11 Stylishly Revamped American Motels

by Christina Garofalo

11 Stylishly Revamped American Motels

by Christina Garofalo

The latest manifestation of the mid-century design craze: motels. Thanks to visionary designers, a crop of forgotten motor lodges and roadside inns are back in vogue, sporting cheerful colors, retro-inspired furnishings, and lots of Monstera plants. These 10 are among our favorites.

The latest manifestation of the mid-century design craze: motels. Thanks to visionary designers, a crop of forgotten motor lodges and roadside inns are back in vogue, sporting cheerful colors, retro-inspired furnishings, and lots of Monstera plants. These 10 are among our favorites.

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Kimpton Goodland / Photo courtesy of the property
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The Surfjack

The Surfjack effortlessly blends a '60s aesthetic with the sophisticated Hawaiian hipster. On the main floor, printed wallpaper and illustrated surfboards — a nod to its Waikiki locale — hang adjacent to original breeze-block walls (c. 1958). About half of the 112 rooms offer views of the Insta-famous pool, tiled with the message: “Wish You Were Here.” Believe us: you do. Rates from $160 per night, depending on the season. 

The Surfjack effortlessly blends a '60s aesthetic with the sophisticated Hawaiian hipster. On the main floor, printed wallpaper and illustrated surfboards — a nod to its Waikiki locale — hang adjacent to original breeze-block walls (c. 1958). About half of the 112 rooms offer views of the Insta-famous pool, tiled with the message: “Wish You Were Here.” Believe us: you do. Rates from $160 per night, depending on the season. 

Kimpton Goodland Hotel
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Kimpton Goodland

Kimpton has rehabbed Holiday Inn near Santa Barbara into a stylish property that pays homage to Americana nostalgia. The hotel features a vintage airstream trailer and a record shop; each of the 158 guest rooms is complete with its own record player. Other fun features include an art gallery, film and concert series, and a succulent wall that feels primed for the ‘gram. Bonus: It’s pet-friendly, so bring along your furry friend. Rates from $159 per night, depending on the season. 

Kimpton has rehabbed Holiday Inn near Santa Barbara into a stylish property that pays homage to Americana nostalgia. The hotel features a vintage airstream trailer and a record shop; each of the 158 guest rooms is complete with its own record player. Other fun features include an art gallery, film and concert series, and a succulent wall that feels primed for the ‘gram. Bonus: It’s pet-friendly, so bring along your furry friend. Rates from $159 per night, depending on the season. 

Stagecoach Inn, pool
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Stagecoach Inn

Open since 1861, the Stagecoach Inn in Salado is one of the oldest continuously operating hotels in Texas (Sam Bass and Jesse James were among notable guests). Following a two-year renovation, the inn — located between Austin and Dallas — reopened last fall featuring 48 comfortable, minimalist rooms with custom Mexican tile, and plant-lined patios. A new pool bar opens this summer. Rates from $139 per night, depending on the season

Open since 1861, the Stagecoach Inn in Salado is one of the oldest continuously operating hotels in Texas (Sam Bass and Jesse James were among notable guests). Following a two-year renovation, the inn — located between Austin and Dallas — reopened last fall featuring 48 comfortable, minimalist rooms with custom Mexican tile, and plant-lined patios. A new pool bar opens this summer. Rates from $139 per night, depending on the season.

Phoenix Hotel
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Phoenix Hotel

Best known as San Francisco’s historic rock n’ roll hotspot (beloved by Neil Young, David Bowie, and Kurt Cobain), The Phoenix Hotel resembles a vintage recording studio — complete with wood paneling, vintage concert posters, and a Shinola record player. The colorful guest rooms (44 in total) have large courtyard-facing windows and light installations, and the heated pool is tiled with mosaic artwork. Rates from $185 per night, depending on the season. 

Best known as San Francisco’s historic rock n’ roll hotspot (beloved by Neil Young, David Bowie, and Kurt Cobain), The Phoenix Hotel resembles a vintage recording studio — complete with wood paneling, vintage concert posters, and a Shinola record player. The colorful guest rooms (44 in total) have large courtyard-facing windows and light installations, and the heated pool is tiled with mosaic artwork. Rates from $185 per night, depending on the season. 

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The Anvil Hotel

Taking cues from its Jackson Hole surroundings, the Anvil Hotel offers a fresh take on the classic western lodge. The 49 guest rooms, which were designed by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack, feature warm wood tones, Woolrich blankets, kilim rugs, and brass lighting fixtures. Cozy seating and a wood-burning stove in the lobby make the perfect ambience for soaking up the Grand Tetons. Rates from $135 per night, depending on the season. 

Taking cues from its Jackson Hole surroundings, the Anvil Hotel offers a fresh take on the classic western lodge. The 49 guest rooms, which were designed by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack, feature warm wood tones, Woolrich blankets, kilim rugs, and brass lighting fixtures. Cozy seating and a wood-burning stove in the lobby make the perfect ambience for soaking up the Grand Tetons. Rates from $135 per night, depending on the season. 

Sound View, lobby lounge
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Sound View

This 50s-era motel, which is located at the mouth of Long Island’s North Fork, fuses mid-century and nautical décor. Each of the 55 guest rooms feature cedar shiplap walls, hand-woven rope rugs, and color-blocked bedspreads that reflect the setting: a quarter-mile of private beach with Gatsby-esque views of the Long Island Sound. Rates from $195 per night, depending on the season.  

This 50s-era motel, which is located at the mouth of Long Island’s North Fork, fuses mid-century and nautical décor. Each of the 55 guest rooms feature cedar shiplap walls, hand-woven rope rugs, and color-blocked bedspreads that reflect the setting: a quarter-mile of private beach with Gatsby-esque views of the Long Island Sound. Rates from $195 per night, depending on the season.  

 

Austin Motel, guestroom
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Austin Motel

Now operated by the hip, female-owned Bunkhouse Group, Austin’s most iconic roadside motel (built in 1938) sports playful mod interiors — think vinyl tufted beds, pop-art wallpaper, and push-button phones. At the outdoor lounge (the former parking lot), guests can sip canned rosé and hang out at the kidney-shaped pool. Plans for a roof deck and punk rock water ballet to come. Rates from $125 per night, depending on the season. 

Now operated by the hip, female-owned Bunkhouse Group, Austin’s most iconic roadside motel (built in 1938) sports playful mod interiors — think vinyl tufted beds, pop-art wallpaper, and push-button phones. At the outdoor lounge (the former parking lot), guests can sip canned rosé and hang out at the kidney-shaped pool. Plans for a roof deck and punk rock water ballet to come. Rates from $125 per night, depending on the season. 

The Drifter, lobby bar
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The Drifter

This remodeled 1950s-era motel stands out among New Orleans’ French Colonial architecture. Minimalist rooms (sans TVs) include custom tiles, Tivoli radios, and mid-century furnishings in gray, white, and blonde palettes. Cheerful pink-and-green Monstera-print walls accent the public spaces. Guests can enjoy morning yoga, on-site food trucks, and live music. Rates from $150 per night, depending on the season. 

 

 

This remodeled 1950s-era motel stands out among New Orleans’ French Colonial architecture. Minimalist rooms (sans TVs) include custom tiles, Tivoli radios, and mid-century furnishings in gray, white, and blonde palettes. Cheerful pink-and-green Monstera-print walls accent the public spaces. Guests can enjoy morning yoga, on-site food trucks, and live music. Rates from $150 per night, depending on the season. 

 

Jupiter Hotel
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The Jupiter

A Portland favorite, this former motor inn (built in 1962) draws on its history with retro furniture and vintage-inspired murals. In the buzzy lounge and restaurant — where frequent concerts draw a local crowd — ‘50s modernism meets log-cabin charm (in other words: it couldn’t get more Portland). If you dig nightlife and want great value, this is the place to be. Rates from $99 per night, depending on the season. 

A Portland favorite, this former motor inn (built in 1962) draws on its history with retro furniture and vintage-inspired murals. In the buzzy lounge and restaurant — where frequent concerts draw a local crowd — ‘50s modernism meets log-cabin charm (in other words: it couldn’t get more Portland). If you dig nightlife and want great value, this is the place to be. Rates from $99 per night, depending on the season. 

Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa
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Calistoga Motor Lodge

This 1940s roadside motel has been reborn as a 50-room Napa oasis. The lobby is a cross between an old general store and a 1970s-inspired living room, complete with green velvet sofas and a fireplace. Guest rooms feature vintage-inspired bedding and quirky retro art. Don’t miss the mix-your-own-mud bar and three geothermal mineral pools at the spa. Rates from $209 per night, depending on the season. 

This 1940s roadside motel has been reborn as a 50-room Napa oasis. The lobby is a cross between an old general store and a 1970s-inspired living room, complete with green velvet sofas and a fireplace. Guest rooms feature vintage-inspired bedding and quirky retro art. Don’t miss the mix-your-own-mud bar and three geothermal mineral pools at the spa. Rates from $209 per night, depending on the season. 

Caribbean Motel
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Caribbean Motel

Located in Wildwood Crest on the Jersey Shore, the Caribbean Motel offers plenty of fun in the sun with its tropical-themed decor. This midcentury-modern landmark has been open since 1957 and was the first motel to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, guests can enjoy the crescent-shaped pool, retro-inspired guest rooms, the shuffleboard court, and even a glass-enclosed guest lounge (aptly named the Cabana). Rates from $127 per night, depending on the season. 

Located in Wildwood Crest on the Jersey Shore, the Caribbean Motel offers plenty of fun in the sun with its tropical-themed decor. This midcentury-modern landmark has been open since 1957 and was the first motel to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, guests can enjoy the crescent-shaped pool, retro-inspired guest rooms, the shuffleboard court, and even a glass-enclosed guest lounge (aptly named the Cabana). Rates from $127 per night, depending on the season. 

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