Pulling up to the Amigo Motor Lodge the second thing you’ll notice, after the quippy quotes on their sign, is a giant teepee. While most motels would lean on that for achieving Instagram fame, the Amigo doesn’t stop there.
The sign-in office features a fun hangout area with freshly brewed coffee and yogurt, and in the middle of their courtyard is a hot tub, perfect for those cool mountain evenings.
Keep heading to the back though and you’ll come across a row of shining, gleaming Airstreams. Each with its own quaint patio, gravel parking spot, and handwritten name tag.
After completely renovating the motel, the owners of the Amigo decided to add some old-school flair by purchasing a few Airstreams and lining them up at the back of their property. These airstreams have been updated inside and out and feature all of the amenities you would need for a fun, and romantic, getaway.
Nothing says getting to know your girlfriend like staying in an aluminum tube that you almost can’t stand upright in. At the time of our visit, Brandi and I had been dating for about two months. I figured if we could share a small space, while also having to run across the parking lot to the bathrooms every time we had to pee, we could do anything. So if you really want to get to know your partner, book a few nights in an Amigo Airstream.
If that’s not your objective, don’t worry! It’s still a wonderful experience for any occasion.
About the Amigo Motor Lodge
The Amigo was founded by owners Philip and Kaitlyn in 2016 and was a labor of love for the couple. They left behind their jobs and businesses and, after traveling across the country for a year, settled in Salida, Colorado. The Amigo is a motel built in the ‘50s and the pair have spent countless hours restoring and reviving the property. Now, it’s a go to destination which features modern furnishings and countless amenities.
Choosing Your Amigo Airstream
When booking an Airstream at the Amigo you’re faced with a few options. Do you want to stay in Velma? Or maybe Merle? In all, there are four Airstreams to choose from. Pee Wee and Velma are 22’ long, Merle is 26’, and Francis is 31’. Depending on how much stuff you plan on bringing, as well as the number of people, you’ll have to choose accordingly. Francis is the only one made for families and features bunk beds and a Queen bed while the rest only sleep 2.
We settled on Merle, which turned out to be the oldest Airstream they have with a build date of 1958. While the others have painted or covered walls, Merle lets the polished steel shine so when you’re inside it feels like a house of mirrors.
Staying in the Airstream
When you get to the Amigo, the Airstreams are directly in the back of the parking lot. Each Airstream has a nameplate on the patio so you’ll be able to find yours, and pulling up you’ll be greeted by a small deck with chairs and string lights. You’ll end up sitting out there later, but if you head on in you’ll be wrapped in glorious vintage goodness, updated to the modern era.
On a small shelf along the wall you’ll spot a record player and a selection of albums to spin. Attached to the opposing wall is a small TV, along with a box of DVDs. No Netflix here. To the rear of Merle is a King sized bed with storage underneath. And to the front you’ll see the dining and breakfast nook.
That’s about it, but really that’s all you need.
On our first night in town we drove just down the street to Cellar Wine & Spirits to pick up a bottle of red. We happened to be staying in December, so it was quite cold. Before heading out on our booze run we turned on the space heater and were able to return to a properly roasting accommodation. With those shiny walls it felt like we were in a toaster oven.
However, going to the bathroom quickly negated that cozy feeling. Because there is limited space in these Airstreams, the Amigo opted to create a shared bathroom for these rooms. That’s normally not a problem in most seasons, but in winter it requires some planning before going out for a pee. On the first night we were fastidious about bundling up. By the final night, we didn’t care anymore and would sprint across the parking lot in shorts and a t-shirt as fast as we could.
What to Do In Salida
We had Merle, and essentially the Amigo, to ourselves for three nights. In that time we managed to pack a lot in, with the main priorities of the weekend being spending time outside and spending the rest of our time doing absolutely nothing.
In the lobby of the main motel the Amigo provides coffee, yogurt, and some snacks to get your day going. From there, Salida has plenty of options for activities, or simply wandering around.
The first day we did some ghost town exploring at St. Elmo which was about an hour away. To keep the spooky theme going in the evening we treated ourselves to a proper Salida ghost tour. Because it was December, and still very cold, we were the only ones on the tour and were shown around town by Steve Chapman of Salida Walking Tours. The man knows his history, and Salida sure has a lot of it (some of it very dark and raunchy).
To spare ourselves from nightmares, Something’s Gotta Give was popped into Merle’s DVD player that evening. Though if I can be honest, Jack Nicholson is a creepy man and it didn’t help that much.
The next day we headed to the mountain bike trails. This particular weekend was Brandi’s first attempt at mountain biking and we picked up a rental for her from Absolute Bikes. We weren’t sure where to ride, so they were kind enough to give us a map and the hot tips on which trails to start with.
I had brought my bike with me and we kept it in the Airstream through the weekend. It was a pretty tight fit, but if you only have one bike and choose the larger Airstreams you should be totally fine. I’m not sure a mountain bike, luggage, and people would all fit very well in the smaller Pee Wee.
If you are planning a weekend in Salida, check out our guide on How to Spend 48 Hours in Salida for an itinerary to start with.
A Memorable Getaway
Our last day with Merle was a little bittersweet. He was a gracious host and we weren’t that excited to head back to the realities of life. Our cozy little Airstream bubble provided us with a restful break from the world outside and had us dreaming of our own getaway vehicle, or what we would do if we had an Airstream of our own.
Alas, that wasn’t happening in that moment anyways, so we enjoyed our last few moments of quiet solitude enjoying breakfast at Merle’s table, surrounded by the large windows looking out to the rest of the Amigo, the warm sun shining through.
If you’re looking for a unique accommodation for a weekend getaway, booking an Airstream at the Amigo is a solid choice. Most hotels leave your memory as soon as you turn out of the parking lot, but we still reminisce on our weekend there, hoping to return again for a few more nights.
To schedule your vintage weekend getaway in a classic Airstream, head over to the Amigo’s website and start picking some dates.