Of the myriad biomes in Arizona, perhaps the best known is the desert. As a visitor to the desert, you find hotel chains, but you also find lodging that gives you a more authentic Arizona desert experience. Desert hotels and bed-and-breakfasts give you a chance to enjoy Arizona’s ancient history, cowboy and mining days and artistic communities up close.
The Verde Valley
In the Verde Valley of central Arizona, the Luna Vista is a luxury bed and breakfast in Rimrock, offers its guests massages and in-room spas. The two king suites and one queen suite have private baths. Reserve another queen suite alone or as part of a two-room suite with a shared bathroom. The Desert Rose Bed and Breakfast in Cottonwood features full-size, mid-size and compact rooms and serves a continental breakfast. The Annabel Inn, a bed and breakfast in Old Town Cottonwood, is “proud to be green.” Of its three rooms, two share a hallway bath. All three of these desert hotels are within easy distance of the ancient Sinagua ruins of Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well, the mining ghost town of Jerome and the Red Rocks of Sedona.
Tombstone is the heart of the Wild West, and you can add to your desert adventure at any one of several bed-and-breakfast inns. The Tombstone Bordello offers 10 aptly named rooms, all with private baths, and caretakers who dress the part. The Silver Nugget has four rooms, and you can enjoy a continental breakfast on a balcony that overlooks Tombstone’s famous Allen Street. Three rooms, one of which has a private bath, are available at Marie’s Engaging Bed & Breakfast, which serves a full breakfast to its guests. You may also opt for a two-bedroom suite. The “working women” of Tombstone’s heyday give the four rooms at Crazy Annie’s Bordello their names. Have a continental breakfast in the morning, drinks at the saloon in the evening and spend your day in Tombstone experiencing life in the Old West.
Not all deserts are heat and cactus. In southern Arizona, the mile-high desert of Bisbee can be 10 to 20 degrees cooler Phoenix or Tucson. The Copper Queen Hotel in historic Bisbee has been open continuously since 1902. No two rooms are alike in this full-service hotel of 48 rooms. A courtyard building houses five more rooms. You may even run into one of hotel’s the three resident ghosts. The High Desert Inn opened in 1919 as Bisbee’s sheriff’s office, courthouse and jail. Its five rooms with full baths can accommodate nine people; the single occupancy “Solitary Refinement” room was a prison cell once upon a time. The Gardens at Mile High Ranch is a bed and breakfast a mile from historic Bisbee has seven units with private baths and all but two with fully equipped kitchenettes. Enjoy three acres of lush gardens, and other available relaxing and healing services such as massage, colon therapy and body detox and spa treatments.
Forty miles south of Tucson is the artistic community of Tubac, home of the Tubac Festival of the Arts, the southwest’s longest-running art festival. Here you can stay at the Tubac Country Inn, in one of five rooms, one of which has a full kitchen and two bedrooms. All rooms have a private bath. The innkeepers will place a breakfast basket at your door each morning. All rooms are non-smoking. Only children age 13 and up may stay, unless you have reserved the entire inn. No pets.
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