Tucson: Arizona Inn
When you stay in a luxury hotel like the Arizona Inn you often find unexpected extras in your room. In our case it was pigeon poop. Somehow while the room was being made up, a pigeon had snuck in when the cleaner was leaving, and it had done what pigeons do. Fortunately it was mostly in the window, where it was desperately trying to get out, so we had a hilarious few minutes while I tried to shoo it out of the door. Once we’d succeeded, we summoned the cleaning staff who fell about laughing and set about returning the room to its pristine condition.
Once that unexpected start was out of the way, we were able to relax and enjoy the room. We’d arranged a stay at the Arizona Inn as a birthday treat. I’d got tickets to see Los Lonely Boys, who were playing in Tucson on my birthday, so we decided that rather than drive home afterwards, we’d treat ourselves and stay at one of the best hotels in Tucson. Then Los Lonely Boys went and postponed their show, but we kept the room and for once were able to enjoy it to the max.
History of the Arizona Inn
The Arizona Inn is no ordinary luxury hotel. It was opened in 1930 by a remarkable woman, Isabella Greenway, and has been run by the same family ever since. When it opened in 1930 there were no luxury resort hotels in Tucson, and the Arizona Inn provided an oasis in this Arizona desert city. It still does. Although it’s in the center of town, an easy 10-minute drive to downtown and the historic Presidio district, it has 14 acres of gardens, with fountains, colorful flower beds and cacti, and once you’re checked in you’re in another world, a peaceful retreat.
Arizona Inn Amenities
The Arizona Inn today has a 4-Diamond AAA rating, both for the hotel and for its restaurant, just known as the Dining Room. It’s always been a favorite place for Tucsonians when they want to go somewhere special, and its high ceilings, its fireplace and the floods of light do provide a great setting for a meal. The food here is pretty traditional, but wonderfully done, with dishes like Colorado lamb chops and buffalo tenderloin on the menu, along with seasonal specials.
One of the inn’s philosophies is that guests don’t get hit with unexpected extras when they come to settle the bill. So parking is free (there’s a big lot right across from the entrance), as is high-speed internet, and there are no hidden ‘resort fees’. Little wonder that this amazing place has been included on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List and Travel and Leisure’s Top 500 Hotels in the World, and won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence among many other awards and accolades.
Our Night In
We enjoyed two more free treats provided by the Arizona Inn, which both added up to the perfect night in. We tucked into the complimentary ice-cream served by the swimming pool in the summer – though Tucson’s winter is like summer in most other places. And instead of going out to see Los Lonely Boys (we did get our money back!) we stayed in with some of the other guests at the Arizona Inn. But these were no ordinary guests, as over the years the Inn has hosted such famous names as John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Bette Davis, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Each room has a DVD player and the reception desk holds a free DVD library, with a special section of movies starring the Inn’s illustrious guests. So we may not have got Los Lonely Boys that night, but we did check out two classic old movies – High Noon and North by Northwest. And you know what – as birthday treats go, getting tucked up in bed with a glass or two of wine and some old movies, it’s hard to beat. But given the unexpected guest we had when we first arrived, maybe we should have watched The Birds.
E Elm St 2200, Tucson, Arizona 85719, USA
Phone: +1 520 325 1541
Arizona Inn Website
All Photos (c) Donna Dailey