Often described as an “undeniable super-aesthetic,” the hyper-American Googie architectural stylings of the 1950s and ’60s can still be seen all over North America today. But what is Googie? Why was it so pervasive in mid-century America, especially within roadside establishments such as diners, motels, and coffee shops? Well to put it simply, it is an ultramodern fashion of architecture that came to prominence in America after the end of World War II. Following the War, the United States’ economic base grew almost exponentially; this…Continue Reading “Googie Architecture: Why Motels Look Like U.F.O.’s”

The last decade has seen many neighborhoods affected by the strike of gentrification. Acquired by over-greedy real estate developers, sadly condemned to meet the good ol’ wrecking ball fate, a slew of mid-century motels are demolished to make way for cookie-cutter luxury condo developments. Here we see the motel transformed into art to give the old structures a new lease on life. Art Motel in Las Vegas, NV (Town Lodge Motel) Held annually since its 2013 inauguration, Life Is Beautiful is a three-day festival whose…Continue Reading “Motel Transformed Into Art”

I’ve talked to great extent about some of my favorite motels all over the beautiful United States of America. Heck, I’ve even written about my favorite tunes to listen to while traveling, but today I will deliver you the first ever edition of what fresh pit stop grub that I love to fuel up on while riding the I-40 all night long. Through all of my extensive research and experiences traveling this great country I believe that I occupy a pretty exclusive position as true-snack-insider….Continue Reading “Pit Stop Grub: Finding America’s Best Road Trip Snacks”

Wes Anderson’s 1996 feature film Bottle Rocket not only functions as his directorial debut but is also responsible for launching the careers of both Owen and Luke Wilson. The kitschy crime-comedy film has been well regarded over the years for symbolizing a prologue of sorts for what would become Wes Anderson’s signature theatrical style of filmmaking. From botched heists to unlikely love stories, the film is rife with enough classic thematic hooks that it’s pretty clear why the film has been released as part of…Continue Reading “Bottle Rocket Motel: Telling a Story through an Environment”

While most of us are familiar of the makings of a typical hotel, the ‘motel’ is the sometimes misunderstood offshoot of its more well-recognized counterpart. So, what is precisely the difference between motels and hotels? The term ‘motel,’ a portmanteau contraction of ‘motor’ and ‘hotel,’ was coined by the founders of San Luis Obispo’s The Milestone Mo-Tel, the world’s first motel, in 1925. The development of major American highway systems and subsequent increase in automobile travel during the early 1920’s created the demand for a…Continue Reading “What’s the difference between motels and hotels?”

Retro love hotels in Tokyo and Japan more generally are, to put it in an understated way, special. And the older they are, chances are the weirder they are. In this special post, I look at a few truly classic kitsch love hotels. Honestly, you have to see these. Only in Japan. Empire of Kitsch: Love Hotels and the Swinging Seventies Yes, we know. We’re not in Kansas (or California) anymore. But Japan’s love hotels are fascinating, and have a strong national identity that’s worth…Continue Reading “The Coolest Retro Tokyo Love Hotels”

Given my passion for travel and penchant for left-of-center, retro motels, many of my friends turn to me when it comes to finding decent lodgings on the tightest of tight budgets. This was taken to a new extreme when one of my friends asked me if it is possible to stay in a hotel for free. At first I thought this idea was absurd, unless of course you’re talking about programs that offer free motel vouchers for emergencies, like Sacramento’s Francis House Centre. But upon…Continue Reading “No Voucher Required: How to Increase Your Chances of Scoring a Free Motel Stay”

Nautical interior design has always been a mainstay of retro motel culture. Though many recently-erected boutique hotels have taken this aesthetic to a more luxurious extreme, there are a number of well-preserved retro nautical motels that maintain a bygone idea of what this design style is truly meant to embody. As an extension of the beach vacation experience, these motels are a time capsule for a time-enduring set of signifiers. Let’s take a look at some of the best of these retro nautical-themed motels. Nautical…Continue Reading “Get lost at sea (but not literally) with these great nautical motels!”

  Have you ever wondered what dreaming of a seedy motel means? Well, the meaning of motels and hotels in dreams is not cut and dry. There are many possibilities, some good and some bad. One thing’s for sure, the whole thing is very interesting. Let’s dive in and go deep, shall we?   Motels and Hotels in Dreams When You’re at Home, What’s That All About? The last time I dreamt of a motel, I was in one. Pretty meta. But usually I dream…Continue Reading “The Meaning of Motels and Hotels in Dreams”

From breathtaking mountain and desert landscapes to scenic open highways, filmmakers often rely on real-life locations to effectively convey a narrative and draw audiences closer. Roadside motels and motor lodges often serve as the backdrop for many American films. Whether you are searching for unique motel accommodation ideas for your next roadtrip vacation or are simply an avid fan of the road movie genre, the following list features some famous motels used in movies that you can add to your travel bucket list.   Known…Continue Reading “Famous Motels Used in Movies”