My last night on a four-day trip of the VA / WV back roads ended with my staying in one of the nicest Mom & Pop motels I have visited to date. Koolwink Motel, in Romney West Virginia, is a gem. As I write this I have spent quite a bit of time pondering just how nice this motel was. No, it wasn’t perfect. But for a motel that’s more than a half century old, it was in better shape and significantly cleaner than motels half its age and costing two to three times more. Koolwink Motel truly appears to be loved by the family who owns it and it sends a message to travelers that “You are our special guests.”
There are two distinct sections to the Koolwink Motel. There is a two-story section, up the hill from the main office, which is hidden behind a tree line and is more secluded. And there is a single story section along historic US Rt 50, where my room was located. In spite of it being in the section closest to Route 50, I did not find the noise objectionable (in fact, I slept better than expected given the proximity).
The room itself was possibly the most spotless Mom & Pop motel room I have ever stayed in. Unlike so many old motels, it didn’t have the typical musty smell (or over treatment to cover up mustiness, for that matter). The bath tub, toilet, vanity area were all spotless. The grout in the tile walls of the tub area and floor was in great condition – actually WHITE! The chrome fixtures sparkled. The water pressure and temperature were excellent. The bed was firm, but comfy. The wall unit air conditioner was not at all noisy and kept the room quite comfortable. In addition, little touches, like a couple of packs of oatmeal raisin cookies to go along with the coffee, and butter mints (I like those!), were very thoughtful (and appreciated). Canned sodas were only 75¢, too!
But this isn’t a motel that’s stuck in the dark ages, either. There were modern features, as well. A flat screen TV with plenty of channels, a microwave, a refrigerator, a large LED clock, and even a power port with two AC outlets and two USB charging ports on the nightstand. It was nice not having to dig for outlets for my CPAP machine and my USB devices. Again, very thoughtful. Modern touches without sacrificing the mid-60’s charm – awesome!
I must say, when I arrived at the Koolwink Motel there was no one at the front desk. Instead, there was an old 60’s style table lamp illuminating a sign that said to dial “47” on the phone next to it and someone would come to assist you. I can’t say I’ve ever encountered anything like that before, but I liked it. It had a coolness factor about it. An opportunity for a bit of anticipation build up. I followed the directions and, shortly after dialing “47”, I was greeted by Kay, the original owner’s daughter. Kay is a gem, just like Koolwink Motel, and I enjoyed talking with her briefly about my love of Mom & Pop motels and hearing her share a bit of Koolwink Motel‘s history.
I highly recommend Koolwink Motel. It’s truly cream of the crop for a Mom & Pop motel. If you find yourself near Romney, WV, it’s worth staying there (you’ll also see may other glowing reviews on TripAdvisor.com for Koolwink Motel). Do be aware, you can only make reservations over the phone. It’s not difficult, and the owners are quite nice. But, hey, that’s the kind of personal touch that makes these old places special. Romney is, also, a cute little town so I would encourage you to check it out. I wish I would have had a bit more time to do so myself. Maybe I will, next time, as I do believe I’ll be back and I’m sure I’ll be staying at Koolwink Motel!
See you on the backroads!
Koolwink Motel – Romney WV