Retro Roadtrip: The Shady Dell

Photo Courtesy of The Shady Dell

Here at Mid-Century Style, as we researched the good and the “needing-renovation” of 1950’s motels, one name kept coming up over and over. The Shady Dell in Bisbee Arizona which boasts 9 fully restored aluminum trailers to meet every retro-lovers dreams. From Tiki enthusiasts to Martini-lovers the trailers all hearken back to days where the Rat Pack ruled the radio and where motels were more than just a place to stop on the road.

A huge bonus to anyone who loves 50s’ memorabilia is Dot’s Diner, built in the 50’s by The Valentine Manufacturing Company (the pride of Wichita Kansas). It originally sat at the corner of Ventura and Topanga Canyon Blvd in Los Angeles and was run by Dot Bozeman, chief Cook and bottle washer until 1999.

Photo courtesy The Shady Dell

According to the plethora of fabulous reviews that abound on the internet:

Five stars means 8 billion stars in this case, because Shady Dell is dreamy. The retro interiors are legitimate knock-outs (we rented two side-by-side trailers and spent the first ten minutes gleefully running back and forth to investigate all the vintage records and swell little breakfast nooks), and the owners have pulled off a sort of miracle in that the obviously lived-in trappings still feel clean and non-skeezy. Yelp – LCAandJon B.


What’s really amazing about the lodging units is that they’re not just places to sleep done over with modern accoutrements.  Rather, they are retro-themed rooms complete with antique appliances in the kitchens, vintage radios and TVs, and even phonographs with vinyl records from the 1940’s and 1950’s for your enjoyment.  Neon Road Trip – Bill Flood


On pleasant evenings (most nights in Bisbee), you can sit in the gazeebo and visit with other travelers,  Or just sit out front of your trailer and watch the evening go by.  The swamp cooler kept the bus comfortable.  And I actually played a couple of the provided LPs on the vintage phonograph. Yelp – Cliff R.

The only criticism, mentioned in a few comments was that like most trailers, they run on the “short” side, so if you’re over six foot, prepare to stoop a bit or sit down leisurely with a cold martini and some Dean Martin albums.

1 Douglas Road,
Bisbee, AZ 85603
[520] 432-3567

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