Tag: lodging

Those of us who tour the nation's roadside attractions on a budget depend on many of the amenities offered by those who provide us lodging: free shampoo, free coffee, free breakfast and enough towels to wash off a long day on the road.

According to an article published yesterday by The Wall Street Journal, however, chains are starting to eliminate many of those freebies in response to the weak economy. Some items are simply being moved behind the front desk, others like towels are being reduced, while still others like free coffee are being cut entirely.

Most of the hotels mentioned in the article carry names like Marriott, Wyndham and Ritz-Carlton — not the sort of places we detourists usually settle down for the night — but you can bet the budget motels will be following suit. The good news is they're reportedly cutting their rates, as well, hoping to draw more motorists back out on the road. Let's just hope they don't start charging for all the free wifi they've installed the last few years. ... Continued

For reasons I can't sufficiently justify, I've taken a picture of every motel room I've stayed in for a little more than the past four years. I haven't the slightest idea what I plan to do with all of them, but once you start an obsessive hobby, it's hard to stop.

Regardless, none of the rooms I've photographed compare to the stylish and colorful midcentury lodgings pictured in Flickr user Roadsidepictures' collection of motel-room postcards.

From Dinosaurs and Robots:

Those magnetic-strip hotel card/keys are handy, and some of 'em even have nice graphics, but there was also something kind of nice about the sound of a metal key thumping against a "return postage guaranteed" piece of plastic.

I totally agree. And they make great stocking stuffers, too.

As I was going through a few of my Googie images the other day, I was reminded of a somewhat cryptic phrase I've noticed on a significant number of motel signs over the years: "American-Owned." I couldn't quite understand what that meant exactly. Was there a large foreign corporation that's been buying up motels across the United States and running them from overseas? Or was the cynical side of me correct when it detected an undertone of racism?

Turns out, unfortunately, that the latter appears to be closer to the truth. What's being exhibited as a cry of patriotism looks to be, at best, a misperception of ownership within the lodging industry and, at worst, outright bigotry.

Road-trip aficionados, or anyone else who's spent a great deal of time on the road, have almost surely noticed a considerable East Indian presence behind the counters of highway inns. I — and I like to assume all the fans of the Roadside Resort, as well — couldn't give a damn either way. But it's certainly evident. ... Continued

I've stayed in a lot of motels. Some good, some ... not so good. For the most part, they all look the same. Same bedspread, same remote control, same individually wrapped plastic cups.

Of course, that's what you get when you stay almost exclusively at chain names. Problem is, when you don't, you really take your chances. I love a good independent motel, but too often the accommodations are less than agreeable.

I've often longed for the days that preceded me, when lodges with names like the Hiway Host and the Come On Inn could be counted on to provide a clean shower and a pleasant night's rest without the peeling ceilings and questionable sounds coming from the room next door.

Well, someone's finally turning back the clock. Smalltown America Inns, Lodges and Motels has launched an effort to buy up classic roadside motor courts and restore them to their former glory, with a few modern amenities thrown in. ... Continued