Occasionally when you travel you will find yourself somewhere so inviting, so blissful, and so beautiful that it physically pains you to leave when it is time to go. For me, that was The Hermosa Inn, which is situated in the Paradise Valley section of Phoenix Arizona. This gem is a historic luxury boutique hotel that offers 43 rooms/casitas individually decorated in warm, southwestern style. Fireplaces, secluded patios and vaulted ceilings add to the relaxed appeal. But this property offers so much more than just breathtaking grounds and gorgeous casitas, there is a large amount of interesting history that goes along with it.
In 1935 cowboy artist Alonzo Megargee (better known as Lon) purchased 6 acres of land and built his studio of adobe bricks calling his home Los Arcos and later Casa Hermosa, meaning "beautiful house". Guests came from all over to visit and stay with Lon for weeks on end to experience the tranquility of desert life in nature during the day and for the parties well into the evening . Lon was known as a ladies man (being married at least 7 times) and his home was well known as a place for drinking and good times. Rumors suggest that guests used tunnels to escape the police during his late night drinking and gambling parties. These mysterious tunnels were discovered years later near the wine cellar downstairs. Today in the Wine Cellar, they offer a private candlelit dinner that seats up to 12 guests and features 1890's Chicago brick, reclaimed beams, and trusses.
In the midst of a divorce around 1941, Lon was forced to sell his home and everything inside of it (which included most of his art). Different owners throughout the years have added a pool, casitas and villas to the property. One of the many neat things at the Hermosa Inn is that you can do a self guided art walk to view all of the original pieces by the cowboy artist Lon Megargee.
This property is perfect for mother/daughter trips, small weddings, celebration travel, health and wellness retreats, and couples getaways just to name a few options. Although the property is a sprawling 6 acres it still continues to maintain that quant feeling, something like right out of a storybook fairytale.
The Hermosa Inn is home to Lon's Last Drop, one of the best places in the surrounding area to enjoy a craft cocktail or a local Arizona brew. This newly expanded bar patio features five outdoor fireplaces and an all-day menu featuring small plates, sandwiches, salads, and pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven. Their restaurant, Lon's at the Hermosa (occupying the original building), is rated one of Paradise Valley’s top restaurants, which after dining there, comes as no surprise. During chillier nights many enjoy the fire pits that are facing Camelback Mountain for sunset views with a glass of wine. The Hermosa Inn also offers a few spaces for small groups to dine privately.
In the past ten years they have also opened a spa that offers an array of different treatments to choose from. The spa is a great place for those searching for serenity and is housed in an authentic adobe casita, one of the original structures at The Hermosa Inn. The spa features antique furniture, a beehive fireplace, private bathroom and shower and patio.
With the extensive background of Lon Megargee and the art worked inside, history buffs would also delight in a stay here. Below you will find an original portion of the adobe bricks Lon used to build this property. The Inn is also visited by many celebrities and in 1995 was even featured in the movie Waiting to Exhale. Whitney Houston's character celebrates New Year's Eve in Lon's main dining room.
Although there have been a few different owners since Lon had to sell it so many years ago, the Hermosa Inn still retains the historic charm of the original hacienda built by the cowboy. You can watch a quick video of the Deluxe Casita as well as a video of a partial property tour below.
If you would like to learn more about this magnificent property, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner by clicking here.
Thank you to Starstuff Travel Planner Nicole Miller for some of her beautiful photos. You can reach Nicole at NMiller@StarstuffTravel.com