Anyone interested in planning a vacation but looking for a new twist on standard hotel rooms and board has the option of selecting a retro hotel to spice up their travel arraignments. Retro hotels offer the same amenities and comforts as a normal institution, but do so by taking you back in time to relive the decades past. The size and capabilities of such hotels range from small bed and breakfast joints that may have rooms designed to look and feel centuries old, to larger scale buildings that emulate the classical feel of a 70s pad. Retro hotels do not usually cost more than their contemporaries, making them a place that is off the beaten path for intrepid travelers. Some are well known, like the Habbz Hotel Retro of Mexico, while others are hidden gems on your path across a country.
Of all the “time warp” styles, perhaps the most commonly used in the best retro hotels is the nostalgic 1950s setting. The Retro Suites Hotel in Chatham, Ontario features the authentic decor of brick walls and vibrant wallpaper to enact a scene that may be familiar to some travelers’ childhoods. The Retro Suites is one of the more popular stays in all of Canada for the lengths they go to in order to look and feel authentic to their time frame. The hallway and lobby have an elegant air and antique furniture, while a downstairs wine bar allows travelers to mingle in the same style of their parents — or perhaps grandparents! Each room has its own name, giving a sense of autonomy in comparison to modern day hotels with cookie cutter rooms. The television resembles a decades old cube but provides full satellite and digital cable channels. The Retro Suites are not only known for their style but also their cleanliness and service; many customers say that it is one of the most spotless rooms they have ever stayed overnight in.
The Palms Retro in Atlantic Beach, Florida, takes the passion for the styles of bygone years to a new level. They too boast rooms with names, but do so to emulate celebrities of the past, ranging from a room designed around Lucille Ball to John F. Kennedy to Marilyn Monroe. Famous pieces of art line the walls while biographies in book and movie form are neatly arraigned on the table. The courtyard, which boasts a classic modeled swimming pool, pumps the very first chords of rock n roll through the deck while a malt shop and diner allows you to experience the cuisine of yesteryear. Indeed, the Palms Retro functions as often for social events and large gatherings as it does for rooms; many honeymooners or anniversaries are spent inside their walls while business meetings or even full blown family reunions provide a fun spin on a normal pastime.
If you want something more recent and something you may be able to relate to, the Phoenix Hotel and Civic Center of San Francisco takes you back to the height of the seventies. Described as an oasis among pop art and palm trees, the Phoenix Hotel spares no expense to be a blast from your past. Thoroughly decked out in thick shag carpeting, the vibrant rooms and lobby are designed with fung shui in mind to properly attune each area with a person’s self. A favored pit stop of rock legends over the past few decades, the Phoenix has several rules — some fairly strict — about policy and procedure, but provides an enjoyable stay to those who stay inside the guidelines. Many claim that the company and conversations you pick up just lounging about the pool and bar make the visit worthwhile.
Of course, along your travels you may find the retro hotel known more for their nightlife than for the quality of their night’s rest. The Bristol Arms Retro Hotel in Sydney, Australia has the reputation of being one of the best stops for clubbing and dancing in the entire city. Offering capacity for parties from ten to a thousand guests, the Bristol Arms boasts theme nights for their clientele. One fun such night is Goodstock, a tribute to the history of music and free love, in which you can get in free by dressing as a peace happy hippie. Likewise, the Retrobics nights encourage customers to dress in the aerobic fashions of yesteryear to dance in antiquated comfort. On select occasions, there are retro game nights, where members can play anything from Hungry Hungry Hippos to Pong for prizes or free drinks.
If you want a change from a normal traveling routine, a retro hotel may be right up your alley. Rather than a bland room, you get the inspiration and design of ages past. Some may have limited space, so booking ahead of time ensures a spot when you roll into town.