Truly one of Arizona's great architectural treasures!! A place that every one should stay in for at least one night. The historic La Posada Hotel and Railroad stop for the Santa Fe railroad is a piece of Arizona's history that combines Harvey House hotel history with the Santa Fe RR with Mary Colter (the architect for Fred Harvey and the builder of the La Posada) with American Indian history (Winslow is near a preserved Anasazi ruins) and several other tangents. Mary Colter also designed the Santa Fe RR dining car's pottery dinner service - the highly prized Mimbreno pieces (using actual designs from the Anasazi Minbres indians of south-western New Mexico) sought by collectors today, as well as several structures on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The La Posada was visited and influenced by several famous people in American history of that time, including Charles Lindbergh, who designed Winslow's nearby airport, and Thomas Molesworth, the Cody, Wyoming furniture designer who traveled to Arizona in the 30's to purchase Navajo rugs for his cowboy-themed interior designs for the rich and famous. Mary Colter designed the hotel with a rich Spanish landowner's sprawling hacienda in mind. The hotel, once converted to Santa Fe RR offices and then nearly torn down, was lovingly and accurately restored and preserved by a buyer from California who saved the grand old lady from destruction. From the Spanish themed long hallways and the archways connecting halls to the main room, to the wrought iron fixtures, to the terracotta tiles and sandstone flooring used liberally throughout, you can feel like you are actually standing in the hotel in the 1920's. For you Eagles fans, right down the street is the "Standing on a Corner in Winslow Arizona" park. The hotel also includes at least one dining area, I think a little pricy but easily forgiven considering the setting. I've stayed there several times, once with my younger son. We were having breakfast at a table near a window facing the tracks when a train went by. I was amazed at how quiet it remained!! Mary must have planned for the heavy beasts and built her structure accordingly, because there was barely a whisper of the otherwise roaring train as it passed by just a few hundred feet away. And one of the best parts, the rooms are relatively inexpensive. I think it's been under $100 per night each time I've stayed. I seem to recall in the $89 or $99 area, maybe less. The hotel also has several "quiet" areas where one can sit and read a book or visit quietly with friends or family. There is a great room off to one side with a fireplace that contains several pieces of original or period pieces of appropriately designed furniture. There is at least one long and wide hallway with lots of seating and an outdoor courtyard with shade trees and lots of seating. it has been pretty easy for me and my family, each time we've visited, to find plenty of privacy and solitude.
Do I have anything negative to say about the place? Only this, and please forgive me because this will directly insult the people who have done so much to make the La Posada experience even possible..... Like a bad coat of paint, this once fine old lady has been covered up with gaudy, cheap and tacky kitsch to the point that one can barely picture the once beautiful structure I defined earlier. Like putting cake makeup and thick red lipstick on an old wrinkled face, and hanging gaudy costume jewelry from the ears and neck, this hotel is now littered with cheap Mexican touristy items and the walls are almost completely obscured by inappropriate paintings. By inappropriate, I do not pass judgment on the quality or value of the paintings. I say they do not belong on the walls of such a historic place. They are horribly out of place. A few, in the early days of restoration, could be tolerated or even appreciated - as they are by the wife of the man who has done the fine work described above. The La Posada is, for all intents, their home. That they even let us share in their home is an honor and privilege not to go unrecognized. But I think they have forgotten their mission, defined in a CD that they sell (well worth the money and a view of the earlier La Posada I described above) that shows his pride and proudly boasts of their accomplishments of preserving the La Posada. Like a frog in water that is slowly brought to boil, I fear that the owners and managers have added clutter to the walls over the years to the point today that the La Posada is buried under layers of ugly make-up and thick red lipstick and they don't even know what they have done! I beseech them to take a step back and look at what they have done!!! There is great joy in visiting the historic structures from the historic American west. The Gadston Hotel in Douglas, the Copper Queen in Bisbee, the Hassayampa Inn in Prescott, the El Tovar at the Grand Canyon. The La Posada is one of these fine historic places, but it is getting harder and harder to see her for what she is, under all of the clutter of what she has become.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Posada (1930) is the masterpiece of architect Mary Colter, hotelier Fred Harvey and the Santa Fe Railway. This was the last great railway hotel built in America, and the finest historic hotel on Route 66. National Landmark building and gardens, famous art collection, and one of the best restaurants (The Turquoise Room) in the southwest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel La Posada
- La Posada Hotel Winslow
- La Posada Winslow Az