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“Great Historic Attraction but service not the best”

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Amargosa Opera House and Hotel
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
43 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great Historic Attraction but service not the best”
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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank KarolynTimarkos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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549 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
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Orleans
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank Coco D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CA, USA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jawayi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Merete H B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Old saybrook
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2012

We visited the first time when Marta was still doing her sitting down show. It was one of the first places we went together and had a wonderful time. The murals were what attracted us to visit the first time and we were not disappointed. There is something mystical about them and the entire place. We knew after our first visit we would return again...and we did. We wanted to see Marta again so when we read this would be her last year to perform we planned our return. We actually planned our vacation timing around staying here on a Saturday night so we could attend Marta's Sunday show. Unfortunately for us Marta stopped performing earlier than our arrival. That was perhaps our biggest disappointment. We definitely have an attachment to the place. I think it either gets to you inside or it doesn't...but maybe you just have to be open to the experience.

Room Tip: Book a room with murals
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank D L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2012

Amargosa has the hallmark chips, cracks, and haunting gaze of one that has hoped, lost, dared, and seen things that can't be unseen. You might be divebombed by bats. (only if you go looking for them) You will be bathed in golden sunlight and a brighter still Milky Way. The art and conversation are genuine. The pie will knock your socks off.

If you like Sunset Boulevard or Mulholland Drive, you'll love it here. The morning light casts a Silver Screen glow across the art deco bathroom tiles.

It feels like an artists' retreat.

Clean, peaceful, and a little edgy; this one's for the pure of heart.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Reno_Star
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, BC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2012

I agree with what has been written about this hotel, both the good and bad. Except for the bugs … that is an invention. The people are great. If you want a slice of local life, rather than a generic hotel experience, do not want to spend a lot of money, like home-cooked (they make their own almond butter, chips, salsa) well-priced meals, but are not after more than a clean bed, warm room and abundance of hot water, this is a good choice.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Heathwyn
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

Property: Amargosa Opera House and Hotel
Address: HR-C 608 Death Valley Junction, Death Valley Junction, CA 92328
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Death Valley Junction
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Death Valley Junction
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Amargosa Opera House and Hotel 2.5*
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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