Retro Hotels To Inspire Your Senses: A Journey Back to the ’50s and ’60s – The spirit of the atomic age lives on in a unique and exciting way at retro hotels across the United States. These establishments transport you back to the ’50s and ’60s, an era defined by new ideologies, a booming economy, and remarkable architectural innovations. But these retro hotels are not just relics of the past; they are portals to a distinct moment in design history, offering a blend of nostalgia, cool vibes, and vibrant aesthetics that continue to captivate guests. In this article, LUXXU Blog explores seven effortlessly fun and endlessly cool retro hotels that are sure to inspire your senses.
Retro Hotels To Inspire Your Senses: A Journey Back to the ’50s and ’60s
TWA Hotel (New York, New York)
There are hardly any places that encapsulate the stylish and fashionable ambiance of the 1960s as effectively as the TWA Hotel in New York. Situated within the iconic Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport, a visit to this embodiment of the jet-age feels like a journey back in time.
Within its premises, visitors will encounter restaurants, exhibitions chronicling the building’s history and the vibrant Swinging Sixties era, a rooftop infinity pool, and an expansive 10,000-square-foot gym – which also happens to be the largest of its kind within a hotel. The entire property is exceptionally interactive, with a standout feature being Connie, a meticulously renovated Lockheed Constellation L-1649A aircraft positioned on the property’s tarmac. For an authentic retro aviation experience, guests can step aboard this historic plane, which has been transformed into a lively cocktail bar.
Egyptian Motor Hotel (Phoenix, Arizona)
Established back in the 1950s, the Egyptian Motor Hotel has recently undergone a revival, transforming into a vibrant and contemporary inn. Although the 47 revamped guest rooms brilliantly capture the hotel’s historical modern essence, it’s the outdoor courtyard that truly acts as the epicenter of this chic retreat. In this inviting space, live music immerses visitors in a dynamic atmosphere, with a 250-seat open-air entertainment venue. The courtyard also offers an array of games, including oversized Jenga, Foosball, cornhole, and even submarine races.
The Pearl Hotel (Point Loma, California)
In 1959, the Pearl Hotel was created by Robert Platt, a San Diego architect deeply rooted in the local scene. Back then, this bustling place was known as the Sportsman’s Lodge. Today, after undergoing a revitalization, the hotel beautifully preserves numerous original architectural elements while seamlessly blending them with a chic assortment of modern furnishings and vintage discoveries. The distinctive oyster-shaped pool, with a touch of contemporary flair, pays tribute to the hotel’s fresh identity, and the in-room artwork is a nod to the Ama, the female Japanese pearl divers.
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Hotel June Malibu (California)
Perched beneath the hill’s summit, right beside the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll discover Hotel June Malibu. In its earlier days, this charming boutique establishment was known as the Malibu Riviera Motel, representing one of the initial choices for hospitality in the area. It’s fascinating to note that this very place played a significant role in the creation of Bob Dylan’s highly acclaimed 15th studio album, “Blood on the Tracks.” In 2015, Gary Wilcox, whose family originally founded the inn, passed the reins of this historic bungalow-style property to a group of boutique hoteliers. Fast forward to 2021, and Hotel June unveiled its contemporary interpretation of a coastal retreat, welcoming guests from far and wide.
Bluebird Dennisport (Cape Cod, Massachusetts)
The Bluebird Dennisport in Cape Cod provides a distinctive New England perspective on the retro hotel experience. Within this establishment, you’ll find traditional coastal décor infused into guest rooms reminiscent of dune shacks and timeless Cape Cod cottages. Housed within a motor lodge dating back to the 1950s, the creative minds at Elder & Ash, responsible for the redesign, made a conscious choice to preserve the original pink bathroom tiles as a nostalgic homage to its history.
Thunderbird Inn (Savannah, Georgia)
Established in 1964, the Thunderbird Inn has earned a well-deserved spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Situated in downtown Savannah, this midcentury-modern haven originally operated as a motor lodge and was renowned for its unique features like refrigerated rooms and drive-in parking. In addition to its strong sense of nostalgia, this distinctive inn has also made environmentally conscious choices.
In 2016, they introduced solar panels and implemented eco-friendly systems for heating, cooling, plumbing, and recycling. Conveniently, the Thunderbird Inn is positioned within one of the largest National Historic Landmark districts in the country. Here, taking a short stroll will treat you to views of numerous architectural styles, including Victorian, Gothic, Greek Revival, and Regency.
Austin Motel (Austin, Texas)
Located just south of the Colorado River, you’ll discover the Austin Motel, a retro establishment with a captivating history deeply rooted in the Wild West, replete with Texas outlaws and enigmatic characters. Presently, this revamped hotel offers 41 rooms and guest suites, all adorned with lively, pop-art-inspired modern interiors.
Within its confines, guests can expect to encounter custom vinyl tufted beds, wall-mounted wooden desks in a glistening golden hue, 1950s-style seating arrangements, and the timeless appeal of classic push-button phones. Nestled in the South Congress neighborhood, the motel features an animated lido deck furnished with meticulously reproduced midcentury seating and a kidney-shaped pool, making it an appealing destination for a leisurely summer afternoon.
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