La Posada Hotel and Harvey House Restaurant, Winslow, Arizona
Tribute by Jeffrey Sward
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Located in Winslow, Arizona directly adjacent to the Amtrak Railroad Station is the La Posada Hotel. The La Posada Hotel has been described as the last great railroad hotel. The La Posada Hotel was originally conceived as a luxury hotel for railroad passengers taking the Super Chief on the Santa Fe Railroad from Los Angeles to Chicago. The hotel was designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and first opened in 1929.

After a long period of decline, the La Posada Hotel has been renovated under the direction of Allan Affeldt and Tina Mion. The restoration is excellent.

As was often the custom in the Western United States during the prime era of railroad travel, the hotel also included a Fred Harvey restaurant. In 1870 Fred Harvey obtained an extremely lucrative contract with the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad to create restaurants directly adjacent to ATSF train stations. There were subsequently a large number Harvey House Restaurants created. Originally ATSF passenger railroads had no on-board food. The Harvey House Restaurants were explicitly designed and managed to serve meals to an entire trainload of passengers in the very short period of time the railroad allowed for a meal stop, often only one hour. Within a few years after the Harvey House Restaurants started to open the ATSF Railroad began offering on-board train food. However, the Harvey House Restaurants continued to operate and thrive during the entire rail travel era.

The Harvey House Restaurant at the La Posada Hotel has been exquisitely restored as the Turquoise Room. The restoration of the restaurant is based upon the make-the-restoration-better-than-the-original restoration school. Although a bit pricey, the food is also excellent.

Visit the La Posada Hotel and Harvey House Restaurant Web Site.


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