Postcards & Passports

Yuma’s Historic Coronado Motor Hotel

This post was most recently updated on July 9th, 2019

Coronado Motor HotelIn the town of Yuma, Arizona, you’ll find the historic Coronado Motor Hotel — a nod to the older days of motor hotels built right along the main highway. But this hotel also features modern amenities and its own place in Yuma history. Keep reading to learn why I recommend you visit the Coronado Motor Hotel…

1. The Coronado Motor Hotel is historic

I’m a history buff, and I love it when a place has a story to tell — which is one reason I really enjoyed my stay at the Coronado Motor Hotel. Built in 1938, it was the oldest Best Western hotel in the United States until 2014. Its restaurant, Yuma Landing Bar & Grill’, stands on the site where the first plane landed in Arizona in 1911. You can enjoy a delicious meal at the restaurant and gain an insight into aviation history at the same time. All kinds of articles and artifacts are displayed throughout the restaurant. A beautiful mural depicting the landing is painted on the outside wall as the backdrop to a memorial and statue of the pilot, Robert G. Fowler.

The hotel has plenty of history, too, and the onsite Casa de Coronado Museum — in the original hotel office — houses antiques and artifacts. Movie stars and military leaders were frequent visitors of the hotel, including Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. John Peach lived there as a young boy while his parents, John and Marie Peach, ran the hotel. If you’d like to know more about the hotel’s fun history, watch this video made by owners, John and Yvonne Peach:

Coronado Motor Hotel

Historic hotel brochure

One of the interesting facts I learned from the owners is that John’s parents would add 14 new rooms every 14 years. The hotel currently has more than 120 rooms.

More fun facts:

  • Coronado Motor Hotel was a favorite among honeymooners when it was first built.
  • The hotel was the first business in Yuma to have a fax machine or TV’s in the rooms.
  • Because of the shortage of trees in Yuma, much of the original hotel was built with salvaged lumber from the closed Southern Pacific Hotel.
  • Coronado Motor Hotel was also one of the first in the area to have air conditioning, a needed luxury in the summer months.
  • Yvonne noted that she and her husband really like history and want to preserve the history and memories at the hotel. By appointment, you can visit the original Peach home and hotel office, known as the Casa de Coronado. There are also historic rooms in the original wing that can be rented by request.
  • They look forward to celebrating the hotel’s 100th anniversary a few years down the road. (I’d love to be there to help them celebrate!)
2. The Coronado Motor Hotel has modern amenities

For a hotel that’s over 80 years old, you might assume it doesn’t have much in the way of amenities, but Coronado Motor Inn has kept up with the times while also preserving its unique history. You’ll find modern comforts in every room, including Beautyrest mattresses, free wifi, a microwave, refrigerator, safe, toiletries, and flat-screen TV with cable. There are also plenty of electric outlets for charging your electronics. That’s something that is often missing from older hotels.

I personally like being able to drive right up to the door of my room to park, too. That way if I forget and leave something I need in the car (tell me I’m not the only one that does that), it’s not a 5-10 minute walk to retrieve it. Plus, I can keep an eye on my car.

The Coronado Motor Hotel also has suites with full kitchens and comfortable work space for your convenience.

One of the nicest amenities offered by the hotel is a complimentary full cooked-to-order breakfast at the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill. What a treat to get such a nice breakfast and service included in the room rate!

3. Coronado Motor Hotel is close to Yuma highlights

I hadn’t realized just how close the hotel is to historic downtown Yuma until my recent stay. In fact, it’s actually within walking distance if you’re up for a stroll — only half a mile and about a 10-minute walk. Visiting downtown just adds to the experience, as it is also a step back in time. Vintage storefronts, theaters, and restaurants line the main street as well as a historic post office and art museum.

Extras like the arches at either end of main street and the roundabout with a beautiful fountain also add to the nostalgia. Fun new businesses have revitalized the area — like the Bare Naked Yuma specializing in the most scrumptious soaps.

There’s a beautiful library on the adjacent city block, while a market across the street is the site of a stunning street mural entitled the “Flor del Desierto” (Desert Flower), painted by Adry del Rocio. You can see more of her amazing work on her Instagram account at @adrydelrocio.

Just over a mile away is the old Yuma Territorial Prison, open for public tours and the St Thomas Yuma Indian Mission.

4. The Coronado Motor Hotel is family-owned and operated

It’s hard to find a nice place to stay anymore that isn’t just a brand-name national chain. Not that they’re terrible or anything. But a family-owned hotel just adds a nice touch — more personal service and more heart invested in maintaining the property and keeping customers happy. I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet Yvonne and hear her stories about the hotel. It was obvious how much she cares about keeping her guests happy and making them feel at home here.

5. The price is right!

Rooms at the Coronado Motor Hotel start at $89 per day but they also offer Senior, Military, AAA and ‘book by Internet only’ discounts. There are special group rates for booking 15 or more rooms at a time, plus discounts at the restaurant for groups, as well.

The prices are especially reasonable when you consider all the extras thrown in (that you’d probably pay for at another hotel), including the generous breakfast, free parking and wifi, fitness center, local phone calls, and even the use of fishing poles!

The comfortable night’s sleep I enjoyed reminded me that what you really want when you stay overnight is just two things:  1) to feel welcome and appreciated, and 2) to sleep well! If you can get that without paying an arm and a leg, you’ve found a real treasure!

The website for the Coronado Motor Hotel is www.besthotelinyuma.com. I’ve stayed in other hotels in Yuma, and I have to agree that only at the Coronado Motor Hotel do you get everything you want in a Yuma stay. It truly is the best hotel in Yuma!

But why Yuma?

In case you’re wondering why you should be in Yuma in the first place, let me tell you!

  • Yuma has an average of 308 sunny days a year (compared to the US average of 205)
  • Yuma is a very popular place to winter, as it is still a balmy 65-80 degrees during typical winter months
  • There’s a lot of fascinating history in Yuma and plenty of places to explore.
  • It’s the desert, but it has a river running through it. Tubing, rafting, and kayaking are very popular here. The vast wetlands area boasts more than 100 varieties of birds.
  • Date farms sell date shakes (absolutely yummy!) and camel farms let you ride a camel.
  • You’re just across the border from Algodones, Mexico if you’d like to country-hop. And Algodones is a popular destination for medical needs, as the prices are so much cheaper there.
  • In the surrounding area, you can find the Center of the Universe (Felicity, CA) with its Museum of History in Granite, the rock capital of the world (Quartzite), and even a ghost town or two.

If you’d like to know more about why you should visit Yuma, see my post,  “Yuma, AZ – Not Just Passing Through”

I hope I’ve convinced you that  Coronado Motor Hotel and Yuma should be on your short list of places to visit. Maybe I’ll see you there!


After expressing my interest in visiting the historic Coronado Motor Hotel, I was invited to stay as a guest. I’d like to express my gratitude to John and Yvonne Peach for their hospitality and assure you that I have shared my honest opinions here. I will definitely be back!

Coronado Motor Hotel

 

16 thoughts on “Yuma’s Historic Coronado Motor Hotel

  1. Claire

    It’s so nice to see a historic family run hotel that has grown and developed as time has gone by. Keeping up with modern amenities throughout the years really makes a difference to businesses, and above all – the breakfast looks delicious!! Great place to stay 🙂

  2. Danik

    As a fitness freak, I would love to check out the stay here as the gym looks great (with all the machines I need). Otherwise the bed looks comfortable as well so yup, If I was in the area, I stay here 🙂

  3. Linda Sullivan

    This was a very interesting article. I’ve frequently go to Yuma and I can say that I have never stayed anywhere else but here. I come every year to visit family but still enjoy staying here instead. The beds are so comfortable I sleep like a baby. Rooms are nice and equipped with everything you need. The breakfast next door is amazing and just enough to start your day. And let’s not forget about the staff. Some of the most kindest, helpful, professional folks around. Thank you John and Yvonne for making my family stays amazing.

  4. Eva

    I too, like to stay at places that have a story to tell and are not one of a million same looking Hotels. And event though the Coronado motor hotel has a history I love how they still updated the amenities to keep up with modern standards. Definetly on my list now if I ever get to that corner of the world.

  5. Rhonda Albom

    I love historic places. I don’t understand how it could be the oldest Best Western hotel in the United States until 2014 though. How can there be an older place if it was the oldest?

    1. Tami Post author

      In 2014, Coronado Motor Hotel decided to drop the Best Western name and revert back to their historic name.

  6. Linda (LD Holland)

    What a cool slice of history to visit at Yuma’s Historic Coronado Motor Hotel. I love these diner style restaurants. And wonderful to get a full breakfast. Interesting to read that this was a honeymoon destination. Good to know that they have kept up the rooms With 308 sunny days, Yuma looks like a place we need to visit.

  7. Jennifer

    We passed through Yuma countless times when we lived in Arizona and would road trip to California. I’ve never stayed because Yuma wasn’t that far from Phoenix, but the Coronado Motor Hotel does look like a lovely place if I needed a place to stay overnight there.

  8. Anda

    I didn’t know the little town of Yuma, Arizona, has a hotel named Coronado. The most famous
    “Coronado” I know is in San Diego and I thought that was the only one, but I was wrong. Although not as prestigious and fancy as the one in San Diego, the Coronado Motor Hotel in Yuma looks quite comfortable and hospitable though.

    1. Tami Post author

      True. San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado and Yuma’s Coronado Motor Hotel aren’t the same kind of hotels, but they are both historic, and they both treat their guests very well!

  9. Indrani

    I like it when hotels have a history, even the ones rumored to be spooky.
    The rooms look well equipped, great place to stay.

  10. Nicole LaBarge

    Oh my this is such a cool place! I love historic places like this and I haven’t heard of it before.
    What a cool experience.

  11. sherianne

    This property reminds me of something you would find along Route 66. The price is amazing especially with the complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast. I can’t help but wonder what Bing Crosby and Bob Hope were doing in Yuma????

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