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My family tends to look for the interesting and quirky when we travel. When we started planning a road trip that included the U. S. Southwest and some national parks, I knew we should try to snag a reservation at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. We were lucky to get one, and I do recommend a reservation. They don’t have a lot of rooms. So sit back and relax, and I’ll tell you the story of our night in Holbrook.
The History of the Wigwam Motel
I’d always wanted to stay in one of the Wigwam Motels. At one time, the United States was home to seven Wigwam Motels with the location in Holbrook known as Village 6. Besides the one in Holbrook, only two others remain in operation: Cave City, Kentucky, and San Bernadino, California.
Frank Redford built the first one, located in Cave City, in 1933. He began building the San Bernadino location in 1947. In 1950, Chester Lewis purchased the rights to Redford’s design and name to build the location in Holbrook. Lewis made payments to Redford from the proceeds of coin-operated radios in the wigwams.
Other locations beyond the seven Wigwam Villages have had some similar designs, but they weren’t quite like the Wigwam Motels.
As you can see in the picture, the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This motel embodies the sense of whimsy and adventure that people have associated with traveling Route 66 for decades. When I realized how close this motel was Petrified Forest National Park, I knew we should make a stay at this motel part of our family memories. If you’d like to read about our experience at Petrified Forest National Park, click here.
Arriving at the Wigwam Motel
We arrived at the Wigwam Motel in the early evening. We’d spent the afternoon at Petrified Forest National Park, and now we were ready to settle into our home for the evening. You probably notice that Kristin is leaning against a large chunk of petrified wood. It’s everywhere in this area!
We checked in at the office, which is pretty cool. The motel also has a small museum in the office; it’s worth checking out.
Later that evening, we took some pictures at night so we could remember the Wigwam Motel office in its neon glory.
After we checked in, we drove over to our wigwam for the night–number 12. The motel has classic cars parked throughout the motel parking areas. We happened to be next to a custom Volkswagon Bug camper. Interesting!
Here’s a closer look at the front of the camper.
The wigwams have more room inside than you may think. Ours had two double beds.
We had a modern TV.
And the nightstands were adorable!
The bathroom was roomier than expected, and the shower area is pretty large. There isn’t a tub, though.
I love the windows.
Right outside our room, we had our very own bench.
The Wigwam Motel as the Sun Sets
Here is our neighbor’s wigwam. We loved watching the property change as the sun went down.
Here is another view of the property.
It just gets better as night falls.
I’m so glad we reserved a night at this historic Route 66 icon. It may not be luxury accommodations, but we certainly made memories here. If you like experiencing something out of the ordinary every once and a while, this is the place for you!
I like that the Holbrook is fairly close to Petrified Forest National Park. The next morning we packed up and headed back to the park to see what we missed from the day before. Everyone should experience Petrified Forest National Park at least once.
From Petrified Forest, we then traveled onward towards Monument Valley and our next stop for three days–Moab, Utah. Stay tuned!