Wayside Motel

Last weekend, on the way back to Tulsa from Illinois, I stayed overnight in the Wayside Motel at 7800 Watson Road (Route 66) in the St. Louis suburb of Marlborough, Mo. (map is here.)

According to the late Skip Curtis’ well-researched book, “The Missouri Route 66 Tour Book,” the Wayside was built in 1940. It’s across the road from the site of the Coral Court Motel, an Art Deco masterpiece that was razed in 1995 despite concerted efforts to preserve it.

The Wayside is remarkably well-preserved, mostly because the structures are made of brick. And its owners have kept up the interior, too, as these photos show.

Those driving classic cars on Route 66 should take note that the Wayside has original carports in which to park their beauties while staying overnight. This is a bonus for those who want to protect their vintage rides from hail and bird poop.

The price for my room was $51, with tax. This sounds inexpensive to some, but it’s high enough to keep most undesirables away. About the only thing I heard during my restful night at the Wayside was a freight train about a half-mile away.

The Wayside’s phone number is 314-961-2324.

12 thoughts on “Wayside Motel

  1. Wow! Those bathrooms look really good. I used to drive by the Wayside occasionally when I lived in St. Louis, but I never really noticed it. I think the sign was different then, though.

    Marlborough is pretty far off the beaten path for the average visitor to St. Louis–there’s very little there that a non-Route 66 buff would look for. It’s good that this place is staying afloat!

  2. Looks like a nice place to get the old-time motel experience. Too bad they replaced their neat motion neon sign with a modern back-lit. However, better to have a nice motel with a new sign than a nice old sign with no motel left!

  3. I just stayed at the Wayside on my 66 trip earlier this month, partially on your advice. I agree – it’s clean, safe and comfortable. The staff there was very nice, and gladly showed us the rooms before we checked in. It can look questionable when first pulling in (stuff in the garages, old mattresses being thrown out…) but it was really a nice vintage 66 experience. Thanks for your photos!

  4. When I first moved to St.L in 1976, the apartment I thought I would get didn’t pan out. I was sent to “motel row.” There were 4 or 5 Rt.66 type motels along this stretch of Watson Rd. I ended up selecting the Wayside @ $45/wk over the Coral Court across the street which was $77/wk. I stayed there for a month in the very unit in your last picture. I think I still have my first MO driver’s license with 7800 Watson Road as the address.
    Thanks for the pictures.

  5. I stayed their a while back the front desk man nocked a few bucks off for me. I get to the room. Their was a speical on tv I really wanted to watch and the chanel was just a tad bit fuzzy. Well I called the frount desk expecting the guy to fix the tv they sent me to a nother room with a fridge and a microwave.(very nice) . This was great for me because I planed on using the sink as a booze cooler. After having a number of alcoholic beverages at around 2 am I saw a man out the window taking pictures of the peoples car next to me. He looked like a private investgator possibly from the show cheaters. So I found it funny to peek out the door desssed in my boxers and a shirt and make gestures at him. This propted him to takes pictures of me. Joey greco never showed up I was disapointed. The place also had covered parking . I was so cheap and the people were nice so in the morning when I woke up I actually cleaned up the beer cans thrown about the room I never do that at motel 6.

  6. We stayed there for two nights this past week, because my grandmother lives in the area. Although the bed was creaky and the towels on the transparent side, it was clean, safe, cheap, and a fun experience.

  7. I just stayed a night there too. On the 25th this month. Room 26. Very cool place. Nostalgic as hell. Just don’t expect hot water in room 26. It ain’t gonna happen.

  8. It is a very clean motel. Sadly some of the motels along Route 66 in St Louis are not. But they do keep this one up.

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