Why we love it: A raucous stay where historic details meet a modern party scene
- A thrilling backstory full of gangsters and ghosts
- Regular programming like reenactments of John Dillinger’s downfall
- A lively scene, complete with a nightclub and several dining outlets
Built in 1919 for travelers on the Southern Pacific Railroad, this landmark hotel embraces the energy of Tucson’s vibrant downtown—and the noise that comes with it. L.A.-based architects William and Alexander Curlett renovated the property—which is known for being the site of the Dillinger Gang capture in 1934—but took care to preserve historic details like the Tap Room bar and the colorful murals that line the walls. Thanks in part to their meticulous work, the hotel is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but also serves as a modern cultural hub.
The 40 guest rooms sit either above the on-site nightclub, surrounded by a cactus garden, or facing the city. All feature Southwestern-chic decor as well as old-timey touches like iron beds, vintage radios, and 1930s-style phones that connect to a real switchboard at the front desk. Rumor has it that a few are even haunted by past guests and residents of the hotel, but the only tangible downside to the accommodations is the noise—if you’re worried about getting a good night’s sleep, book an interior room or grab a pair of complimentary ear plugs from the front desk. Alternatively, you could just join in the fun at the on-site Club Congress, Tiger’s Tap Room, or Cup Cafe, or grab a meal across the street at Maynards Kitchen, which is located in a historic train depot just steps from where Wyatt Earp killed Frank Stilwell during the O.K. Corral gunfight.