I had never heard of the Arizona Inn, but while in Tucson my temporary landlord invited me to a Passover meal and one of the guests worked there as the master woodworker in the onsite cabinet and furniture making shop, and he was talking about it’s beauty and history, so I went to check it out.
A friend and I went one Sat. afternoon in March and wandered around. It is located on 14 acres in mid-town Tucson, on Elm Street, between Country Club and Campbell Ave., not far from the house my Mom lived in. It was opened in 1930, and at the time it was considered out in the country. Isabella Greenway built it partially to create an Inn for visitors to stay in, but also to provide a market for the furniture that was being built in her business that hired WWI Veterans. The market crash of 29 had cut down on the market for the furniture she was building and she wanted to keep these vets employed so created her Inn and furnished it with the furniture they were building. The Inn still employs master woodworkers, such as the man I met, to restore the original furniture and create new pieces. The Inn still continues Isabella’s progressive policies and often hires immigrants to work there. They are very supportive of their employees. The man I met at the dinner had worked there happily for many, many years.
Isabella was quite a progressive woman and became the first congresswoman for AZ. She was close friends with Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband rode with Teddy Roosevelt’s rough riders.
The 4 diamond Inn is beautifully landscaped with many gardens and fountains spread throughout. There are 95 casita type rooms and suites, 2 2-story 6000 sq. foot residential homes with 5 Bdr. each and their own private pool and a smaller 2 bdr. guest house. The room rate starts at $139 a night. They host weddings, corporate retreats, family reunions and other events.
There is a tennis court, heated outdoor pool, large library, an exercise facility, a sauna, a 4 diamond dining room, a bar that serves food and food available next to the pool, a business center, various games and even ice cream served by the pool seasonally. I love the beautiful Spanish architecture, and all the little added details on the windows and tiles.
So if you are in Tucson and need a place to stay, check it out. Or even if you don’t, go walk around and enjoy the beautiful landscaping.