The story behind the story: The Hermosa Inn, Paradise Valley, Arizona.
By Cacinda Maloney
Becoming a real cowboy was a boyhood dream and Lon Megargee, who was born in 1883, was no exception. In 1886, at the tender age of 13, when his father was killed in Cuba, he made his way to the Arizona desert to start the long path that would take him there. He spent several years working, doing chores on his uncle’s ranch and over the course of his life, he became a successful cowboy with a passion for ranch life and a love for horses. He eventually bought land and settled down, for what he thought would be for life, but was then driven to sell everything thing he owned, due to the drought that occurred in 1909. This is where the twists in life gets interesting, so just remember that sometimes when there are what you think are setbacks, they are really just turns in your road of life! He moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in, of all things, an art class. He began sketching and soon, not only was he well known as a cowboy, but now as a cowboy artist, eventually returning to Arizona in Paradise Valley, to build a studio and home that he called the Casa Hermosa. It was bought in 1941 by another couple that turned it into an inn business. It reflects the character of Lon and respects the landscape of the Arizona desert. I like it because it has that rustic, outdoor Southwest feeling.
Today, The Hermosa Inn, after its stunning $2 million refurbishment, is a luxury boutique hotel in the center of the hustle and bustle world in the Phoenix metropolis of Paradise Valley, which is built up against multimillion-dollar homes. Staying here now allows you to get a glimpse of what life was like in the 1930’s. Glancing up from the gorgeous deep blue pool, you would never even dream that you are anywhere near a city, as the grounds are gorgeous. And yet, almost not realize what the history of this place actually is.
I stayed in Deluxe Casita #108 and I could not be happier with what an amazing experience I had from the moment I checked in, with an in-room amenity awaiting for me.
Right outside my casita was a cactus garden and large sculpture collection that was acquired from Figarelli Fine Art in Scottsdale, with more than 30 pieces from Lon himself, and the rest are from local artisans.
The Casita itself was a free standing building, which can connect with an adjacent casita to create a two-bedroom suite. It was a spacious 750 sq. feet with a fabulous kind-sized bed, a separate seating area and two chocolate brown leather chairs around a fireplace with a sunlight ceiling.
The bathroom was extra large and had a soak tub and a spacious walk in shower.
The first thing the next morning after spending the night, I went for a photo walk and ended up at the shimmering swimming pool along with other a few other couples that were staying the night. The pool area had lounge chairs, towels, umbrellas and multiple cabanas. There was a separate jacuzzi and something I rarely see, which was wheelchair access to both the pool and the jacuzzi.
Overall, my time spent at the Hermosa Inn was a unique experience that I absolutely loved and would whole-heartedly recommend.
What: The Hermosa Inn
Where: Paradise Valley, Arizona, USA
TripAdvisor Rating: #2 in Paradise Valley, AZ
Rooms: Features 34 hacienda-style, single-
Spa: Blue Door Spa is a full service spa
Price Range: $127-172 summer rates, the Deluxe Casita I stayed in runs $157 a night.
If you enjoyed this post about my Pink Jeep Tour of Sedona, AZ you might want to take a look at these other related posts from Arizona:
Disclosure: My stay at the inn was courtesy of The Hermosa Inn. The opinions expressed here are my own, as usual.