Luxury Boise hotel signals new frontiers in unpretentious city

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Boise, Idaho. Not somewhere I had been dying to go on my list of global destinations. Falling into the trap of the potato, I never really even gave the city serious consideration. I was wrong. The vibrant city is not only full of surprises, from the dining scene, to undiscovered local Riesling, new museums and tech infrastructure as well as a deep and interesting history. The Inn at 500, sister property to Eugene, OR Inn at 5th, is a luxury stay steps from all the excitement Boise has to offer. I know, I just re-read that sentence, too.

A ten-minute door-to-door trip from the airport, the Inn at 500 picks up guests in their complimentary shuttle. If you’re lucky, you’ll have Dakota as your driver who is not only enthusiastic about Boise but can give you a brief history and point out landmarks along the way. This friendly demeanor continues throughout the property, each of the staff wearing red shoes (a favorite color of the boutique hotel’s owner) and greeting guests with a wholehearted smile.

Brian Obie, owner and CEO of Obie Companies, used to be in advertising, selling billboards. While traveling, he would wake up in a room and not know where he was, finding many hotels were sterile, cookie-cutter proficiencies. Keeping a journal with interesting experiences on his travels, he decided to incorporate a more homey feel to the rooms of his hotels.

No two rooms are identical at Inn at 500, with 13 color pallets being used on the property. 109 sleeping rooms include 57 themed rooms that tastefully relate to Boise.

At check-in, local wines and beers are offered, as well as a serve-yourself snack and beverage bar that is included with your stay. One of the most interesting and unique aspects of the rooms is the butler pantry; a keyed “drop off” for any room service items that are left to your room, keeping both the hallways clear of clutter and the privacy of guests continuous when receiving room service items. A water program also cuts down on plastic bottle waste and pre-bagged ice is another thoughtful touch as Obie did not want guests having to request not being next to a noisy ice machine.