Wigwam Motel

Holbrook, Arizona

ArizonaAccommodationRoadside Attraction
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“Have you slept in a Wigwam lately?” This iconic Route 66 motel has been attracting travelers from the road with its unusual architecture since 1950. Spend the night at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. Also known as Wigwam Village No. 6.

The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona is a motor court with rooms designed in a unique way: each individual hotel room is built into a teepee. In actuality, a wigwam is more permanently placed domed, round shelter used by many northeastern Native American tribes, while teepees were movable conical shaped tents traditionally used by Indigenous people of the Great Plains. While immovable, these wigwams were actually modeled after teepees. But the original designer of this unique Route 66 motel, Frank Redford, decided to set aside accuracy as he preferred the word wigwam to tipi.

There were once seven of these villages constructed but, today, only three remain: this one, Wigwam Village No. 2 in Cave City, Kentucky, and another Wigwam Motel on Route 66 in San Bernardino, California (#7). The now shuttered other locations were in Horse Cave, Kentucky (#1), New Orleans, Louisiana (#3), Orlando, Florida (#4), and Bessemer, Alabama (#5).

Architect Frank Redford opened the first and second versions in Kentucky in the 1930s and he patented the wigwam village design in 1936. While he initially built the unique hotel to house his collection of Native American artifacts, he also had the idea to expand and franchise, a novel idea for the time.

Chester E. Lewis passed through Cave City, Kentucky in 1938 and became enamored by the unique novelty architecture of the teepee motel. He purchased copies of the plan and the rights to use the name in a contract that included a royalty agreement that would pay Redford percentages from coin-operated radios installed in the rooms.

Lewis opened the sixth, and second-to-last, Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona in 1950, officially making it Wigwam Village No. 6.

The Route 66 motel features fifteen freestanding teepees that sit in a semi-circle surrounding the main office, which once upon a time was also a Texaco gas station with now-removed pumps. The rooms are numbered one through sixteen (bypassing the unlucky number 13).

For many years Lewis operated the successful motel on Route 66. But, eventually, business slowed. The construction of I-40 had busy travelers bypassing the little town of Holbrook by the late 1970s and travelers were just no longer as star-struck by the roadside motel and its mimetic design. The emergence of larger hotel chains with larger footprints, more rooms, and more space within each started changing the way travelers traveled, leaving some of the most popular roadside motels behind.

Lewis eventually sold the business and, while it did remain open, it only served as a gas station for many years, before seemingly closing for good in 1982. A few years later, in 1906, Chester Lewis passed away. In 1988, his widow and children re-purchased the property and reopened the Wigwam Motel. On May 2, 2002 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, helping to secure its future even more.

The Holbrook Wigwam Motel is an especially popular destination among the three remaining teepee hotels that operate today. First for its prominent location on Route 66 and its close proximity to Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater (Barringer Crater), and the Grand Canyon. But also for its unique layout with drive-up parking which has allowed the owners to fill the lot with Instagram-worthy vintage cars, ones that probably drove the Mother Road in its heyday.

The Arizona Route 66 roadside attraction is also popular for its cameo appearance in the 2006 Pixar movie Cars. The “newly refurbished” neon-lit Cozy Cone Motel was modeled after Wigwam Village #6. Only in the movie they appropriately switched out the teepees for traffic cones.

For anyone spending the night in Holbrook, the wigwams offer all the basics you need: a comfy bed, original hand-made hickory furniture, a small but working flat-screen TV, free WiFi, a heater/air conditioner, and a small bathroom.

It’s by no means a luxury stay but it is definitely one to write a postcard home about (and you can pick up those postcards, along with other souvenirs, in the reception building). It’s also a popular stop for Route 66 road trippers to pull over for pics, regardless of whether or not they are staying the night.

Last modified: April 21, 2024
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Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction

Wigwam Motel

5 based on 1 reviews

Address:
811 W Hopi Dr, Holbrook, AZ 86025

Cost:
$

Phone Number:
(928) 524-3048

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Hotel Amenities

  • Free Parking
  • Free Internet
  • Pets Allowed (Dog Friendly)
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction

Room Amenities

  • TV
  • WiFi
  • Window AC Unit
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction

Room Types

  • Queen Bed Wigwam
  • Double Full Wigwam
  • Apartments

Photos of Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona

Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction

Know Before You Go

Staying at Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona? Here are some things to know when you book a room.

  • Drive-up parking is available around the property, so you should be able to park right in front of your room. Visitors who are there to check out this Arizona roadside attraction can also pull in to take photos.
  • Pets are welcome at Wigwam Motel for an additional nightly fee.
  • In addition to the teepee-shaped hotel rooms Wigwam Motel also has onsite apartments to book.
  • The sign out front is best photographed when lit up for the night. But if you want an unobstructed view of the teepees and vintage cars, stop by between noon and three, before the parking lot starts filling up with the more modern guest’s vehicles.

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Reviews & Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

1 Review of Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona

  1. Stayed overnight here and it was one of the most unique motels on Route 66. Loved walking around and photographing the property and I had a comfortable night’s stay. The shower might have been a little awkward against the angled walls, but otherwise it was a 10/10 experience to sleep in a wigwam!

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