When I was making plans to tour the United States Military Academy at West Point, I discovered the historic gem called The Thayer Hotel and added it to my “must-visit” list.
This distinguished landmark that stands at the entrance to West Point has a storied past that is known for blending comfort, luxury and tradition.
Come along as I tell you about my experience staying at The Thayer at West Point.
The Thayer Hotel blends architecture, history and luxury in a rich tapestry that allows guests to experience an enchanting getaway that is steeped in history.Jessica James
One of the most unique aspects about The Thayer is how deeply its history is intertwined with the United States Military Academy at West Point.
The hotel’s origins date back to the early 20th century when it was built to replace the West Point Hotel.
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Named after Brigadier General Sylvanus Thayer (who is known as the “Father of the Military Academy”), the hotel was established to serve the needs of West Point, its cadets, and their visiting families, as well as dignitaries and special guests.
West Point has produced U.S. Presidents, foreign heads of state, warrior leaders and astronauts. To incorporate this renowned background and legendary history, every guest room at The Thayer Hotel is dedicated to a graduate of West Point who is chosen by a committee to receive the honor.
These rooms hold memorabilia selected by the dedicatee and/or their families that celebrate their accomplishments both at the Military Academy and beyond.
I love how these West Point grads are now part of the hotel’s history. The tributes in the hallways and rooms create an interesting museum inside the hotel.
The Thayer Hotel History
Approaching The Thayer, you can see that the grandiose architectural style of the Hotel mirrors the Gothic Revival architecture of West Point’s academic buildings.
This architectural choice was intentional, aimed at complementing the prestigious and historic character of the Military Academy.
A few of the striking Gothic-revival features include pointed arches, intricate stonework, and grand, towering spires.
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The lobby and public areas of The Thayer Hotel feature vaulted ceilings and ornate woodwork, creating an ambiance that transports guests back in time.
Some of the design elements, such as the chandeliers and stained glass windows, add a touch of elegance and sophistication.
Stay At The Thayer And Enjoy A World-Class Sunday Brunch!
Over the years, the hotel has hosted countless dignitaries, military leaders, and families of cadets, making it an integral part of the West Point experience.
Rooms At The Thayer
The Historic Thayer Hotel at West Point features 128 elegant guest rooms and 23 suites.
Despite the obvious historic charm the hotel features, the building is way ahead of many hotels in reference to modern amenities and comfort.
The wireless service worked flawlessly (unlike the previous night in a different hotel) and there were plenty of electrical outlets for recharging phones and computers (yes, I work on the road).
As you can see, the walls are adorned with photos from graduates of West Point.
Related Post: A tour of the West Point Cadet Chapel is worth your time.
Things You Should Know Before Your Stay
The West Point Guard Gate
Yes, the official Guard Gate to enter West Point Military Academy looks intimidating, but you don’t need an official Visitor Pass to stay or dine at The Thayer. You just need to show an I.D.
It’s easy and fast. (There is another gate past The Thayer to enter the West Point grounds).
What About Those Motion Sensor Lights?
If you’ve read Thayer Hotel reviews and see comments about the lights in the rooms, here’s the deal:
Even though it’s an old building, The Thayer Hotel has been renovated and updated with the latest technology, including motion detector lights in the rooms.
These lights are environmentally friendly because they can both dim the lights when there is no activity for a long period of time, or turn on when there is movement in the room.
I know lots of people who get very disoriented when traveling, and appreciate having a light go on when they get up in the middle of the night, without having to look for a light switch.
And then there are people like me, who love complete darkness in the room.
Either way, The Thayer has you covered. You can simply switch off the light completely or leave the motion sensor on.
It’s really quite convenient.
There are directions for the lights in the rooms, and it was also explained to me at check-in, so don’t let the automatic lights sway you from booking a room at The Thayer!
Parking at The Thayer
Valet parking at the hotel is complimentary and is available 24 hours.
For those who prefer to self-park, golf cart assistance is available from the parking lot, if needed.
Hotel parking for all guests is a short walk down a hill from the hotel.
There is also designated Handicap Parking spaces allotted in the front of the hotel entrance. A valet can assist with unloading and parking your vehicle.
Thayer Hotel Restaurant & dining
There are plenty of dining options at The Thayer!
The main restaurant is MacArthur’s Riverview Restaurant, named after one of West Point’s most distinguished graduates.
MacArthur’s is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The hotel also has the General Patton Tavern, that is open daily for drinks from 4 to 11 p.m., with dinner served from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
From May to November, the 4,000-square-foot Zulu Rooftop Bar is open Wednesday through Sunday 4 to 11 p.m.
This is the only rooftop bar between New York City and Albany, and it offers stunning views of the Hudson River.
The Thayer Hotel Brunch
The Thayer Hotel Brunch is an award-winning culinary extravaganza that features an omelette station, giant shrimp, smoked salmon, an array of salads and an amazing dessert station.
The meal includes unlimited champagne, Mimosa and Bloody Mary drinks.
An added bonus is the elegant seating in the dining room and getting to enjoy incredible views of the Hudson River while eating.
Weddings and Special Events
The Thayer Hotel is a popular wedding and special event venue, with lots of space inside and out to enjoy a special day.
The largest ballroom, the Washington Ballroom accommodates up to 220 guests. The event space is just 100 feet above the Hudson River, and offers stunning views from the lawn level.
The Gothic-style granite architecture of the hotel is imposing from the front, but the back offers stunning views of the Hudson River.
There are a variety of other spaces that can be used for smaller and more intimate events as well, including rooms with a dance floor, 20-foot ceilings, wrought-iron chandeliers and leaded windows.
The West Point Hotel History
The Thayer Hotel replaced the original West Point Hotel, which served the academy for more than a century.
Built In 1829, the West Point Hotel was located near the Plain on Trophy Point on the grounds of the Military Academy.
It hosted a long list of notable figures such as Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Stonewall Jackson, Winfield Scott, William Tecumseh Sherman, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, and James Whistler, to name a few.
The original hotel was also famous for being tied to one of West Point’s most notable graduates — General Douglas MacArthur. His mother lived in the hotel while he was a cadet.
When General MacArthur returned from World War I to become the Superintendent of West Point, he started an expansion program of the buildings on the West Point campus, which included construction of The Thayer Hotel.
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Wrap-Up Of The Thayer Hotel
Visited by past U.S. Presidents, international leaders and celebrities, the Thayer Hotel captures the essence of old-world grandeur and beauty.
The hotel not only provides lodging but also acts as a gathering place where cadets, alumni, and military personnel from West Point can come together — and where the general public can enjoy good food and comfortable lodging when visiting the Hudson Valley.
This stately building evokes a sense of old-world charm and comfort, while honoring the traditions and history of West Point.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary stay at The Thayer Hotel, but the opinions expressed are my own.