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“We Try Harder”
Review of Wills Fargo Motel

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Wills Fargo Motel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Baker
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“We Try Harder”
Reviewed August 21, 2013

I left this morning after spending three days at the Wills Fargo Motel in Baker, CA, while photographing the Mojave National Preserve. My room (#24) was perfectly satisfactory, if Spartan. It is large and clean. The maids did a nice job, even mopping my floor every day (I came back at noon for a nap and interrupted them), and the manager (she does the laundry every day) does a nice job keeping the linen and towels white.

My one gripe was the Internet (it is quirky when it works) -- which I hasten to note was beyond anyone's control. Every business in town was similarly affected since one ISP appears to serve everyone. A lightning storm struck multiple power stations between Baker and Las Vegas and we were without service for a day and a half.

I'd originally booked one night at the Wills Fargo Motel, figuring to check it out and stay the other two nights in Primm if I didn't like the place. When I arrived I asked to see my room before I signed in, and explained that my needs were pretty simple -- Internet access (I promise to check in with my kids every day and my cell phone service is lousy in the Southwest) and a place to put my head with an air conditioner that is quiet enough to sleep. She gave me the key to one room, but before I got out the door she changed her mind and gave me a differ room (best internet connection of all), and while I was walking over came running out with the key to a third room, which had the quietest A/C. I check the room and the Internet worked and the A/C was amazingly quiet. I should add the room was wonderfully cool (111 degrees outside) when I got there (most similar motels turn off the A/C when guest leave to save money so rooms can be stiffling). I registered for three days (senior discount was nice, too).

Over the next thee days, the manager made it clear that she would do whatever it took to make my stay pleasant. For example, I mentioned to her daughter (at the desk) as I was going out the first morning that I couldn't get the microwave to work. When I returned in the evening, the manager came over and showed me the trick -- and also offered to swap it for a different one if I wasn't satisfied.

That going out of her way to make my stay as pleasant as possible is why I gave a normally C grade room and extra plus.

Room Tip: Get an east-facing room (avoid the afternoon heat)
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank National_Park_Junkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Wimberley, Texas, United States
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013 via mobile

Actually bunch is misleading.
Baker has been our go to place since we discovered Kelso Dunes and the dry Silver lakebed north of town.
There used to be 3 motels if you count the "Bates" Royal Hawaiian which died a quiet death.
The Bun Boy was our 'go to' but it too has passed so if you intend to stay in Baker Wills Fargo is it. Don't be discouraged by the lack of response if you leave a phone message but be warned that weekends are often booked up. The rooms are clean and there is a slightly 'reassuring' scent of bleach but no critters. The king bed is true to size but not title and the pillows are firm to hard.
Let the shower run a minute to get hot water and clear the sulphur smell of the hard desert water. The pool is clean and refreshing.
Be warned that Wills is for sale so who knows the 'staying power' of Baker.
Regardless for best access to dawn on the dunes Baker is closest if not best.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Ron B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2013

So, here we go again, after seeing that the the other 2 motels were no longer in existence, (one burned to the ground and the other was abandoned), and not wanting to go back to Barstow, we reluctantly laid our heads to the pillow in this questionably cleaned room. The For Sale sign on the property was not heartwarming and unlikely will any big chain come and snap up this property any time soon. After speaking with a honeymooning couple from England, they declared their intention to push ahead. We should have followed suit, but after a day of hiking we were beat. The room furniture clearly needs updating and the junk around the property was gathering more dust as it was an incredibly windy time of year. We wondered about bedbugs, and again the broken down furniture was not comforting us to think otherwise. I feel sorry for other unsuspecting and weary travelers, who should also forge ahead if they can. The cost of the room was higher than what we paid in other area towns, but as this is the only option for miles around, they can get away with the fee. So my friends bring a tent when you are next in Baker or sleep in your car, you will be better off.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank cbc1234567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We stop at Baker in the afternoon. We paid for a two queensize bed 80 $ which is a bit pricy. Clerk was friendly. Wifi included. Pool cold. Ok for a stop over to drive into Mojave Desert Room 17 is far away from street. Fridge and Microwave included

Room Tip: Room 17 is far away from street. Fridge and Microwave included
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Fritz1909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakersfield, California
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

So you say you need to stay in Baker?.......why not just go either way to Stateline, or Barstow? Okay you just cannot drive another mile, or you (like me) are playing in the dunes at Dumont, and need to stay there. Well, it isn't pretty, but it isn't dirty either. The folks that work there are a little quirky, but nice. The room was at least clean. It is a little run down with shabby repairs. Electrical outlets would not hold, and the phone chargers literally fell out. Bed was fairly comfortable and I slept well. On a positive note, the pool is gorgeous. It appears new. The rest of the property is completely dead. The room was COMPLETELY overpriced costing $80 after taxes.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank SafeTrippin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Do not stop in Baker unless you need to. Unfortunately we were both tired from driving and this is the only motel in Baker. We were charged $ 69.95 for our room which was way overpriced. We have been travelling for 2 weeks, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, lone pine, Las Vegas and this is the worst room we have stayed in and the most expensive!

The shower is disgusting, couldn't get the hot water to work properly. The furniture looks like its about to fall apart. There are old washing machines and other appliances lying about outside the reception. The pavement outside the rooms is broken.

I must admit the one saving grace is that the bed is comfortable and the linen is clean. We were supposed to have coffee and a muffin for breakfast but when I went to the office at 8 am it was closed and no answer to the bell. Also no wifi, which we have been able to get everywhere else.

NOT RECOMMENDED. Glad to leave after one night.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mary I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Provo, Utah
Level 6 Contributor
341 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2013

By the time I got to Baker it was 2 a.m. and I couldn't drive any further. I felt like I was driving into the bad ending of a b-rate horror film. With all the negative things I'd heard about staying in Baker, I was worried that I might end up at the Bate's Hotel; and with a name like the Wills Fargo Motel, what else would one expect. But to my pleasant surprise I found Wills to be very clean; and it's bed was better than I expected. Since it was set back off the road, the rooms were very quite. The management was very polite and helpful. Yes, the motel is very old, probably build in the 1950s, and I doubt it has had a facelift since the 70s, but in a way that added to this little motel's charm.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank salupm1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Wills Fargo Motel

Property: Wills Fargo Motel
Address: 72252 Baker Blvd, Box 130, Baker, CA 92309
Location: United States > California > Baker
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Baker
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 35
Also Known As:
Wills Fargo Hotel Baker

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