Not often, but every once in a while, you have a hotel or restaurant experience that leaves you confused about how you feel about your experience. This is the case with our recent stay at La Posada in Winslow, Arizona.
We were on a drive from California to Oklahoma to visit family, and planned to return via Colorado (Route 70). On the way out we wanted to take a little time and explore Route 66. I grew up within 60 yeards of the mother road and have always felt a special affinity for it and it's place in history. Any 66 buff will tell you that Winslow plays a role in the history of the highway so as I lay out the route and timing I thought of checking hotels there. To my suprise, up popped information about LaPosada. It seemed ideal. I wanted my wife to enjoy this trip as much as I planned to. The more I read about the re-birth of this historical railroad hotel the more I became convinced. We booked it and added it to our list of highly anticipated experiences. We were not disappointed in our expectations which were mostly focused on the history and fabulous decorating the current owners had done. They have filled the hotel with art, mostly from the region, and there is a well thought out designer's touch in every room. However, what we had not expected to have disappointment with service. It starts with the arrival. The main entrance is not well lit or marked and we arrived after dark. It took a few minutes to find our way. At the desk we learned there was no help with the baggage and that we would have to transport it from the cobblestoned parling area to our room.
When we finally got to the room we found it wasn't very clean. First of all there was a long hair in the bathroom sink. There was no complimentary drinking water and the water from the tap was, for previously stated reasons, unappetizing. In addition we found the furniture Complimentary supplies (soap, shampoo, etc. was really third rate cheap or non existant. The room itself, howeverwas nicely decorated and cosistent with the rest of the hotel which was gorgeous. After dropping our bags we strolled over to the main lobby area and took a seat in the bar. It took us a long time to figure out that we had to approach the bar to get a drink. The bartender was a pleasant older woman that seemed to need an assist but one was not available. We snagged a couple of martinis and waited for our seating in the dining room. The service in the dining room was quite good actually with a helpful waiter. Furthermore, it wasn't too very long to get served. At this point it all fell apart. I had selected a classic provencial dish: Cassoulet, and in this instance it was served with a chicken drumstick The beans used were not the traditional haricut and the substituted kidney beans were incredibly salty. Instead of french sausage there was a single link of what I thought was breakfast sausage. There was also roasted pigeon, and for added punch a thick roasted venizon shank. All of the meats were inferior in my opinion but worse, it had all been overcooked. Hardly in a position to help the heavily salted beans. We skipped dessert and left as soon as possible. Then came one of the surprises of the evening. Upon exiting the dining room after having left more than half our food on the plates out of lost desire, the surprise came when stepping into the main foyer, There we found a young man playing classical guitar for the guests and giving a recital worthy of Julian Bream. Most impressive was his original compositions we suspect designed with some influence by Tortelli, We sat and listened for quite a while. His music soothed my anger from the botched dinner. The guitarist's name is Khent K. Anantakai. He is a Navajo with a penchant for classical music. He is definitelly accomplished enough to record which I hope to someday hear about. After the exquisite and impromptu recital, we repared to our bedroom to get some sleep. The room was comfortable, and so were the beds, but the covers are those old fashioned breadspread that are likely not to be very clean after a few guests have used it.
The next morning was a reversal of the check in procedure. i.e. haul your bags across cobble stone in a rickety cart provided by the hotel. We were happy to make our escape but memorys of how beautiful the hotel was and the fantastic guitar work of Khent has faded some of our discontent with the place. You might consider that this is a good hotel to take your wife (or girlfriend) to for a romantic hideout. The hotel itself is definitely a romantic venue. You might check first to see if Khent is playing his romantic Spanish guitar. Then., if you should decide to dine in the hotel be sure to get a reservation. Then select a simple dish that the chef can't foul up too easily and when he does there is no room for argument. We think the LaPosada offers good value as romantic cultured getaway but in environs that are spartain other then rooms full of magnificent art. (Be sure to take your own toiletries. LaPosada offers none. You may also want to bring some music and a player to your room. LaPosada's TV set up is very lean indeed. Finally, there are no telephones in the room. If you want pampering and spa, obsequious service, and you want everyone to remeber your name, you should go to the Springs or Vegas. But at LaPosada you will save considerably over those two alternatives, and you will score points with your better half.
One other point: LaPosada seems to hold pets in hig
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel La Posada
- La Posada Hotel Winslow
- La Posada Winslow Az