Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

La Posada Hotel: A Restored Gem and a Great Retreat in Winslow, AZ

AdventureMan was stunned. “Tell me again how you found this place?” he asked, incredulously. I’m embarrassed at how easy it was. When I was looking at places we wanted to go, AdventureMan had mentioned the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest, so I had Googled “really cool hotel near Petrified Forest” and LaPosada popped up in a TripAdvisor reference. I’m embarrassed at how easy it is to get information these days. 🙂

Do you see the camel at the entry? How could we not love this place?

Since we often wander, and don’t really know where we will be until a night or so in advance, I print out information and carry it in an old fashioned paper folder that has envelopes on both sides, so I can stick things in and they won’t fall out. In Albuquerque, I showed AdventureMan some photos from the La Posada website, and he was sold. We called, reserved a room for the next night, so we knew we could spend all the time we wanted in the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest and that a room would be waiting for us.

Every room in our wing has a name, named after famous people who have visited La Posada in its rich and famous past, and we are in the Turrell Room:

We had no idea how lovely that room would be. I am a total sucker for shiny wooden floors, and for textiles, and for space to breathe, and our room had all this – and more. It had a painted ceramic sink in the washroom area, and a glorious tiled wall in the whirlpool bath room. The whirlpool bath worked flawlessly.

Although we were tired, we were eager to explore this fascinating hotel. We couldn’t stay in the room, it was too exciting, too much to see! We went down a hallway to the gift shop, which also serves as reception:

The spaces are fabulous, each one defined and delineated from one another by changes in surface textures, lighting fixtures, beamed ceilings, windows . . . there are endless possibilities for discoveries. We watched a film about the history of the hotel – it was actually a very long film, but fascinating – about the architect, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, and the building of the hotel in an amazingly short time for the amount of materials and techniques necessary. The hotel was built in 1929 by the Santa Fe Railway for the Fred Harvey Company. Mary Coulter seems to have had carte blanche in putting in just about anything her imagination could cook up.

Although the hotel went out of business and was remodeled in the sixties for the railroad company (a total desecration of the beautiful spaces), it has been lovingly and passionately restored, with near fanatic attention to detail. There are many spaces where people can gather to read books, play games, share a drink or a cup of coffee, big spaces and little spaces, and every space is beautiful.

Built before air conditioning, the original hotel incorporated a wind tower, something we saw often in old houses in Qatar and Kuwait, where any little breeze was captured, brought into the interior and circulated – La Posada had the same technology.

Now, for some of the public spaces, gathering spaces and places of peace and serenity.

La Posada was a destination hotel, with a train station just paces from the hotel lobby and reception. This is the arcade arriving guests would walk through to reach the hotel:

The hotel lobby, outside the Turquoise Room restaurant:

A beautiful, small, intimate space where we watched the film about the restoration of La Posada:

The upstairs gathering room, full of books, games, chess and checkers sets, tables, chairs, couches, all to make guests comfortable and give them a place to relax and get to know other guests:

That night, I had one of the best dinners of the entire trip, a vegetarian plate that knocked my socks off in the La Posada restaurant, the Turquoise Room:

We also had a Grand Marniere Chocolate Mousse, oh, to die for.

Breakfast the next morning was oatmeal, in the same restaurant, but oh, what exquisite oatmeal, and I don’t really even like oatmeal. I guess I like oatmeal at La Posada 🙂

Last – and least, but I can’t help it, I am a sucker for light fixtures, really lovely light fixtures, and I loved these, probably because they take me back to our times in the Middle East:

La Posada is close to the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert, Canyon de Chelly, many more amazing sights of north western Arizona. You can get out and explore, and spend your nights in luxury and ease in a beautiful surrounding.

May 5, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Cultural, Eating Out, Food, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

“Have You Slept in a Wigwam Lately?”

As we were leaving Holbrook, AdventureMan made a sudden left turn and said “if I had a blog, I would want to blog this.” It’s a running joke; he gives me ideas, I say “Get your own blog, AdventureMan.” Truth is, sometimes he has really good ideas, and we both loved this one:

There is room next to ‘your’ teepee to park your own car, next to the old timey classic car already parked in front:

May 5, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, Entertainment, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments