More about Amargosa Opera House and Hotel
Amargosa Opera House and Hotel
I am guessing that in 1967 when Martha Beckett first had an opera house and hotel built in Death Valley Junction there was more here. Today Death Valley Junction is little more than a ghost town; but the bright white-washed buildings of the Amargosa Hotel and Opera House are still here shining birght in the fierce desert sun. The buildings look out of place. If you are traveling on this side of death Valley National Park, stop for a unique expereince. There are still shows going on here, and the hotel still has rooms for rent.
Great place to stay- lots of character
We stayed at the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel in February, 2006. We had a nice large room that was very clean and comfortable. It was a good place to stay when visiting the southern part of Death Valley. Rates were reasonable. We would recommend this hotel to anyone interested in history. Our room was very nice and had been freshly painted. Some parts of the hotel needed to be renovated though. We were very disappointed that we couldn't see the paintings by Marta Becket in the Opera House. There were some murals by Marta Becket in the lobby. She had injured her back and was not performing while we were there. The Nevada border was 7 miles away and we had a nice dinner and breakfast at the Longstreet Casino on Hwy 127 at the border.
Really Hard to Say
This place is definitely an unusual experience. Death Valley Junction is the Amargosa Opera House Hotel. There is nothing else left in business. As a black and white amateur, I had a great time photographing the ghost town and the white crane living in the runoff pond across the street.
Marta had injured herself over the winter so was not dancing, although she was doing a show telling stories. At $15 per person for the show I opted out after the National Parks Ranger told me a friend of his had gone and it was boring. But becuse of that, I did not get to look in the Opera House, which is padlocked outside of the Saturday shows (shows not in summer, but then who wants to be in Death Valley after May, it was 105F already!).
Rooms were spare but had very cold A/C, which the staff turn on for you. Bathroom was retro (like really old, but kind of cool). We opted for shower only, which had a sunroof over it so was neat. All of the sheets and carpets are really old so it was hard to tell how clean anything was, sort of felt not, but at $50 per night , this is by far the cheapest option in a very overpriced area and we were right next to the park, which was what we wanted.
There is a very aggressive peacock, that sits on the roof (one-story building) or struts the porch, crowing all day and all night, woke us up each night repeatedly.
Staff were nice enough but office hours are limited, possibly 8am-8pm, so call ahead if you are arriving late.
A Destination in Itself
A stay at the Amargosa Hotel is a total trip, a package of lodging, destination and entertainment all in one. Service here is open and honest, not servile; the building is an authentic work of art, not luxury. We were greeted by wild horses and almost joined on our day's sightseeing by the resident peacock.
For all its uniqueness, this hotel is absolutely authentic. There is nothing staged about it. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but it's Marta's character that makes this hotel stand out above decades of hotels that were nothing but a night's shelter. Marta Beckett's singular artistry adorns the walls, the Opera House and the many calendars and cd's in the gift shop. Put aside all expectations, and for best results, come for the Saturday night opera. This is the door to another world.
And by the way, it's the easier route to Death Valley from California, especially if you have to drive at night.
the past revisited
The Amargosa Hotel is definitely worth a night's visit but do not expect a modern lush hotel or any such amenities. Instead the Amargosa provides a trip into the past in a town/junction time has forgotten. As such it was not surprising that the shower only yielded hot water and the only nearby sources of food/restaurant was a Casino/Hotel 7 miles down the road (good middle-Amercian food at a good price) or at the entrance to Death Valley. When we visted Marta Beckett was laid-up due to an accident. This might explain (in-part) why the caretakers were to busy to spare the time to allow us to see the inside of the Opera House. The comment that we should return on Saturdsy was insensative considering we were visiting from out-of-state, stayed for two nights, and were departing on Tuesday. Note, though the hotel is only approximately 25 miles from the entrance to Death Valley, the drive back to the hotel following the daily 7PM Ranger Talk (in the dark) seems longer and might be a concern for older drivers.
Worth experiencing a night stay
It was fun to stay on night at this hotel, on our way to death valley. Absolutely out of time, a little bit scary and REAL DEATH VALLEY. No drinkable water (there was a paper hanging on the bathroom wall, advising hosts not to drink that tap water, as some nasty residuals had been found by the Local Health Officer or so).
A nice break from civilization, much much better than staying at furnace creek.... come on, your are in death valley!!! At Amargosa you have the chance to experience the real desert, what you are supposed to be searching if you visit death valley.
I have a real phobia for grasshoppers and all other jumping bugs. Well, the room I stayed in hosted some sort of bugs that kept leaping around all night, but I was not at all disturbed or terrified.
A real miracle might have taken place!!
Worth a visit, it is a real unique experience. The two women managing the hotel were just faboulous, they welcame yus we were part of the family. They set up a foundation to finance the Opera and Hotel.
A most unusual experience
I booked a double room at the Amargosa Valley Hotel over Easter weekend. My room was clean but threadbare and -- most importantly -- contained a working air conditioning unit. Travellers should note that some rooms have private doors that open onto the parking lot, but you do have to ask for these (I was not told about them over the phone). In addition, some of the rooms have been adorned with the hotel's trademark paintings, but not all rooms have paintings in them.
There are no restaurants in the vicinity, but the hotel does have an underutilized dining area, open to guests at night, which contains both a microwave and a variety of vending machines (ice cream, chips, etc.) that contain a variety of snacks.
The peacocks are VERY loud. Light sleepers are well advised to bring earplugs.
booked on internet to stay at amargosa on way to vegas and arrived late. nearly cried when we drove in, i thought it was a derelict building broken windows and half hung curtains. when we got into the room it was in quite a bad state of disrepair but the bathroom and sheets were clean. only there was a lightning storm i think we would have driven to vegas that night. a very strange place, we hot-footed away as soon as we could the next morning.
A slice of history
I selected this hotel for 2 reasons. I was on a photographic mission and wanted easy access to Zabriskie Point in DV for sunrise and I wanted to experience this historic national landmark.
I called their number to book for a same night arrival and left a msg. They called me back and advised my checkin instructions would be left on the front door. When I arrived I pulled the envelope and went to my room, where upon entry, the keys were on the desk.
Ditto what others said in other reviews but this is exactly what I expected. The cleanliness was awesome and linnen was especially fresh. I left in the morning to photograph and returned about 8am to checkout. Although the office was not open the door was and coffee was available. I had a great stay and would stay again on a saturday to see Marta's performance.
Basaic Death Valley Junction Page
"Death Valley Junction"
Just east of Death Valley National Park, and just west of Nevada you find the intersection of California Highways 127 and 190. There is little here now; a ghost town, the Amargosa Hotel and the Amargosa Opera House.
Amargosa Opera House
Amargosa Opera House
Its like the surface of the moon...I think
That's not a real pretty swing