The Americana Motor Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona counts the surrounding natural splendor as the muse for its vibrant reimagining. Set to officially reopen next month in June, the 89-room property along Route 66 has undergone a thorough overhaul by Practice Hospitality and designer Andrew Alford that repositions the retreat as a nostalgic oasis at the threshold of exploration.
“The base of Americana’s design definitely starts with the property’s address on Route 66 and its origins dating back to 1962,” Alford says. “However, we wanted to avoid the cliches that could easily come along with that era and location. Given that Flagstaff is surrounded by stunning natural beauty and has very strong ties to the world of astronomy, we decided to avoid the expected route and go in a direction I would call ‘rustic futurism.’”
Spread across two stories, the Americana Motor Hotel evokes a flair of futurism influenced by the city’s Lowell Observatory, which discovered Pluto, as well as the nearby craters that served as the training site for NASA Apollo moon vehicles. “We decided to create our own 2023, one with all the optimism and endless leisure time previous generations thought we would have,” Alford adds.
The past serves also serves as a source for inspiration, informing half the color story thanks to an original postcard from the property’s inaugural year. A mix of bright yellow, turquoise, and orange abound alongside warmer tones that channel Arizona landscapes and darker, cooler notes inspired by the Flagstaff’s designation as the First International Dark Sky City.
The lobby recalls the atmosphere of a family living room complete with wooden slats with colors that change based on which direction visitors enter the space. The word “groovy” sparks the design of the hotel’s accommodations, resulting in guestrooms illuminated by sparkling disco balls and punctuated with vibrant geometric carpeting, headboards inspired by vintage ski wear, and oversized armchairs upholstered in neon-hued, retro-futuristic materials. Writing desks are installed in each unit as well.