Located in the small town of Winslow, Arizona is La Posada, a hotel built in 1929 by the Santa Fe Railway for the Fred Harvey Company and one of my favorite lodging choices. Winslow Arizona is known by many due to mention in the Eagles’ song, “Take it Easy.” You can “stand on the corner” in downtown Winslow (as noted in the song) and the tune plays over and over on a certain street corner and features a mural and statue to alert tourists of the town’s notoriety. Other than this attraction, there is little else to bring one to Winslow except for La Posada, a true destination. During my last visit in April 2015, I was more than happy to enjoy a few days in this southwestern jewel.
During my last visit, I purchased the book, “Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West.” I read about Fred Harvey, the hotels and dining rooms he created along the railroad lines and the young women who from the 1880’s to the 1950’s went west to work as waitresses in Fred Harvey’s restaurants along the Santa Fe railway. Mr. Harvey “civilized” the west by introducing linen, silverware, china, crystal, great service and fine food to railroad travel. Construction costs for this hotel in the 1920’s exceeded one million dollars! It is estimated that the total cost to include grounds and furnishings was two million dollars, a value of $28,000,000 today! Winslow was chosen for the hotel as it was the Arizona headquarters for the Santa Fe Railway and Winslow was ideally situated for a resort since everything to see in northern Arizona is a comfortable day’s drive. The renowned architect, Mary Colter designed the hotel.
The hotel remained open for 27 years and closed to the public in 1957. Eventually the hotel became offices for the Santa Fe Railway and was almost torn down when the railway offices moved out. Fortunately, the property was purchased by a couple who restored it and opened it back up for business. The property is lovely to look at both inside and out, decorated with artwork and furnishings throughout the lobbies, hallways and guest rooms. It is a great place to soak up the feeling of the southwest. One of the best things about being at La Posada is how reasonably priced the rooms are. We have stayed here for less than some major hotel chains with far less amenities. The rooms are spacious with a sitting area and the last room we had also featured a large Jacuzzi tub.
One of my favorite activities at La Posada is exploring and hanging out in the courtyards and patio areas, a perfect location to read or enjoy the Arizona sunshine.
The trains continue to stop at La Posada including Amtrak who delivers passengers twice daily. I adore trains and train travel, so even sitting and watching the trains go by, even if they are freight trains can be kind of entertaining for me. Out back of La Posada are the train tracks and various chairs have been provided for those inclined to gawk at or wave at passing trains. In the picture below I am outside reading the book about the Harvey Girls and looking out for any oncoming trains.
The food at the Turquoise Room Restaurant, located inside of La Posada is another reason to stay at this hotel. It is one of the best restaurants we have dined in. Breakfast, lunch and dinner all feature delicious and creative southwestern specialties, served in a very lovely dining room. For dinner one evening we had an interesting appetizer of Piki Bread with Hopi Hummus – the bread is made by a Hopi cook of Second Mesa and the hummus is made with reservation grown Tepary beans and pit roasted corn. The signature soup is sweet corn and black bean both in the same bowl and decorated with a spicy chili cream. Pictures of these creations follow:
We followed these appetizers with the “Killer Vegetable Platter” and the “Goat Platter.” A couple of great desserts ended this special meal.
A stay at La Posada conjures up a different time and place and is a rejuvenating location in northern Arizona. A place I hope to definitely return to again and again in my travels!