I have been on plenty of long bus rides in my lifetime but surprisingly none of them here in the USA. When we planned our honeymoon to New Orleans and decided to take Amtrak out there, we had one problem: we live in Phoenix but we were catching the train in Tucson. On top of that, we decided to fly back from New Orleans into Phoenix which made driving and leaving our car in Tucson a bit of a problem. In the end, we decided taking Greyhound down to Tucson would be the easiest and cheapest solution.
Greyhound: Phoenix to Tucson
Our bus left midday on December 23rd. The Phoenix central bus station was busy with people heading home for the holidays. There were buses going all over the country to Flagstaff, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and even as far as Philadelphia. We waited in line at the counter to get tags for our checked luggage and then went to line up. On one side, there was a row of doors opening out to the waiting buses. Here is where everyone lined up and waited to board their bus. Get in line early because seating selection is first come, first served!
As we boarded the bus, we dropped off our luggage to the attendant that was stowing them under the bus. We boarded and put our carry-on bags above our heads and settled into our seats. Right on time, our driver pulled out of the station and started our journey to Tucson. We made a few stops along the way at smaller bus stations. All in all, the trip was comfortable and the best part about it? Our tickets were only $14 a piece!
The Historic Hotel Congress
I’ll admit that I booked our one night stay at the Hotel Congress based on two things: it is 50 feet away from the Amtrak station and it was relatively inexpensive for Christmas weekend. Needless to say, my expectations were not very high but I was blown away with the hotel.
The hotel sits in the middle of Tucson’s nightlife area and we found that out right away. Upon check-in, we were politely warned that a music club was attached to the hotel and that bands performed nightly. On top of that, there was another club across the street. When we checked into our room, what was waiting for us in the bathroom cupboard? Two pairs of ear plugs. They came in handy that night.
Overall, the hotel was wonderful and our room preserved its historic feel. There are no tvs in the rooms but there is a communal tv on the 2nd floor. The rotary phone does in fact work which I learned after picking up the receiver and pretending to dial.
My favorite part was the hotel lobby and bar. Not only was it quaint and cozy, but the bartenders were magicians who made delicious cocktails. Backgammon and checkers boards are built into the tables if you wanted to play a game while sipping on your drink.
The Hotel Congress is definitely the coolest and most unique hotels I have stayed at. The best part about our stay was waking up the next morning, checking-out, and walking across the street to board our train the New Orleans!
What is the coolest hotel you’ve stayed in? My dream is a stay at the Ice Hotel in Sweden.