Take inspiration from the vintage vibe of these retreats and hotels, whether it’s for your next vacation or to rejig your living room
1. For retro lovers
There’s plenty of retro inspo on Route 66 in the US, but not many motels are as perfectly preserved as the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. From the bright neon lights, to the blue swallow-clad bedspreads and pastel paint job, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the 1940s.
2. For pink fans
The bubblegum pink decor at the iconic The Royal Hawaiian Resort has been inspiring visitors since the establishment opened in 1927. Now that millennial pink is having an extended moment, it’s worth taking another look. Right on Waikiki Beach, the glamorous hotel was designed in a Moorish style, which was popular at the time of opening.
3. For history buffs
Care to sleep in a former military fortress? Visit Cap Rocat on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The building, part of the Small Luxury Hotels stable, has been refurbished by Antonio Obrador, who kept the unique 19th-century architecture intact while creating beautiful rooms built into the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Palma.
4. For eco warriors
The owners of the Sherwood have turned a 1980s mock-Tudor motel into Queenstown’s coolest joint. Everything in the stylish, rustic retreat has been designed to leave the smallest footprint possible. Vintage touches include recycled French and German army blankets and saris as curtains, and you’ll spot a few kitsch features of the original hotel still in place.
5. For glamping
Head to Vienna in Austria for the ultimate city camping experience. At Hotel Daniel you can stay in a luxurious caravan, with a bathtub, heating and wifi. The Trailer room, in the hotel’s garden, is a 1952 Silver Streak Clipper which has been fitted out by a boat designer. (There’s also a boat on the roof of the hotel – an artwork by Erwin Wurm.)
6. For antique fiends
Il Melograno, bookable through Small Luxury Hotels, is a converted 17th-century masseria (a fortified farmhouse) set in an ancient olive grove in Puglia, southern Italy. The hotel was the first masseria to open its doors to guests. White stone walls lined with bougainvillea, stone courtyards and an enticing pool create a dreamy outdoor aesthetic. Inside, antique furniture is offset by modern artworks.
7. For dessert dreamers
The Shack Attack is a boutique Airbnb in Joshua Tree, California, renovated by creative duo Kathrin and Brian Smirke. They transformed a rundown 1957 cabin into a cool, cosy getaway, complete with outdoor tub, curated vinyl selection and retro Smeg fridge. Repurposed materials from the original home were used to make the sink, and the feeling of the original shack is still very much alive. The couple have also renovated a number of other homes in the area which are available for rent.
Words by: Fiona Ralph.