Fueled by our lust for couch watching hit series like Euphoria, Schitt’s Creek, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel vintage style is back in vogue. The best way to immerse yourself in the retro cool of neon signs, mid-century modern decor furniture (hello fringed lampshades and grandma’s peach bathrooms), shag carpet, and disco balls is to check into a retro-inspired luxury hotel. Here are a few worth stepping back in time for.
TWA Hotel, JFK Airport, New York
Housed in the original Trans World Airways Eero Saarinen–designed building, this 1962 time-capsule hotel is chock full of retro details: working rotary-dial phones, mid-century furniture, bubble-light vanities, and martini glasses with swizzle sticks. Hang out in the swanky chili-pepper-red sunken lounge, walk the famous Saarinen tunnel, admire the high-glam TWA uniforms (some by Valentino) and step inside ‘Connie,’ a restored 1958 plane repurposed into a pink-and-orange retro cocktail lounge.
Splurge on a runway view – the floor-to-ceiling windows are completely soundproof. View of the tarmac is also steller from the heated rooftop pool, go early morning to have it all to yourself.
The Dive Motel, Nashville, Tennessee
With just 23 rooms, each is different from the other. Some, with far-out wallpaper and colorful glass, others that bring a more rustic cabin vibe. But all share one common feature: a ‘party switch’ that activates a disco ball and radio – choose from four stations: sex, drugs, rock & roll, and sleep. The Dive Motels’ suites are also groovy – complete with light yellow shag carpet, subway-tiled soaking tubs, and two disco balls.
Motel guests also have access to the Swim Club retro pool deck with umbrellas, sun loungers, and live entertainment on the weekends.
Town & Country Resort, San Diego, California
Majorly transformed in 2020, the iconic Town & Country Resort, (Mission Valley’s first hotel) eloquently retains its 60s roots via mid-century modern furniture, gold sconces, and tulip-style coffee tables. The pool area, fringed with palm trees and private cabanas, comes with crescent-shaped pools and a four-story ‘Twister’ waterslide.
The hotel’s popular Monkey Bar mixes up craft cocktails with names like Don Draper (bourbon, angostura, and orange bitters) and Harvey Wallbanger (vodka, galliano, drambuie, chamomile bitters and orange juice).
Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Arizona
When this retro-chic hotel was first built in 1956, all of Hollywood turned out including Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood who married here. Following a meticulous renovation, Hotel Valley Ho has been cited as one of the best examples of preserved mid-century hotel architecture in the United States. Rooms are just as on point – cue the butterscotch-yellow cabinets in the suites.
Sip cocktails at the curved lobby bar with its signature reddish-cast concrete pillars; groovy orange and blue stools.
The Astro, Santa Rosa California
Welcome to 1963. The Astro’s colorful signage – a towering vintage rocket – time travels back to the hey-dey of the American motor lodge. Each of its 34 rooms comes with wooden headboards, quirky 60s-style light fixtures, and period furniture. Every item in the room is available for purchase.
Rent one of the hotel’s Shinola bikes to explore the town or venture a bit further to some of the region’s best wineries. Tricycles are also available for those traveling with kids.
The Austin Motel, Austin, Texas
When a city adopts the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” you know it’s full of its own brand of quirkiness. The Austin Motel is an updated motor inn with an iconic sign that’s been turning heads along with South Congress since the 1930s. The original rooms have been updated to feature retro printed wallpaper, brightly tufted beds, and mid-century light fixtures.
This property is all about location, location, location. You can grab a cocktail from the poolside cabana bar or walk to some of Austin’s best dining and nightlife venues.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs, California
We have a deep love for all things Palm Springs. It’s no surprise that the Ace Hotel Palm Springs with its effortless vintage desert chic aesthetic attracts a lively, stylish crowd (think hipsters) on their desert getaway. Each of the 179 rooms is furnished in vintage pieces ranging from steamer trunks, radios, and vinyl. Two pool areas lined with loungers and a community fire pit often play host to musicians and DJs.
Enjoy a meal at the onsite Kings Highway, a modern roadside diner housed in what is now an unrecognizable Denny’s. With a western boho spirit, this trendy diner is serving up classics like biscuits and gravy alongside new favorites like breakfast burritos and fresh-squeezed juice.
The Williamsburg Hotel, Brooklyn New York
The red brick, glass, and weathered steel industrial design elements of The Williamsburg Hotel acknowledge the manufacturing past of what is now Brooklyn’s hippest neighborhood. Guest room balconies look over the Manhattan skyline while the interiors are filled with restored oak parquet floors, brass light fixtures, and vintage aqua subway tiled bathrooms. The Watertower Bar is filled with stylish mid-century modern couches and light fixtures for relaxing and taking in the view.
Settle into one of the jade green velvet booths and enjoy a lovely high tea experience. Teas are served in colorful teapots accompanied by a tower of sandwiches, jams, and baked goods.