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“I'ts bad , really bad”

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Amargosa Opera House and Hotel
Reviewed April 12, 2013

We booked two months in advance to stay at this hotel for one night, when we arrived we were told by the proprieter that he had gave our rooms to a wedding party and that we could go seven miles further down the valley and stay at a casino in nevada. at first we were pretty cheesed off (and thats putting it mildly ). Before we left we decided to take a look around the place, this place is a slum, Prisoners in awful prisons have better rooms than this dump, it was the dirtiest smelliest hotel I have ever visited. We were very lucky that this guy gave our rooms away and had a lucky escape. Avoid this place like the plague, of course you dont have to take my advice, you could always go there and see it for yourself, but you would be truly dissapointed and wish you had'nt wasted your time and fuel.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank poolyp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 7, 2013

I'm all for charming and run down but filthy, no sir.

When we arrived I couldn't find anyone but a walk down the hall with all doors open presumably because rooms were being "cleaned" showed ratty stained mattresses, thin old stained pillows, cracked walls, boarded up windows and more of the ancient uneven carpet from the hall. When we were shown to a clean room, there was gravel and sand all over the floor. I was pretty sure we'd get TB or fleas if we stayed so we opted to drive 6 hours home instead.

It's clear the owners don't care at all about the upkeep of the place and are just milking every last cent they can. The room we paid for but did not stay in cost us $90 while the lovely clean posh room from the night before in Vegas was $75. They ought to be ashamed. The place could be a real gem if someone with heart had it.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank HeidiinItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Zache D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 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
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3  Thank Beagleslover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank MCAtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank cmh12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank VBGuy43
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

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: $77 - $99 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Amargosa Opera House and Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The complex which houses the Amargosa Hotel, Opera House & Cafe was built in 1923 by the Pacific Coast Borax Co. The town of Death Valley Junction was established in 1907 with the Tidewater Tonopah Railway line, which carried Borax from the area to southern California. By 1940, the last train had run through the area after which the town had several owners. Then, in 1967, while waiting for a tire repair at the gas station, Marta Becket (a dancer from New York City), came upon the old community hall. She said it called to her and said, "I offer you life". After making arrangements with the town manager, Marta and her husband agreed to pay $45/month rent and make the necessary repairs. They began work a few months later after moving permanently to the Junction and Marta had her first performance on February 10, 1968. Later that year, Marta began painting the walls and ceiling of the Opera House, which took her 6 years to complete. Marta performed at her Opera House for nearly 50 yrs. ... more   less 
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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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