311 East Congress Street
Telephone: (520) 622-8848
- PET POLICY: No restrictions on size “as long as the dog is friendly,” according to the employee who took our reservation. My People were asked to sign a form at check-in saying that I am well-behaved and non-aggressive.
Since its opening in 1985, Club Congress on the hotel’s ground floor has attracted an impressive lineup of bands and is now considered one of the top 10 rock clubs in the U.S. That said, you might want to ask which bands are scheduled to perform during your intended stay! The hotel does reserve one hall, directly over the club, for the bands so that other guests are not trying to sleep to the thrashing beat of some punk rock group they’ve never heard of. Our room faced Congress Street itself and was located more or less in the middle of the building. Although my People said they could hear the music, it was muffled and certainly no more disturbing than the sound of traffic and passersby on the street below. I say if one doesn’t want to hear the sounds of the city, one doesn’t stay in a historic downtown district!
As for the accommodations themselves, I give them an enthusiastic four paws up. The hotel interiors are beautifully decorated in what one might call a cowboy art deco style – charming and unique. (Our stay at Hotel Congress was part of my Tucson Road Trip, which includes several close-ups of the building’s beautiful interior.) The furnishings, if not antique, certainly give the impression that more than a few travelers of yore have sunk into the plush leather seats after a dusty day on the road or sat at the petite desks to pen letters back home. For those who just can’t do without such newfangled devices, a television in the library compensates for the lack of any in the guest rooms.
Although I did not see too many youngsters during our visit (wrong time of year, I suspect), I can’t imagine a better home base for teaching kids about life in the Old West. What with the hotel’s history involving real-life gunslingers hiding out on the top floor before their capture to its location within an easy drive of Old Tucson and Tombstone, I know my People and I will be returning when “The Boy” is a little older. (“What’s a switchboard?” he’ll ask, reading the hotel brochure. And he and I will trot on over to the reception desk, where they’ll show us the old-fashioned contraption that still routes all incoming and outgoing calls at the hotel. “Where are the ghosts?” he’ll surely want to know. And he and I will sniff around for Rochelle, the friendly head of housekeeping I met on this visit who proudly explained to my People about the hotel’s colorful history.)
Speaking of sniffing things out, the award-winning Cup Café off the main lobby was already a favorite local restaurant of mine before our stay at the hotel. (See my review on the Restaurants & Shops page.) Although The Cup’s outside tables are closed come evening, canine guests and their people can certainly enjoy an after-dinner coffee and dessert served by the café’s staff in the beautiful lobby. The Tap Room adjacent to Club Congress has been “a favorite watering hole since the 19th Amendment was passed,” as the hotel’s website describes it, and the bar’s separate outside area is open from the afternoon on.
- NEAREST DOGGY DAYCARE/DOG CAMP: Creature Comforts, CreatureComfortPetResort.com, (520) 792-4500
- NEAREST 24-HOUR EMERGENCY VET: Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson, VetSpecialtyTucson.com, (520) 795-9955 (Although there may be another 24-hour emergency clinic somewhat closer to the downtown Tucson area, I’m listing the Veterinary Specialty Center here because I can personally attest to the quality of their care – having suffered a severe and wholly undeserved bout of intestinal distress after inhaling an entire slice of Tucson’s famous Magpie’s pizza that some person thoughtlessly left at my eye level a few months ago.)