Magical La Posada in Winslow, Arizona

La Posada in WinslowLa Posada in Winslow, Arizona is one of those places that keeps drawing you back. Located in the rough and tumble Route 66 railroad town of  Winslow, Arizona, La Posada is an art hotel with roots in the Harvey House era. La Posada is steeped in history that has continually changed and evolved from gracious hacienda to the Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter inspired beautiful hotel of today.

Getting to La Posada
La Posada is less than an hour east of Flagstaff, Arizona. Just slow down a bit as you travel I-40 across the flat grasslands of northern Arizona and take the exit for historic Winslow. Follow Route 66 and you will be there!

Visiting La Posada
You’ll want to spend a minimum of two nights. La Posada is filled with history, art and charm. With two nights, you’ll have ample time to enjoy the Turquoise Room Restaurant, tour the property and learn more about the history and art. When you check in, you’ll be given a great pamphlet with walking tour and point by point information. Videos, located in the lobby, provide visitors with information on the careful restoration of the property and, in another room, you’ll see a video by Tina Mion featuring her art.

Each of the bedrooms at La Posada is unique and have a Spanish Hacienda feel.  Rooms are named after previous famous guests. Furnishings range from Mexican rustic to fine antiques and include original pieces the owners have reacquired.

There are hammered tin or tile mirrors, wrought iron lamps and heavy wooden writing tables or desks. Tiled bathrooms are reminiscent of the old railway hotels.

Rooms range from $119 to suites with a Jacuzzi tub which are $149 per night. (2011)

My favorite La Posada amenities are the gardens and the trains that pass along the tracks behind the hotel. Who cares what type of toiletries are offered when you have such interesting surroundings!

Few hotels can boast both a museum and art gallery as amenities, but then, La Posada is special. All rooms have televisions with cable access. Wi-Fi is available in the lobby. Bring your own laptop. Pets are allowed for a fee. They can enjoy the huge grassy lawn in back of the hotel.

No smoking allowed in guest rooms. All guest rooms have private baths. The views are South to the Santa Fe trains, West overlooking the Cottonwood grove and main lawn, interior to the Secret Garden, or North to Route 66 and the entry drive.

Martini Lounge
You’ll want to dine in the Turquoise Room so be sure and make a reservation. Go down early for a drink in the cozy Martini Bar. The bar stools (you have to try them) have soft swivel seats covered with soft leather. They serve specialty drinks. I highly recommend their Margaritas. But then, I am not a Martini fan.

The Turquoise Room Restaurant
For a real taste of the Southwest, don’t miss the cuisine served in the Turquoise Room. Styled after Mary Colter’s Harvey House dining room, the Turquoise Room has beautiful turquoise beamed ceilings and Spanish style wooden chairs. Booths line the room.

I always look forward to the regional cuisine artfully created by Chef John Sharpe. You may savor the Navajo-raised lamb or some Harris Ranch beef. We enjoyed some of the best southwest cuisine we have experienced, and in such an out of the way place! And for those who don’t want the zip of pepper and the savory taste of fresh cilantro, there are some Harvey House classics and sizzling steaks also available. And yes, of course, there are some great vegetarian entrees.

La Posada GateLa Posada History
When you approach La Posada, you will see the new gardens. Each season brings a different look. In summer I enjoyed the Hollyhocks in the walled garden. In fall I was thrilled to see pumpkins and corn in the front garden.

Once you understand the history of La Posada, it will become clear that the current owners, Allan Affelt and artist Tina Mion, had a marvelous vision for the building which once housed railroad offices. They decided not to recreate the era of the Harvey House, but to develop a collection of art, history and beauty. This eclectic look just flows together beautifully to remind us of the value of maintaining historic buildings and their contents while looking forward to the beauty of contemporary times.

La Posada was once a stately hacienda. Eventually, the property flowered under the direction of architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, who was contracted by the Harvey Company. This phase was an exciting time but over time, passenger trains succumbed to car travel and so did the beautiful La Posada Hotel.

The railroad gutted the building and used it for administrative and rail traffic control. It declined further and almost was torn down. Fortunately the current owners, with an eye for art and a love for history, purchased the property and began the never-ending work of revitalization.

There are other old buildings which we hope will be restored. Across the street you’ll find an old Harvey touring car (Detours) garage and a small diner.

You’ll Want to Return Too
Visit La Posada, stay awhile, and you too will be entranced. There is always something changing at La Posada. One time I arrived to find the gift shop expanded and the next year, I found The Turquoise Room had outgrown its boundaries. With each change, especially the gardens, La Posada becomes lovelier.

More Information
La Posada Hotel website.
Address: La Posada Hotel, 303 E. Second Street (Route 66), Winslow, Arizona 86047
Map: La Posada

Photo Credit: Elizabeth R. Rose


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