High Country Motor Lodge: A Retro Oasis on America’s Route 66

San Francisco-based Adean Studios and Synectic Design transform an old roadside motel into a stylish retreat that pays homage to Flagstaff’s rich culture and natural beauty.

Nestled along the iconic Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona, the High Country Motor Lodge has undergone a remarkable transformation. With the help of Adean Studios and Synectic Design, this mid-century motel has been revitalized to reflect the city’s unique blend of astronomical history, mountainous landscapes, and retro charm. The renovated lodge now offers guests a nostalgic yet contemporary experience, seamlessly blending modern design with a nod to the motel’s 1960s roots.

A Design Inspired by Flagstaff’s Rich Heritage

The collaboration between Adean Studios and Synectic Design sought to create a space that paid homage to Flagstaff’s rich cultural and natural heritage. The design team drew inspiration from the city’s astronomical significance, its proximity to the Grand Canyon, and the surrounding wilderness. The result is a hotel that effortlessly combines elements of a mountain lodge with the retro aesthetics of a 1960s motel.

A Dark and Inviting Oasis

The High Country Motor Lodge welcomes guests with its striking midnight blue facade, forming a U-shaped layout around a central lawn and a renovated swimming pool. The darker color palette continues inside the lobby, lounge, and bar areas, creating an inviting and cozy atmosphere. Amber-hued glass light fixtures emit a warm glow, while velvet curtains and blankets add a touch of luxury.

A Retro Experience in Every Room

The guest rooms at the High Country Motor Lodge are a testament to the motel’s commitment to retro aesthetics. Navy blue wainscoting wraps the lower portion of off-white walls, while dark wood floors and low furniture evoke a mid-century ambiance. Each room is equipped with a cassette player and a set of three tapes, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the nostalgia of the road trip era.

Outdoor Bliss and Nordic Spa

Inspired by Flagstaff’s outdoor lifestyle, the High Country Motor Lodge offers a range of outdoor amenities. The hotel’s great lawn, private cottages, and Nordic Spa have been designed to enhance the outdoor experience and remind guests of the natural beauty that surrounds them. The Nordic spa features two private wood-lined saunas, an outdoor shower, fire pits, and direct access to a hot tub and swimming pool.

Branding that Celebrates Retro and Astronomy

Charleston-based SDCO Partners created the branding for the High Country Motor Lodge, capturing its retro and astronomy themes. Hand-rendered typographic and illustrative graphic elements celebrate the motel’s vintage style, contemporary design, and love for high desert adventure. The branding reflects the celestial and earthly qualities that make the lodge a truly unique destination.

Conclusion: The High Country Motor Lodge stands as a testament to the transformative power of thoughtful design. Through a careful blend of retro aesthetics and modern comfort, the motel offers guests a unique experience that celebrates Flagstaff’s cultural heritage and natural beauty. Whether enjoying the Nordic spa, exploring the surrounding wilderness, or simply soaking in the retro ambiance, visitors to the High Country Motor Lodge are sure to be captivated by its charm and character.






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