Places to stay when visiting Arizona, including hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, Airbnb’s, etc.

INSIDE: Our stay at La Posada Winslow Az, the famous early 20th century luxury hotel along Route 66-aka “La Posada Harvey House” way back when!

I love road trips, but some nights I long for something a little more “indulgent” than a roadside motel. Fortunately, the town of Winslow, Arizona (yes, that Winslow) has a treat in store . . . and it’s right on historic Route 66! (You can’t get more road-trippy than that.)

La Posada Winslow AZ is one of the most historic hotels along Route 66 in Arizona-and undoubtedly THE MOST luxurious. Opened in 1930 this Harvey House Hotel harkens back to the golden age of rail travel (back when “get your kicks on Route 66” wasn’t even a song yet).

The hotel has been lovingly restored. A stay here will be a mini-vacay into the glamour of the early 20th century, back when luggage was made of leather & had cool stickers from the places you’d visited 🧳.

For many visitors, Winslow, Arizona is most famous for Standing on the Corner Park, based on the lyrics from the Eagles’ song, “Take it Easy.” (And, yes, of course there’s a Flatbed Ford!) But equally La Posada Winslow is also worth a visit to this town on Route 66-and it’s even more historic!

We stayed at this unforgettable spot during a recent road trip across Arizona and were not disappointed. It’s definitely worth a stop! Below we tell you what you need to know about staying at La Posada.

But first, a little historical context:

Front entrance of La Posada Winslow-adobe architecture with tile roofs
The beautiful entrance to La Posada Winslow is flanked by gardens

History of La Posada Winslow

The Early Years: Grand Hotel along the Railway

La Posada in Winslow first opened in 1930 along the main rail line passing through Arizona. Renowned hotelier and restaurateur Fred Harvey built the luxury property to attract wealthy travelers who were eager to explore the wonders of the southwest🏜️.

Fred Harvey had become known for his Harvey House Restaurants, which featured courteous and well-trained “Harvey Girls” as waitstaff. There was even a movie musical made in 1946 called “The Harvey Girls,” featuring Judy Garland and a young Angela Lansbury. 🤩

Harvey named his hotel “La Posada”—the Resting Place—determined that it would be the finest in the Southwest. He chose Winslow, Arizona because at it was (and still is) the Arizona headquarters for the Santa Fe Railway (today it’s known as BNSF).

To ensure the La Posada Harvey House was representative of the region and its unique history and culture, Harvey asked architect Mary Colter to design the property. Colter was famous for designing several structures at the Grand Canyon. No expense was spared; it was rumored that the total budget was approximately $2 million (which would cost about $35 million today).

Winslow became a popular stopping off point for touring the American Southwest. Destinations such as the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest and Monument Valley were all within a day’s drive of the hotel.

Despite opening about 6 months after the stock market crash of 1929, La Posada Winslow enjoyed a brisk business in the 1930s and 40s. But then things changed.

Back gardens at La Posada Winslow-bright green lawn in front of adobe building

The “Railroad Headquarters” Years: a bleak period for La Posada Winslow

By the late 1950s, rail travel was no longer considered the glamorous way to travel. Car travel (and road trips) were the hot new thing.

Mid-20th century Americans were interested in staying in convenient roadside motels for a night or two, instead spending days at a big fancy hotel. Business at the La Posada Harvey House dropped off. 😟

In 1957, La Posada Winslow closed and the property was converted into the local headquarters of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. (Known also as “ATSF” or sometimes just “the Santa Fe.”)

During the “railroad offices” phase, La Posada lost much of its original character. Museum-quality furnishings were auctioned off and much of the interior was converted into office space. (Can you imagine this grand old hotel, now full of desks and metal filing cabinets? SHUDDER!)

In 1994, the railroad announced it would no longer occupy the property. This left the La Posada Winslow building vacant . . . and in danger of demolition. 😱

Grand Hotel Along the Railway-Again!

There’s nothing like a threat of demolition to rouse local citizens, and the folks in Winslow rose to the occasion. They began a campaign to raise awareness of La Posada’s dire straits.

Eventually, the property came to the attention of Allan Affeldt and his wife Tina Mion, who purchased the property in 1997 with the intent to restore La Posada Winslow to its former glory.

Affeldt and Mion began renovating the building and opened five rooms for paying guests in late 1997. Gradually they opened the restaurant and bar, restored stunning public areas, and continued to open more guest rooms as they were renovated.

Finally, work began on the many gardens surrounding the hotel, designed to mirror architect Mary Colter’s vision.

Today, La Posada Winslow is fully restored and a magnificent property. 🥳

The hotel boasts 55 guest rooms along with a bar and restaurant, an art gallery, book store and trading post selling authentic artwork and handcrafts from local artisans. It’s surrounded by nearly 20 acres of unique gardens.

It is arguably the most luxurious hotel along Route 66 (and I’m talkin’ the whole stretch–not just the Arizona part! 😊).

But wait, there’s more . . . how about a train station???!!

La Posada Winslow: A Train Station?

A freight locomotive passing by La Posada’s back gates. This is where Amtrak stops also.

La Posada in Winslow has the unique distinction of being the only hotel in America that has its own Amtrak stop. Wait, WHAT???

Yep. The Winslow depot was originally part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF), commonly known as the “Santa Fe,” in 1929-1930. Today, the stop is part of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief train, which travels between Chicago and Los Angeles.

Passengers can disembark at Winslow (station designated “WLO”), pass through an elegant iron gate and stroll right up the walkway into the hotel lobby. How cool is that?

And while waiting to board the train (which comes twice a day), passengers wait either in the lobby or on a very nice patio covered by a shady pergola (or, “ramada,” as they call them in the southwest) right along the tracks.

View of La Posada Winslow from the tracks. Waiting areas are under the shaded ramadas on either side of the gate.

Train Geek Alert: I know, I know, there are plenty of other train station hotels, such as the Union Station Hotel in St. Louis or Lackawanna Station in Scranton, PA. But hear me out–there IS a difference.

These hotels are grand old stations that were converted into hotels as a historic preservation effort to prevent them from being torn down.

La Posada Winslow was purpose-built as a hotel, with the train depot as part of it. And, since there is no train station nearby, it serves as the location for the stop.

*It’s important to note that while the train depot is located on the hotel property, the hotel is not right on the tracks. Only the waiting area is trackside; the rest of the hotel is set back 80 to 100 feet from the platform area by a walled lawn.

Additionally, Winslow is a “quiet zone,” with no at-grade crossings, so there are no loud train horns blaring. Further, guest rooms are situated perpendicular to the tracks, facing one of the gardens.

We were shocked (and delighted) to discover that train noise was not an issue when staying at La Posada Winslow. 🙉

Woman standing at ornate iron gates that lead from train tracks to La posada hotel in background
Hangin’ at the prettiest little train depot ever (note the wheels in the gate design).

Staying at La Posada Winslow-Our Experience

We had visited La Posada Winslow briefly during a drive along Route 66 in Arizona, but hadn’t spent the night. We found it a pleasant place to stop but our schedule had us motoring a few hundred more miles that day.

That was a planning mistake (hey, I’m willing to admit it!)

Even though it’s located just one block from the famous Standing on the Corner Winslow Arizona park, the hotel harkens back to a time that predates rock n’ roll, and even the midcentury glory days of Route 66.

It’s an oasis of lush tranquility in the midst of the desert. To step onto the grounds of La Posada takes you back to the grand old days of travel, when visitors brought steamer trunks and wrote letters home on hotel stationery.

We vowed to spend the night on our next trip through these here parts.

Arrival

You know you’re in for something magical as you approach the front door. After passing beneath the wrought iron archway with a rustic “La Posada” sign suspended beneath it, you pass between some of the beautiful gardens on the way to the front door.

Along the way you cross a water feature with soothing trickling fountains–a thirst-quenching sound in this otherwise desert landscape.

The entry doors further suggests a destination suited toward enjoyment and quiet reflection. The rustic wood doors are stained a duck-egg blue and bear bronze plaques stating “Enter in Silence” and “Depart in Peace.”

The rustic entry doors of La Posada Winslow set the tone for a relaxing stay

Rooms at La Posada Winslow: Spacious and Comfy

La Posada has 55 rooms, which range in size from 220 to 450 square feet. Rooms are decorated with handmade Ponderosa pine beds, along with handwoven rugs and Mexican tin and Talavera tile mirrors.

In a nice “old-world” touch, nightstands are stocked with hardcover books 📚.

Each room is named after a famous guest who has stayed at the hotel.

We stayed in the “Victor Mature” room, named after the dreamboat actor from the 1940s and 50s 😍. One of his most famous roles was as the hunky Sampson in the movie Sampson and Delilah.

Naturally my husband was convinced the woman at the front desk took one look at him and immediately thought “I know just which room you should have!” (Can you imagine the blow to his ego if we had gotten the “Shirley Temple” room?! 🤣)

Our king sized Ponderosa pine bed in the “Victor Mature” room

Our room had a comfortable king-sized bed, with 100% cotton sheets (YAY!), along with woolen blankets for those chilly nights. (Winslow’s at 4,800+ feet altitude.)

The bathroom featured the original 1930 black and white mosaic tile, with a pedestal sink and cast-iron tub. It was stocked with plenty of fluffy towels and complimentary toiletries.

The room was on the second floor and overlooked the Sunken Garden with its trickling lion’s head fountain. The fountain provided a soothing sound in the cool evening air.

Rooms fall into three categories and are priced accordingly:

  • Standard: With either a king or two double beds
  • Upgraded: (King beds only)Similar to Standard, along with either a balcony or patio
  • Deluxe: (King beds only) Slightly larger rooms with seating area, plus a whirlpool tub in the bath

Our room fell into the “Standard” category and was plenty big enough.

All rooms face one of the gardens. None of the guest rooms overlook the train tracks (that side of the hotel is reserved for the public spaces.

Our view over the Sunken Garden was extremely quiet at night. We did not hear any train noise (and we are PICKY about that!).

Book your stay at La Posada Winslow here!

Public Spaces at La Posada Winslow: Plenty of Cosy Nooks & Crannies

The public spaces are part of what really make La Posada special.

Typical of many early 20th-century hotels, when life moved at a slower pace, there are lots of nooks and crannies for relaxing, chatting, or just curling up with a good book.

The gardens are unparalled; each area of the hotel has something unique. Many gardens have a fountain somewhere; the trickling sounds of water are soothing in the high desert landscape.

The Sunken Garden (which our room overlooked) has conversational areas near the burbling lions’ head fountain. ⛲️

The Grotto Garden, which is a full floor below street level, is cooling on hot summer days (and has a friendly donkey statue watching over it!).

In the fall, the South Lawn sports a straw bale maze. The patio out front overlooks the Four Sisters garden, which features local plants.

The Sunken Garden is a peaceful spot for conversation at La Posada

No matter where you go in the hotel, either inside or out. La Posada is inviting you to “sit down and relax for a bit.” (Remember those books on the nightstand? They’re perfect for exactly this purpose!)

Art at La Posada: Affeldt Mion Museum on Site!

Art on display at Tina Mion gallery-la posada winslow
Tina Mion’s art on display at La Posada Winslow (photo courtesy La Posada)

In addition to appreciating the peace and serenity of La Posada’s gardens and public spaces, visitors have an opportunity to experience a connection of Winslow’s history through art.

Allan Affeldt and Tina Mion, the couple who acquired and reinvigorated La Posada as a hotel, also established the Affeldt Mion Museum on site at the hotel to celebrate the traditions brought by native people and then expanded upon by visionaries, past and present, who have contributed to Winslow’s success.

Permanent exhibits include the largest known hand-carded and hand-spun Navajo Rug, along with a collection of historic Navajo weavings.

Tina Mion is an artist herself; her works, as well as those of other contemporary artists are also displayed on a rotating basis.

(Note: the museum charges a small admission fee)

hotel hallway with navajo rugs hanging on the walls--la posada harvey house winslow arizona
Even the hallways at La Posada display historic Navajo artifacts

Separately, the hallways an public spaces are sprinkled throughout with artifacts of the southwest, so even walking to your room is like a trip to a museum! 👨🏻‍🎨

Dining at La Posada: Echoes of the Harvey House Tradition

The Turquoise Room “back in the day” (photo courtesy La Posada)

La Posada’s restaurant, The Turquoise Room, has been feeding hungry travelers and guests since “way back in the day.” Today, The Turquoise Room continues that tradition, serving up gourmet breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

The menu offers up a varied selection of favorites, all with a southwestern flair.

I’m an absolute pushover for a good hotel breakfast that’s just a teensy-bit on the fancy side. So you can imagine my delight at the (house-made) Chorizo Breakfast Hash! Hubby had the stuffed Brioche French Toast . . . and there was lots of reaching across the table to sample one another’s dishes. 🍳

Chorizo breakfast hash in a yellow dish with tortilla and topped with sliced avocado at La Posada Harvey House, Winslow
Doesn’t this look like a fabulous breakfast? (courtesy La Posada)

Continuing “the resting place” theme, the restaurant also offers a special “travelers’ menu” of light meals (soups, salads, sandwiches) from 2-4pm . . . a perfect respite for weary travelers who are just passin’ through. (Full disclosure: this was us on our first visit to La Posada. It was enough to make us realize we had to come back someday!)

For those looking for a relaxing tipple, the Martini Lounge at La Posada Winslow will mix up your fave cocktails, which you can enjoy just about anywhere in the hotel.

It’s all very chill & sophisticated at the same time.

Somewhere along the way, you realize the magic has snuck up on you and you’ve fallen under La Posada’s spell. For a night (or three), you’ve been transported back to a more genteel time.

And it’s been absolutely lovely. And you’ll be back. (I know I will! 🥰)

Ready to go to Winslow? Book your stay at La Posada Winslow here!


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image of fountain and front gate at la posada winslow arizona

We love Airbnb but every now and then one of those rentals looks too good to be true . . .

Scams on Airbnb and other vacation rental sites like VRBO and Flipkey are rare, but they DO happen. Learn how to spot the scams on Airbnb and other sites using tips based on our extensive experience. Over the past 10 years we’ve spent more than 2,000 nights at Vacation rentals (We’re not kidding-we live on the road!) After all this time–which includes over 100 Airbnb stays–we’ve figured out how to avoid bogus deals.

ratty old shack in the desert-scams on airbnb
Probably NOT your ideal vacation rental

Vacation rental scams: The Craigslist “scrape”

We were really enjoying our Airbnb rental in Prescott, Az one autumn when there was a knock at the front door. Since we didn’t know anyone in town we assumed it was a salesman. So we were surprised to see a young man on the porch with several pieces of luggage. Um, a long lost friend visiting? Nope. He said, in all earnestness, that he was ready to move in and where should he put his luggage? Well that’s awkward! Fortunately, since we booked the cottage through Airbnb, we were fine; unfortunately for him he hadn’t–he had been scammed.

Our caller had found the cottage on Craigslist at a monthly rate that was half what we were paying. Too good to be true? As it happens, yes.  The listing included the same description and photos as those on the (legitimate) Airbnb listing, but the contact information was different. He had signed a lease and mailed the contact a deposit check for $500.

Fortuantely for us, a quick call to our Airbnb host confirmed that we were fine. The guy on the porch was not. This was a Craigslist rental scam. Our host explained that her Airbnb listing had been “scraped.” Someone had taken her photos and posted a fake ad on Craigslist, lying in wait for an unsuspecting victim. Our Airbnb host also shared that this had happened to her before. She’s tried hard to stop the scammers, but they remove the fake internet listing before the police can take action and then post it again at another time. Though this was not one of the scams on Airbnb, hinky things can still happen on that sight as well.

Woman stranded on the side of a desert road with a suitcase-scams on airbnb
Don’t get left stranded. Make sure your vacation rental is not a scam.

Scams on Airbnb: the fake listing

Also known as the “travel scam,” this is basically the same situation as our Craigslist example above, except that listing is on Airbnb. You might think, “wait! How can this happen? Doesn’t Airbnb have systems to catch fake listings?” The answer to that is YES, they do, and they constantly monitor their site. But according to their own site, Airbnb has nearly 6 million listings (as of September 2020) in over 100,000 cities. With that kind of volume there are bound to be a few bad apples that sneak into the bunch every now and then.

We had firsthand experience with Airbnb scams a few years ago. We requested a reservation at an Airbnb apartment in Rome, Italy. It looked like a nice apartment in a good neighborhood, and the price seemed more reasonable than others nearby. Not “half the price crazy cheap,” that would have set off alarm bells right away. No this one was just about 10-15% cheaper than similar apartments.

But . . . once we put in our request the “owner” contacted us right away suggesting we wire the payment to them directly rather than working through the normal Airbnb channels—something that is specifically outside the company’s guidelines. This set off warning flags—sure enough, we contacted Airbnb, who confirmed it was a false listing and took it down. This was one of the scams on Airbnb that we didn’t get snookered by–we eventually found a terrific, legitimate, listing and spent a fabulous month exploring Rome.

Scams on Airbnb: the advance fee ploy

Here someone offers to pay you (or give you something) if you pay through a service outside of Airbnb. This one is really a variation on the “fake listing” scam we discussed above. It’s just a slightly more elaborate scheme, trying to sweeten the deal for paying outside the system by giving you something in return. There’s definitely a theme to these scams on Airbnb: scammers are trying to get you to pay outside the system. Bad. Idea.

The vacation rental “phishing scam”

When someone sends you an email or link that looks like it’s from Airbnb, but it’s really not. These messages are designed to trick you into providing confidential information such as passwords or other email addresses. How do these “phishers” know to send you an email? They don’t–they’re taking a calculated risk. Phishing isn’t unique to Airbnb; VRBO, FlipKey and others are prone to the same issue.

According to market research firm Statista, the industry is forecasting over 600 million vacation rental users worldwide in 2021 alone. When you think of those kind of numbers, it’s not that far-fetched that an email blast to 10,000 people with the subject line “There’s a problem with your vacation rental reservation” might actually get someone to click on it.

How to Avoid Scams on Airbnb & other Vacation Rental sites

  1. If a property seems too good to be true, it’s probably not legitimate. Compare the listing to others in the area; anything that looks larger, more luxurious, or cheaper than the going rate should be suspect.
  2. Read property reviews carefully. As we discuss in finding an Airbnb in Arizona, read all the reviews very carefully. Only the stupidest scammers keep up listings that say, “this guy scammed me!” If a property has no reviews at all, or there have been long periods of time between reviews, we proceed with caution.
  3. Review all listing photos with a critical eye. Scammers who post fake listings often scrape photos from another site, which degrades their quality. (Think of a document that’s blurry because it’s been copied and then the copy is re-copied multiple times, or if you took a photo of a hard copy picture with your phone.) Consumer advocate Christopher Elliot provides an excellent example of this in his article about a fake VRBO rental.
  4. Work through legitimate rental companies. When booking a vacation, reputable sites such as Airbnb and VRBO (or established local rental agencies) offer a level of protection should there be an issue.  They all have business reputations to maintain so it’s in their best interest to resolve any disputes to everyone’s satisfaction. A legitimate site will also act as a go-between for payments and resolving any problems.
  5. Stay (and pay) within the system. Booking sites and rental agencies do charge a fee, which many people don’t like paying. But they also provide a valuable service in exchange for this fee, which includes protecting you should anything go amiss with your reservation. Avoid the temptation to save a few dollars by going around them—a trick scammers often use. Be very cautious when someone asks you to pay them directly. Additionally, paying outside the system violates Airbnb’s terms of service, which could cause you to get banned from the site.
  6. Don’t use Craigslist for vacation rentals. Craigslist is a terrific site for buying and selling a lot of stuff, but vacation rentals are not among them. Craigslist is an internet listing site only, there is no “book within the system safety net.” On their own site, they even address how to avoid a Craigslist rental scam: “Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing “deal” may not exist.” (Full disclosure: Early in our travels we booked some apartments on Craigslist, back in the day when online rental sites were in their infancy. But we have not done so for years because there is no consumer protection, and therefore would not likely do it again.
  7. Be suspicious of emails regarding reservations that don’t make sense. Never provide any personal information unless you have verified the communication is legitimate. Airbnb has a very helpful guide to decoding suspicious emails, which explains what their links look like, and even lists all the internet domain names they use.
If a vacation rental like this Sedona mansion is available for $25 a night (or even $125 a night),
you might want to verify that listing.

Vacation rentals in Arizona are a fabulous lodging alternative when traveling. However, the Internet makes it very easy for scams on Airbnb and other sites to proliferate, resulting in false listings. Don’t be that guy stuck out on our porch. Always do your due diligence, particularly when the property or price seem too good to be true.


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With so many Airbnb options, it’s a challenge filtering through all the listings. How do you narrow it down?

Before you choose your Airbnb Arizona, check out our list of tips-we’ll help you find the best Airbnb for YOU. We’ve stayed at Airbnb rentals throughout Arizona with generally positive results. In fact, we’ve stayed more than 1,000 nights at Airbnb places around the world. If Airbnb was a country, we’d probably qualify for citizenship.

Among the Airbnb places we’ve stayed in Arizona are a circa 1920s miner’s cottage in downtown Prescott, a mother-in-law suite with a private entrance in Tucson and a spare bedroom on a reservation in Navajo Nation not far from the eastern entrance to the Grand Canyon. (The hosts led us to a delicious place for authentic Indian fry bread.) The choices are varied and plentiful.

Airbnb Arizona cottage with prickly pear cactus out front
Airbnb in Bisbee, Arizona

Tip #1: Airbnb is not a chain

Each property is unique, with a more personal feel than a chain hotel room. Some have nice little touches, like fresh flowers or snacks in the fridge. (But remember, despite the name, breakfast is not usually included. These are not bed-and-breakfasts in the traditional sense.) In a cookie-cutter hotel chain, you might not remember where you are when you wake up because the room in Phoenix looks just like the room in Pittsburgh. Not so at an Airbnb in Arizona, where no two properties look the same.

Because of this uniqueness, it’s important be sure to view the photos of the listing carefully. One cottage may have leather sofas and a 72” TV, while a nearby basement flat sports a couch that should have stayed on the frat house porch. The prices should be reflective of the accommodations, but be sure to look before you book.

Tip #2: Book the “entire place” option if you like privacy

Many people think staying at an Airbnb is simply renting a room in someone’s house. While that is one of three lodging options on the site, we prefer having more privacy if we are are staying for longer than a night or two. For those longer stays we select the “Entire Place” option, which means we have our own fully self-contained living space.

The “entire place” at an Airbnb Arizona can range from an inlaw suite with a microwave and a coffee maker, to a full house, and every combination in-between. Each option works well, depending on your needs, so it’s important to know just what amenities are important to you. Which brings us to . . .

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to ask questions

The Airbnb site makes it very easy to send questions to the property owner, most of whom respond within a few hours. In fact, that’s a good way to determine out how attentive a particular host may be. If you’re concerned about internet speed (a big one for us) or want to be clear about whether the kitchen has a full stove or just a microwave, just ask. Airbnb hosts want you to be happy with your choice; an unhappy guest is no fun for anyone. If they can’t meet your needs they’ll generally tell you, so you can look elsewhere.

queen size bedroom on tile floor in airbnb yuma arizona
Airbnb Yuma Az

Tip #4: Know your payment and cancellation options

Airbnb is super-easy to use; all payments are handled through the site. However, payment is typically taken upon reservation (sometimes broken into multiple payments for longer bookings), and cancellation terms can vary from host to host. Again, look before you book. Usually you will not have the same cancellation flexibility as a hotel. Fortunately Airbnb has become a bit more flexible with cancellation policies due to the affect of Covid on travel planning.

Tip #5: Verify the property location

Since the majority of Airbnbs are in private homes, there’s a much broader range of potential locations than typical hotels. In order to protect the privacy of property owners, Airbnb only provides an approximate location via a shaded circle on a map before you book. Once you’ve completed the reservation you’ll get the actual address. The circle is usually accurate enough so you can compare it to Google maps, which will help you determine if you’ll be near sights of interest, or overlooking a railroad track or highway.

Unfortunately, this is not always true. We once rented an Airbnb in California that was between a noisy railroad AND a busy highway. Since we had done our research beforehand we were a bit surprised, and disappointed when we arrived. The landlord’s only explanation was that Airbnb had their location wrong on the map. The moral of the story: if you’re concerned about the location, ask questions of the owner before booking (see Tip #3, above). They may not give you the exact address, but if you ask “how close is the nearest busy road or train?” the owner should respond with enough information to help you make an informed decision.

Desert garden in an Airbnb tucson arizona
Backyard of this colorful Airbnb in Tucson Az is available for guests to use

Tip #6: Verify what areas are available to you

In some Airbnbs you have access only to your own space, while in others you can use outdoor areas like the garden in the Tucson Airbnb above. If that’s important to you, verify ahead of time. It’s no use seeing pretty pictures of things you can’t use.

Tip #7: Read the reviews CAREFULLY

Much like Yelp,TripAdvisor or Booking.com, each listing on Airbnb provides reviews from prior guests. Poorly-maintained properties (or ungracious hosts) are generally easy to spot, and are quickly eliminated. But even once we’ve narrowed down our search to highly-ranked options, we still find some are a bit trickier to decipher. People have no problem leaving one-star reviews for an impersonal name brand hotel, but with Airbnb they’ve developed a relationship with their host and are less likely to say something negative. So you must read reviews more closely for subtle nuances in how the review is written. But even that is no guarantee . . . the properties are all unique and so are the standards of the guests staying in them.

We eliminated one rental in Pennsylvania because the toilet bowl was in the bedroom out in the open. Yet in over 30 positive reviews NO ONE mentioned it. Apparently their idea of “romantic” was different from ours. Ugh!

Comments about one Airbnb Arizona rental we stayed in described the “quiet neighborhood,” yet no one mentioned that the home backed onto a noisy freeway. We were diplomatic—yet honest—in our review, stating “light sleepers might be bothered by the nearby freeway.” More honesty in reviews will help everyone. As mentioned earlier, if you have any concerns, don’t be afraid to ask the host.

Tip #8: Some things can’t be seen in a photo

While pretty photos are nice, they don’t tell you what a place sounds or smells like. If you are particularly sensitive to odors such as cigarette smoke or cats, ask the owner if there’s been a smoker or a cat owner as a prior tenant. That’s where carefully reading reviews may help, but not always.

Also, don’t be shy about requesting that they use fragrance-free detergent to clean the sheets. Our philosophy is the best smell is no smell at all. The best quality hotels smell like . . . just plain clean. It makes for an awful night sleeping when sheets are doused with Febreze, or some other strong fragrance.

front door of a cabin in the woods at an airbnb arizona-flagstaff
An Airbnb in Flagstaff Az

PRO TIP: The lingering effects of Covid have upended the housing market, which has had an effect on Airbnb properties. If you’re concerned about an owner cancelling your reservation, for now be cautious when choosing an Airbnb Arizona that’s a stand-alone property

Tip #9: Be aware your Airbnb Arizona may be sold

One of the unexpected side effects of the Covid pandemic is that the residential real estate market has gone bonkers. Houses are being sold above the listing price, in many cases without the buyer even looking at them. So how does this affect Airbnb Arizona renters? Well, we’ve had several of our Airbnb rentals cancelled in 2021 because the landlord decided to sell the house we were supposed to be renting. We can’t really blame them, but this left us high and dry with no place to rent in an increasingly tight market. So what to do?

Tip #10: Avoid rentals at a freestanding place

Freestanding home are more likely to be properties that the owners fixed up as an investment, which makes selling them in a hot market attractive. Airbnbs that are adjacent to the owner’s home–such as a separate apartment, or in-law suite are a more stable option–at least until the real estate market settles down. They are less like likely to sell that and you are less likely to lose your rental.

Casitas (small guest houses) are very popular at Airbnb Arizona properties.They are located on the owner’s home property and make a great option for a short or long-term stay.

Overall, we highly recommend Airbnb Arizona but recognize that, compared to staying at a chain hotel, it takes a bit more work to find just the right place. That extra effort yields the reward of lodging in places all over Arizona that are well off the crowded tourist path, while providing rewarding friendships and an enriched travel experience.

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Inside: We’ve handpicked a collection of motels and hotels on Route 66 in Arizona that provide that “retro” midcentury atmosphere. Perfect road trip lodging!

Roadside motels are often a little “rustic” for my taste. But along Route 66 you can find some very respectable throwbacks.

There are plenty of motels and hotels on Route 66 in Arizona. But a select few really kick it up a notch in the “atmosphere” department. If you’re taking a road trip in Arizona and you want the full “get your kicks” experience, check out one of these motels and hotels on Route 66 in Arizona.

Some motels have a vintage homey charm, where you half-expect someone’s grandma to pour you a cup o’ joe ☕️. (No caramel mocha lattes here–we’re talkin’ good ol’ fashioned Maxwell House!)

Others are more traditional motels that have really taken the Route 66 theme seriously, with giant murals and lots of neon. A few are vintage buildings that have been converted to charming inns.

One hotel on Route 66 is a luxury property that dates back to the mother road’s earliest days . . . when taking the train was as popular as a road trip! And then there are the tepees . . .

All of these motels and hotels on Route 66 in Arizona are on (or very near) Old Route 66. So when staying here, you can immerse yourself in that old midcentury experience of taking a classic American Road Trip!

NOTE: Where available, I’ve listed access from two different hotel reservation websites that we use regularly: Booking.com and Hotels.com. Some properties are aligned with one site and not the other. There are a few family-run hotels here that work with no websites at all–you have to call them directly to make a reservation. That’ll really give you the retro vibe!

Two 1950s classic cars parked in front of the Wigwam motel

The motels are listed from east to west below:

Motels on Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona

Holbrook is the easternmost town on Route 66 in Arizona where there are cool retro places to stay.

This town is about 20 miles west of Petrified Forest National Park and The Painted Desert. That makes Holbrook a great place to stay if you want to spend time exploring those two magnificent parks.

Brad’s Desert Inn

Front of Brads Desert Inn motel, painted mustard yellow with neon signs and cowboy motif out front

Rated 8.4/10 on Booking.com

Rated 8.2/10 on Hotels.com

Brad’s Desert Inn is retro-chic with modern touches. This classic Route 66 motel was purchased by Peter Schmidt, an Austrian with hotel management experience who loves the American west 🤠. The outside is painted desert gold, and bedecked with all sorts of western paraphernalia. The rooms have thematic touches, such as full wall murals of trains or desert scenes, and cozy western blankets.

Reserve on Booking.com or Hotels.com

The Wigwam Motel

antique cars in front of kitschy teepee motel rooms route 66 holbrook arizona

Rated 4.5/5 on Google

(not listed on major booking sites)

The uber-retro Wigwam has been family-owned and operated by the Lewis family since it was built in 1950. The rooms are in concrete tepees (not wigwams, go figure), and furnished with updated updated western-style hickory furniture. Classic cars parked outside of each unit give you that “midcentury feel,” even if you’re driving a boring old rental car.

Contact the hotel directly for reservations: https://sleepinawigwam.com/

Looking for other places to stay in Holbrook? Check all the top rated area hotels on Hotels.com and Booking.com

Hotels on Route 66 in Arizona: Winslow

Long before Glenn Frey of the Eagles sang about “a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford” in the song Take it Easy, Winslow, Arizona was a natural stopping point on old Route 66.

In addition to roadside motels, Winslow also boasts one of the best hotels on Route 66 in Arizona: La Posada. During your stay here, Be sure to allow time to visit “Standin’ on a Corner” park, which commemorates the famous song.

La Posada Hotel & Gardens

Rated 9.1/10 on Booking.com

Rated 9.6/10 on Hotels.com

Arguably the grandest hotel on Route 66 in Arizona, La Posada opened in 1930 for guests traveling west on the railroad. It’s been renovated recently and is decorated in a traditional old southwest style, with lots of adobe and Mexican tile. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens and has galleries featuring southwestern art. If you want to treat yourself during your route 66 road trip, this is the place! Read more about our stay at La Posada.

Reserve on Booking.com or Hotels.com

Earl’s Route 66 Motor Court

hotels on route 66 in Arizona at night with neon lights

Rated 4.9/5 on Google

(not listed on major booking sites)

Earl’s has been locally owned since it opened in 1953. Current owners Blas Sanchez and Angela Archibeque both grew up in Winslow. (Angela worked at La Posada as a teen!) The atmosphere is a cross between retro-motel and grandma’s spare bedroom, which is just how the owners like it. Wonderful old two-tone tile bathrooms and handmade quilts offer a cosy stop in a true relic from bygone days.

Contact the hotel directly for reservations: (928) 224-0161

Looking for other places to stay in Winslow? Check all the top rated area hotels on Hotels.com and Booking.com

Flagstaff, Arizona Route 66 motels

Flagstaff is the largest of the towns with hotels on Route 66 in Arizona, an as such there are a lot of places to stay here.

Sadly, over the years many of the wonderful old roadside motels that used to line Route 66 on either end of town have been replaced by modern hotels. They’re all nice places to stay, but they don’t have that retro vibe you might be craving. Fortunately, there are still a few spots that offer that “get your kicks” ambience.

Flagstaff makes a great base if your planning to explore some of the many fabulous Arizona National Monuments nearby, such as Sunset Crater Vocano, Waupatki and Walnut Canyon.

Super 8 by Wyndham Flagstaff

Rated 8.0/10 on Booking.com

Rated 8.0/10 on Hotels.com

Although it’s a chain property, this motel on Route 66 has really gone the extra mile to provide some atmosphere. The well-maintained exterior of the building is clad with wonderful Tudor-style beams and the interior is freshly decorated in earth tones that will have you thinking the Brady Bunch are staying in the room next door. Massive Arizona-themed photos above the bed complete the, er, picture.

Reserve on Booking.com or Hotels.com

Little America Hotel

Rated 9.3/10 on Booking.com

Rated 9.6/10 on Hotels.com

A soaring peaked roof with beamed ceiling tucked among the pines give the Little America Hotel a feeling of a western wilderness lodge. The lobby has a chic midcentury design and the rooms have beautiful natural wood slab headboards. This full-service hotel is located just a few hundred yards off Route 66, and its got great atmosphere, so we felt it should be on the list. 😊

Reserve on Booking.com or Hotels.com

Looking for other places to stay in Flagstaff? Check all the top rated area hotels on Hotels.com and Booking.com

Hotels in Williams, Arizona on Route 66

Williams is a wonderful old town on Route 66 that has a combination midcentury/old west feel.

Williams is also the closest town to the main entrance of Grand Canyon National Park (which is a scant 50 miles away!). Of all the towns with hotels on route 66 in Arizona, Williams may have the most per capita.

The proximity to the park, as well as the many tour operators nearby, making Williams a good stopover point on your Arizona Route 66 road trip.

The Lodge on Route 66

Motel on route 66 in Arizona with Front porch with bent willow furniture

Rated 8.6/10 on Booking.com

(not listed on Hotels.com)

This is a midcentury motor court that’s been updated with 2020s country charm. Rooms are decorated with wood and wrought iron details that would be right at home on a local ranch. The owners have created cosy “living room” in the center of the courtyard, complete with outdoor fireplace. Settle yourself in the bent willow chairs on the front porch alongside a few painted tin roosters and watch Route 66 roll on by.

Reserve on Booking.com

Rodeway Inn & Suites Downtowner

Front of hotel on route 66 in Arizona

Rated 8.2/10 on Booking.com

Rated 8.8/10 on Hotels.com

Come on, with a name like the “Downtowner” don’t you just have to check it out? (Or maybe more accurately, check in?) This classic old motor court on Route 66 is now part of the Rodeway chain, but still retains a lot of unique charm. Rooms have an updated 50’s vibe–think Marilyn & Elvis–and the exterior architecture is right out of “Leave it to Beaver” . . . in a good way.

Reserve on Booking.com

Reserve on Hotels.com

Grand Canyon Hotel

Brick and stucco front of Grand Canyon Hotel on route 66

Rated 8.5/10 on Booking.com

(not listed on Hotels.com)

Get a double dose of history when staying at the Grand Canyon Hotel. Opened in 1891, it’s the oldest hotel in Arizona, dating back to the days when Williams was a logging and mining town. It was revitalized when Route 66 became a popular route west. Rooms are furnished with period (mostly Victorian) antiques. Several rooms have lofts and/or bunks, which are great for families.

Reserve on Booking.com

Red Garter Inn

Hotel room with 2 double beds, high ceilings and victorian furniture

Rated 9.1/10 on Booking.com

Rated 9.6/10 on Hotels.com

It’s not every day you get to stay in a former bordello 😱! The Red Garter was built for that purpose in 1895. The building on Route 66 went through several changes before it was reopened–this time as a respectable place of lodging!–in 1994. Victorian-style rooms are named for former “hostesses” and feature period touches, like clawfoot tubs. There is a bakery and cafe downstairs for breakfast and light meals.

Reserve on Booking.com or Hotels.com

Looking for other places to stay in Williams? Check all the top rated area hotels on Hotels.com and Booking.com

Seligman motels on Route 66

No road trip on Route 66 in Arizona would be complete without passing through Seligman, Arizona.

Said to be the inspiration for the fictitious town of Radiator Springs from the movie Cars, Seligman is a little slice of road trip nostaligia.

Spend the night at one of these cool retro motels, and you might just meet Tow-mater 🛻 (or a bruuther, or a cuuhzin . . ).

Historic Route 66 Motel

Lit up neon sign of Historic Route 66 motel, Seligman Arizona

Rated 8.4/10 on Booking.com

(not available on Hotels.com)

This traditional motel, right on route 66 in Seligman, Arizona channels “Radiator Springs.” The decor of the rooms is pretty classic “motel style,” with some Route 66, automotive, and Harley paraphernalia to spruce it up. Be sure to have a meal in the adjacent Road Kill Cafe (no judgement!)

Reserve on Booking.com

Deluxe Inn

Room at Deluxe Inn Seligman Arizona, showing bed with Route 66 bedspread and Marilyn Monroe photo

Rated 8.5/10 on Booking.com

Rated 8.0/10 on Hotels.com

Who can resist a place with such a swanky name? (Don’t you just wanna say “Dee-luxe”? 😉 ) With it’s geometric sign out front and 50s memorabilia in the rooms–not to mention a Route 66 bedspread–you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported back to 1956 . . . except now there’s A/C and wifi!

Reserve on Booking.com or Hotels.com

Looking for other places to stay in Seligman? Check all the top rated area hotels on Hotels.com and Booking.com

Kingman, Arizona Route 66 hotels

Kingman is the westernmost town with motels and hotels on Route 66 in Arizona where there are places to stay. There are some cool Route 66 Attractions here, including the Arizona Route 66 Museum and the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum.

Kingman is also only about 75 miles from Hoover Dam, making it a great place to stop for a night or two.

El Trovatore Motel

Retro Neon Sign out front of El Trovatore motel, Kingman AZ-motels on route 66 arizona

Rated 8.1/10 on Booking.com

Rated 7.8/10 on Hotels.com

The El Trovatore is worth a visit just for its signage. Between the giant geometric marker out front and the neon-lit radio-style tower on the bluff behind the original 1937 building, you’ll have no trouble finding it. Themed rooms are decorated in a 50s-glam-hollywood style complete with gold brocade bedspreads. Wowza!

Reserve on Booking.com or Hotels.com

Super 8 by Wyndham Kingman

Hotel with 2 double beds, bright yellow walls, large black & white desert murals above beds, route 66 Arizona

Rated 7.1/10 on Booking.com

Rated 6.8/10 on Hotels.com

A little more understated than some of the other hotels on this list, the Super 8 by Wyndham still manages evoke some Route 66 road trip atmosphere. Giant black-and-white desert murals over the bed serve as a reminder of the local terrain, while the neon-yellow color scheme transports you right into midcentury America.

Reserve on Booking.com or Hotels.com

Looking for other places to stay in Kingman? Check all the top rated area hotels on Hotels.com and Booking.com

Which of these fabulous motels and hotels on Route 66 in Arizona would YOU like to stay in on your next trip? It’ll really help get you in the mood!


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