Bisbee, AZ circa 1905. Except for the streetcar, Main Street looks pretty much the same today.
For reasons I cannot explain, Bisbee has some of the very best restaurants in Southern Arizona. Fortuitously, Bisbee also has a couple of fine old hotels. The Hotel San Ramón is one. Bisbee’s historic district is one of the finest examples of early 20th century American cities anywhere. Just walking around will pull you back in time more than a hundred years.
They call the Hotel San Ramon “a hotel”, but really, it’s much more like a small town family-owned inn. It was built in 1902, and lovely, expertly restored recently. The rooms have all the modern comforts.
Location, Location, Location
One of the features that make the Hotel San Ramón one of the best in Bisbee is its location. Situated at the base of Brewery Gulch, it’s right next door to the legendary, and much larger, Copper Queen Hotel at the south end of Old Town Bisbee. Here you are within easy walking distance of all the main reasons travelers flock to Bisbee: history, art galleries, and unique shops.
Hotel San Ramón with Santiago’s on the ground floor.
In fact, the only way you can truly appreciate this wonderfully preserved relic of the Old West’s quest for mineral wealth is to do a leisurely walkabout. For example, if you wander uphill, you’ll see a couple of well-preserved, and still-in-use churches. (You’ll see many other curious things too, but I’m not going to spoil your walk of discover.) From Hotel San Ramón, it’s maybe 3 blocks to the Queen Mine Tour, which we highly recommend. Copper mining is the reason Bisbee exists. Read More
Tamara Page is the innkeeper and a good one. Last year she gave me a quick tour of several rooms and I had been looking forward to staying there, which I finally did in February 2013.
Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant
Oh, I almost forgot. On the ground floor of the Hotel San Ramón is Santiago’s, which we rated last year as one of the 5 best Mexican Restaurants in all of Southern Arizona. Tamara and her family own and operate Santiago’s. They also have the Bisbee Table Restaurant across the street and the Bisbee Coffee Company just up Main Street (think Starbuck’s only better). If you’re a guest of Hotel San Ramón, Tamara can arrange for priority seating at Santiago’s or Bisbee Table if it’s a busy night.
Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant: Bisbee, AZ.
Old hotels have their quirks and the San Ramón is no different. For example, like so many other historic hotels & inns, the San Ramón is not particularly handicap-friendly. No elevator. Guests must climb a steep flight of stairs to get to their rooms on the second floor. For those who need a lift, the Copper Queen Hotel next door might be better suited.
Each of the hotel’s 6 rooms is unique. For example, if you need a suite with full kitchen, stay in room #3, the Agave. I didn’t require a kitchen, but I did want a view. Two features I particularly appreciated are the vaulted ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows … lots of light. I stayed in the room #1, the Bougainvilla ($105) with its pleasant view of the park and the old red-brick building that houses one of our favorite museums, the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum.
Shortly after settling into my room and unpacking my Mac, I got onto the Internet and suddenly realized that I had not yet poured myself an evening cocktail. So, of course, I opened the door and went out into the hall to find the ice machine. No ice machine. What to do?
I called down to Tamara and asked her where she hides the ice. She acknowledged that they don’t actually have an ice machine in the hotel. However, she said she would bring some up to my room.
Two minutes later (maybe less) there was a knock on my door and there was Tamara with a bucket of ice from Santiago’s downstairs. Such service!!!
My room was appropriately furnished and decorated in period. It was also VERY clean The king bed was firm, but comfortable, made even more so by high-quality linens, blankets, and comforter. Of course, the real test of any old hotel is the shower. A weak-pressure flow that just spits at me and then runs out of hot water after 30 seconds can spoil my whole stay.
I can only assume that someone, in the process of restoring this old building, had the foresight (and big bucks) to install modern plumbing, ‘cause the shower worked great, and the plush bath towels were particularly appreciated.
At some point in the middle of the night, I got up to look out the big windows for no particular reason except the simple joy of being in Bisbee at night. I don’t know why I didn’t see it earlier, but there on my bed stand was a small, old-fashioned glass container with a sealed top; the kind grandma used to preserve fruits and veggies for storage. It looked like it had some white paper inside. Curious, I popped the seal and looked inside. COOKIES!!! Two fresh raisin-oatmeal cookies. Oh, so good. Tamara thought of everything.
And that’s the real takeaway point of this review. Management’s excellent service and attention to detail took what could have been a so-so hotel experience to a much higher level. Next time I’m bringing Ms. Karen.
Hotel San Ramón: highly recommended if you’re looking for a pleasant stay in a restored historic inn situated within easy walking distant to some of the best restaurants and attractions in Southern Arizona.
For more Bisbee Lodging see our Bisbee Lodging page.
Hotel San Ramon
5 Lowell Ave, Bisbee
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