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“If You Love Museums” 3 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
Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“If You Love Museums”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

What a strange little place out in the middle of nowhere. Dusty, musty, run down opera house and museum with loads of desert charm. We had a tour of the rooms, the wall paintings were fantastic. If you are adventurous and love out of the way places, with some amazing history. This is the place for you.

Room Tip: Very dusty here. The wind blows all the time.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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369 reviews from our community

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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 (49)
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Holland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

First of all, let me say I am all for historic character and charm. I am always looking for places to stay that reflect the nature of the area, unique, etc, so this place should have been right up my alley. However, when it comes down to it I do have some basic standards for hygiene and cleanliness!!! This place did not meet them The woman who reclaimed this place is an amazing creative soul, and the paintings she left behind are charming. The opera house and all its' murals are definitely worth a look. However, she needed to find a good maintenance man and and a reasonable cleaning lady, and these are apparently difficult to find in this out of the way spot out in the desert, apparently. The first thing you notice when you walk in is an overpowering stench of something vile that permeates the lobby and hallways (was it sewage or was it mildew? My nose said it was mildew, but is this possible in one of the driest places on earth? I'm not sure). Once you get to the room, this initial impression is followed by that of a filthy carpet, incredibly decrepit furniture, and yellowed bedsheets. I was just hoping there was nothing in the room that was catching, if you know what I mean. The plumbing in the bathroom looked to be original to the building, which was built in 1927--although there did seem to be adequate hot water. We got zero room service during the three nights we stayed there. Really, if you can afford it, stay in the park, if you can't, it's worth the 30 minute drive to Pahrump to stay in a chain hotel!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ilfracombe
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

Well,what to say about this place! had I stayed in this hotel in say India or Nepal I wouldn't have been surprised at the overall shoddy upkeep. The hotel is themed as an opera house which on first appearances seemed quite quaint and novel. But once through the front door I was hit with the foulest smell of what I can only imagine was bad drains. the rooms weren't that much better,the carpets were filthy,there was visible rising damp around all of the walls the paint and the wallpaper were peeling giving the impression that this hotel was perhaps nice once but has long since past it's sell by date! the bed however even though looked like it had seventies sheets and cover was actually quite comfortable. In the morning however I found the shower to not be working in the antiquated bathroom. but,upon complaining i was immediately offered profuse apology and an immediate full refund. the staff were very friendly but the general upkeep of the place in my opinion was shocking. I do not expect to find a thick layer of dust all over the flat surfaces in reception. To some up,this is possibly one of the worst hotels I have stayed in outside of a third world country.

Room Tip: Avoid this hotel if you are looking for cleanliness,Don't be taken in by the well presented web...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Camas, Washington
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

My experience at the Hotel is about 20 yrs old, fair warning. I first saw it in the '91 movie Delusion and was intrigued by the lonely location in the desert. (I love the deserts of the Southwest.) I finally made it to Death Valley Junction in the early/mid '90's on a road trip from Hwy 395 to Vegas, and got a room. At the time, only about 5 rooms were habitable, and the others were in various states of rehabilitation or just dilapidated and unused. I didn't know at the time about the rumors of the hotel being haunted, and I didn't have any related run-ins during my overnight stay.

I wasn't able to dine at the cafe since I was gone on a day trip until late, but the minimal wait staff (who doubled as hotel reception) were friendly and made me feel welcome. My room was simple, clean and quaint, and since I'm into vintage, retro and just plain historic, I wasn't bothered by decades-old stucco. I did wander out into the inner hall later in the evening and was struck by how dang quiet it was, but then, I might have been one of the very few guests staying there that evening. My lodging at the time was about $35, a downright steal in today's market. I was struck by the zen austerity of the locale and strayed outside to take more than a few pix of the entrance, main bldg and opera house, both in the afternoon light and later in the evening. (I'll dig up the pix someday and add them here.)

I regretted missing a performance by Marta, and sad to hear that she's finally hung up her pointe shoes. (I did chance to see her chatting with others in the parking area.) She was probably one of the main tourist draws, and I hope that the hotel continues to flourish. (See the documentary "Amargosa," if you can.) It's in a very remote location, but wouldn't it be great if a school dance troupe took the opera house on as a unique (seasonal) opportunity to carry on the tradition? Just a thought.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Big Bear Region, California
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

This property is well kept and very pretty. The size is overwhelming. There is a restaurant onsite so no need to go anywhere. Everything you need is right there.

This is a beautifully well kept piece of history that is not be missed. If you go there expecting 5 star, you're gonna be very disappointed. It's clean, it's comfortable and the most amazing thing about this property is the staff. They go out of their way to make you comfortable.

But the most amazing thing about Amargosa is that it's haunted. Not every part of it, just the area that is not renovated. If you enjoy ghost hunting, this is the place!

Peaceful, relaxing and quiet sums up our experience and we'll go again and again! Thank you for such a great experience.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Lakewood, Colorado
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

First, the facts
1. The dates of my stay were Jan 7, 2014 through Jan 20, 2014.
2. My name is Laneita from Lakewood CO; I'm 65, married, and have two dogs.
3. I'm an artist housewife;

This was my third stay at the Amargosa. After my second stay, I had felt drawn to come back and paint for two weeks. But, of course, when I got home, the home world kicked in, and the idea faded away. This was 4 years ago.

Through a series of "synchronicities" (aka "the grace of God"), the idea of returning there and painting for two weeks came to me with a force. My opinion is that these synchronicities are the effect of Marta's influence on me. Her willingness and courage to listen to her creative voice encourages me to listen to my creative voice, too.

Here's my first impression: Rather than feeling like I was staying in a hotel, I felt like I was a temporary member of a community. I was solo, and so, of course, I was a bit nervous. The people running the hotel, as well as the people running the restaurant were warm and friendly and helpful. For instance, Amy, who works at the restaurant, was always willing to share stories about the history of Amargosa. (Amy has known Marta since she was 8; and she's a walking/talking history book of Amargosa. She knew Tom Willet (Marta's partner on the stage, and town maintenance man ("Will get")), and she said that he was every bit as much a character off the stage as on the stage.)

There's something about the Armagosa that is difficult to put into words. You have to see for yourself how Marta has brought beauty and artistry to this place. The opera house should be a candidate for one of the wonders of the world. This place is like a living history book. You can almost walk back into history. While sitting outdoors in the Colonnade, it was like going back in time. There is a lot of rich history about the hotel, the Borax mine, Zane Grey's visit that led to him writing a magazine article, which in turn prompted the Pacific Coast Borax Mining Company to build the Amargosa Hotel which provided the miners and their families with better living conditions.

Marta has taken an abandoned property and given it a facelift. If you think you're going to the Ritz, or even Motel 6 (in terms of modern facilities), then you'll be disappointed. Everything worked fine ... that's the main thing. I didn't come to this place for luxury, or to be pampered. There are plenty of places that offer that, and plenty of times when I want to go to those places, too. But what this place gives you is something that you cannot find at very places: atmosphere, history, and a view into the way life used to be. As it has been said by others, "It's like another world."

My wish for this place in the future is that it become a spiritual and artists retreat and center.

Sincerely,

Laneita

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

I found this hotel and town charming, historically and artistically valuable, and unique. If you take ANY time to delve into the surroundings and talk to the staff, you will be shown a town that stands proud against the ravages of time, abandonment, seasonal flooding, and more. The hotel is nearly 100 years old and is run as a non profit corporation. You do the math. If you have an issue with the sulfur scent throughout the structures, then you shouldn't even come to death valley. The whole desert is alkaline! Duh!
Look, we all have the right to express our opinions but reading some of these previous comments I get personally offended. If you are just looking for a cheap stop on your way to death valley, then yeah... the hotel is NOT for you. But if do your homework ahead of time, you know what to expect and you'll find yourself in a serene, humble environment.

A traveler looking to enjoy life's exquisitely random adventures SHOULD visit the amargosa opera house and hotel!

Room Tip: one side of the hotel opens up to the colonnade, the other side shows the vast fields behind the pro...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmargosaOperaHotel, Guest Relations Manager at Amargosa Opera House and Hotel, responded to this review, April 9, 2014
Dear Jennifer,
Thank you for your kind review of the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel. We are delighted you enjoyed your time learning about Death Valley Junction's rich history. We look forward to your next stay!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Death Valley Junction
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
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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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