At the height of the Great Depression, after she and her husband lost all their sheep, Regina Echevarria (that’s her in the photo) opened a Basque boarding house in Nampa, Idaho. They called it The Modern Hotel because it had modern amenities, like steam heat. Besides sheepherders and Basque immigrants, Regina’s hotel catered to traveling musicians and businessmen of all races and just about anyone who needed a place to lay their heads.

60 years later, Regina’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Tullis, bought a run-down Guest Lodge in Boise and named it after the original Modern. Elizabeth and her partner, Linen District developer David Hale, commissioned local architect Dwaine Carver and interior designer Kerry Tullis to do a complete renovation with all the modern amenities.

The Modern Hotel Today


The result is a thoughtfully designed hotel that is as comfortable as it is eye-catching. Although the new Modern does not have steam heat, it does have air conditioning and wi-fi. Like the original, it’s an independently owned, family-run business that caters to traveling musicians, business people and folks of all stripes in need of a comfortable bed and a friendly face. Sheepherders welcome, but please leave your sheep at home.