These Ain't Your Grandma's Motels: An Ode to the Roadside Motor Inn
The sign outside Haven, a hip new motel in Montauk (Photo: Jonathan Bloom)
Some of my most memorable childhood vacations involved piling into the family Pinto and stopping at roadside motels as we traveled across the country to see my grandparents. There was nothing better than parking in front of your room and having your car right there, just in case you forgot something in the back seat. The layout was usually the same: two double beds, a small bathroom, a couple of chairs on the porch, a window overlooking the parking lot. Inevitably, there was Putt-Putt golf nearby. Looking back, I realize that what these places lacked in charm was actually quite charming.
Poolside at Haven (Photo: Jonathan Bloom)
And while little family-owned motels across the country are being replaced by big-brand interstate hotels, there’s a growing community of hoteliers who are taking over old properties and revamping them — like Haven in Montauk, a funky fishing town at the tip of Long Island once known for its simple summer pursuits. In recent years, Montauk has been discovered and recolonized by the hipster kids of the families who once vacationed there.
A porch at Haven (Photo: Jonathan Bloom)