Furnace Creek Inn

Pros and Cons, Review

Furnace Creek Inn at Death Valley
Furnace Creek Inn. ©2011 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

The Furnace Creek Inn is a historic hotel set in the middle of Death Valley National Park. It's a classic property built in the 1920s, a hotel with some of the best "Rooms With a View," according to the Travel Channel.

A natural hot spring feeds the Furnace Creek Inn swimming pool, keeping it at a constant, perfect 82-84° F. The hotel has one restaurant, a bar and a gift shop. Also nearby in the Furnace Creek Resort is a convenience store, the world's lowest golf course (214 feet below sea level), tennis courts, stables and a jeep rental office.

Rooms and Amenities

Furnace Creek Inn's location is superb: in a little oasis, on a hillside in the midst of one of the driest places on the continent. The views across the valley are spectacular and an evening drink on the patio is a particularly enjoyable - and something you can do even if you're not staying there.

I have always stayed in the view rooms that face the valley and found them large enough and very comfortable. I enjoyed leaving the windows open to hear the coyotes barking in the night.

Rooms are outfitted with a coffee maker, small refrigerator and have air conditioning. Size and layout vary among the inn's various wings and additions. The best rooms have balconies that face the Panamint Mountains, a great place to watch the sun set.

Dining

The dining room requires reservations for dinner, but they have finally gotten in step with the times and dropped their "no jeans" policy in favor of "resort attire."

During my last visit in January, 2015, the dining room a new chef had just come on board and it was impossible to tell what things will be like when everything settles in. So far, all I can say is that I miss chef Michelle “Mike” Hanson, who ran their kitchen for many years.

Season and Rates

The inn is the most expensive property in Death Valley National Park by a good margin. This isn't he only California national park lodging where people get the wrong idea, based on the daily rate. To avoid disappointment, read a lot of reviews and be sure you get a good feel for what you'll get.

Those who stay at the Inn and like it go there to enjoy the historic charm and sleep in nicer rooms than you'd get elsewhere in the park.

Valley views rooms are most expensive, but also more worth the price. Seeing the surrounding mountains from your balcony at sunrise is an event you won't mind getting up early for.

The Furnace Creek Inn gives their rooms a bewildering assortment of descriptions, making it hard to tell exactly what's what. If you're particular about your room's location, we suggest calling the hotel directly.

And don't let anyone tell you it's closed in summer, even if the national park website may say that.  After some major renovations that improved insulation and cooling, hotel rooms are available in the Inn year round. However, services are limited from mid-May through Mid-October.

The Furnace Creek Inn is one of two accommodations available at the Furnace Creek Resort. The Ranch just down the road may be more to your liking, especially if you're traveling with a family - and it's easier on the pocketbook, too. Find out more about at Furnace Creek Ranch.

Facts

  • 55 rooms
  • Furnace Creek Inn website
  • Local hotel tax is 12% and the hotel also charges a resort fee. Parking is free.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodations for the purpose of reviewing the Furnace Creek Inn. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.