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As it befits its name, Americana Motor Hotel is perfect for road trippers, sightseers, stargazers, and wanderers. I am all of these and enjoy every moniker.
Located at the crossroads of Interstate 40 and Interstate 17 in the Northern Arizona town of Flagstaff on historic Route 66, Americana Motor Hotel is a nostalgic retro lodging celebrating its grand reopening. I was there for the celebration, and it was stellar.
My husband and I were hosted for this event, but all opinions are my own.
Rest and Relax at the Speed of Light
If you want an authentic experience, you’ve found the right place. We were early for check-in, but our room was ready. The front desk staff welcomed us, gave us our parking pass, and told us about all we could do on the property.
After we were photographed with the astronaut mannequin at the front door (it will always be there – sans the celebratory balloons), we made our way to our ground-floor room. We decided to relax at the speed of light and took a much-welcomed nap on the comfortable bed.
The Americana Motor Hotel is a roadside retreat with modern yet retro décor. The private bathrooms boast walk-in showers decorated in black and white with red shower fixtures and wall-mounted body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and skin lotion.
A small bright orange refrigerator was disguised behind a door built into the credenza.
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Bathrobes with the hotel logo emblazoned on the back hung on the clothes rack beside the room safe with a combination lock.
The delightful room décor includes retro furniture and lights, colorful rugs, and comfortable, cushy, easy chairs.
Things to Know about Americana Motor Hotel
We met Zack, the General Manager, and Sosanda, the Corporate Trainer from Practice Hospitality Management Company. In addition to the Operations Manager and Front Desk Manager, these folks are friendly and personable. They worked hard to be sure we were comfortable, and they are proud of the property and eager to share everything they offer.
The Americana Motor Hotel originally opened in 1962 as a premier destination. Over the years and with various owners, the hotel lost its charm. Two years ago, a new owner purchased the property and, over a year and a half, brought it back to life.
The futuristic design brought back the nostalgia of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The bright colors in the floor coverings, furniture, and accent pieces enhance the graphics and design in the rooms.
The exterior paint in complementary colors is more than just a coat of paint. It is eye-catching and attractive. It’s clean and crisp and speaks to the modernization of the property.
There are 88 standard rooms and one suite at the Americana Motor Hotel. The suite is currently unavailable as a rental. The standard room type includes free wifi and the amenities listed below.
Here are the amenities we had access to:
- Wifi (always a must for my work)
- In-room coffee maker and coffee in the Lobby from 6 to 10 a.m. daily
- Blackout curtains
- Crisp fresh linens
- Heated pool
- EV charging station
- Daily housekeeping
- The Backyard
- The Barkyard pet area
- Disco balls
- Souvenirs and sundries in the Lobby
- Far Out Food for walk-up snacks and drinks (coming soon)
The Backyard at Americana Motor Hotel
The Backyard is a dedicated space with drought-tolerant plants and gravel pathways dotted with restful spots to sit and relax…at light speed. You can swing in a hammock or eat in the picnic area. The colorful lawn and pool furniture make being outside at the Americana Motor Hotel very appealing.
The Americana Motor Hotel is pet friendly with a dedicated backyard, where your dog can run in an enclosed area.
Things to Do at Americana Motor Hotel
If resting and relaxing at light speed isn’t enough, the following are other entertaining things to do on the property.
Check out a bike and helmet from the lobby and hit the trails.
The Flagstaff Urban Trails System (FUTS) is a city-wide network of non-motorized, shared-use pathways used by bicyclists, walkers, hikers, runners, and other users for transportation and recreation. The trails are generally eight to ten feet wide; some are paved with concrete or asphalt, and the others are hard-packed aggregate surfaces.
There are about 58 miles of FUTS trails in Flagstaff, with another 80 miles to be built in the future.
FUTS trails offer a diverse range of experiences. While some trails are on busy streets, and others traverse canyons, riparian areas, grasslands, meadows, and forests–all within urban Flagstaff.
Obtain a map at the Front Desk.
Check out the bean bags from the Front Desk and start tossing in The Backyard.
Borrow the bocce balls in the lobby and get rolling in The Backyard.
The fire pits light up when the sun goes down.
Lots of table space in the lobby allows you and your family or guests to settle into classic tabletop board games.
Check out a telescope from the lobby and train your eye on the dark skies.
What Flagstaff is Famous For
Every astronaut who walked on the moon trained in and around Flagstaff. You can walk in their footsteps.
Flagstaff was the first International Dark Skies City, and Pluto was discovered here at the Lowell Observatory.
Dark Sky International works to protect the environment, and wildlife, and prevent the harmful effects of light pollution. I’ve heard visitors remark how dark Flagstaff is compared to their hometown.
With many daily activities at the Lowell Observatory schedule, this is a definite must-see for solo travelers, families with kids, multi-generational travelers, and those with an interest in the stars, planets, and night sky.
Of particular interest is the Clark Telescope. While this antique is not in use today, it makes for an exciting demonstration of how Pluto was discovered and other secrets of the Universe. When we were there on this visit, they couldn’t open the telescope doors because of the drizzle. On a previous visit, we were treated to the wooden ceiling opening with tires on rims all around the top.
She Buys Travel Tip: On the road to Lowell Observatory, there is a pull-out/parking lot where you can overlook Flagstaff and enjoy the city lights. The parking lot was full on this recent visit, even though the cloudy skies and drizzle prevented us from looking up into the sky.
Seven United States National Parks and Monuments are within 80 miles of Flagstaff. I have visited these natural wonders over the years, and they never cease to amaze me.
Snowfall averages 100+ inches yearly, making Flagstaff a winter destination for alpine and Nordic skiing, sledding, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tubing.
Great Places to Eat in Flagstaff
Dark Sky Brewing Co.
On this visit to Flagstaff, we ate at Dark Sky Brewing Co. They have been brewing beer in Flagstaff for the last nine years and recently opened the beer garden on Birch Street. They serve up tasty meals from the Atmosphere Kitchen.
My husband enjoyed the pickled deviled eggs with salmon and caviar. I ordered the Chopped Cheeseburger served between Hawaiian rolls, which was excellent.
The breeze came up the evening we dined outside. It was entertaining to see some paper napkins catch fire from the tabletops’ firepits. More than one drink was used to douse the flames.
One of my favorite restaurants is Atria Restaurant, located on Leroux Street in the historic district of Downtown Flagstaff. The setting offers an upscale yet casual dining experience and is contemporary and cozy.
I ordered the Chef’s Tasting Menu and was impressed with the creativity, service, and wine pairings.
If you like fresh and seasonal ingredients, the masters at Atria serve modern American fare that will please you.
During our stay at Americana Motor Hotel, our breakfast was catered by Local Juicery. The menu is extensive, with organic luxuries like Mango Lassi, Avocado Toast, and Bananas and Almond Butter on Toast.
While I had difficulty deciding what to order, I enjoyed every single bite and slurp. I like whole grain breads and traditional favorites. When did you last have bananas and peanut butter (or almond butter) on toast? Add finishing touches like ground cinnamon to the precise rows of banana slices and I was in breakfast heaven.
How To Get To Flagstaff
If you are road-tripping, Flagstaff is at the intersection of Interstate 40, running east and west, and Interstate 17 that runs south from Flagstaff.
The Southwest Chief cross-country Amtrak train stops at the Flagstaff station. The train heading east arrives shortly after 4 a.m. The train heading west arrives around 8:30 p.m. Always check with Amtrak for arrival and departure times.
The Flagstaff Pulliam Airport hosts several flights from and to Phoenix daily. The airport is a mile from Interstate 17. They instituted paid parking rates in July 2023.
Flagstaff and Beyond
Americana Motor Hotel is a great home base to explore the Flagstaff area year-round. Here are the distances to these great destinations.
- Astrogeology Science Center – 2.6 miles
- Flagstaff Visitor Center – 2.7 miles
- Northern Arizona University – 3.1 miles
- Lowell Observatory – 4.0 miles
- Museum of Northern Arizona – 5.4 miles
- Walnut Canyon – 8.8 miles
- Cinder Lake Crater Field – 9.5 miles
- Sunset Crater Volcano – 16.2 miles
- Arizona Snowbowl – 16.8 miles
- Sunset Peaks – 17.7 miles
- Coconino National Forest – 18.8 miles
- San Francisco Peaks – 20.8 miles
- Oak Creek Canyon – 27.7 miles
- Wupatki National Monument – 27.7 miles
- Sedona – 30 miles
- Meteor Crater – 40.8 miles
- Grand Canyon National Park – 76.5 miles
Get your kicks on Route 66 at Americana Motor Hotel–Perfect for a nostalgic road trip!