The Prescott Motor Lodge Will Appeal to Your Inner Hipster

I’m constantly searching for great Arizona lodging, distinctly southwestern spots that couldn’t exist anywhere else. Frodo delivered a ring, Carl Fredricksen floated his home via balloons all the way to Paradise Falls and Indiana Jones punched out Nazis to protect relics. My obsession is much simpler. Thankfully, the Dark Lord of Mordor, Charles Muntz, and WWI French tanks are not standing in my way.

The Motor Lodge in Prescott is a distinctly Arizona institution without falling into the traps and cliches of Fake-i-zona. There are no staged Cowboy & Indian designs, not a drop of turquoise nor a single Navajo blanket. This award-winning motel feels like a real Arizona experience without trying. Originally built in 1910 as summer cabins, the property was converted in 1940 to a roadside motel, just a five-minute walk from Prescott’s Whiskey Row.

The 12 rooms are a little slice of history that predates Arizona statehood. Sadly, history can be old, musty, dirty and sometimes boring. The Motor Lodge is none of those things. It is clean, clever, hip, well-designed, and yes historically significant.

Speaking of historical, The Motor Lodge’s prices are still in line with what they charged in 1985. They are competitively priced with other nearby Prescott area lodging and every bit as low as the national chains. Their rates range from $89- $139 per night depending on the room that best suits your needs; the Classic, Deluxe, Suite and The Apartment.

The rooms are dotted with splashes of orange inspired by their classic 1965 Ford pickup, which you’ll immediately spot from the road. Antiques and collectibles from the 1920s to today provide interest. It reminds me of the concept of use what you have decorating. It’s like these guys had a really hip grandmother who gifted them 12 rooms worth of furnishings and art. The beds were soft and silky, the patio chairs good on the back, and the furnishings, while cool, still felt like home.

Soft beds and interesting paintings don’t make for great lodging. People are responsible for that feat. Owners Joe and Brian happily welcome visitors with a drink and their friendly staff elevate “cool rooms” into a worthwhile vacation. I can’t remember the last time a cleaning lady gave me directions to a great location for sledding (OK, never).

Not to be overlooked is the proximity to the most infamous group of saloons in the West, Whiskey Row, “The Row,” as it is known to locals, is the spot to soak up true Arizona atmosphere. Stroll the grounds of the historic Courthouse Plaza and enjoy pub and grub at Prescott Brewing Company. You are certain to feel like a genuine Arizonan.

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