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“Stands out from the rest” 4 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
Los Angeles, California, United States
1 review
“Stands out from the rest”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Despite some negative reviews, my girlfriend and I decided to brave the 'horrors' of the Amargosa. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot of the hotel, we knew that we were in love. The hallway is filled with portraits on its walls and the rooms are charming with painted-on headboards above comfortable beds. It's almost impossible to get cellphone service there with AT&T--which we felt was a blessing. There are no TVs in the rooms for maximum relaxation. You'll find chairs and tables outside of rooms to help you enjoy your complimentary morning coffee from the cafe. We can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Get a room facing the parking lot.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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325 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (40)
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English first
Lévis
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

I just can't believe people found something good to say about that place. The place is a ruin, the owners have not invested one cent in the last 50 years at renovating the place. I got there after a long day of driving and I could not believe how bad it was smelling, it was just gross. They carpets have not been cleaned for years, the place is ugly, so on so forth. There is nothing that justify the price of $85, this is completely ridiculous.

The only thing I must admit the sheets were not dirty, but next time I will drive an extra 15 miles to Furnace Creek, I will pay twice as much but I will have a descent place to sleep over.

Don't go, stay away from Amargosa Opera House, it is not worth $25 a night!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Death Valley Junction hotels

Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Our experience was unexpectedly shocking from the moment we walked in. We were greeted with the receptionist saying, "We have a few issues." Walked in to an awful-smelling hallway (imagine an overpowering mold-ridden smell) and were shown the first issue: a room with the door knob and lock smashed out of the door. We were then shown the second issue: our second room had no electricity. Apparently a big wedding a few nights before had blown out the electricity in all of the right-side rooms of this "hotel." We slept shivering by candlelight with a space heater powered by a long extension cord leading from the room to an outside generator....in freezing mid-December!! Our experience included dirty sheets, crumbling walls, and no discount for the terrible inconveniences. In the morning, the first room only had scathing hot water because the December winter air had frozen the cold water pipes on the roof of this "hotel." The only positives of this place are its interesting history/story and surrounding scenery. We later found Stovepipe Wells Village Inn and wished we would've known earlier to stay there instead. This place cannot be considered a hotel or even a motel. We felt like we were basically camping.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We’ve been to Vegas any number of times (always to attend or speak at industry conferences – never to fritter our money away in the company of drunken revelers), and we have always used it as a starting point for adventure. This time our destination was Death Valley and the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel was definitely a high point. After our first day of hiking in the national park, we spent the night at the hotel. Driving into the national park, and again on the way back out, we passed a small herd of wild horses. (For miles and miles along the roads of the area, signs warned us to “watch out for wild horses and burros” and sure enough – there they were.) Come to find out, even though these 6 horses are indeed still “wild”, they have sense enough to come close to the Amargosa for extra feed from time to time. (Their schedules are their own, but mornings and dusk seem to be good times to see them up close.) The same evening that we explored the historic Opera House, we actually got an opportunity to stand in desert scrub out in the middle of nowhere literally feeding wild horses out of our hands! You certainly don’t get an opportunity like that at the Ramada Inn.

That same evening, we set the alarm for 2 a.m. and walked out with our night vision goggles (yes, we do plan ahead. We figured Death Valley would be remote enough to present an interesting “night vision” experience and we were not disappointed.) All we had to do was turn the corner by the café to be in total darkness. And with the absence of city lights, we were treated to a stunning stellar view. So many stars, and so bright, that we had to really struggle just to identify the big dipper and Orion’s belt (always clearly visible at home). This starscape rivals experiences we have had in the middle of Zion National Park, on remote beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula and out-of-the-way locations at various Caribbean islands. These two experiences alone would have been more than enough to make this a truly wonderful stay (and that’s not even counting the step back in time to the Opera House with its hand-painted walls of perpetual spectators – because the resident prima ballerina got tired of playing to a less than full house – its ornate ceiling and sets, and, of course, the pot-bellied stove to keep patrons comfy during winter performances).

But that’s not all. Many of the things noted in other reviews are, to a greater or lesser extent, accurate. The Hotel and Opera House are old. Old adobe. Yes, old adobe does tend to get a bit musty. And yes, old adobe settles and sometimes (or rather, eventually) the paint does crack a bit. If we were at a Holiday Inn Express, these would be bigger problems. Here, when you step into a lobby with interesting murals on the walls, a display case of 60 years of performance memorabilia from the Opera House, and an overwhelming feeling of a hacienda where John Wayne’s characters would have been right at home in many of his more interesting movies, you are moving into the heart and soul of a very interesting place. Is the internet access “spotty” at best? Yes. Is the cell coverage nonexistent? Yes (It’s hard to imagine what it would cost to build out a decent cell tower this far into the middle of nowhere). So, OK, if you can’t leave your “Masters of the Universe” personality at home, this is not going to be your place.

And yes, by modern standards, the rooms are small. So are the bathrooms. But we simply could not pass up the opportunity to stay in a room with a fancy headboard literally painted on the wall (complete with cherubs). And we happen to love what could only be described as a grotto-type shower, complete with a very high skylight (which in the original days most likely housed a water barrel on the roof – all you have to do is look around with open eyes and just a little bit of imagination to see what once was, and what once was must have been truly fascinating).

We don’t mind the little notes reminding us that the plumbing is ancient, or that the housekeeping staff can’t move all our belongings aside to make the bed if we leave the room in complete disarray (remember: Death Valley Junction – population 4. Things take some time out here, and there is a lot to be done by not too many individuals.)

Oh, and if you experienced rudeness from Staff, you might want to ask yourself what attitude you, yourself, walked in with. Everyone we encountered was very friendly, helpful – dare I say it, “real people; nice people”. The Café was open every time we wanted to eat (two huge lunches and one huge breakfast). And, although it wouldn’t be wise to eat this way every day, the Death Valley Junction (DVJ) cheeseburger – with lots of bacon and tons of jalepenos – was the best black angus burger we have come across. And personally, we loved being served by the fellow who actually made our meal because the waitress (who is also with the volunteer fire department) had to literally run out to assist at the scene of an accident down the road.

Look, we’ve been perfectly happy at Auberge du Soleil, several Ritz Carltons, tentalupas on Gulf of Mexico beaches and everything in between. We understand stellar service, and we appreciate one-of-a-kind experiences as well. There are hundreds of chain hotels out there but there is only one Amargosa Opera House and Hotel -- and we would not have missed this for anything in the world.

Room Tip: Go with Room 15 -- it's the one with the cherubs headboard; just about dead center of the hotel...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice Beach
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

We wanted to like this hotel a lot - and it has a lot going for it: easy access to Death Valley National Park, great architecture, wonderful murals in public spaces and in the rooms, interesting history, a friendly staff, pretty good bed, adequate space heater, reasonable towels and sheets. But the smell of sewer gas in the corridors and rooms, the mat of long hair curled around the shower drain, the used washcloths on the shower curtain rod, and the dusty un-vacuumed carpet were enough to unbalance the charm and tip us in the direction of not wanting to stay there again - and to recommend it only cautiously to others. That said, it has to be hard to run a place like this in this location - and we slept well. The cafe, on the other hand, was not good, and it's the only choice other than bringing your own food...or eating in the Park.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Hamilton, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

The Amargosa provides simple, clean accommodations, and long-lasting memories. The staff is friendly. Our room was spare, but it was clean had everything we needed. There is a dining room where you can eat, but you have to bring your own food, and 24 hr coffee, tea and hot chocolate they provide, along with morning toast. The cafe on premises has limited hours. The Amargosa stands out because of its uniqueness. We met several European tourists, and the atmosphere was friendly and sociable among the guests. It is about 13 miles from the entrance to Death Valley National Park. I would certainly stay there again.

Room Tip: Room 7 is nice, but it takes several minutes for the shower water to get hot. The area is remote, s...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 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.
San Diego, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

We visited this hotel some days ago. We were very impressed about its history and in special about Opera House which had a honor to present the faimous ballerina Marta Becket. We are very sorry that we didn't meet her, in special that she is the owner, to say her how good job she did in the idea to paint each room and Opera. We enjoyed in Death Valley and in the hotel where
the staff was very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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 Amargosa Opera House and Hotel

Also Known As:
Amargosa Opera House Hotel
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
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Death Valley Junction
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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