Location: 811 W Hopi Dr; Holbrook, AZ
Price: varies on season
Smashed Penny Machine: No
I don’t normally review hotels but this stay was special because it’s not every day you can stay in a large concrete tepee. The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook is only one of three remaining original tepee style hotels (the other two being in California and Kentucky). Wigwam Motel does not have a booking website so if you want to stay here you are going to have to go about this the old fashion way: call them. I do suggest pre-booking your room. There are only about 20 rooms in the whole complex. The hotel office also runs some limited hours so you might have to call multiple times before you get ahold of someone to book. It’s worth the effort to keep trying.
The rooms are set up as individual freestanding tepees. They are in a semi-circle with the main building that houses the office and a small gift shop in the center. Each Tepee has a classic car parked in front of it and enough room to park another car or two. The hotel is also old fashion in that they still give you an actual key to your room. If you are looking for nostalgia, you are in the right place. The rooms are not large. Ours had two double beds, two side tables, a small desk and a small LCD TV on a shelf on the wall. We had room to set up a pack and play but we were pretty much tripping over luggage when we were in the room. The bathroom is located in the back of the room, which means the ceiling of the bathroom is sloped. It’s not a big deal but my 6 foot tall husband did say he had some challenges rinsing his hair in the shower.
One thing we did not plan for was the fact that small town Holbrook acts like a small town. We arrived into to town about 5:30 on a Sunday evening in July. Other than fast food, there were only two restaurants open and all of the gift shops along the main stretch were closed. So after dinner we walked crossed the street to the grocery store and bought some snacks for the kids. We spend the evening (the temperature became very pleasant as the sun went down) hanging out on the benches in front of our tepee and let the kids run off some energy.
Overall: Wigwam Motel is not a 5 star spa experience. This hotel preserves the experience travelers along Route 66 would have had when they stayed during the 50’s (except for the welcomed additions of a TV and AC). This hotel is perfect to get the feel of old Route 66. The room was clean and the staff was friendly. I had read online about the train tracks behind the hotel with the AC running no one in our group heard the trains at night. If you are going to be traveling Route 66, I think a stay at the Wigwam Motel is a must.