Step into the Rough Riders Hotel in Medora and you’ll soon find yourself in the middle of Teddy Roosevelt’s library, equipped with filled rustic bookcases, a warm fireplace, and chandeliers hanging overhead.
While the rooms aren’t the lowest price in town, you’ll understand why as soon as you slide in your key card and open the door. From the relaxing colors on the walls, to the detailed touches like a Teddy Roosevelt bear and picture history book of Medora, you’ll want to spend as much time possible in your room.
Off to the side is the best part – a modern and sophisticated bathroom with a beautifully tiled shower. Additionally, the bathroom freebies are a step up from any hotel chain.
The Rough Riders Hotel is a token of history in the already historic town of Medora. The hotel, a stagecoach line and several other businesses were built in 1884 by Marquis de Mores, who also built a large meat packing plant in the town. Refrigerated train cars were a recent invention and de Mores thought he could corner the beef market by not only raising the cattle, but also butchering them on site and then shipping the meat across the country.
While the meat packing plant didn’t work out, the businesses and homes that de Mores built did. The hotel was initially called the Metropolitan but was changed in 1903 after Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders were successful in the Spanish-American War. Since that time it has undergone renovations, initially when Harold Schafer bought properties in the area to restore, and then again in 2008 when it was renovated and expanded by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.
Many historical details are preserved throughout the hotel and in Theodore Roosevelt’s Dining Room, which is attached to the hotel. Letters from President Roosevelt to Joseph and Sylvane Ferris of Medora hang in the Dining Room. Aside from the beautiful atmosphere, the food is the true definition of fine dining. From salads to pasta, seafood, and prime cuts of meat, there is something for everyone on the menu. While the price is a little on the steep side, it’s worth it to eat there at least once during your visit.
Every business in Medora run by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation is reminiscent of a western Disney World, where every detail is meticulously thought out and planned. The employees are genuinely caring and offer the best customer service possible. Not a single item is out of place, not a piece of garbage strewn about, and smiles on everyone’s face. Who needs a better reason to visit Medora?