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Hotel Congress

311 Congress St, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
| +1 520-622-8848
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Hotel Congress  Arizona United States

Hotel Congress

Why we love it: A raucous stay where historic details meet a modern party scene

Highlights:
- 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

The Review: 
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.

More Recommendations

AFAR Local Expert
almost 6 years ago

From Bank Robbers to French Guitarists, Since 1919

This small historic hotel in downtown Tucson wears many hats: a "best bar in America," serving drinks continuously since 1919; site of the 1934 capture of infamous bank robber John Dillinger; dance club; and the longest-running music venue of its kind west of the Mississippi. You can also get one of this desert city's best coconut cream pies in the hotel's Cup Café. On top of that, breakfast here rocks. Recently, French guitarist/composer Stéphane Wrembel (who did the soundtrack for the recent Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris) played in the hotel's Club Congress. This town is more eclectic than you might think. Check out what's playing the next time you pass through Southern Arizona...
AFAR Local Expert
almost 6 years ago

Bottles Above, Drinks Below

A destination since 1919, Tucson's Hotel Congress is home to the Cup Café—one of the best places in town from breakfast to happy hour and on into late night. Look up when in the restaurant. A couple of 'dead soldier chandeliers' will light your menu-browsing. You can get duck confit tacos to go with your local microbrew or cocktail. (Just so you know, this establishment won the 2010 World Margarita Championship.) Across the hotel lobby is the Tap Room—a true western bar that's been serving drinks continuously since the hotel first opened—one of the oldest drinking establishments in the West. Infamous 1930s bank robber John Dillinger was captured here. Today you'll find a cross-section of Tucsonans and out-of-towners, downtown business people, hipsters, night owls, musicians, university students, older couples on road-trips...
over 2 years ago

A historic hotel with character in downtown Tucson

The Hotel Congress stands proudly in downtown Tucson. Built in 1919, it has since been renovated but still keeps its vintage, quirky style. Each of the forty rooms is free from television, has an iron bed, a vintage radio and an old-fashioned telephone that is actually working and connects you to the front desk. But the most impressive of all is the retro-style desk that will inspire you to finish off that novel still hidden inside you. This Historic Hotel of America is located at the heart of Tucson so everything you want to see or experience is just around the corner, including the Rialto Theatre. Also, close is the streetcar that will take you up to Mercado San Agustin. Start your day with breakfast at the Cup Cafe within the hotel featuring the best Cuban coffee and egg dishes in town with my favorite the Huevos Rancheros. In the evening, have a drink at the Tap Room Bar or sip cocktails at the patio for the sunset and feel the Arizona heat. Later on, join the fun at the Club Congress. With numerous music events and shows weekly, you will find something that you like. The Hotel Congress is known to be noisy but ignore the earplugs found in your bathroom kit and dance through the night. Tucson is a fun city and the Hotel Congress can only make it better.