Hotel Gadsden, Hotel Impossible in Douglas

January 17th, 2014 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

The Hotel Gadsden could only happen out West.

It’s so cowboy that you half-expect to see the Sheriff and his dance hall girlfriend in the downstairs saloon. The lobby is stunning.

Gadsen Hotel Lobby

If the big dramatic staircase looks familiar to you, it’s because you’ve seen it before at the movies. The Hotel Gadsden has been a movie set many times, and every cowboy from John Wayne to Johnny Depp has slept here.

Look closely at the staircase to find a chip in Step #7 – made by none other than the outlaw and liberator Pancho Villa. In 1916 Villa and his horse stormed into the town of Douglas and then he rode his animal up these stairs, making the chip you can still see today.

Yes, these are real Tiffany windows, Tiffany Windows at Hotel Gadsden

and yes, the gold trim in the columns is genuine 14karat gold.Hotel Gadsden gold trim They spared no expense when they built the Hotel Gadsden back in 1907 –it was built as the new in-spot for the A-list of the Titanic era. The interior of the Hotel Gadsden is so pretty that it can look like a Mondrian painting:

Hotel Gadsden with Mondrian Squares

The town of Douglas is two cities in one – Douglas is in the USA and the other side, Agua Prieta is in Mexico. The two just flow together in one Spanlish culture. As we say in Arizona, coyotes don’t know about borders and birds don’t carry green cards.
Hotel Gadsden in Douglas Outside

The Hotel Gadsden is past its glory days when the town was full of prosperous mines and ranches. In May 2013 the TV show “Hotel Impossible” featured the Hotel Gadsden, which had been losing $200,000 a year. Hotel Impossible recommended to go modern — like, let’s get a computer for the front desk. The Hotel Gadsden is still being fixed up today, so you’ll see rolls of carpets, new furniture and fixtures in the halls.

Hotel Gadsden Remodeling rec

If you’re the adventurous type, you can stay in the Hotel Gadsden and experience the authentic American West. You have to put up with little lovable glitches that all old buildings have – the elevator doesn’t always work, the phone booths have no phones,Hotel Gadsden Phone Booths and some of the fixtures may be old. But the price of a room is really cheap ($49), and the architecture is full of little beautiful touches. If you stay at the Hotel Gadsden, the kid in you will get to cowboy up and thrill to the days of yesteryear.

Hi ho, Silver, and away.Hotel Gadsden hi ho silver

(Website of the Hotel Gadsden is “The Gadsden Hotel”)

Tags: Arizona · Arizona photography · AZ · Tucson · Tucson Tourism