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Hotel San Carlos
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The Hotel San Carlos is built on the plot of land that housed the first Phoenix school, it was also where the Native Americans worshipped some of their Gods. A well was dug for the school, which is important to the hotel as the well is still in the basement and still used. The Hotel was formerly opened on March 20th, 1928 and was heralded as the most modern hotel in the Southwest United States, boasting elevators and air conditioning. The well that had supplied water for the school was fixed up to where it provided water to help with the air conditioning system. So the well from the 1800s still exists in the basement of the hotel.

On May 7th, 1928, only a few weeks after they had opened, Leone Jensen, took her life by climbing to the top of the seven story hotel and leapt to her death. Her friends said the young girl killed herself because she had been jilted by lover. Now her ghost appears floating up the staircase on the seventh floor, apparently she is still headed for the roof. Her wispy white form has also been seen in the hallways and sometimes leaning over guests while they sleep.

Another set of ghosts that haunt the hotel and disturb the guests may be left over by the properties time as an elementary school. Three boys have been seen playing in the halls, sometimes chased by guests because they are making too much noise, only to disappear. Sounds of a bouncing ball and the boys giggling have been heard up and down all over the hotel. They are rumored to make a lot of noise, especially at night.

The hotel, though haunted is not only a historical landmark for being one of the first in Phoenix but it has also served many celebrities and big wigs as they came through town. Mae West stayed in the hotel in 1929 while she was performing at the Orpheum Theatre. Clark Gable and Carol Lombard spent their time romancing each other at the hotel. Other celebrities include Marilyn Monroe, who loved to sun herself by the third floor pool, Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, Gene Autry and several Governors and Senators. A lot of those names can be seen in the “Star Walk” at the hotel which was created in 1993 to celebrate the hotel’s 65th birthday and memorialize all of the stars who have staid at the hotel.

It is no wonder with such a thick history and popularity that the hotel was recognized as a State Historical Landmark in 1974. You would probably expect to pay a lot at such a historic hotel but the rates are quite affordable and there are a lot of great sites within walking distance.


Updated August 22nd, 2009