Standing on the corner: La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona

A version of this article was published in Budget Living magazine in early 2006; the information was correct at time of publication.

The line from the Eagles’ song, “Standing on the corner…” ran through my mind as I pulled into the rambling adobe complex that makes up La Posada Hotel, a national historic landmark off Route 66 in Winslow, Arizona. I parked among a flock of Harleys (‘this could be interesting,’ I mused) and headed for reception.

            Crossing the threshold, I entered a time warp. From the gracious art- and antiques-filled lobby, broad steps ascended to a ballroom, suggestive of the days when Mary Pickford and John Barrymore vacationed here. La Posada was designed in 1929 as a historical fantasy — a grand Spanish hacienda turned upscale hotel, according to owner Allan Affelt. Its blend of splendid theatricality and country-home comfort still attracts celebrities (recent sightings include Harrison Ford and Lauren Hutton) along with the rest of us.

            After check-in, I made a beeline for the hotel’s casual but classy Turquoise Room, a destination for serious foodies, shown right. There I found the Harleys’ owners — sedate-looking members of a Canadian motorcycle club — tucking into chef John Sharpe’s Southwestern-accented fare. Eat as many meals here as you can; every dish is an imaginative presentation of luxury ingredients from the region, including Navajo Churro lamb and elk, or farther afield, such as Black Angus beef or Alaskan snow crab. Order a gourmet box lunch to take along as you explore Winslow’s environs.

            “There are no sunsets more beautiful than those in the Little Painted Desert, just outside town,” says Affelt. He also recommends Clear Creek Canyon for swimming and boating; Jack’s Canyon, an internationally renowned climbing spot; and the Anasazi petroglyphs at Rock Art Ranch. The Grand Canyon is a three-hour drive away.

            The 38 guest rooms have TVs, but no phones. Request a room overlooking the charming Mediterranean-style courtyard garden, with its splashing fountain, shown left; find telephones at the front desk and wi-fi in the lounge. (La Posada Hotel, 303 East Second St., also Route 66; 928-289-4366,; doubles $89, two-bedroom suites $149).

Text and photos c. Stephanie Woodard.

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