From Drab to Fab: 5 Old Motels Transformed into Chic Hotels (Under $200!)

Nostalgia runs deep at these newly reimagined properties.

best motels old properties

photography by Nick Simonite for Austin Motel


Entrepreneurs are taking old motel properties to the next level by adding the design and amenities of boutique hotels—think lobby retail programs, incredible food and beverage offerings, and unique on-property programming—but keeping prices affordable.

Here are a few of our favorite finds around the world all under $200.

 

best motels amigo motor lodge

photography by Brandon Lopez


Amigo Motor Lodge
Salida, Colorado


Texan couple Philip and Kaitlyn Sterling have reinvigorated a 1950s motel in the America West. Minimal with a Southwestern flair, all of the rooms are unique.

They feature Moroccan rugs, Aztec textiles, simple metal bed frames, rattan and leather furniture, and art, skulls and antiques collected by the owners. The owners of this sprawling 15-room property have plans to create more rooms, renovate three Airstream trailers on the property, and add a yurt by summer 2018.

Rates from $130

best motels austin motel

photography by Nick Simonite


Austin Motel
Austin, Texas


Liz Lambert’s Bunkhouse hotel group has recently completed renovations on the Austin Motel, which has been operating as a Texas motel since 1938. By highlighting the original midcentury modern architecture, Bunkhouse preserved the motel’s eclectic aesthetic while refreshing the 41 rooms with a casual yet colorful vibe, adding both a lobby retail concept shop, and a pool bar and deck.

The rooms pop with 1950s color schemes, like creamsicle orange-upholstered beds, 1980s vintage silkscreen prints, and quirky touches like cherry lip-shaped phones.

Rates from $125

best motels scribners catskill lodge

photography by Nicole Frazen


Scribner’s Catskill Lodge
Hunter, New York


Once a motor lodge in the 1960s, Scribner’s has quickly become one of hottest hotel offerings in the Catskill Mountains. Just a two-hour drive from New York City, this property is great in any season, thanks to its cozy nooks, private decks, a massive library, and a perpetually lit fireplace.

The 38 rooms are tastefully decorated with dark maple wood floors, vintage rugs, and custom furniture, and the bathrooms are finished in terracotta tiles. Scribner’s Prospect restaurant attracts hotel guests and locals alike with its fresh, farm-to-table fare.

Rates from $145

best motels anvil hotel

photography by Mikael Kennedy


Anvil Hotel
Jackson, Wyoming


The Anvil Hotel is a renovation of a 1950s ski motel by Brooklyn design firm Studio Tack, which is located in Wyoming’s mountain town of Jackson. With its wood-fire Italian restaurant Glorietta, lobby cafe and retail shop by Westerlind, and 49 newly-designed rooms, the vibe is modern yet decidedly rugged Western.

Special activities like dog sledding, elk refuge sleigh rides and wildlife tours are all on offer.

Rates from $195

best motels brentwood hotel

photography by Brentwood Hotel


Brentwood Hotel
Saratoga Springs, New York


Horse country boasts a new 12-room boutique hotel: A former motor lodge that was given a top-down renovation by the Brooklyn-based design firm Studio Tack. (They also renovated Scribner’s Catskill Lodge.)

Honoring Saratoga Springs’ equestrian heritage, the one-story hotel boasts views of the racetrack across the street, along with modern digs. Finishes include custom clear pine wood four-poster beds, antique kilim rugs, glossy plywood floors, and landscape paintings.

Rates from $150

Published on July 25, 2017 - 3:00pm EDT

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