Hello again, travelers. Today, we continue our hotel gem series with Gildshire’s favorite hotels in the southwestern quadrant of the country. To recap, we opened with Gildshire’s favorite hotels out west, visiting one near San Diego, one in Oregon and two in Washington. In this series, we’re looking for special things about the hotels that make them stand out from the crowd. We’re trying to stay out of the chain hotel world, and in the world of independent lodging operations. Oh, and we’re keeping the price at $150 a night, or less. Hard to do, you bet, but our itinerant travelers are good at what they do. Have a tank of gas, will find a Continental breakfast with made to order omelets because that’s the kind of travel magazine we are at Gildshire. So, to the land of cactus and big ole’ ranches we go! Join us, won’t you?
Inn and Spa at Loretto: Santa Fe is one of our favorite cities in the great southwest, so we were thrilled to find one of Gildshire’s favorite hotels in its heart. The Inn and Spa at Loretto is convenient to the downtown plaza and famous for its large and inviting rooms. The southwestern decor won’t surprise you, but how tastefully done it is just might. Find it at 211 Old Santa Fe Trail. Rooms from $147.
Ilima Hotel: This one may surprise you, but it shouldn’t. After all, you can’t get any further south OR any further west in the United States than Hawaii. Price alone can’t turn a run-of-the-mill hotel into one of Gildshire’s favorite hotels, but our eyes popped at the registration desk of this place. The rooms are tastefully appointed and in the middle of the action on Waikiki. It’s $115 a night! That is correct. In a city where food and lodging are historically expensive, this gem is a bargain to boot. What’s great besides the price? Well, as a courtesy to their guests, the Ilima throws in all of that view for nothing. Paradise out of your window at a bargain basement price. Find it at 445 Nohnnani St, Honolulu.
The Silk Pincushion: If there was an award for best hotel name, this one would be a contender. The “gem” aspect of this place is found in the friendliness of the proprietors and the amazing breakfast served seven days a week. Golden is the name of the town and golden too are the sunsets over the Rocky Mountains just outside of town. For $145 a night, the quaint history of Golden awaits travelers who like a nice stroll after dinner. Find it at 1523 Ford St.
The Thornton Inn: Hospitality is the name of the game at this fine lodging establishment. Speaking of “the game” the proprietors of The Thornton Inn will take you to the Rangers or Cowboys game, drop you off and pick you up if you ask. We call that gem-like behavior and are, therefore, pleased to recommend this North Texas lodging gem as one of Gildshire’s favorite hotels. When you get back from the game, expect an evening coffee and conversation on the old-fashioned front porch. Or, take a solitary walk around, with the sound of cicadas in your ears. Either way, no stay on your trip will be any more enjoyable. Rooms from $150, you can find them at 719 W. Abram St, in Arlington.
Riverwalk Vista: “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” is a marketing slogan unless you’re staying at Riverwalk Vista in San Antonio. Then, it’s an understatement. Soaring 20-foot ceilings greet arrivals, and giant windows are connected by exposed brick. What an impressive introduction to Texas’ best (in our opinion, anyway) city. While it isn’t right on the riverwalk, that famous walkway of shops, restaurants, and clubs is less than a full block away. There are only 16 rooms in the place, so your exclusivity as a wise traveler is assured. Find it for $150 a night at 262 Lasoya St.
M Resort Spa and Casino: We love the lights and glitz of Las Vegas, but your Vegas hotel choices usually run from “On the strip” to “Not so much.” That’s why the M Resort and Casino is one of Gildshire’s favorite hotels. It is a beautiful facility, convenient to the international airport and the quieter dignity of south Vegas. Friendly and helpful employees, too. For $100 a night, it fits the budget and fits our criteria. Find it at 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. S, in Henderson.
Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort: We admit to a certain bias when it comes to Flagstaff, Arizona. Where most of the rest of the state will burn your face off and laugh at what remains, Flagstaff offers cool breezes and even snow! Lots of snow, as a matter of fact. Here at the resort, you’ll find a warm welcome, no matter what the weather is like outside. The resort has multiple restaurants and each one gets rave reviews. Our price was $135 a night, but you might do even better with a casino or tour package. Find it at 22181 Resort Blvd.
On your next trip to the great southwest, enjoy a stay at one, or more, of these lodging gems. Tell them Gildshire sent you and they might give you an extra bottle of shampoo. We’re influential like that. Travel safe!