Updated: May 21, 2015
Holiday Inn Express Cortez, CO Review:Mesa Verde National Park is a must see for all families in America. It's located in the far reaches of Colorado - in the Southwest corner of the state. The closest town is Cortez on the west and Durange on the east. On our national parks trip in July 2012 my family choose to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Cortez, CO. Cortez is not a large town so options for lodging are somewhat limited. You could stay at the lodge within Mesa Verde but that would cost a pretty penny. Durango is a great town, but if you are looking for the nearest hotel to the park entrance, then go with the Holiday Inn Express. We were literally only about a 15 minute car drive to the entrance from where we stayed. It's very convenient, especially if you have early morning tour times at the cliff dwellings. The day we arrived it appeared there was a large bunch of military personnel checking in - some kind of meeting held at the hotel. Book early in the season if you plan on doing a summer stay of any kind as the hotel books up early. The night I checked in there were at least 3 people that walked in looking for a room and they were turned away. Summer is a busy season in these parts.
The staff was friendly and offered us free bottled water - the temperatures outside were close to 95 degrees. These are the types of gestures that all hotels should consider when greeting their customers. We had a first floor room with 2 queen beds. The room was clean, the beds were comfortable, and the bathroom had some recent updates. If you look on Tripadvisor.com, this hotel consistently rates as the 1st or 2nd place in their top listings as rated by actual travelers. You can find the official homepage for the hotel online at http://www.coloradoholiday.com/ or http://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/cortez/cezex/hoteldetail. If you want to read more reviews from people who have stayed here, check out the comments left on Tripadvisor at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60857-d84978-Reviews-Holiday_Inn_Express_Mesa_Verde_Cortez-Cortez_Colorado.html. The pool was just off the main lobby and our kids went swimming after dinner. Across the parking lot is the Koko's Friendly Pub restaurant. Food was decent, beer was great, but the flies in the dining room were a bit annoying. They had given us a discount coupon at the front desk to eat at Koko's so that is why we did. It's easy because you don't have to get into a car and check out other places to eat at. Do a search on Google for 'Cortez Restaurants' and see what they come up with. I'm sure there is something better out there. There is a complimentary breakfast offered each morning. Basic fruits, yogurts, cereal, waffle maker, muffins/bagels, etc. Hotel rates were about $165 for the 2 queen beds. Not bad given it's the #1 rated hotel in the town, but still a bit expensive given where you are in the country. Overall the experience was a positive one and we would recommend it to other traveling families who want a hotel near Mesa Verde national park.