wigwam hotel

What’s Up With the Wigwam Motels

I thought I was lost. 

Wigwam hotel

My personal exposure to the Wigman Motels was arriving at the San Bernadino location for a photoshoot. What was fun about it was that I just had an address but no description of the location. I was slightly confused. Adding to the confusion was the fact that the motel has a Rialto address but is squarely in San Bernadino. Naturally, I assumed I was lost, but luckily I wasn’t. That place is cool to visit.

I mean in the interior of the wigwams are very motel 6, but with the added shape constrictions of the wigman teepee style. Not super roomy. But the experience of wandering around that place is way more elevated than your average motel. Side note: they will charge you to do a full-on photoshoot there. Just FYI.

Also FYI: the motel has been known as an hourly rental spot. It’s not very expensive, whether the rental is for an hour or all-nighter. And whatever people might be choosing to use the motel for, it’s still very much listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places.

While the Rialto location was not built as a franchise, the Wigman Motels are actually a chain. Originally there were also locations in Kentucky, Lousiana, Florida, Arizona, and Alabama. Most of them have not stood the test of time.


Now since these things are called wigwams I trust that they’re wigwams, even though I’d personally refer to them as teepees. But apparently, they are supposed to be teepees and were mistakingly referred to as wigwams, and then the name just stuck.

I don’t totally follow that logic, but that’s what happened. These guys date back to the 1930s so I suppose there’s been plenty of time for miscommunication along the way. They’re certainly not boring.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter