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6 Surprisingly Chic Motels to Plan Your Next Road Trip Around

1. <a href="https://mountainmodernmotel.com/">Mountain Modern Motel</a>
6 Surprisingly Chic Motels to Plan Your Next Road Trip Around
The generic roadside motel, a staple of American nostalgia, is making a comeback. But this time, it’s trading in the kitschy for classy. Thanks to a renewed interest in oh-so-Instagrammable midcentury design, a number of 1950s-era motels from Austin, Texas, to Santa Barbara, California, have become fantasy playgrounds for experimental designers. The game plan that developers have been following? Take a classic motel, refurbish it, fill it with state-of-the-art furniture and edgy art, and finish it off with touches like neon signs and murals. And unlike their automobile-centric predecessors, these spots feature welcoming lounge spaces and common areas where gourmet breakfasts and late-night mingling can be had. Here are six reimagined motels worth planning your next road trip around.
By Flora Tsapovsky
Courtesy of Mountain Modern Motel
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    1. <a href="https://mountainmodernmotel.com/">Mountain Modern Motel</a>

    Jackson, Wyoming

    The majestic Jackson Hole slopes serve as a backdrop to this rugged, masculine motel. Opened in May 2017, the new Mountain Modern Motel combines the familiar motel layout with a designer approach to interiors (think: sleek metal-and-wood combos, road-map wallpaper, and plaid accent pillows and throws). Rooms feature a “gear wall” to rack ski and outdoor equipment, and the adventure-loving staff are all experts on the area’s trails, so don’t be shy about asking for recommendations. At the end of the day, pamper yourself at the heated indoor swimming pool or the on-site hair salon. —From $116

    Courtesy of Mountain Modern Motel
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    2. <a href="https://www.sandmansantarosa.com/">The Sandman</a>

    Santa Rosa, California

    Complete with funky wallpaper, mirrors with macramé fringe, and a pink neon sign leading to the pool, The Sandman rocks the retro vibe that comes with the motel territory. Designed by New York–based firm Studio Tack, the 135-room motel also features furniture commissioned from local makers and memorable illustrations by artist Ty Williams, whose fun surfer style also appears on the logo. Make sure to stop by the stylish pool house (pictured), which serves a menu of signature cocktail and snacks. —From $149

    Courtesy of The Sandman
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    3. <a href="https://www.afar.com/places/alamo-motel-los-alamos">Alamo Motel</a>

    Los Alamos, California

    One of the properties by Southern California’s innovative hospitality group, Shelter Social Club, the pristine Alamo mixes Georgia O’Keeffe–inspired skulls and cacti with Southwestern textiles and old-fashioned clawfoot bathtubs. The result is a stylish, photo-friendly abode. Wine tastings by the local Municipal Winemakers are part of the deal, and the chic, on-property “corner store” Eskina Space sells dreamy keepsakes, like Circle and Crescent posters and apothecary products by Studio Cue, so you can take a sliver of the magic home. —From $79

    Courtesy of Alamo Motel
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    4. <a href="https://www.afar.com/places/austin-motel-austin">Austin Motel</a>

    Austin, Texas

    The Austin Motel is the latest takeover by Bunkhouse, Liz Lambert’s can’t-do-wrong hospitality group. Occupying a historic structure in Austin’s hip SoCo neighborhood, the motel is also a local’s gathering spot, with a new restaurant coming soon. The spot is locally famous for the changing, tongue-in-cheek messages on its Instagrammable marquee. Inside, you can expect monogrammed floaties at the pool, pink-and-red wallpaper by Voutsa, and sherbet-colored bed frames in the rooms. Sleep soundly with a silk sleep mask by The Glad Hours, available at the gift shop. —From $225

    Photo by Nick Simonite
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    5. <a href="https://www.stayamigo.com">Amigo Motor Lodge</a>

    Salida, Colorado

    Jokingly offering “gluten-free beds,” this 16-room motel is a passion project by Philip Sterling and Kaitlyn Canfield, a young couple with an eye for decor. They kept the original motel’s 1950s floor plan, but gave the interior a makeover with bright walls, Tuft & Needle mattresses, embroidered pillows from The Citizenry, and industrial light fixtures. The lobby, complete with a fireplace and plush armchairs, is a welcoming hangout spot, and as for photo ops? The red-and-white tepee, visible from the road, awaits. —From $105

    Photo by Meg Ranegar
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    6. <a href="https://www.afar.com/places/the-graham-and-co">The Graham & Co.</a>
    Phoenicia, New York

    Featuring 20 stylish rooms decorated with rugged wooden touches, vintage fans, and Navajo blankets, this quaint lodge in the Catskills is the perfect update on the classic East Coast roadside motel. The Graham & Co. is a dream escape from New York City, complete with a small swimming pool, cruiser bikes, hammocks, and a badminton court—things a city-dweller pines for on the weekend. It may just be a two-hour drive from New York, but from the “Don’t hassle me, I’m local” sign that presides over the fresh pastries at breakfast to the “Hamptons vs. Catskills” shirt made on site (email to order), the lodge makes sure that New York’s famous brand of humor is never far away. —From $99 for a bunk bed, $145 for standard room
    Courtesy of The Graham & Co.
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    Photo by Justin Kaneps