Dodging the RoadkillRobbinsville, NC — When I hit the road, I’m always looking for AMERICAN owned, old school motels.  I don’t need a lot of “foo foo” like shampoos, conditioner, breakfast bar and all of that.  I travel self contained.

I look for fairly priced and clean rooms.  I don’t want to step into the shower and see a bug, or a yellow line around the tub.  I check the sheets and pillowcases.  I’m EXTREMELY OCD!  I carry handy wipes and air freshener.  (Ok, I know that might be over the top).

My last trip to the Smoky Mountains, I stayed at the San Ran Motel in Robbinsville, North Carolina.  It’s conveniently located near the Tail of the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway.  I’ve passed through there many times while riding the mountains, but haven’t stayed there until now.


Ann and Randal Phillips are second generation owners of this facility.  Randal’s parents, Clyde and Edna Phillips built the motel in 1929.  Randal has been a part of the San Ran since he was a kid.  Ann and Randal were married in 2005, and she’s been the friendly face that greets you when you check in, ever since.

The San Ran is VERY biker friendly as Ann told me.  “Tourism is the biggest part of our business, and since we’re located near some of the most famous motorcycle roads you’ll find, we naturally fell in love with bikers.”  “When the two industries left our area, we turned to marketing ourselves to tourists, especially bikers.”

San Ran Motel

San Ran Motel Robbinsville NC

When I pulled into the motel, I was immediately pleased at the layout of the facility.  I just KNEW it would be a nice place, and it was.  When I checked in, and met Ann, we immediately hit it off.  I’m sure EVERYBODY falls in love with her when they check in.  The price was right, and the room was perfect.

The San Ran is located near anything you could possibly want, all within walking distance.  There’s a convenience store across the street, and Walgreens just down the street, and a grocery store across from Walgreens.  I did a story on The Hub, and it’s just up the way for good food and friendly service.

I posted some pictures on Facebook during my stay and many of my followers instantly recognized where I was staying, so that’s a testimony to the popularity of the facility.  We loved the fact that we could pull our bikes under the awning to our rooms to stay out of the rain. 

A group of us are headed back to the mountains in a couple of weeks, and we’ve already booked our rooms.  I always look forward to meeting up with old friends I’ve met on the road.  

If you would like to know more, or would like to make a reservation, you can find the San Ran Motel here.  Just tell Ann that “Henry” sent you.  She’ll know who you’re talking about.