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“DECENT BUT NOISY HIPSTER HOTEL” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Historic Hotel Congress

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The Historic Hotel Congress
311 East Congress Street, Tucson, AZ 85701   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #55 of 127 hotels in Tucson
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“DECENT BUT NOISY HIPSTER HOTEL”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2011

The Congress is in a convenient neighborhood, it's clean, the staff is ok, the rooms are small and spare (no TV) but overall the joint lacks the things I value in a hotel room - comfort and calmness.

The walls are paper thin, the bathroom is cramped, there's an active bar scene in the lobby and the train tracks are out back This makes a restful night difficult if you want to go to bed before 1am.

With its vintage charm and history I can see why people find it appealing but it's just not my thing. Not bad, just not my thing.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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153 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2011

I stayed at the Hotel Congress on the same weekend that there was a streetfair/"bar crawl containing numberous loud, amplified bands and tons of happy (and loud) attendees. My room (129 - the largest one in the hotel) was right on the main street that this "fiesta was held on (Congress Street, naturally). Needless to say, sleep was not really an option before 2AM, but that was expected. For those who are young or young at heart, I highly recommend the Hotel Congress.

The inadequately named "Cup Cafe" is really an excellent gourmet restaurant (I'd say 3 star at least). The menu contained many out of the ordinary offerings. (Try the "duck tacos" - they're great).

If you read the accomodations book in the room carefully, you'll learn that if you ask the front desk you can get 2 free drink tickets for staying. So don't forget. Note to the management - The bartender at the tap room on Friday night (9/30/2011) was taking my cash payments for drinks and ringing them up as "no sales". You might wanna look at your cash register records for an excessive amount of these "non-transactions" if you know what I mean.

The plumbing does suck and the place is old, but they have made some MAJOR improvements judging from older reviews. The new room AC works fine and my room had a very comfortable and obviously new(er) bed. Final note. I have kids. Don't take them here. This is an adult environment and they'll be bored to tears (although my 15 year old loved the street music and had his I-Phone to keep him company in absence of a TV.)

Room Tip: Room 129 has the best views of Downtown Tucson, but street traffic noise is going to bother light sl...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2011

Now this place has a lot to offer someone who is interested in learning a bit of history and values an authentic artistic atmosphere.The hotel has an amazing resturaunt downstairs with high quality food, and is located in the center of downtown Tucson. It gives you the oppurtunity to know the culture of Tucson and provides great service. As you step into the Historical vintage style hotel it allows you to escape the typical commercialized environment that you would usually expect from any other hotel. I for one had a great and memorable experience. With no tv in the room I was forced to do more than just sit in my room for entertainment.
I would definately go back and recommend it to my friends and family!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kansas City, Missouri
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011 via mobile

You cannot run a hotel without hot water. "The boiler's broken" doesn't cut it, not when you're continuing to accept and charge guests who expect at least a warm, if not hot, shower. And certainly not when the front desk person forgets to mention the broken boiler problem not only at check-in, but also not during the three additional conversations I had with him trying to figure out a place for dinner.

Once I was in my room for a few hours and went to wash my face, I discovereed no hot water. They offered to let me check out then and not be charged. A little late for that...

Neighborhood around the hotel is sketchy. Concierge has very little knowledge about the area and apparently little concern for guests' safety.

The "historic charm" they capitalize on isn't on par with other historic hotels who actually understand the meaning of "charm." The sparse furnishings of the rooms and the note on the wall about turning the air conditioner up to 78 when leaving the room doesn't, either. Hotel Congress seems to think "charm" means "cheap."

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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DaraHC, Manager at The Historic Hotel Congress, responded to this review, October 20, 2011
Dear Ariat X,

I apologize that you did not have hot water. The hot water system failed and was promptly replaced the following morning. Guests were offered a refund plus a guaranteed booking at a nearby hotel for the same rate. We are also sorry that you did not find the Hotel Congress charming. Most of our visitors enjoy their stay and characterize the hotel as charming!! Our rooms are furnished with period antiques and we consider our rates are reasonable. The Hotel Congress is located in downtown Tucson in the urban center near the University of Arizona. The demographics are diverse and not unlike similar urban centers. We are committed to our guests having a great experience and we are sorry you were dissatisfied.

Warm Regards,
Dara Oseran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarkdale, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2011

I originally booked my stay without a pet..but decided to bring along my Pug, Miso. I called to make this change and Abraham answered the call and took care of everything. He even took my cell # and called me back to confirm that all was set for us. I have stayed at Congress before actually above the club for a 5 day stay and enjoyed it thoroughly. If you're looking for niceties like microwaves , coffeemakers and televisions then this is NOT the place for you. But if like us you enjoy the nightlife and hustle of downtown you cannot go wrong. On our second day a manager actually checked in on us and complimented our cute little Pug. She was very gracious and we appreciated our request to not clean our room and to just bring towels for us daily was honored. This was done each day at the right time. We enjoyed a wonderful Sunday breakfast and the restaurant was top notch. Service was right on cue. Our last day I asked the front desk agent if we could receive a late check out and that I would even be happy to pay for a half day if necessary. Hannah never even made eye contact with me or checked to see what room I was staying in to see if there was someone pre blocked into our room. She simply quoted "policy" and offered me a 12 o clock check out instead of 11. It was beyond rude. I work at a four diamond resort in Sedona (L'Auberge de Sedona) and we do our utmost to grant these types of requests. To not ask what room I was in or even get a manager if she was incapable of assisting us on her own..wow.This really left a sour note on our stay. This is a prime example of how one person can ruin what was otherwise a very pleasant stay. We will not be back. Maybe an emphasis should be put on customer service at such a historic property and not policy.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaraHC, Manager at The Historic Hotel Congress, responded to this review, September 9, 2011
Dear Maria,

We appreciate your comments, as such comments help us to review our policies and improve our service. We noted that you seem to have truly enjoyed your stay prior to your check-out and we are grateful for that. As you are in the hotel business, you are aware that check-out policies relate to time required to clean the room and have it available for check-in for the next guest. However, such polices should be reconsidered especially when a guest such as you has offered to make a partial payment for the late check-out. We think under the circumstances the desk clerk should have contacted a manager if one was available to request a policy adjustment. Based on your comments we have changed our policy and informed our desk clerks of the new procedure. We hope that you will stay with us again.

Sincerely,

Dara Oseran
Hotel Congress Manager
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Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

Comfortable atmosphere in old hotel.
+ Good bar and crowded disco.
- No tv in room.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Peoria, Arizona
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

This place SUCKED. I was "warned" of the potential noise of my room as it was located directly above the nightclub. What the desk clerk didn't tell me was that not only was the room noisy but it was physically vibrating from the base of the nightclub. when I went down at around 1:15 am to ask the desk clerk about it, he had a " I could care less" attitude and said, literally, " you were warned." then said "don't worry, it will stop at 2 am." HOWEVER.. Then starts the AFTER club noise and the screaming drunk idiots pouring out of the bar and club and the cars squealing their tires and the police sirens and the extensive noise from Congress street. This carries on till roughly 3:30. So, all in all, the stay was a nightmare. The room was smaller than my closet at home. The bathroom was so small, I could sit on the toilet and brush my teeth at the same time. The bed was warped in the middle. The room was however immaculately clean. The walls were thin. The hallway noise was too much. I guess if you go here, the weekend isn't a good time. If you're older than 25, you may not want this place. Historic old hotel, fine... But the rest of this stuff made my trip miserable. NO sleep. And... To top it all off, the room was a hair under $90 bucks! Oh well.... I guess if give a rip about staying in the hotel that Dillinger got arrested in, then this place is great.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
DaraHC, Manager at The Historic Hotel Congress, responded to this review, July 30, 2011
Thank you so much for your feedback about your current stay with us. We are sorry that you did not enjoy your time at Hotel Congress. There are many challenges to running an historic, boutique hotel, which many guests appreciate, but we understand your frustrations and are happy that the cleanliness of your room was up to your standards. We are always finding ways to update our beautiful building, and noise control is at the top of our list. Our award winning music venue and night club create an energy in the hotel that we would never want to part with, but we completely understand that the noise it creates presents some discomfort to the rooms directly above them. As we continue to better insulate the upstairs, we suggest that guests who are sensitive to this issue reserve a room on the opposite side of the building (the west end), or one of our interior cactus garden rooms. In our efforts to preserve one of Tucson’s historical treasures, we work diligently at preserving it’s 1920s features, and resist tampering with the size of the rooms, however we do offer corner rooms (with two full sized-beds) that are substantially larger in size. We hope that the next time you are in Tucson, you will afford us another chance to give you a meaningful and enjoyable stay at Hotel Congress. Please contact me at dara@hotelcongress.com if you come through again.

Best wishes,
Dara Oseran
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Additional Information about The Historic Hotel Congress

Address: 311 East Congress Street, Tucson, AZ 85701
Location: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Tucson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Congress is listed on the National Historic Hotel Registry. We pride ourselves on the many unique features we offer that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. This historic Tucson hotel transports you back in time. Some cynical city-slicker types might notice the absence of a television in any of our 40 rooms and feel slighted. But it’s intentional – we strive to maintain the Hotel’s original ambiance – from the iron bed to the vintage radio, from the comforting rumble of the nearby iron horse to the retro-style phone that actually connects to a switchboard at the front desk. All rooms are uniquely designed offering an original experience every time and unlike most historic hotels, all rooms have private bathrooms, free high speed internet, and a private guest lounge.The lounge offers our patrons a large-screen television with unlimited channels as well as free computer access. You can also enjoy the exclusive outdoor patio, where you can soak-up the Tucson sunshine year round. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Congress Hotel Tucson

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