It seems an impossible statement to make, but the once beloved (then maligned) concept of motor lodge accommodations is making a comeback.
In May, the 135-room Mountain Modern Motel will open in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Banking on hip industrial design with rustic touches (think: buffalo plaid pillows and red, tin camping mugs) and modern amenities, its proprietors hope to revamp the public's recently held perception of motels. In other words, they want to make staying in motels cool again.
Situated within close proximity to Jackson Hole's town square, the motel was created with year-round guests in mind.
Unique wall treatments like oversized photography and maps pay tribute to the region's natural wonders.
The motel's designers took inspiration from tiny homes for in-room kitchen-and-bath concept.
Each room comes with a "gear wall" for storing winter sports accessories like hiking boots, skis, and snowboards.
The motel "trend" has been percolating for some time now. In the past five years or so, designers and hospitality companies across North American have breathed new life into dated motor inns, introducing them to a clientele that normally opts for boutique chain hotels. (For the record, we're defining "motel" as a low-rise building with exterior corridors, with rooms typically overlooking a central point like the pool. If you can park your car directly in front of the entrance to your room, that's a motel in our books!)
Miami's circa-1953 Vagabond Motel, for example, received a complete overhaul in 2015, its legendary mermaid and dolphin pool mosaic lovingly restored with matching tiles found on property and rooms redone and decked out in vibrant retro-style decor.
In Vancouver, the Burrard Motor Inn from 1956 reopened as the Burrard Hotel a few years ago. Now its tastefully decorated rooms overlook a chic, landscaped courtyard with cushy lounge seating, ping-pong tables, and high-tech fire pits.
In Florida, St. Pete Beach's Postcard Inn began life as a motel in 1957. Today it's a fun surfer-themed getaway with beachside dining and a pool rivaling that of more expensive hotels.
Maybe Howard Johnson's restaurants will make a big comeback next?
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