Monday, December 31, 2018

The Lodge on the Desert

It's New Years Eve and this is my last blog post of the year, let's go back to the desert and my favorite hotel in Tucson, The Lodge on the Desert...

Our first stay here—years ago—was a fluke. I booked it on one of those websites where you name your price and accept whatever hotel they award you, without knowing exactly what you're getting, is that still a thing? Anyway, I was smitten. When we planned a night in Tucson, between Phoenix and Las Cruces, last June, I couldn't wait to return. The patio below belonged to our room, once the sun went down we sat in those chairs and soaked up the warm evening air.

This was the next room over, which was empty. In fact we had the whole little courtyard to ourselves.

Naturally I went exploring...

A recently pruned Opuntia tree (you can see the "woody" cuts).

It's got a serious cochineal infestation.

A little history: "Dating back to 1931, the original main building served as a four-bedroom private residence. Built on two acres and surrounded by empty desert, it included a corral with horses and a bunk house... (later it) opened for business as Lodge On the Desert in 1936 with seven guestrooms. The early years reflected the limitations of the era. There were no dining facilities, little refrigeration or air conditioning and heat came from a coal furnace. Roads leading to the lodge were unpaved (present day Alvernon Way) with surrounding areas undeveloped. During World War II, it served as housing for Air Force officers in training, and on other occasions became a retreat for celebrities filming western films in Tucson. Additional rooms were added from the 1950s to 70s, bringing the total to 35." (source)

There was another expansion in 2009, which I believe must have occurred after our first stay, because the entrance was completely different than I remember it, updated and new (and not necessarily in a good way). Thankfully the rest of the facility retained the charm I was expecting.

I so appreciate the garden and the fact these plants are obviously cared for.

The Opuntia tree again, from a different angle.

Camouflage!

They must regularly remove the pups, otherwise this would be an Agave patch.

Close-up of the flowers, and the moon...

There must be "activities" that take place on the lawn, otherwise how could they justify such an expanse of green (yes, the green continues into the dark shadows)?

We didn't eat at the onsite restaurant, maybe next time.

Okay, I'm back in "our" courtyard, outside our room. I didn't take any pictures inside...but the bed was comfy, the room spacious and clean, and the a/c kept us cool...I highly recommend a stay here the next time you're in Tucson. I know we'll be back.

Weather Diary, Dec 30: Hi 50, Low 34/ Precip .02"

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

20 comments:

  1. Your private courtyard is adorable! I could picture myself sitting out there sipping ice tea after sunset. I noticed wood cylinders attached to the top parts of some walls. Do they serve a purpose of just decorative?

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    1. While I don't know for sure, I'm going with decorative. I think they're just mimicking the way adobe buildings used to be constructed, with wooden poles.

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  2. Filing this one away for visits to Tucson -- Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year! Here's to fun travels in 2019...

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  3. May your new year be as warm and beautiful as this magical place! Charm in spades.

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  4. Haven't been to the southwest in years but I will keep this in mind just in case. We've found the perfect hotel in Cleveland across from the Botanical Gardens and around the corner from the art museum. Once you find a great place, it is so nice to be able to return.

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    1. Indeed, we like to be able to give the good places repeat business.

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  5. What perfect lodging for you! I'm impressed they've managed to both stay afloat and remain reasonably true to the lodge's original atmosphere. The emerald green lawn was a bit of a surprise, though. These days, when I see a lawn like that here, it's usually artificial.

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    1. I thought it was artificial at first, but upon closer inspection it proved to be the real deal.

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  6. Wow! My favorite kind of desert architecture (style of the 1920s/30s). And beautiful gardens and courtyards! We'll stay here next time we visit, for sure. The exposed beams on the outside of the buildings are called "vigas." You're right, they are the ends of the roof-support beams. Depending on the age of the building, they may or may not be structural.

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  7. Looks like a nice place to stay--and all the plants! Thanks for the tip on lodging when visiting Tucson. I like the way the buildings and the courtyards seem comfortable and appropriate for the surroundings.

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    1. It's so unusual these days to find "inward focused" lodging these days. Sure we had to haul our luggage through the courtyard, but so much nicer than looking at a parking lot right out your door.

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  8. I am intrigued. I'd stay there too just to gaze upon the plant selections. You do have a knack for finding neat places :)

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  9. I like the low bungalow style and it seems quite private. I love the low mixed planter with the tall yellow, barrel and other cactus.

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    1. Very private...perfect for a undercover getaway...

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  10. Everything seems in such perfect taste. My contrary nature goads me to ask to see the new entry that you find jarring. Tuscon is not on my wish list but I eagerly soaked up this vicarious visit.
    rickii

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    1. Large photo right here...https://www.lodgeonthedesert.com/en-us/about

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