I am writing an update to my 2014 post, “Hotel de Paris, a gem hidden in plain sight.” As readers will know, I visited Georgetown recently, and of course, I popped into the museum. I can’t visit the town without stopping. After all, Hotel de Paris is my favorite museum, and here’s why.
Ninety percent of the artifacts in the museum date to the time when this was the original hotel, which was 1887 until October 7, 1900. It’s October 7, that Louis Depuy, hotel owner, passed away. The hotel had been his brainchild when Georgetown was a booming gold and silver town.
After his death, Hotel de Paris continued to be operated as a hotel until it was bought in 1954, by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America. The Dames still own it, and since the 1950s, it has operated as a museum.
Former houses or hotels that have become museums due to their historic significance do not usually feature much original furniture, art, or other artifacts. These items are often lost in time, and rooms are made to look how they probably looked when the building was in use as a home or hotel.
Ninety percent of everything in the Hotel de Paris was there when the hotel operated under Louis Depuy, and new artifacts are being discovered every day. For instance, recently, while going through Depuy’s books one page at a time, museum curator, Kevin Kuharic, found a grocery list hidden between the pages, written in Louis Depuy’s own handwriting. It is now on display in the hotel’s kitchen.
This added level of authenticity at the Hotel de Paris can be felt by the visitor. Having grown up a museum-lover, I think this is why I like this museum so much.
Just like most places, COVID-19 was a challenge for the museum. However, the pandemic gave Kuharic time to work on a few things he hadn’t had time for previously. One of those was making and releasing a brand new 3D tour of the hotel.
Presented by BIOscapes, it is an opportunity to tour the hotel online, with clickable points of interest in each room that have descriptive explanations that enhance a virtual visit. I can only describe it as being like a video game, where you have a first-person, front-row seat in a tour that you control.
Check it out here: Virtual 3D Tour of Hotel de Paris
However, as cool as that is, nothing can replace taking an in-person tour of Hotel de Paris. Visitors will not only experience what it was like to be a guest here, but they will see where Louis Depuy lived. He kept his living quarters in the hotel. They will also see where the longtime hotel housekeeper, Sophie Gally, lived. Upon Depuy’s death, she became the owner of the Hotel de Paris. Alas, she died just four months after Depuy leaving the hotel to relatives.
It’s a fascinating tour, perhaps partly because the hotel played such a large part in the life of Georgetown in the 1800s. It’s opulent for the time, featuring a shared bathroom for guests and a dining room that would put most of ours to shame.
Its blond brick and red exterior, with wrought iron detailing, makes it a grand landmark in downtown Georgetown. To visit the town without visiting the hotel, leaves a gap in one’s knowledge of this charming Colorado mining town.
Another way to make ensure a visit to Georgetown is complete is to take one of the local mine tours. The reality is, there would be no Hotel de Paris without the mines, and without the mines, there would be no Georgetown.
Just 45 miles west of Denver, this historic mining town is easy to access and makes a lovely day trip or an even lovelier weekend getaway.
Hotel de Paris