It is often difficult to keep things in perspective when reviewing accommodations, especially when staying at "historic" places. Those places often have to have one foot in the past to satisfy the history buffs and the other foot in the present to satisfy our expectations of modern services and amenities.
We are not really "resort -style" travelers, and rarely make a hotel our destination. But this was what this trip was all about - we just wanted to experience La Posada. While there are just a few shortcomings with La Posada, I still had to give it 5 stars because of the overall experience. We stayed in Room 106, the Douglas Fairbanks room. It has two double beds, a desk area, and a small upholstered chair. It is in the west wing, facing the cottonwood grove, and on the first floor per my specific request. I have mobility issues and climbing stairs on a regular basis is very difficult. There is no elevator in the hotel, and no phones in the room - neither of which were problematic for us.
Cons: a step UP into tiny bathroom (but functional) with no place to "store" toiletries, touchy plumbing (we almost thought we'd have to call maintenance to unclog the toilet, but it eventually cleared on its own), and a poorly fitting A/C unit in the room's only window. It was cold while we were there, including snow, and we could feel a steady stream of cold air coming in around the A/C unit. But the heat worked very well.
One suggestion for our room - add a small throw rug for the tile floor area between the two beds...stepping on a cold tile floor before getting into bed is not so good.
Pros: Everything else!! This place is stunningly beautiful in every way. Even in the cold "dead" season of winter, with no green grass, colorful flowers, or leafy trees, the grounds were lovely. The little lights in many bushes and shrubs were a nice touch after dark. Back inside, we spent most of our 3 days exploring the many public areas of the hotel. It is crammed (but not in a negative way) with photographs, sculptures, paintings, pottery, baskets, and "knick-knacks" of all kinds. There are lots of cozy places to sit and read or just soak in the ambiance.
While I'm not sure what to call the beautiful public areas on the ground level I'll refer to them as the extended lobby. There really is no lobby per se...just lots of beautiful space with sofas, chairs and benches. You get a sense that you are in an art gallery while wandering these spaces. I sense that things on exhibit might be moved around or shuffled from area to area throughout the months and years.
There is beautiful large public area, up a half set of stairs, called the Ballroom. There is a cozy fireplace, lots of tables and chairs where you can play board games (stocked in room), enjoy art work, relax, read...whatever you desire. In the same area is another large public area that is a gallery for Ms. Mion's paintings. It is up a whole flight of stairs but I made it all the way up. There are places to sit and enjoy the art - no photography allowed.
There are 3 videos on loops that run in different parts of the extended lobby. The one in the intimate little room dubbed the library is about the ongoing restoration of the hotel and grounds. It's very interesting, and we bought a copy in the gift shop to bring home as we never saw the whole thing from end to end. We would catch parts at different times, but we will be able to enjoy the whole video at our leisure. In the main entry hallway, just outside the entrance to the gift shop/reception area, another video runs, telling the La Posada story in a dedication to Mary Coulter, the architect. We also bought a copy of that as it was my favorite. And in the Mion Gallery at the southern end of the extended lobby is a third video about the work of Tina Mion, co-owner of La Posada and artist extraordinaire.
The owners, Alan Affedlt and Ms. Mion, are friendly folks who actually live in the hotel. They are often seen taking their two adorable standard poodles out for walks. The hotel is very pet friendly and they welcome "well-behaved" furry guests.
All the staff we encountered were so friendly and helpful. Many are very knowledgeable about the hotel and surroundings. I went into the reception area to ask a question about an interior window featured in one of the looped videos running in the hotel. The gentleman at the desk didn't seem to know about it at first, but the more I described what the window looked like, the more he listened, and then pointed to a small window in the gift shop that opened out into the entry hallway - and that was just the on I was seeking! Another staff member who identified himself as a maintenance person, told me a wonderful story about the photograph of a huge Navajo rug that would soon be on display in the former train station adjacent to the hotel.
I could go on and on about the hotel, but my advice is to check it out and if possible allow several days to enjoy the experience. We hope to come back in another season to see how different our time might be. We didn't see all there was to see inside the hotel, and very little outside as it was very cold and snowy in later February. But we still enjoyed our visit immensely and look forward to another trip to Winslow.
Thank you to the owners and everyone involved with La Posada for rescuing this magical, sacred place from the wrecking ball, and making this little piece of heaven so accessible to the public. And thank you for providing an oasis from the crazy worlds most of us reside in in our daily lives. Someone in one of the La Posada videos commented about how there isn't much to do in Winslow, and he was right in the larger sense of things. But making Winslow a destination in order to see and stay at La Posada is a very good idea!
- 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