The Drifter Hotel in New Orleans, LouisianaCourtesy Nicole Franzen for Design Hotels
Originally built as The Crescent City Motel in the 1950s, The Drifter in New Orleans reopened in 2017 with a mix of modern and nostalgic design. The exterior has the original asymmetric awning and a restored neon sign, while guest rooms feature troweled concrete walls and Oaxacan tile work. At the heart of the hotel is a tropical courtyard and pool complete with a disco ball, frequently filled with guests and locals for live music and cultural programming.
Skyview Los Alamos in Los Alamos, CaliforniaCourtesy Skyview Los Alamos
A modern boutique hotel with 1950s bones opened in a former motel off California’s Highway 101 near Santa Barbara in April. One of the most notable retro features of Skyview Los Alamos is its pool, designed to recall the glamor of old-school California pool parties. The new owners took care to retain many of the motel’s original elements, including its sign, quirky cactus columns in the porte-cochere, and actual room keys instead of key cards. Norman, the hotel’s full-service restaurant, is named for Norman Bates from the book and movie Psycho.
Lone Star Court in Austin, Texasvia lonestarcourt.com
An authentic Americana roadside court hotel, Lone Star Court brings guests back to a decade when the car family trip was de rigueur. In typical court hotel style, the property is centered around an activity courtyard that includes a pool and fire pits for roasting s’mores. Each guest room features retro-style furniture and a Smeg refrigerator stocked with Texas treats. An on-site food trailer court serves up casual American eats, while a Buick Roadmaster out front welcomes guests to the hotel.