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Wagon Wheel Motel in Alturas, CA

Wagon Wheel Motel in Alturas, CA

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Company Info:

Rating: 4.50

Address: 308 W 12th St, Alturas, CA, 96101

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    Comments (4):

    1. Evan J.
    We stayed here twice in a 2 week period. Rooms are nice and clean and the staff treated us like family. The food at the diner is delicious too...

    17/06/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    2. Kris R.
    In a world that seems to be rushing headlong into a vaguely dissatisfying franchised sameness, with cookie-cutter identical accommodations the rule, it's a pleasant surprise to find the Wagon Wheel in Alturas, CA.

    I'm a small time commercial gem miner, and quite used to rustic and often uncomfortable surroundings. I usually end up bowing to the needs of my pocketbook, which means Motel 6 or worse. Still, if you're careful and don't mind using ear plugs, "The 6" is usually adequate. (See my review for Motel 6, Mojave, CA.)

    We began planning our mining trip to Alturas by searching the travel sites, and found encouraging news for this remote town. The area is a paradise of high desert and wetland combined, an oasis of farmlands, ranches, marshes and lakes that are surrounded by seemingly unending miles of volcanic rock in this arid high desert.
    It's also richly endowed with National Forests and public land reserves and recreation. Goose Lake sprawls across the nearby Oregon border, and the ancient volcanic formations provide exquisite gemstones for those who have sufficient desire, energy and "stick to it" determination.

    After searching for liveable accommodations, the admittedly small Wagon Wheel Motel, several blocks west of the intersection of Hwy's 299 & 395, proved to be a real gem!

    In the unknowable way that fate usually works, the 4th of July weekend turned out to be the annual Fandango Days, and the other motels were crowded with party animals and noisy visitors. In contrast, the Wagon Wheel provided us with a quiet, comfortable home base for 4 nights, for the meager sum of $52.50 per night.

    For this most reasonable sum, we received a spacious room with pedestal Queen sized beds, refrigerator, wide screen TV and a well appointed "home-style" bath. The writing desk, table & comfy chairs were a clear step above The 6, and a robust heater/AC unit provided ample cooling to tired miners.

    As for the maid service, we returned to a cool, properly made up room each evening, with plenty of pillows, and beds made up in our preferred styles. For example, I prefer the bed made with the top sheet and comforter untucked, and was happy to find that the housekeeper had picked right up on this.
    In simple words, we felt right at home.

    Now, for the "drawbacks." There are no pool, spa, jacuzzi, gym or laundry facilities on site. No lobby with Window's computer to fight over. No friendly "night clerk," because there's no front desk.

    Huh? No front desk?

    That's right, no night clerk or front desk. We made our reservations over the phone during business (before 9 pm, please) directly with the owner, and it was the most enjoyable and refreshing and accommodating reservation process I've ever experienced.
    The owner even seemed to be looking forward to hosting  us!

    Check-in was simple, with a stop at the on premises Wagon Wheel Cafe (see my review for more on the Cafe!) to find that they'd simply left the room ready for us, with the key on the desk. We were astounded!

    After a great burger at Harold's Frosty (see my review) we found the Mini Mart down the street to be well stocked with craft brewed libations, and returned to our room well set for the evening. The graveled parking area is large, and parking our truck with trailer presented no problem.

    One great surprise was the patio chairs that lined the walkway, comfortable and portable. The well lit area behind our trailer became a graveled and quiet "smoking lounge," sumptuously appointed with a fabulous sunset and clear, starlit skies. (Apply your bug spray liberally!)
    Apparently, this was an average happening, since no one made even the slightest mention of our adult beverages.

    After a few Fat Tire Ale's and relaxed camaraderie, we slept soundly.
    The Wagon Wheel Cafe provided us with a BIG breakfast, with fat Polish sausages and HUGE pancakes! The eggs were a perfect over-medium, and we decided we might never go home!  };)
    The entire four day stay was like this, congenial, convivial and restful. We felt we'd found a home away from home.

    Oh, and we came home with a ton of lovely gemstones, too!

    25/07/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    3. Michele R.
    "Are you sure about this?" I asked my husband as we pulled up at the Wagon Wheel.  In looking at reviews on other web sites, this one popped up with four and five star ratings, even if one of them started off  "Don't be afraid to stay here."

    We would have driven on by without that encouragement and that would have been our loss.  Because Wagon Wheel is a good  place for an overnight stay.   In the context of other available lodging in Alturas we are fans for sure.

    GOOD LOCATION: The setting is quiet, convenient to the downtown area (such as it is for Alturas).

    LOW RATES: The rates are low (we paid $50).

    COMFORTABLE AND CLEAN ROOMS:  Big rooms.  The best part is everything is absolutely, spotlessly, sparkling clean. Beds were comfy enough.  Decor was of down-home-cozy and all nice and fresh for bedding and carpeting that seemed new.  Refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot in the room as well as good TV reception.

    HOMESPUN CHECK IN PROCESS & FRIENDLY OWNERS: When you make a reservation you are told to pick up the keys at the Wagon Wheel Cafe adjacent to the Motel.  The folks on the phone and when we fetched the key were the epitome of frliendliness.

    CAFE ASSOCIATED:  We ate at the cafe for a good breakfast (see separate review) at the next morning.  Homemade biscuits, good eggs, friendly service by the owner herself and homemade pie too.  We recommend it.

    ACCESSIBILITY LIMITS:  We are increasingly aware of accessibility these days as I have MS.   While some web sites tagged this as wheelchair accessible it is not.  That would be important for a visitor who used a wheelchair to know in advance.  Here are the accessibility barriers that make this non ADA compliant: 1) : there is about a 4" step up to the room (although there is apparently a portable ramp available at the restaurant to take to the room if needed), 2)  there are no grab  bars or transfer space at the toilet, 3) the sink would not be roll up accessible,  and 4) ) the shower is not accessible - no bench and no adjustable shower head.  

    However, there is a good amount of clear floor space in the bathroom and door opening to the bathroom is ample.  There is a grab bar in the shower  over tub.  People with mobility limits who are still able to stand would find this useful.  But  our friends who rely on wheelchairs full time would not find this met their needs.  It is not ADA compliant.. Just a heads up if that also describes your situation.

    BOTTOM LINE:  Next time we stay in Alturas, Wagon Wheel will be our first choice for lodging.

    25/02/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    4. Allison L.
    Very pleased! Easy check-in process (go to the restaurant), free wi-fi, great cable (Food Network, yay!), comfy beds and a trippy-ass silhouette statue out front. The Wild West in a nutshell. I love this place!

    07/10/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0