Founded back in November of 1918, Hotel Congress is one of the many features that brings the downtown Tucson area to life. Whether you're passing by during the day or seeing all that the night life has to offer in the evening, there are many different things to do. This landmark is on their 103th year anniversary and still going strong even with the current times we live in with the Corona virus present. There was a period in time in the past year where their bars, stages to perform, and other amenities were closed at the hours they would usually be open and thriving due to this but that is all turning around now. As of recently they have slowly but surely started to get back into the swing of things. Playing music, opening the bars again, and allowing their loyal customers back in. Their biggest hope is to reflect all aspects of Tucson’s past while going forward into the future.
There are some rooms which are said to be haunted and a nights stay would cost you anywhere from $135-$185. The rooms are well done but also keep true to the hotel with an older historic theme to them. On top of being able to stay here, there are many different attributes that make this place so great. One of the biggest attractions and reasons why it is so popular during later hours would be all the many different options they offer. Most visitors attending Hotel Congress are going with friends/family to get a drink and listen to music. There are a couple different bars open around the inside and outside area. Depending on the night, you can usually find two outside, one in the main lobby, one in the sitting area right next to the lobby as well as one in the room after that which doubles as a dance floor and stage. There are two different types of music playing outside and inside so you have options of which you can choose from. Their Happy Hour is Thursday-Saturday 4pm-6pm. Before Covid hit, there was always live music playing outside and inside you could find a local DJ spinning his set on the stage. This is slowly going back to normal at this point in time but was gone for a long period.
Hotel Congress is known to host events and when looking at their website and clicking on the “Experiences” Tab : https://hotelcongress.com/experiences/, it shows you a calendar of the many events that are going to take place and when. There were many events that they regularly host that they had to cancel because of the Covid 19 regulations but hopefully that is subject to change and sooner than later things will go back to “normal”. Most commonly on this page you will find the artists or musicians that are going to perform or they’ll host annual events for a certain occasion/holiday. One of the biggest ones being their New Year’s Eve party, which they had to limit this past year due to Covid.
You also have two different dining options: One is “The Cup '' which reopened as of recently and is a cafe that mainly serves coffee, pastries, and several different food items and options. Then you have “Maynards Market & Kitchen” which is set to re-open in the fall. Maynard’s also has a very exclusive wine collection and wine club which is also not available at this time due to Covid but is set to reopen as well when the restaurant does.
The rooms have a very southern and vintage vibe to them while also modern and up to date. Each room can sleep about 2 to 4 people and are on the smaller side and are a bit different compared to other hotels. You’ll quickly see that they lack televisions in the room and are not as technologically updated but that is the whole point really. They are trying to stay true to how it first began and keep the historic feel to it. As mentioned before, there are many different rooms in which guests have stated they have seen or heard things. Room 242 is said to house the “Women in the White Dress”, with many different guests stating they feel her presence and have been awoken by this image. Room 220 was inhabited by one of the long-time workers of Hotel Congress and he passed away in it. This is just a glimpse of the many occurrences and tales passed on by those who have stayed here.
As stated before many of the attractions to Hotel Congress were closed and some are still closed in hopes to stay safe and not spread the virus. At this time masks are still required when entering and have these policies stated everywhere on their website. Hotel Congress stayed closed for a very long period of time and did not engage or correlate with the Tucson nightlife that we see downtown. Many other bars remained open most of the time when there were no bans put in place of them but here they did not. It was very sad to see this landmark closed, dark, and empty but they are back and doing better than ever. Slowly but surely reopening all their many great attributes while saying safe. They are doing their best to reinvent themselves in order to remain cautious even though it has not been easy on them and most businesses downtown. There were many businesses in general that did not survive the pandemic and fought very hard in order to get the bars open again.