These revamped US motels combine modern style with retro touches and new features, such as DJ sets and yoga classes

Not much remains of the Henning Motel in Newberry Springs, California. Out on old Route 66, only the once-flashing neon sign still stands, rusted beyond repair. The arrival of the Interstate Highway in the 1970s rerouted custom elsewhere, and like thousands of motels across America, its fate was sealed. These emblems of the American road seemed in steady decline, that is, until recent years, when hoteliers began to recognise the potential in their architecture and storied past, and set about repurposing them.

The new generation of motels have co-opted the vintage aesthetics and mom-and-pop atmosphere of the 1950s and 1960s originals but given them a glossy finish with artisanal interiors, fancy linens, and locally brewed kombucha, or the like, catering to the values of the millennial traveller.

All this comes at a price. In the 1960s a motel room was $8, roughly the equivalent of $65 today, but few renovated motels are less than $100 a night. These aren’t the motels of old with their bulletproof glass, ratty net curtains and bed bugs (which do still exist): these are motels concentrated in areas likely to draw tourists, and offering more than simply a bed for the night.

all prices include taxes and are room-only

The Drifter, New Orleans, Louisiana

Named after the Beat Generation writers whose antics added to the mythology of life on the road, the Drifter still has its original flashing motel sign outside, though a 2017 renovation saw it reimagined for Nola’s more hedonistic tourists. The rooms are small and simple, with concrete walls and white linen; all the action is outside. Styled as a retro tropical resort, with palm trees, bright murals and Mexican tile work, it has a pool bar churning out frozen drinks and food trucks serve Haitian and Cuban food. There’s a pool party here most weekends, with DJs and flamingo inflatables aplenty – also, a no-kids policy.
 Doubles from $103,

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