When I was planning my northern Arizona road trip, I knew that I would be spending one night in Williams before traveling on to the Grand Canyon so I started my search for a place to stay. There is no shortage of big, modern motels in Williams but if you've followed my blogs for any length of time you might know that I tend to seek out the historic places.
When it opened back in 1891, it was the only hotel close to the Grand Canyon so it was the logical place to stay for those hardy pioneer travelers who wanted to see that famous canyon.
The hotel closed in 1970 after the interstate highway bypassed Williams and the building stood empty for 35 years. In 2004 it was purchased and the restoration and remodeling work began. It opened again for business in 2005 with all new electric wiring, plumbing, paint and a new roof. The rooms are small as you might expect from such an old hotel but, my room was quite comfortable. When I first checked in, I was a bit worried about air conditioning but, you might be able to see that portable air conditioner over there by the window. I turned it on and it cooled the room to perfection in a matter of minutes.
The bathroom even came with an old claw-footed bath tub!
The hotel was full of antique furniture and wonderful old photographs. This photo shows the second floor landing.
In the afternoon a horse and carriage was parked outside and offering rides around the historic city with a little bit of western flare.
And, in the evening, the lobby was aglow from all the neon lights along Route 66 just outside the door. Staying here was a great experience and since some of the hotel's past guests included General Pershing, The Vanderbuilts, the King of Siam and John Muir, I was in some very good company.