Staying in a Tiki Bus at The Shady Dell

Just past the copper quarry in Bisbee, Arizona there’s a special place for those who appreciate a different kind of hotel experience. The Shady Dell is where all my antique travel dreams came true. The whole property is such a delight that it deserves its own post. One of which I will get to very soon! In the meantime, let’s focus on the 1947 Tiki Bus, the Polynesian Palace we had the pleasure of checking in to. Staying in a Tiki Bus at The Shady Dell is a unique delight that I’m glad to have experienced. 

The Shady Dell

Staying in a converted baseball team school bus in a trailer park beside a graveyard sounds like the location of a campy horror movie. I assure you it’s not. The Shady Dell is a boutique trailer park (I don’t think I’ve ever put those two words together in my life.) The owners have painstakingly collected a number of antique trailers, buses, and even a yacht! Each unit has been lovingly restored or in the case of the tiki bus, converted. The whole property is decorated with other antique curiosities such as classic cars and an original valentine diner!

The Powder Room

The Tiki Bus comes equipped with a working toilet (teal coloured of course!), a sink, and a puffer fish to light the way. While there isn’t a private shower, there is an antique shower door as the bathroom door! The showers are located nearby in a main building and are decorated with antique avon soaps & perfume bottles. Yes. Please.

Tiki in the Kitsch-en

This Polynesian palace was not without a kitschy kitchenette. While the stove and oven were purely ornamental, the sink and fridge are the perfect set up to make all the tiki drinks. It’s a necessity when one wants to live out their tiki island fantasy. There’s even proper tiki mugs! In other words, this is a Tiki-philes absolute dream. The attention to detail is not to be overlooked – every item within the bus, including the kitchen wares, are all the era of this bus. There’s nothing but authentic flavours when staying in a tiki bus at The Shady Dell!

Mood Music

In addition to all the other on brand tiki details, there is also a record player to help set the mood. Dig some Beach Boys or Polynesian instrumental music while getting ready? No problem, there’s a whole selection of records to create the perfect island vibe. During our stay we went through the whole discography provided and can confirm the collection is dope as hell. In fact, it has inspired us to start collecting more Polynesian records for the future basement tiki bar we plan on having. 

Staying in a Tiki Bus at The Shady Dell

When staying in a tiki bus at The Shady Dell, one must be prepared to be swept away into another decade. For travellers who love the nostalgia or long for a time when road travel reigned supreme, this little hideaway is a must. Bisbee is a hidden gem of a place that should be included in any Arizona travel itinerary. And The Shady Dell is the place to stay when visiting! Check out their website for more details about bookings and the property. 

Check out these links for more travel guides or hotel features! And stay tuned for the upcoming Bisbee Travel guide.

Photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz + Jesse Sand

facebook-logo google-logo instagram-logo twitter-logo youtube-logo