Best Roadside Motel (2021)


During the early years of the 20th century, Americans took to the nation’s brand new highways, and roadside motels (a portmanteau of “motor hotel”) popped up to accommodate these travelers. Many of these historic properties have gotten retro-chic makeovers, blending their vintage charm with modern amenities.

  • Roadrunner Lodge

    Roadrunner Lodge
    Tucumcari, New Mexico

    This restored motel on Route 66 blends mid-century style with modern conveniences, like premium mattresses, plush towels, free wifi and HD TVs with more than 120 channels. The historic property is truly a mom-and-pop operation.
    Photo courtesy of Roadrunner Lodge

  • Hotel Palms

    Hotel Palms
    Atlantic Beach, Florida

    The Hotel Palms, originally built in 1947 as a motor court inn, has been renovated to its full retro-chic glory. The property features 11 guest rooms with access to a shared courtyard and lounge. Grab a coffee from Show Pigeon Coffee inside the lounge, or take the short three-block walk to the beach.
    Photo courtesy of Hotel Palms

  • The Vagabond Hotel

    The Vagabond Hotel

    This newly renovated Miami hotel features a retro lobby and 42 retro-chic guest rooms, with in-room amenities like free wifi, terrazzo and wood floors, flatscreen TVs, 1950s-inspired furniture and oversized walk-in showers. The property also has a swimming pool with restored tile mosaics and a cocktail bar.
    Photo courtesy of The Vagabond Hotel

  • The Sunset Motel

    The Sunset Motel
    Brevard, North Carolina

    The Sunset Motel celebrates the allure of the open road by providing clean, comfortable rooms and friendly service to visiting guests. Amenities include free wifi and cable, plus chairs outside each door so guests can visit with their neighbors.
    Photo courtesy of The Sunset Motel

  • The Sandman

    The Sandman
    Santa Rosa, California

    Roadside inn meets Wine Country hotel at The Sandman in Santa Rosa, California. This affordable hotel just of US-101 has 135 rooms, each with free wifi, a flatscreen TV, kitchenette amenities and bath products from Malin & Goetz. Guests enjoy access to a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and the Pool House & Bar.
    Photo courtesy of The Sandman

  • Dog Bark Park Inn

    Dog Bark Park Inn
    Cottonwood, Idaho

    Guests at the Dog Bark Park Inn get to stay inside the World’s Biggest Beagle. Stays include free self-serve breakfast and wifi. The owners, Dennis and Frances, double as chainsaw artists; they made many of the hotel furnishings.
    Photo courtesy of Dog Bark Park Inn

  • Blue Swallow Motel

    Blue Swallow Motel
    Tucumcari, New Mexico

    The Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, New Mexico, has been welcoming travelers along Historic Route 66 since 1939. The family-owned and operated motel boasts restored rooms equipped with a desk, seating area, vintage lamps and rotary dial phones. A classic neon sign still illuminates the historic courtyard each night.
    Photo courtesy of Blue Swallow Motel

  • Wigwam Motel

    Wigwam Motel
    Holbrook, Arizona

    Wigwam Village #6 has long been one of the most recognizable landmarks along Historic Route 66. The motel opened in 1950 but has since been renovated with a host of modern amenities.
    Photo courtesy of Wigwam Motel

  • Austin Motel

    Austin Motel
    Austin, Texas

    The historic Austin Motel has long been a beloved part of the quirky South Congress neighborhood in Austin. The property comprises 41 rooms and suites outfitted with custom Sferra sheets, Everyday Coconut bath amenities from Alaffia and free wifi. During the summer, guests can cool off in the kidney-shaped swimming pool or grab tacos and a drink at Joann’s Fine Foods.
    Photo courtesy of Nick Simonite / Austin Motel

  • Unscripted Durham

    Unscripted Durham
    Durham, North Carolina

    The debut property in the Unscripted collection, Unscripted Durham occupies a historic location on Corcoran Street. Guests staying in the 74 rooms and suites enjoy access to a seasonal rooftop pool, cocktail bar and full-service restaurant. Rooms feature curated art, Bluetooth sound systems, Smart TVs and bath amenities from Jonathan Adler.
    Photo courtesy of Unscripted Durham

The top 10 winners in the category Best Roadside Motel are as follows:

  1. Roadrunner Lodge - Tucumcari, New Mexico
  2. Hotel Palms - Atlantic Beach, Florida
  3. The Vagabond Hotel - Miami
  4. The Sunset Motel - Brevard, North Carolina
  5. The Sandman - Santa Rosa, California
  6. Dog Bark Park Inn - Cottonwood, Idaho
  7. Blue Swallow Motel - Tucumcari, New Mexico
  8. Wigwam Motel - Holbrook, Arizona
  9. Austin Motel - Austin, Texas
  10. Unscripted Durham - Durham, North Carolina

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning motels!

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10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Alexandra Charitan

Alexandra Charitan

Alexandra Charitan

Jeff Cavins

Jeff Cavins

Jeff Cavins