Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Classic Lodging

Back in April, I travelled to St Louis for a Mid-West Roadgeek Meeting (personally, I prefer Road Scholar, but that's another story). At least half of the people Day Tripped, but given the distance from home, I opted to stay in town a couple days (gave me a great excuse to do some sightseeing & photography). I searched the internet looking for the best deal on a motel room. There were lots of franchise motels, but nothing close to old Route 66 where I really wanted to stay. I contacted some people on the Route 66 discussion list and was referred an older motel in the community of Marlborough.

The Wayside Motel is one of the last of a dying breed: the motor court. To my knowledge, it's the last motor court on old Route 66 in Missouri. Where most motels/hotels feature just a room in a large building, the rooms at the Wayside are actually cottages with attached garages. Built in 1940's, you just don't see anything like this anymore. A lot of them (including the Coral Court across the street) have been torn down to make way for subdivisions or blandly generic franchise motels.
I'll be honest: the inside of the room looked like it needed a little bit of work (mostly replacing flat bed pillows or repairing a faulty light fixrure), but the bathroom looked a lot like it probably did when the Wayside first opened: tile floors and walls with a walk-in shower. But the room was clean, quiet and comfortable though slightly on the small side (about as big as the average discount motel room).
OK, I probably paid about $5 more than I would have had I stayed crosstown at a franchise motel, but it was worth it! I can stay at a "super inn" anytime (and have), but a chance to stay at a classic motel such as they Wayside doesn't come very often.
I applaud those who have preserved this piece of classic Americana and hope the Wayside continues to serve weary travellers for generations to come.

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