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Converted Road Trip Accommodations Make You Stay Longer

by Carley Wade

May 23, 2018

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A spa … deluxe linens and bath products … the charm of Wine Country … all of this doesn’t sound like your Grandma’s motor lodge. A slew of boutique properties are taking “eek” to chic with comfortable, design-forward accommodations just ready for your family. Get ready for the great American road trip.


Callistoga Motor Lodge & Spa, Calif.

A spa at a motel? That and the geothermal outdoor pools here aren’t the only draw, with a welcoming, community atmosphere that includes lots of lawn games like bocce and cornhole, board games, trivia nights and winemaker dinners at a communal table. There are even weekly guided hikes, but you may not want to leave the sanctuary of the Mid-Century Modern digs that look like a contemporary Brady Bunch set in the heart of Napa Valley.


Amigo Lodge, Salida, Colo.

Looking for a comfortable but attractive place to hit the hay after hiking, rafting, biking or skiing in Colorado? Make new friends at Amigo Lodge, where a young Texas couple renovated a 1950s motel with designer mattresses (Tuft and Needle) and accent pillows (The Citizenry), Malin and Goetz bath products, a teepee, hot tub and sun room. There’s a lounge in an old carport and a communal fire pit nightly, too.


Modern Hotel & Bar, Boise, Idaho

A James Beard-nominated chef offering dinner service in a former Travelodge? Concierge service and film festival flicks on flat-screens with free deluxe breakfasts on weekdays? There’s a lot of love and heart behind this motel remake, whose owner was inspired by her grandmother’s experience opening a boarding house in the 1930s.

Road Trip Summer

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The Burrard, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Back in 1956, few probably imagined a Nespresso machine in every room where a percolator likely once stood, but no one could have dreamed of the free WiFi either at this former motel. Flat-screen TVs and sleek modern furnishings with throwback accents are all as cool as the air conditioning. Most room categories feature garden views — much different from the typical parking lot back in the day. There’s an on-site café, pet-friendly rooms and bike rentals available.


Jupiter Hotel, Portland, Ore.

Unique local art including icons like John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe await at the spacious rooms of the Jupiter, a trendy boutique property in downtown Portland that was once a neglected ‘60s-era lodge. Eighty-one rooms welcome pets and there’s an on-site gallery and music venue for that community vibe.


Wall Street Suites, Bend, Ore.

Warm wood interiors, a community fire pit and granite countertops in the long-term-stay kitchens don’t exactly give away this 17-suite property’s history as a motel in the ‘50s to a low-income housing project that’s now offering locally made teas, special gift packages for dogs and complimentary cruiser bikes.


Cambria Beach Lodge, Cambria, Calif.

This reimagined roadside hotel is one of the few affordable ones along the Pacific Coast Highway — but luckily, the views are free. Check out the deluxe view with fireplace room, or the one-room suite for views of the waves from Moonstone Beach, or enjoy the beachy interiors in the other room categories here, starting at $100 a night. There’s a locally stocked minibar, “adventure kits” with binoculars and breakfast with locally roasted coffee, too.


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