Classic comfort: Brass-and-crystal light fixtures brighten a Mizpah Hotel room.
Back in the early 1900s, a hardworking silver miner in Tonopah, Nev., who was hankering for a whiskey neat and a nice supper would head to the Mizpah Hotel. With its Italian stained glass windows and fancy decor, the Mizpah provided a taste of Victorian elegance amid the boomtown grit and grime. But by the 1930s Tonopah’s silver had played out, and in 1999,after decades of decline, the five-story landmark closed.
Now, happily for drivers on the lonely stretch of highway between Reno and Las Vegas, the “grand old lady” has been revived. The savior is Nancy Cline, a proprietor of Cline Cellars in Sonoma, Calif., whose great-uncle mined precious metals in Tonopah and kept a saloon there. “What we’re offering is an oasis in the middle of the desert,” she says.
Brass chandeliers dripping with cut-glass crystals hover above Queen Anne–style velvet sofas, welcoming visitors into an airy lobby, a gourmet restaurant, and an old vault repurposed as a cocktail lounge. Upstairs are 55 guest rooms with tall windows, mahogany furnishings, and original claw-foot tubs.
Naturally, the Mizpah is steeped in lore. That late-night creaking? Perhaps it’s the tormented soul of the Lady in Red, an ill-fated purveyor of female companionship who by some accounts still haunts the fifth floor. (775) 482-3030, mizpahhotel.net.
Photography by Lesley Allen
This article was first published in November 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.