By Roger Naylor | Photo by Paul Markow
Achieving a dream is like completing a great road trip. No matter how careful the planning, you sometimes take an unexpected route to arrive at your destination. Welcome to Rob Samsky's world. What he wanted was a mountain cabin, someplace where he and his family could escape the desert heat. What he ended up with was one of the pre-eminent motels in Williams — the stylish and casually elegant Lodge on Route 66.
While searching for a simple cabin on a foray to the high country in 2002, Samsky came across a ramshackle motel for sale. Surprising even himself, he bought it. The motel, a vintage motor court right on Historic Route 66, had been condemned by the city, but that didn't scare off Samsky, who began an almost unimaginable rehabilitation project. First, he installed his family, because what better source of cheap labor than blood relatives? He now had his little mountain cabin. It just happened to have 28 rooms.
Setting out to design an affordable motel while recapturing an era of sophistication and comfort, Samsky applied high standards to each detail. He gutted and then lovingly restored everything, from the fixtures to the frame. Wood used in the renovation was taken from the surrounding forest and run through the local sawmill. Many of the original rooms were combined to make suites.
The Lodge on Route 66 opened in June 2004 and hearkened back to something that had long been missing from Williams. Travelers on the road dubbed the "Main Street of America" now had family run luxury lodging again. The Lodge was in the forefront of the renaissance for downtown Williams, one of the most well-preserved small-town cores in the state with a powerful Route 66 heritage.
Samsky sacrificed none of the property's historic charm in creating the Lodge. Guests can still park in front of their rooms in the classic motor-court tradition. The exterior exudes a Southwestern feel, with an open courtyard surrounding a lovely covered cabana that's anchored by large wooden pillars. Rustic chairs are positioned along the walkway, creating an old-fashioned chat-with-your-fellow-travelers vibe.
In the rooms, guests are welcomed by an array of amenities, including travertine flooring and countertops, solid-wood furniture, flat-screen TVs, plush beds and luxurious linens. Suites include a sleeper sofa, wood kitchen cabinets, a stainless-steel refrigerator, a dining nook and fireplaces. Spend a little time inside, and other homey details become apparent, like the designer-style lighting and interior archways.
Complimentary breakfast is served each morning on the cabana, where guests can relax at the edge of Historic Route 66 as the soft flow of traffic streams past — fellow travelers on road trips or folks chasing dreams of their own.
The Lodge on Route 66 is located at 200 E. Historic Route 66 in Williams. For more information, call 877-563-4366 or visit www.thelodgeonroute66.com.