Sky Shed is due to open later this fall on the roof of the hotel, which will also be home to a rooftop pool and features fantastic views of downtown Bozeman.
I loved my quick stay at the brand-new Kimpton Armory Hotel in Bozeman. It's modern and stylish and it's still got that new-hotel smell. It's not cheap for Montana, but definitely the best value for your money around. It's a lot of hotel for the price. I'd definitely return, and would highly recommend it.