When Casa de Coronado opened in Yuma, Ariz., in 1938, travelers stayed for $5 a night and powdered their noses in bathrooms with disposable washcloths and tiny aluminum toothpaste tubes. Before retiring, they tuned their radios to Fibber McGee and Molly and The Shadow.
Today's guests enjoy Internet access and a pool, but they're welcome to visit that simpler past. The property—it's now the Best Western Coronado Motor Hotel—is one of four remaining charter members of the chain. And it's the only one with a five-room museum.
"Travel brochures, hotel stationery, matchbook covers, Bing Crosby 78s, the original wrought iron sign—my mother-in-law saved it all," says
co-owner Yvonne Peach. These days, the compound has 127 rooms in 12 stucco buildings with Spanish tile roofing. (877) 234-5567, www.bwcoronado.com .
Photography by Kerrick James