American Hotels in the 1960s: A Nostalgic Trip Back in Time

The 1960s was a time when the American automobile industry was booming, and road trips were all the rage. Hotels had to keep up with the demand for convenient and affordable accommodations for families, couples, and solo travelers alike.

Enter the roadside motel. These mom-and-pop establishments dotted the highways, offering weary travelers a place to rest their heads for the night. You’d find these motels in every town, big or small, offering the quintessential American hospitality. And let’s not forget about those fun neon signs illuminating the night sky, beckoning drivers to pull over for the night.

The 1960s also brought about changes in hotel design. It was a time of bold colors, interesting shapes, and daring architecture. Hotels embraced the mid-century modern aesthetic, featuring sleek lines and geometric patterns. Inside, you’d find futuristic furniture, such as egg chairs and starburst clocks, complemented by abstract art on the walls. It was a visual feast for the eyes, making any stay feel extra special.

But what about the amenities? Well, for one, air conditioning was becoming more and more common, making those hot summer nights a little more bearable. Television sets were also starting to make their way into hotel rooms, giving guests a taste of home while they were on the road. And, of course, let’s not forget about those iconic Magic Fingers vibrating beds – just insert a quarter, and you’d be gently lulled to sleep.

Now, we can’t talk about 1960s hotels without mentioning the pool. Swimming pools were a big deal back then, and they were often the centerpiece of a hotel’s outdoor space. Kids would splash around while their parents lounged on the poolside chairs, soaking up the sun and sipping on a cold beverage. A hotel pool was the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of driving or sightseeing.

Finally, let’s talk about hotel dining. In the 1960s, many hotels boasted on-site restaurants or diners, often with a touch of local flair. These eateries were more than just a convenient place to grab a bite; they were an essential part of the overall hotel experience. Guests could expect hearty breakfasts, classic American comfort food, and a warm, friendly atmosphere.

Here are some famous American hotels from the 1960s.

#7 Hotel Superstition, Ho Jake’s Saloon, Apache Junction, Arizona

#12 Lazars Lakeside Motel & Restaurant, Long Island, NY

#13 Manger Motor Inn, Purple Tree Lounge, Indianapolis, IN

#18 Purple Tree Lounge, Manger Hotel, Rochester, New York

#25 Stanley the Great, The Castaways Tahitian Bar, Miami Beach, Florida

#30 The Castaways Motel, Shinto Temple Dining Room, Miami Beach, FL

#32 The Franciscan Restaurant, Fisherman’s Wharf, CA

#38 Tropical Garden Room at the Sandollar Restaurant, St Petersburg, FL

#46 Andrew Jackson Hotel in Nashville Tennessee, 1960s

#50 Side view of the Grand Imperial Hotel, Silverton, 1962

#51 Imperial Hotel, Cripple Creek, Teller County, Colorado, 1962.

#52 The Hilton Hotel viewed from Denver Civic Center, Denver, Colorado, 1962.

#53 Beachcomber Hotel Restaurant, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1960s

#54 Lakeside Hotel, Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, 1960s

#56 The Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland amusement park in Anaheim, California, 1960

#57 The Hotel Algonquin Manhattan, New York City, 1961

#60 Surfrider Hotel (Sheraton), Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1960s

#69 Atlantic House at Prouts Neck in Scarborough, 1960

#72 Chelsea Hotel on W. 23rd Street, Manhattan, New York City, 1968.

#77 Royal Anchor motel bar and lounge, Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 1960s.

#78 Atlantic City with the ‘Chalfonte-Haddon Hall’ hotel complex, 1960

#79 Excelsior Hotel, Austin Street, Jefferson, Marion County, 1960s

#80 The Plaza Hotel, Central Park South (59th Street) and Fifth Avenue, New York City, 1960

#82 Dew-Drop Inn Hotel on LaSalle Street in Central City

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Written by Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for exploring the world. Her writing is both informative and engaging, offering unique perspectives on travel, food, and lifestyle.

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