1969. The gaudily decorated El Royale Motor Hotel, literally straddling the California/Nevada border located just outside of Tahoe, has seen better days, but almost simultaneously four individuals check-in - they the only four guests - all assisted by the only hotel employee working this day, the young clerk, Miles Miller. The four are: southern traveling salesman Laramie Seymour Sullivan, stereotypically brash as to his profession; aging Catholic priest Father Daniel Flynn who is showing early signs of Alzheimer's; struggling black singer Darlene Sweet, who has a gig in nearby Reno; and an angry young female hippie who refuses to divulge her name. Some of the four are not who they appear on the surface, those individuals having a very specific reason for choosing the El Royale beyond just needing a place to stay. The true stories of the four plus that of Miles become intertwined, with what happening affected by the dirty secrets of the El Royale. What happens between the five may also be affected by others who are looking for one or more of the five, either in helping them or reclaiming them for their own nefarious purposes.