Hotel Monte Vista
100 North San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86001, United States
Horrible sleep and customer service
I'm sitting here in my King size bed for $110/night and am contemplating throwing my faux antique wooden chair out the window on the band below. It's a Thursday night and the front desk just informed me that the band will be playing their crappy music till 1 in the morning and there are no more rooms available at 9:45pm. That a band can even be heard in any of the rooms, particularly at a volume that would keep guests up, would have been helpful information when I checked in at 7:30 that night. Unfortunately dinner kept me from finding this out until too late.
I chose this hotel because I'm finishing up a cross country road trip seeing family and friends. I read in a Route 66 book that it might be haunted. Sounds interesting right? The only thing that haunts me is my bad decisions.
I'm tired. I have more driving to do. I'm not a hipster. I go to bed at a reasonable hour. Oops, my mistake for staying at the Hotel Monte Vista. I'll take a two star hotel over this bs any day. Stiff mattress, tiny ineffective AC, a bathroom that yells at me for mistakenly being too big at 6'4"...and the music that doesn't stop till 1 in the morning...hopefully. Anyone that wrote a positive review on this hotel was either too high/drunk to notice the bass and drums outside their window or was lucky enough to get a room on the street side of the hotel. Go to a best western or some other brand-name hotel. It's worth the extra $10/20
UPDATE (Aug 8, 2013): Add to this situation the drunk guest who was as annoyed as I was by the band and decided to pull the fire alarm at 1:30 in the morning...not once, but twice. To add insult to injury, I woke up that morning. at 5:45 to light spilling into the hotel room from the completely inadequate blinds.
Initially I stopped at the desk on checking out to talk to a manager and see if it was possible to get a refund due to the hotel failing to meet their minimum obligation of being a place to sleep for the night. The clerk, Raheem was nice enough to give me Shawn and Mark's names and number and took my info down. When I reached Shawn that same Friday afternoon, he was extremely condescending and rude, took my information again and said he'd get back to me. I didn't hear back from Shawn at all, despite leaving messages with my name and number again on Monday and Tuesday. Figuring he might be busy (because a 50 room hotel and bar is understandably too much in a seven day week), I tried him again (all of these attempts at reasonable hours between 10am and 3pm) on Thursday (almost a week later). I was lucky enough to reach Chelsea who was great to work with, but was clearly hamstrung by Shawn's poor and immature management. Chelsea informed me that Shawn was the only one who could make any decision about a refund and, as the desk manager, she'd have to get back to me. When she called me back very promptly, it became clear that Shawn has no business managing anything, as he put it on her to inform me of the arbitrary $30 refund he was offering me, rather than calling me himself to discuss the situation.
To be clear, I am a former Marine captain and work for a big four consulting firm, with a solid understanding of how to work with people and what good customer service looks like in a customer oriented trade like the hotel industry. I didn't think it was asking too much to get a 5-10 minute conversation from the person who runs the hotel as to what my refund options were and why they ended up as limited as they were. It seems this operation is run solely as a "locals" bar establishment for the college crowd and to scam tourists out of a nights stay as they try to enjoy the history of Route 66. The owner, James Craven, doesn't seem to care about his poor choices in his management or the quality of his hotel, as long as duped tourists keep forking over money based on a weak premise of the hotel having a haunted history.
Bottom Line: save yourself the heartache and avoid The Hotel Monte Vista like the plague. You're much better off staying at a name-brand hotel and driving into the downtown area to enjoy the restaurants and nightlife.
Overwhelming stench in room! Similiar to dead animal or intense mildew. Cold unfriendly room. Arrived after dark on Amtrak so finding another room would have been difficult I slept with my clothes on to minimize contact. View from window was not a "Mountain View" but the top of an old roof and the back of some old buildings.
The staff was evasive, unresponsive and clearly reflective of the management. I consider it a swindle. Avoid like the plague!
Unique Quality: Unpleasant memories...
2nd Most Historic Hotel in Downtown Flagstaff
Located on the corner of Aspen and San Francisco in downtown Flagstaff, the Hotel Monte Vista is perhaps the most recognizable building in downtown due to its imposing height and large neon sign. The architecture dates back to 1927. For more details, see the weblink below. Also, see the rave reviews of those who have stayed in the Eddie Mercury suite, for example.
Unique Quality: This hotel has a reputation for ghost stories, which became known to me from a fellow VT member wanting to know more from me:
I'm doing research on the Monte Vista Hotel in Flagstaff, AZ, and I saw that you
reviewed the place. My question actually isn't about the accommodations of the
hotel but rather, about its ghost stories. I'm researching on the building's
history of ghost hauntings and am reaching out to those who have stayed at the
hotel to get their accounts. I would love to hear more about your experience at
the Monte Vista. Are any of the ghost stories true? Did you experience
anything eerie while you were there?
Let me know! You can contact me via email (address below). I look forward to
hearing what you have to say!
Glad we cancelled
My party of four were due to stay here but due to unforseen circumstances we had to cancel. We had prebooked two rooms for just one night last September 2007, but the hotel only refunded one room to my credit card. I had to prove I had Cancellation Numbers and when I had cancelled to my credit card company and they then had to fight this hotel to get my refund. Glad to say it was sorted satisfactorily in the end, but guests should not have to go through this when hotels are unscrupulous enough to try and cheat you. We did drive past a couple of days later and the hotel looked very seedy indeed! Glad we gave it a miss. We did stay at the Sled Dog Inn instead - a bit more pricey but well worth the extra, see my review on Sled Dog.
Directions: Downtown Flagstaff
Beautiful Time capsule
I always enjoy looking around and taking in the sights. I thoroughly enjoy historical downtown areas because they are looking back in time. The Monte Vista hotel stood out just as much as the Weatherford Hotel. Monte Vista hotel was completed Jan 1, 1927 and still offers AAA rooms. Everything about her speaks of history and that which has been included into her walls. The old post office building that operated on this very site from 1917-1927 was completely incorporated into the structure, which is now part of the cocktail lounge.
Directions: Off of Route 66, turn onto San Francisco St.
Ghosts and Celebs
Stayed here one night in the summer of 2003. Drove into Flagstaff without a place to stay and happened upon this gem (well if you can call reading about it in a guidebook "happening upon"). Rumors circulate that it's haunted by friendly ghosts.
Rooms are decent-sized and not overly-expensive. Each has a different theme, all based on various celebrities that have stayed here.
Our room was a western-themed room (it was named after a famous Old West novellist, not Louis L'amour but in that vein). Lots of warm browns and such. Other celebs who had rooms named after them included Michael Stipe (of REM) an Shirley MacClain (oh god, I think it was her anyway).
The hotel has a funky little bar attached to it. Good, cheap drinks. Skews towards the local college crowd.
Much of the sites in town are within walking distance of the hotel. The staff was very happy to suggest places for eats, drinks and visits.
A short but memorable stay.
Unique Quality: Aveda bath products, views of town and surrounding mountains
More about Hotel Monte Vista
Yeah, so it's not a palace
Blimey, judging by some of the previous reviews there are some strange people out there.
This is a good solid hotel. It's not very fancy but it's a frontier hotel - what do you guys expect?
We stayed two nights in April on our 3 month trip round the southern and western US and the Monte Vista was a breath of unpretentious fresh air compared to the lentil-eating, tree-hugging, po-faced establishments we encountered in places such as Santa Fe and San Francisco.
Rough and ready but full of character - well done Hotel Monte Vista!
an aquired taste
speaking as someone who lived in flag for about five years, the Monte Vista is an aquired taste. The owner, Jimmy is opinionated and to be nice, eccentric, having at times been described as, "Shadey" by more than one person. The staff was, when I lived in Flag, often comprised of folks who were drifters and free spirits, with a few professionals scattered about they worked long hours, for little pay and could at times get 'grumpy'. The rooms are historicaly interesting and the building itself was something I was always drawn to, during the day. Flag, at night can get pretty active and people walk from one place to the other. It is a college town folks, you are going to have the occasional odd hollar, and witht the addition of the change in altitude, you can expect to see some odd goings on. The Vista is just that, an odd going on, but an enjoyable one if you are up for the challenge and willing to find a way to enjoy the experience you receive. As for the trains, they too are simply a fact of life in flagstaff they just keep comming and comming and comming...well you get the idea.
Loved It - Just What I Expected
Just got back from a wonderful weekend stay here. I was expecting a unique, colorful, stay in an old, historical hotel, not a modern chain hotel with all of the conveniences. It filled the bill. We loved it! Would definitely go back. The only slight minus was the unfriendliness of the first front desk person. All of the other staff was great, so not a problem. I used earplugs, so the train didn't bother me. If you like high-character hotels, and don't expect a resort, this is a great place.
This hotel while charming, was noisy and uncomfortable. The bar clientale on the ground floor spills out into the street to smoke. All night long my husband and I listened to screaming drunks. When the bar closed a crowd of drunks moved into the second floor hallway and we listened to slamming doors, profanity and fighting until daylight. When my husband complained at the front desk he was told that someone was patroling the halls all night!? To make matters worse there was no hot water (it never warmed past tepid) for a groggy morning shower. We had planned to stay for two nights but bailed out after our nightmare night.
Yep, it's a noisy place
We stayed three nights at the Monte Vista, taking the recommendation of a New York Times travel piece on Flagstaff. It is well located, boasts a charming lobby and our corner room was a good size, clean, though sparsely furnished. A small couch or easy chair would have been a nice touch. I have to agree with other postings here that the noise -- particularly on Saturday nights -- is excessive from the apparently drink-as-much-as-you-can-possibly-hold night club on the ground floor. (That said, the night club boasts a terrific neon sign.) The singing and profanity lasts into the wee hours of the morning,particularly unfortunate given that the hotel charges a premium to stay there on weekend nights. We found the hotel staff to be fine and we liked the cafe on the ground floor, though we fled to the nearby Late for the Train coffee shop after getting snapped at for arriving 5 minutes before their 7 a.m opening. I think there are better values in Flagstaff for non-chain, funky hotels -- the Hotel Weatherford down the street has a better restaurant and appears to be more mellow and equally well located as the Monte Vista, though we never checked out the rooms.
Over priced and noisey
My wife and I first stayed at the Hotel Monte Vista in Mar 03 during a snowstorm. I was looking for something different and found it in terms of being historic. I believe it was a Sunday night when we first stayed at the Monte Vista. Between the snowstorm and not being a Fri or Sat night it was relatively quite. I enjoyed the company of some British tourists in the downstairs bar. The room that night went for around $60.
What a difference three years and a Friday night stay make. The room last week went for $115., and not even a complimentary cup of coffee that those chain hotels offer. The bar crowd noise was terrible lasting until after 2am. I can't blame the trains as I knew they blow through Flagstaff every thirty minutes or so.
On second look the rooms are decorated somewhere between odd and awful with their dark oil based paint colors.
In the first floor bar/coffee shop a manhattan cocktail went for $7.00. A bit stiff, higher than most places back home in San Diego. The basement bar was serving up cocktails for $4.50 and $5.00 with a band playing.
After two stays at the Monte Vista I'm somewhat sorry to say that I would probably not stay there again, especially on weekend with the kiddie crowd noise factor.
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Hotel Monte Vista
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Monte Vista Hotel
- Monte Vista Flagstaff
Address: 100 North San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86001, United States