10 Roadside Motels You’ll Actually Want to Stay in on Your Next Road Trip
Roadside motels have gotten swanky, new retro makeovers you’ve got to see to believe.
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Amigo Motor Lodge
Amigo Motor Lodge in Salida, Colorado may be more than 60 years old, but modern furnishings and clean design tell a different story. The property was renovated in 2016 to create spaces you want to spend time in, not simply spaces to pass the time in between activities. Look for flat-screen TVs, natural Baltic Birch bed frames and Malin+Goetz bath products, as well as colorful accents with a decidedly Southwestern vibe. The property currently has 15 guest rooms but is ever-growing and plans to add renovated Airstream trailers and a yurt.
Sound View Greenport
Overlooking the Long Island Sound in North Fork, New York, the Sound View Greenport dates back to 1953. This 55-room roadside motel received a facelift last year, bringing new life to a dilapidated property in a breezy seaside town. Set on a quarter-mile of private beach, Sound View Greenport boasts bright, airy rooms, modern furnishings, and luxurious amenities, like Malin+Goetz bath products. The property even attracted the talents of an award-winning chef from New York City to head up the on-site restaurant, The Halyard.
The Astro Motel
Just a stone’s throw from downtown Santa Rosa, California, The Astro Motel is a hip 34-room motel that delights with midcentury furnishings, a colorful interior courtyard garden and modern artwork. Guest room doors in vintage shades of turquoise and pumpkin welcome those eager to begin their stay at this thoughtfully renovated circa 1963 motor lodge. Set in a leading cycling destination and just minutes from The Santa Rosa Creek Trail, The Astro Motel caters to cyclists by making Shinola Bikes available for rental on-site.
The historic 41-room Austin Motel in Austin, Texas has been in operation since 1938, but it was the swanky makeover the motel received in 2017 by Bunkhouse that gave the Austin Motel a hip, new vibe. Taking care to preserve the eclectic feel and midcentury design, Bunkhouse freshened up the motel with playful furnishings and bright pops of yellow and orange. The new pool bar and deck around the 1950s-style kidney-shaped pool are popular gathering spots at the motel. A reimagined diner, Joann’s Fine Foods, will open up this summer.
Beck’s Motor Lodge
When Beck’s Motor Lodge opened its doors in The Castro district of San Francisco in 1958, rooms cost just $5 per night. A lot of changes have taken place since then, including a major renovation in 2017 that gave the motel a modern midcentury makeover. Today, guest rooms boast rain showerheads, plush bedding and flat-screen TVs. In the morning and evening, head up to the rooftop sundeck to watch the fog roll in. Enjoy free parking at the boutique motel and easy walking to cozy restaurants, like Kitchen Story and Harvey’s.
In December 1953, The Vagabond in Miami was born, quickly gaining acclaim as a hangout for Rat Packers, like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Unfortunately, The Vagabond began to fall onto hard times in the 1960s. A 2014 overhaul of this 53-room motel returned the glitz and glamour to this storied property, bringing together streamlined midcentury design features, bright pops of color and retro-chic amenities. Set in Miami’s MiMo Historic District, take a stroll along Biscayne Boulevard to explore the vibrant revival of this section of town.
Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa
The Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa in California is a self-proclaimed ode to the Great American Road Trip. Built in the 1940s, this roadside classic received new life in 2017 thanks to a renovation that freshened up the 50-room motel with midcentury modern furnishings and playful throwback amenities, like hula hoops, jump ropes, even Polaroid cameras. The renovation added three geothermal pools fed by Calistoga’s natural mineral hot springs, as well as a blissful mix-your-own-mud bar at the spa to detoxify after a day out in the vineyards.
Roadrunner Lodge Motel
The Roadrunner Lodge Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico is a delightful slice of Americana set along Historic Route 66. Dubbed the "Heart of the Mother Road," you’ll find plenty of iconic Route 66 attractions in Tucumcari, including this vintage motel, which was originally two separate properties. Today, you’ll be treated to modern conveniences, like organic PAYA bath products, combined with a decidedly midcentury modern vibe. Hits from the 1960s, even radio commercials, are piped into the lobby to further the retro feel at the Roadrunner Lodge Motel.
A former 1960s motor lodge in North Carolina, the Jack Tar Motor Lodge received new life in mid-2017 as Unscripted Durham, a 74-room boutique hotel with a midcentury modern vibe, a swanky rooftop pool and a retro poolside lounge. Guest rooms boast sleek designs with pops of bright colors, like teal and pumpkin. Playful accents, like "Hang Out" mats, welcome guests at check-in. A mixed-use coffee bar gives guests a place to grab a bite or simply relax in between meetings, while The Studio serves as a "rec room" for socializing and drawing inspiration.
Set off US-101 in Santa Rosa, California, The Sandman offers a refreshingly modern take on the roadside motel of yesteryear thanks to a thoughtful renovation across the property. All 135 bright and airy guest rooms have modern furnishings, flat-screen TVs and luxurious Malin+Goetz bath products. Order playful cocktails, like a Berry Prosecco Ice Cream Float, in the remodeled Pool House & Bar before splashing around in the outdoor pool with a floatie. Kids will love sipping on Ocean Water (flavored soda with gummy fish floating in the glass).