Okeechobee Scottish Inns: Clean and Cheap

One of the reasons I don’t do many group rides is that they start too early. I really hate dragging myself out of bed at ye-god-o’clock just to get dropped by a whole herd of riders.

2009-rotary-club-lake-okeechobee-ride-7876The Rotary Club Lake Okeechobee Ride is about 75 miles away

When I signed up for the Rotary Club Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (L.O.S.T.) ride held March 28, I wasn’t looking forward to getting up at 4:30 in the morning to drive from West Palm Beach to Okeechobee to photograph the 8 A.M. start.

Where’s a cheap place to stay?

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m cheap. And my motel standards are pretty low.

  • It has to be clean.
  • It has to have a shower.
  • It has to have air conditioning if it’s hot.
  • The bathroom has to have toilet paper.
  • A working TV is nice, but not essential. [Old joke: a pair of newlyweds check into a motel and are given the Honeymoon Suite. When they walk out, the night clerk says to the day clerk, “What do you mean ‘Honeymoon Suite?’ That room’s just like all the others.” “You’re right,” the day clerk says. “Except that the TV doesn’t work.”]

Okeechobee Scottish Inn

My range of options was expanded

I had one advantage in my motel quest: Wife Lila had something to do back in West Palm Beach on Saturday, so my range of options was expanded.

She has some crazy idea that, in addition to my criteria, the place should actually be big enough to turn around in and be “nice.”

I decided to check out the Scottish Inns

What caught my eye was $44.10. An extra couple of hours of sleep is worth that. But, did it meet my checklist?

I remembered passing the place and recalled that the exterior looked like your old-fashioned 60s motel, but it WAS freshly painted and the grounds were well-kept.

I made a call to Jim McInnes

Okeechobee Ride Organizer Jim McInnesCalling a local to ask about motels generally doesn’t do much good. After all, if you LIVE in the town, you probably don’t have a lot of personal experience with the local sleeperies. Still, I called ride organizer Jim McInnes to see if he could give me any advice.

He had to think about it for awhile, but he said it would probably be OK.

Okeechobee Scottish Inns bedA non-smoking room cost $54.45

When I finally called the Scottish Inns, I was told that a non-smoking room was five bucks more than the cheapest room advertised, so it came to $54.45, with tax.

First Impressions

  • The room was clean.
  • It had that sweetish disinfectant smell that’s a little irritating, but the windows in the room opened and there was a strong breeze that made it tolerable.Okeechobee Scottish Inns room
  • It was Tiny with a capital T, characteristic of rooms of that era.
  • It had a shower.
  • It had an air conditioner.
  • It had a microwave oven and a small refrigerator. I didn’t try the microwave. The refrigerator didn’t seem to work all that well, but it did keep ice that I put in it overnight from melting.
  • There was a weak wifi connection, but I ended up using my Verizon Air Card to check my email.

Okeechobee Scottish Inns bathroomYou won’t get lost in the bathroom

There wasn’t room to back up to shoot an overall of the bathroom. Let’s just say that it was clean and functional.

[A thumbnail shot is plenty big to get across the feeling of spaciousness.]

Two small nits to pick

tpThe first thing I noticed in the bathroom was that the toilet paper roll was just about empty. [See checklist above.]

A call to the front desk remedied that. It wasn’t until later that I noticed a spare roll above the towels. Most places would have changed out a roll as low as this one, but I guess that’s how they keep prices low.

While the manager was there, I pointed out that the wall-mounted lights above the bed didn’t work. He said that they had been replaced by the two lights on either side of the bed in the picture, but the old ones hadn’t been removed yet.

Would I do it again?

Yes. I got a good night’s sleep on a decent bed for a reasonable amount of money. [It’s hard to believe that I consider a $55 room reasonable when I think back on one I rented in the Missouri Ozarks for $2 a night back in 1965 or 1966. I can remember when the 8 in Super 8 stood for $8.]

Where is the Okeechobee Scottish Inns?

  • Scottish Inns
  • 3190 Highway 441 South
  • Okeechobee, FL 34974
  • 863-763-3293

7 Replies to “Okeechobee Scottish Inns: Clean and Cheap”

  1. That place doesn’t sound so bad. How much time do you spend in a hotel room anyway? It’s just a place to sleep, change clothes and shower in.

    Are there any other likely candidates in town? I recall Matt saying he wished they had a decent hotel or two there.

    As for your price nostalgia, wasn’t premium gas only 20 or 30 cents a gallon back then?

  2. I’ve stayed at the Flamingo (putting a no-smoking SIGN on the door doesn’t make it a no-smoking room) and Pier II.

    The Pier II has been remodeled since I was there, so I’m sure it’s nicer than it was. Both of those places are at least twice as expensive as the Scottish.

    My old favorite from the 70s was a mom-and-pop called the Ohio Motel just off the main drag. The owners were friendly and would chase me down all over town if I had a message from the office. It was torn down for yet another drug store.

    Seven miles north of Port Mayaca is the J&S Fish Camp. I stayed in one of their cottages once. It was tiny, but it was surprisingly neat and clean.

  3. And, no, George, gas wasn’t THAT cheap in the days of the $2 room. It was in the 32 to 36-cent range.

    The room was in an old-fashioned hotel with the bathrooms down the hall. I was in town to cover a Flying Saucer Convention.

  4. Interesting story of how you would knock out the chute pins so the rocks would come out! Amazing how we survived the things we did as kids!

    I fell out of a tree, caught my arm on a huge nail, and just hung there like meat on a hook! Jumped off of two story buildings, out of trees, crashed my motorcycle many times, got stabbed, shot at, lost in the wilderness, nearly drowned in the ocean, bit by dog (teeth went through my hand!), put my thumb in my uncle’s grinder, nearly lost the thumb, broke my left femur, and lots more.

    And just yesterday, survived a very close call on my new Trucker ….

    – Riding 4 Life

  5. Wow, what caught my eyes was the last part of your post which mentions a room costing $2 in the 1965-66. That’s unbelievable and shocking when you compare the price of a standard room with 60’s. What changed I wonder? I mean apart from bringing out cheaper alternatives and struggling with the crazy hiked prices, there is no other way to enjoy your vacations. What frustrates me is the price of accommodation has gone up insanely too. Leaving us to do very few activities and indulge in local cultures.

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