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Last Updated on March 27, 2024

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

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