"The last of the great railroad hotels...."
This rambling historic hotel and restaurant sits among extensive gardens and landscaped grounds next to the Santa Fe (Amtrak) Railroad depot in the center of Winslow. A National Historic Landmark, La Posada Hotel offers a unique cultural experience for Southwest travelers. Built in 1929 for the Santa Fe Railway, La Posada is truly one of America’s treasures.
La Posada is renowned as the last major railroad hotel to be conceived and designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the famed architect of many Grand Canyon, Harvey House, and Santa Fe Railroad hotels across the west. It was Fred Harvey who hired Colter to design the hotel; it embodied her vision, from its architecture down to its finely crafted details.
Mary Colter always began designing her buildings by creating a rich fantasy about their history. She envisioned La Posada as the grand hacienda of a wealthy Spanish landowner, whose family lived here for 120 years, occasionally expanding the hotel until it finally resembled the structure as seen today. This fantasy guided every aspect of her architectural design.
Colter and Harvey conceived La Posada as both a haven for weary travelers and a luxurious resort for tourists eager to explore the Four Corners Region. The "Pueblo Deco" hotel recreates the look and feel of an early Spanish hacienda, with lush grounds, gardens, and fountains.
La Posada has a long, remarkable history, from the days when Winslow was a key waypoint for transcontinental travelers, and the largest city in the region. Winslow is on both historic Route 66 and the Santa Fe (now the Amtrak) rail line, and from 1929 on, is also a key terminal for Transcontinental Air Transport—the first "Lindbergh Line."
Winslow was/is the jumping-off point for tourism to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and other Four Corners attractions. Passengers on the Santa Fe Chief and other famed luxury trains, as well as on the TAT's Ford Trimotors and later DC-3's, stopped over at La Posada for extended HarveyCar Tours.
However, the railroad's original La Posada Hotel closed in 1957, and for 40 years, its future was uncertain. At last, in 1997, Allan Affeldt and his wife, artist Tina Mion, purchased the hotel with a vision of returning La Posada to Colter’s original concept. A phased restoration plan enabled the first guest rooms and public areas to be reopened within three years, and is ongoing. Today, the gardens, restaurant, and two gift shops further recreate the ambience of the railroad hotel's heyday, and Colter's vision.