Elite Traveler Winter 2021


Like most unforgettable hotels, Hermosa Inn began with someone who was larger than life. Hand-built by noteworthy cowboy artist Lon Megargee from 1930 to 1936, the soulfully nostalgic enclave of adobe casitas occupies six acres in an upscale residential area, amongst a backdrop of craggy mountains, saguaro cacti and desert terrain. An oasis of repose, its bungalows stipple as craftily into the quiet retreat’s garden as Megargee’s brushstrokes enlivened his canvases — which still hang throughout the hotel. Not just an artist known for such idyllic characterizations as The Last Drop From His Stetson (still reproduced within many Stetson hats) and Cowboy’s Dream , Megargee painted murals for the Arizona capitol building, created sentimental magazine covers, and executed logos with Western themes. He also multitasked as a Casanova, poker dealer, cowpoke champion roper and flimflam man. In short, he was legendary, deftly personifying the roof-raising romance of the Old West and its aftermath. From the secret tunnels that purportedly lie beneath the hacienda (built to ease the exit of skedaddling swillers during prohibition) to the myriad, mischievous ghost sightings in the inn’s kitchen, to the atmosphere of respect for the surrounding landscape, Megargee’s palpable legacy permeates the property. Turned into a hotel in 1941, when the new owners continued to be visited by Megargee’s merrymaking friends who wished to stay overnight, The Hermosa Inn continues to be a festive gathering place in its common areas — such as its acclaimed restaurant, LON’s, a gastronome favorite — as well as a relaxing hideaway for solace seekers. Bikes, hammocks under the stars, sangria in the pool cabanas and views of Camelback Mountain’s Praying Monk rock seal the deal. Don’t miss ‘Cool Dining’ in the historic, 57-degree Wine Cellar, an elegant way to escape the heat. Deluxe Casita from $500 per night. Contact Pam Swartz, director of guest experience, pswartz@hermosainn.com, +1 602 955 7586, hermosainn.com

Photos Kip Dawkins, Dragonfly Image Partners, David B Moore

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