The Good: I admire the Little America concept of park-like settings for their hotels, which are set back from busy roads and surrounded by lush vegetation. Also typical is the grand lobby and reception area with a massive fireplace and chandelier and a very professional and attentive staff. There are several “lodge” buildings, each with two stories. The rooms open onto broad interior corridors. The generous size of the rooms also appeals to me. My room in Flagstaff was a whopping 23 x 14 ft., and that’s not even including the large bathroom, the entry way, and a mirrored vanity area outside the bathroom. I was able to book for around $125 a night, including taxes, and with a holiday weekend coming up, I considered the price reasonable for what one gets. The main space is divided into a furnished sitting room and a bedroom, with a partial partition between them, and it has a sliding glass door that looks out onto the grounds. As is typical for the chain, the furniture and wallpaper lean pretentiously to French provincial and brocade. Depending on your taste, you’ll either ooh and ah over it, or you’ll roll your eyes at how “shi-shi“ it looks, since, after all, it's just a motel room. While I personally wouldn’t decorate my own house like that, I have to admit that after a long day on the road, I enjoy the signature touches that Little America provides, and I’ll put my feet up on a French provincial coffee table any day. (Oops, is the management reading this?) At any rate, the furniture and carpets were all clean and in good condition, and the bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was also very clean and included a small built-in refrigerator under the counter. The tub is a large oval fixture with a shower. Thanks for a shower head that is high enough to accommodate us tall people! Hot water was plentiful, and the towels and linens were of excellent quality. Outside the bathroom there is a handy second sink and counter that also serves as a make-up dresser (the standard floor plan for Little America). Internet connectivity was free of charge and consistently strong. There is a heated outdoor pool and a nice poolside area for relaxing outside. (Heated water is very important at over 7,000 feet above sea level.) Each lodge building appears to have its own fitness room. Mine was just down the hall and included a nice assortment of exercise machines and treadmills. This Little America is easy to reach from I-40, and one pleasant surprise was that it is also easy to get to the historic district of Flagstaff from this location. I was eager to visit a couple of brewpubs and the Orpheum Theater downtown and was able to drive there in about ten minutes via Butler Ave. and old Route 66. I did not visit the restaurant, service station, or any of the retail shops while I was at Little America, so I cannot comment on their quality. It’s possible to check out of your room by using a function of the in-room flat screen TV. That worked well, though it means you don’t get a printed receipt unless you stop by the front desk anyway.
The Bad: Negotiating street traffic at the entrance and exit for the hotel can be a bit of a nail-biter. The driveway is only a few feet from a major traffic intersection, with cars whizzing around the corner. This makes it difficult to exit the parking lot, especially if you want to turn left toward I-40. Also, on the subject of the room amenities, I noted above that there is adequate hot water, but the downside is that the water was so scalding hot, it was actually dangerous. After burning my hands, I quickly learned to turn the cold water faucet liberally at the same time that I ran the hot water. Finally, while the staff was generally very professional, I was annoyed that I had to endure boisterous conversation between cleaning ladies as they worked their way down the corridor at 9:00 a.m., loudly tapping their keys on all the doors and shouting “HOUSEKEEPING!” as if they expected the occupants to be deaf.
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- Also Known As:
- Flagstaff Little America Hotel
- Little America Flagstaff