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“Great spot for birders!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Portal Peak Lodge

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Portal Peak Lodge
2358 Rock House Rd, Portal, AZ 85632   |  
Hotel amenities
Dale, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great spot for birders!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Portal, Arizona hasn't changed much over the years...still small, unique and special. All birders will come here if you plan to bird the Chiricahua Mountains and the famous South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon looking for Elegant Trogons! The owners have done a fine job of providing a comfortable place to stay and excellent food. The lodge is not fancy, but it is well maintained and clean and prices are reasonable. When we bring birding friends to this area, we will always stay here. An additional note regarding the owners - we were evacuated from the lodge at midnight May 8, 2011 due to a forest fire. We missed one additional night of our planned stay. However, the owners refunded us for two nights even though we were in our room until midnight that night. I thought that was extremely generous.

Room Tip: I believe all the rooms are the same, but if you plan a trip in April or May you will want to make y...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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32 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Fountain Hills, Arizona, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

We had the opportunity to stay a few days at Portal Peak Lodge. The grounds were beautiful, the food at the general store was delicious and the staff were very friendly. We really enjoyed our time and will go back sooner than later. Thanks.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Centreville, Virginia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

Most travelers in the area visit to explore the natural habitats. Birding and hiking while staying at Portal Peak Lodge are very popular. It is quite entertaining, in fact, to sit on the deck outside the room and watch the many hummingbirds that come to the feeders.
The Lodge has a good restaurant and a store that has all the supplies you will need for your adventures.
The lodge is a family run business and the family willingly addresses all questions on directions, sightings and local interest.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

Once you get into the Chiricahua mountains, you can stay at one of the guest ranches (expensive) or, if you're into hiking, star gazing and bird watching, at this really nice place. Yes, it's pretty basic, no fine dining to be seen, but you're in the mountains, so why complain? Staff is businesslike but friendly and competent, you can hike or drive some fine historic routes,and you'll meet interesting people here (we met a nice Professor and Phd student doing research on a particular kind of bird - or was it an insect?...)

Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Seattle
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2012

We were in the Portal/ Cave Creek Canyon area for the spring migration and stayed three nights at this lodge. Average/decent accommodations in a tremendously beautiful area.

Rooms: We occupied room 5 which was clean, fairly spacious, with coffee maker. I believe new carpets were installed and the bathroom was spotless.
Grounds: Nice outdoor seating area adjacent to the cafe. We ate most our meals there and once at the tables by our room (wanted to see the hummers)
Cafe:High season hours are 7:30am to 7:30pm. Good tasting meals, a bit over-priced, but heck, it's what you would pay in a big city.The staff were friendly and accommodating.

I think the room rates were a tad high for what you were getting (we paid $80/nightly), but the access to the canyon, the Chiricachua Monument, Jasper's (Rodriguez's place now) made up for the price.

Room Tip: The Chiricahua National Monument is only a 65 minute drive from Portal if you take the primitive roa...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
86 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
253 helpful votes 253 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2012

Stayed 2 nights, solo, in April 2012, at the Portal Peak Lodge. Room rate was $75 a night. Overall a very positive experience...

CAVEAT: This is a lodge-motel, so you have to go in knowing what to expect for $75 a night. If you are looking for luzury accomodations, this isn't your place (nor IS there any place for a long way from this area).

THE GOOD:
--Great location, in a beautiful valley of the Chiricahua Mountains, in a quaint little town called Portal. Easy drives to area trails and sights.
--Staff were very friendly and helpful, as are the locals you may run into.
--Rooms were clean and functional
--Free WiFi is a great tool especially with no real phone service (see below)
--Lodge store is convenient
--Cafe food was pretty good

THE BAD:
--There are no in-room phones, which I suppose is a double-edged sword - they want a quiet place, which is great, but it does make it hard to call home. There is one common phone for the dozen lodge rooms, outside, from which you can make local calls, or use a calling card. But you cannot make credit card or coin calls, or bill calls to your room. And the lodge store DOES NOT carry phone cards - so bring one with you!
--The beds are not very comfortable.
--The shower is tiny, with a shower head so low it was hitting me in the chest (I'm 6'3").

OVERALL: I would definitely recommend it. Its about what you'd expect for $75 a night in terms of the room, but the setting, staff, cafe, shop and atmosphere push it over the top into very good territory.

TIPS FOR STAYING IN THE AREA:
--Plan your restaurants ahead of time, if staying more than a night. There is only this cafe in Portal, and then a tavern in Rodeo, and that is pretty much it, unless you drive all the way to Lordsburg or Douglas (which are each nearly an hour away). And some of the restaurants are only open certain days. Just best to plan ahead.
--During spring-to-fall times, AZ and NM are on different times. Keep this in mind if going to businesses in NM, which is only a few miles away, in terms of what hours things may be open.
--If you have time, instead of driving the highways that go around the Chiricahuas to get to and from Portal, instead take the Portal road through the Chiricahuas. The road is a bit scary in places, but the scenery is spectacular.
--There was a huge fire in this area about a year ago, which caused some issues. But don't let that detract from the idea of staying here. Most places I explored in the area were either not burned, or only burned here and there - I saw only one mountainside that was truly wiped out. So things are still quite gorgeous!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AZ
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

EXCELLENT place to stay.!!! FANTASTIC service, accomodation,, food....feel very spoilt!!The owners AND staff incredibly accomodating... look forward to seeing you in the very near future!! THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING MY STAY SO INCREDIBLE!!!

Room Tip: All rooms huge ,exceptional,clean and well situated...FABULOUS incredibly friendly service...VERY ac...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Portal Peak Lodge

Address: 2358 Rock House Rd, Portal, AZ 85632
Location: United States > Arizona > Portal
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Specialty lodging in Portal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A popular haven for birders, hikers and nature lovers, our family run hotel has 16 comfortable, economical rooms. There are a deck and outside seating area where guests can relax and have a drink, watch the birds, and in the evening sit around the fire. Stop in at our cafe next door for a plate of enchiladas made with local Hatch chiles. For dessert try an espresso and homemade fruit cobbler. We specialize in providing accommodation for birding and other nature groups. For information and reservations call 520 558 2223. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Portal Peak Hotel Portal

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