On the way here we drove through the Painted Desert, famous for its bright coloured rocks and for the way the sunlight and shadows affect them.
This hotel, residence and private museum and gallery is situated in a fairly unassuming location. A little one-horse town, with apparently little to see or do. We chose it, again because Ian had researched it well, and it was a staging post on the way to Flagstaff and Sedona, where we headed. It was historically a staging post along Route 66, which runs all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles. Located right by the railway line, it was occupied by the Railway company as offices, in 1961. There are thoughtful benches so that railway buffs can sit and watch the trains coming through, but it was too chilly for that, with temperatures near freezing in the chilly wind, even though there was blue sky and sunshine.
It has been restored in the manner of a Spanish Hacienda, and houses loads of hand painted, Mexican-influenced furniture, lighting in metal work, antique leather chairs and hand carved furniture. The couple who own also live in a wing of it. The guest rooms are faithfully restored and contain antique, painted furniture and artefacts.
Tina Mion is an artist and an extensive collection of large canvases she has painted are hung all over on two floors of the building. We spent a few hours the following morning, wandering around gazing at her wonderful paintings, reading the helpful descriptions of what inspired these original works. Stunning colours and haunting expressions on many of the faces in the paintings. She explains how the bright light and colours in the desert inspire. What a fantastic place to come!
Only stayed one night and splashed out on an expensive but lovely meal in the Turquoise Room. The chef is English, which makes you proud. Cameron, the bar man/jack-of-all-trades was attentive and welcoming. We ate traditional Hopi piki bread with hummus as a starter, a thin, light as air wafer,and green, made from juniper root, ash and water! I had elk in black currant sauce, and Ian had steak. Superb. Just when you're beginning to feel a bit burgered out and need a change from very good but very standard budget accommodation experiences, this place really hit the spot!
La Posada is rated no.3 in the whole of the US for bargain hotels by Trip Advisor.
The Turquoise Room is rated the 2nd best hotel restaurant in the whole USA by Conde Nast.
For once, they're not exaggerating.