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“For a Great Experiance” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Amargosa Opera House and Hotel

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Amargosa Opera House and Hotel
HR-C 608 Death Valley Junction, Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park, CA 92328   |  
Hotel amenities
Hesperia, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“For a Great Experiance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

First, I hope Rich (the manager) and Suzy (the care taker) read this because I wanted to say "Thank You" to both of them for the amazing friendliness and hospitality I received on both my stays. Okay folks, this is a place you don't just visit. This is a place you experience. It is out in the middle of the desert, some 40-50 miles from ANYTING. It's old, it's spooky, it's seen better days. But my friends, the Amargosa Hotel and Opera House is the real McCoy if you would like adventure in communicating with spirits. Make no mistake. The hotel is haunted. The frist time I stayed I actually wimped out and had to leave at about 2:00 am. I had been investigating haunted hotels for a week and experienced much, but nothing compared to the activity at the Amargosa. I came back a week later with reinforcements and had an amazing time. It is an the true historic hotel, with warm, friendly staff, and is a place that should not be missed on your travels.

Room Tip: I like the rooms with outside doors.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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336 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
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Thame , near Oxford
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

CocoD has reviewed this property extensively and I agree with her entirely. This is not a hotel or a motel, it's an experience. The people running the place are lovingly committed to preserving the historic and eccentric building and atmosphere, and it is run as a not-for-profit trust. Refreshments are available round-the-clock in the hotel and you can get ice from the ancient kitchen. Breakfast in the cafe was brilliant, but you should eat dinner at Furnace Creek before leaving the park (49ers was fantastic food). If you time your trip across the Death Valley park so that you leave as it goes dark - so you see the colours better in the late sunlight - then this is a fabulous location (we managed to leave as the full moon was rising, but you probably can't plan your trip around that). But if you can't cope with a historic bathroom and a bit of peeling paintwork, stay in the park! We looked at the Opera House in the morning and that was tremendous fun. It's rare to stay somewhere that you'll actually remember on a long trip, and even rarer to meet people who have their heart and soul in their jobs like these people do.

As you travel onwards - If you drive from Amargosa (resident population zero) to Vegas, where one hotel can hold the entire population of your home town, be prepared to be slightly overwhelmed! There was a petrol station, shop, and a park to have lunch in not too far down the road towards Vegas. The trip out to the Date farm was not worth the journey.

Room Tip: Just don't expect the room to be of a modern standard - it's a 'working antique' as...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kentucky
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

We chose this hotel because of its proximity to the entrance of the Death Valley National Park - and it was an an excellent choice in that regards. Members of my family wanted to ride their bikes into the park before daybreak and it proved to be wonderful for that endeavor. I must say that we were taken aback when we first arrived - the hotel was deserted when we arrived in the late afternoon. The manager had gone to take supper to Marta Becket herself! As another traveler commented, the cafe was not available (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays) so we had to drive to a small casino/restaurant/hotel in Nevada for food and other supplies. When we returned, there were a few other guests for the night, which made us feel a little more comfortable with staying in such a desolate place with no tv and very limited cell phone or internet service. However, my husband and son greatly enjoyed conversing in the hotel lobby that evening with travelers from Hungary. Our room was basic, but fine - clean, freshly painted, relatively cool, considering the 100+ degree temperature outside.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Tauranga, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2012

If you're a keen photographer, this place is great for taking photos. A Historic Hotel, it's worth staying just to peek in the rooms at the great artwork painted directly on the walls. Dinner was problematic ... as we were the only two guests at the time, the cafe staff "got bored" and went home, leaving us to drive across the state line to Nevada for a meal. We also had the issue of a faulty fire alarm set in the 18 foot high ceiling bleeping every 10 minutes the entire night. Nevertheless, there is now a keen preservation team putting new life into the place, and it is well worth having a night's rest here before heading on to Vegas.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orleans
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

A visit to the Armagosa Opera House and Hotel is truly a step into a bygone era, and also into the heart and mind of the woman who created the Opera House you see today, and who also painted murals in many of the rooms and public areas of the hotel.

Like any historical artifact, the Armagosa Opera House and Hotel are best appreciated by those who have some familiarity with the history and context of the piece. If you do a little advance reading, you may find yourself charmed, intrigued, or transported in time by your visit to this surprising destination in a lonely stretch of high desert. If you had the good fortune of having attended one of Marta Becket's performances in the Opera House, you have the pleasure of a peek into window of your own past--a mini personal time-warp.

Our room was spacious and minimally appointed with a mismatch of furniture and an assortment of linens. The air conditioner worked, and probably has been working for decades. The carpets and drapes were worn but clean, and the walls could use some fresh paint (our room wasn't one Marta Becket had decorated). The bathroom probably hasn't been updated since the 1930's, but everything worked, and was clean as possible, given the age of the appointments. Our beds were excellent, the room was quiet, and we were very comfortable.

Looking around the structure, you see walls that were probably constructed by local adobe bricks, kept standing by years of coats of whitewash and paint. The entry hall displays photos of the early days of the hotel, when it was controlled by the Borax mining barons and hosted the high society patrons of the day. Maintenance on a building like this has got to be endless, and I suspect the appointments of the rooms may take second fiddle to keeping the structure and basic services in good condition. The Hotel, Opera House, and surrounding property are all operated and maintained by the Armagosa Opera House Foundation, an organization started by Marta, herself.

If you're looking for Comfort Inn, or even Motel 6, don't come here. But if you are interested in a unique experience, a genuine step into a bygone era, and in becoming acquainted with the work of a very bold, creative and original woman, Marta Becket, you really shouldn't miss a stop or a stay at the Armagosa Opera House and Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CA, USA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

I understand the point of this place being "rustic" and staying true to its bygone era. However, there are some things that need to be corrected if they care about their guests. When we first stepped into our room, the first thing we noticed was that the wall a/c unit has 2 large holes in them. You can actually see outside through the holes. We went to the window and saw that the a/c grates have fallen through the rusted parts onto the ground outside.

Everything else is functional. As some other reviewers have pointed out, some beds actually sink a lot in the middle. Bathtub needs a mat as it does get very slippery. My child almost fell and hit her head on the exposed pipes. This is a safety hazard that needs to be addressed immediately.

The note behind the room door indicated that there'll be hot coffee, hot chocolate, tea and ice available in the dining room at all times. Only coffee and tea were available. In the morning, a lot of guests were milling around the reception area asking one another where they can get the free breakfast of toast and coffee. It wasn't until an hour or so had passed by that someone found out that we had to go to a cafe fronting the main road but not visible from the hotel to get that. It'll be helpful if the reception/check-in person gave concise information about things like that.

On a more positive note, the location can't be beat. It is a short drive outside of Death Valley. The hotel is surrounded by abandoned houses and is run down. Together with the small cafe, they are the only "live" places. I think the odd number rooms (with murals) were slightly better condition. Some things can be done to make it better without incurring too big a cost. The management should look into that.

Room Tip: Get rooms facing the front where you can park right outside your room. In the morning, take your ro...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2012

We just loved staying at this hotel. We booked it by coincidence because there was no vacancy within Death Valley - and after having been there we are so happy it turned out this way. We felt at home, we felt held by a warm, creative, soulful energy emanating from the whole place. To look at Marta Becket's paintings at the walls is way better than a television in the room.
We highly recommend this place to anybody who likes places that are not mainstream - and who resonates with the unique and soulfull.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Amargosa Opera House and Hotel

Address: HR-C 608 Death Valley Junction, Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park, CA 92328
Location: United States > California > Death Valley National Park > Death Valley Junction
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Death Valley Junction
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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Also Known As:
Amargosa Opera House Hotel Death Valley Junction
Amargosa Opera Hotel
Hotel Amargosa Opera
Amargosa Opera House And Hotel Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park, CA

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