The Hotel San Carlos in downtown Phoenix has a long and storied history. In operation since 1928, the hotel hosted numerous Hollywood stars in its heyday, including Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Ingrid Bergman, and Gary Cooper.
In 1993, the owners of the Hotel San Carlos, the Melikian family, installed the “Star Walk” along the sidewalks of Central Avenue and Monroe Street, to commemorate the legendary actors who stayed at the hotel and to celebrate its 65th anniversary.
There are about a dozen gold stars in all, inscribed with notable names and signatures.
Marilyn Monroe has a star here (she stayed at the hotel while filming the movie Bus Stop), along with Mae West, who stayed at the Hotel San Carlos while performing I’m No Angel at the nearby Orpheum Theatre in 1929. Also enshrined in the sidewalk stars are Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, who reportedly spent many romantic nights at the hotel.
The stars themselves are gold, and shine in the relentless Phoenix sun. Monroe’s star gets shade from a nearby tree, but many of the other stars — like those for Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, and Gene Autry — give off a glare during the day.
The Star Walk is a must-see for classic movie buffs, but those who also aspire to see the specters of old Hollywood stars should also check out the Hotel San Carlos’ regular “ghost tours.”
The Hotel San Carlos is located at 202 N. Central Avenue. For more information, visit www.hotelsancarlos.com or call 602-253-6668.