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If you’re fascinated by the past, there may be a hotel out there just for you. With a wide variety of retro-themed hotels around the world, you’re sure to find one focused on the decade you love. Or perhaps you’re just looking for a more unique kind of stay? Either way, the world’s best retro hotels are sure to make for an unforgettable escape.
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The Beverly Hills Hotel opened up its doors in 1912, before the city of Beverly Hills officially existed. The pink palace is nearly as famous as the Hollywood stars who’ve stayed here, from Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to Will Rogers, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. It’s been the setting for countless films as well, including 1950s “Designing Woman” starring Gregory Peak and Lauren Bacall. The ultimate place to delve into Hollywood’s Golden era, the moment you step onto its signature red carpet and enter the grand lobby, you’ll know you’re in a place where countless memories have been made.
Set on Montego Bay, Round Hill Hotel and Villas offers an old-world escape in Jamaica. A popular Caribbean property for the Hollywood jet set for nearly 70 years, you can see many of its former guests in the open-air cocktail bar. Or their photos anyway, with black-and-white photographs plastered about, including everyone from Bing Crosby to Michael Douglas and Paul McCartney. If you book Villa 10, you can sleep in the very room where President John F. Kennedy and Jackie enjoyed their honeymoon. It was even Ralph Lauren himself who lent his decorating skills when the hotel’s historic Pineapple House was renovated. Despite the retro feel, you’ll find lots of modern elegance, with mahogany four-poster beds and plantation-style chairs.
If you long for the 1960s, it’s hard to beat Theoxenia on Mykonos Island in Greece. Mykonos is a beautiful, cosmopolitan island with some of the most stylish boutique hotels in the entire country, including Theoxenia. Spend your days strolling past some of the finest traditional Greek architecture and soaking up the sun and sand on exquisite beaches, sailing, swimming and other activities out on the water, before taking in the island’s famous nightlife scene. Afterward, you can return to this five-star boutique property with fun details like primary-hued retro furniture, Pop Art canvases, molded white seats around the pool.
If the ’50s are what you’re after, the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach is legendary. It opened during the decade, and attracted the big-name celebrities of the time, from the Rat Pack to Elvis, who were frequent visitors. This was also a setting for the famous gin rummy scene in Bond’s “Goldfinger,” offering the chance to truly immerse yourself in the period. While it’s gone through a major, billion-dollar renovation, Curiously, the iconography of the long-gone Rat Pack lives on. In its coffee and pastry shop, you’ll see multiple black-and-white stills of Sinatra.
The Parker Palm Springs is renowned for its mid-century modernism, originally built in the late 1950s as the first Holiday Inn in California, purchased by cowboy singer Gene Autry. Nearly 50 years later, it experienced a multi-million-dollar makeover, though it still retains its classic aesthetic, along with a number of modern luxuries. Today you’ll find Moroccan shag rugs, needlepoint pillows and retro wall hangings as well as lacquered four-poster beds. A vintage sign that reads “Drugs” in the lobby is a nod to its partying past.
Long before the Jersey shoreline was associated with the reality show, it was a popular weekend getaway for working families, with countless motor lodges in the three beach towns referred to collectively as the Wildwoods. While many have long since closed their doors thanks to the advent of air travel, with many now choosing to head to Florida instead, StarLux has capitalized on those “good ol’ days,” taking advantage of its mid-century heyday. With its glass and boomerang shapes, it brings guest back to the Atomic Age. But fortunately, ducking under desks is not required.
If you’ve been dreaming of a 1920s style, elegant White Linen kind of safari experience, then Cottars Camp at Masai Mara in Kenya is where you really need to go. You’ll find tents that are decorated with ’20s antiques, Persian carpets and wind-up gramophones. You’ll even get your very own butler. All of this, and you’ll be staying in the most outstanding game reserve in the world. One of Africa’s most prolific wildlife regions, just a few of the animals you might see include zebras and wildebeests, lions, giraffes, elephants among countless others.
Fantasizing about living “Mad Men” style? This trailer court is somewhat of a time capsule with its collection of restored 1950s trailers that come complete with ’50s decor, including vintage accessories like record players, furnishings and martini glasses. There’s even period appropriate entertainment, with the vintage radios only blaring radio programs from the era. The magazines are at least a few decades old, and the TVs are classic two: all black and white.
The Big Texan Hotel offers retro charms along America’s famous Route 66. The 1950s-style property features rooms with saloon doors that lead to the bathroom, and animal pelts hung on the walls, while the facade makes it look as if its part of a Wild West Town. Even the swimming pool is unique, shaped just like the Lone Star State. The motel is part of a complex that also includes a famous steakhouse, The Big Texan Steak Ranch, a kitschy restaurant that offers a 72-ounce steak challenge and a souvenir gift shop.