Snapshot: Skyview Los Alamos | Los Alamos, CA

From your cowboy roots to retro-chic…Skyview, you had me at “MOTEL” {the sign that is}. I have driven by it 100 times or more while traveling between Northern and Southern California. I am referring to the larger-than-life bright yellow and black “MOTEL” sign, located high on the hill right off Highway 101 in Los Alamos, just north of Santa Barbara. If you have traveled this stretch of road, you have most likely also seen it.

On this particular trip, I spontaneously decided to follow the sky-high yellow sign to see what the motel behind the iconic marquee was all about. The motel opened in 1959 and successfully operated as a roadside establishment for decades until the eventual abandonment and disarray of the property.

In 2016, the Nomada Hotel Group purchased the iconic motel with a fresh new vision for it. After a complete renovation, the motel reopened its doors in 2018 as the Skyview Los Alamos. The owners took great strides to meticulously renovate the entire property to offer all the current amenities while maintaining the original “bones” of the property and integrating some of the authentic 1950’s-era architectural elements already there. The interior spaces reflect a well-done retro, mid-century vibe with a modern rustic flair. Newly created outdoor common areas offer seating with fire pits, surrounded by a relaxing succulent garden.

The pool is a defining characteristic and the heartbeat of the property. The pool area has a fun, playful motif with its colorful umbrellas, “bubble” iron gate, and painted cactus art with the iconic motel sign proudly presiding over it all. {Insert Instagram moment here}

A pleasant surprise on this small property is the onsite restaurant, Norman. On this short visit, I only had time for a quick tour and a glass of wine at the bar; however, I look forward to returning to this boutique property so I may fully experience it and share it in all its glory.

If you find yourself in the Los Alamos area and you happen to see those large yellow and black letters that say MOTEL, turn off to stay the night or grab a bite to eat…either way you won’t be disappointed.