The top pick of the quaint motor inns is the Saga Motor Hotel (1633 E. Colorado Blvd., 626/795-0431, www.thesagamotorhotel.com, $113). Outside it’s all 1950s, from the structure of the low buildings to the Astroturf around the swimming pool. The ambiance extends to the door of your room, which includes a doorknob and an actual metal key to open it with. But inside your room, the decor gets a lot more contemporary.
The big space has either a king or two double beds, clean if worn carpeting and linens, and a nice bathroom with a surprisingly good bathtub and nice hot showers. Locationwise, the Saga is right on the Rose Parade route on broad Colorado Boulevard, but it’s not right downtown or in Old Town. Sadly, the service is spotty at best, but few people expect concierges at motor hotels.
Of the main chain motels, the best inexpensive one might be the Comfort Inn (2462 E. Colorado Blvd., 626/405-0811, www.comfortinn.com, $93). You’ll find comfortable amenities in pleasant standard motel rooms here, along with yet another good set of views of the Rose Parade. Expect room prices to skyrocket for the Parade.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition