When we were brainstorming for our Lazy Hotel collection, Margaret and Corey from A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour, kept appearing on our mood boards. Their Instagram page is filled with giant shell beds, heart shaped baths and ceiling mirrors in some of the weirdest hotels and motels across the US and around the world. We had to reach out to them to find out more about their adventures and some of the strangest places they’ve stayed in.
Top 10 weirdest hotels with A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour
Hey Margaret and Corey! First off, can you tell us a bit about what you guys do on A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour and how it started?
Sure! A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour is a travel series where we visit theme hotels, vintage love hotels, fantasy suites, and other unique or romantic getaways. We share these travels through photos but also make tour videos and share those online as well! It started back in 2018 when we first stumbled upon Cove Haven Resorts, these vintage couples-only getaways that were covered in kitschy, vintage decor and featured lots of mirrors and hot tubs and heart-shaped-everything. When we got home from that trip I immediately knew we had to see what other hotels like that still existed.
What is it that you look for when choosing hotels for your tours?
We look for really unique designs that you just can't find anywhere else. Theme hotels are classically known to have some of the same designs, like Space Room, Cave Room, and Jungle Room are pretty common, but I love seeing the different takes on each one. We also just want to see design that shakes you out of your day-to-day routine and into this specific time and place. No white walls and gray carpeting, we want our eyes to burn from all the lights and mirrors and colors and textures that people combine to create these Fantasy getaways!
How did you spend your time over lockdown when you couldn’t visit any hotels?
Honestly the lockdown was what forced us to edit a lot of the photos and videos we'd already shot! We have a bad habit of shooting personal projects we love but never take the time to finish them. The lockdown gave us a chance to edit and share a lot of the work we were really excited about, so even though it was so hard to stop traveling, we made good use of the time and that's when people got to really start seeing what we'd been up to.
Apart from the obvious, what are your essentials that you take on every stay?
A bottle of disinfectant and some wipes are always at the top of my list. Some of these love motels are decades old and haven't had a good cleaning in a while but I don't want that to discourage us from using them! I make sure the cleaners we get aren't too harsh for the vintage surfaces but then I get to cleaning. Besides that, I never forget to bring bubble bath and a cute outfit.
Which hotel is up next on your list?
Our next episode features Destinations Inn, a hotel in Idaho that has each room themed around a popular travel destination around the world. We chose New York for our night there but I'm absolutely going back to book Athens and Paris ASAP - what a way to travel!
Strangest bed you’ve slept in?
I will say - we didn't sleep in it - but we rented a room in Chicago that had a sandwich shaped bed in a Picnic themed room. The table was in the shape of a huge napkin dispenser and I kept just thinking..."whos fantasy is this?"...but we loved it.
What items of clothing from Lazy Hotel will you be taking on your next trip?
I'm so ready to take those colorful Pay Per View pants on the road! Also hoping to have a run-in with a cloud mural ceiling in the Daydream Puff Sleeve dress. These pieces feel so perfect for the tour! Corey is going to wear basically every t-shirt in the collection but also the Happy Check Bowling Shirt because I love it when he adds some pink to his wardrobe!
Sunset Inn & Suites
This classic theme hotel is in central Illinois, in the middle of miles and miles of corn. The first time we went I was getting quite nervous as we drove that we were just going to wind up in the middle of a bunch of cornfields and maybe get lost out there. Suddenly we came upon this incredible hotel and we just kept asking ourselves, why is this here? The town was so small even the walmart was closing. I only know this because it was the big talk of the town while we were there. I still don't have the exact answer as to how that hotel ended up there, but it's been very exciting to see them gain more and more popularity over the years. Their rooms are so detailed and fun, and they have all sorts of unique and funky decor you just won't find anywhere else!
No judgement at all, but we recently stayed at a Swingers hotel in Colorado called Mon Chalet, and I'm gonna go ahead and categorize that as weird. Weird because it was unlike anything we've experienced - we're not swingers - but we loved seeing this little getaway and I'm glad people have their places to meet others like them! Not gonna lie, the room itself was incredible. So incredible I've been dreaming of using some of the elements as inspiration for our own bedroom one day. I guess the swingers know how to decorate a bedroom!
Castlewood Cottages are themed cottages in southern California. They're truly epic, detailed, and absolutely fantastical. I love the way they transport you to another world!! The unique thing about this place is they actually provide some costume pieces in the room so you can REALLY get into character. It's definitely weird to take that extra step - but I'm absolutely here for that!! What a way to get you in the mood.
Our first visit to Cove Haven, the retro couples resort in the poconos, was full of surprises. First of all, I had booked a room there thinking it was just a vintage hotel with some heart tubs. When we arrived, I was shocked to see that it was still an entire functioning resort with sports and games and group activities. So much of it felt stuck in the past but only in the best ways. The rooms were still so retro with heart pools and champagne tubs, and even the music and activities were little pieces of history. We spent the entire visit wondering why there were barely any people there but I think so much of our generation had yet to discover it. It is an unforgettable, and definitely a little weird, experience.
One hotel we visited recently was the Wildwood Inn in Kentucky. This place is a classic theme hotel with some epic rooms, but also none of them have windows which can feel a little stuffy. One of the weird things about this place is that it's family friendly. I get that kids would love theme hotels too, I guess it just felt odd to be in one that allowed children after being in so many adults-only ones. Besides the fact that the whole place had a pretty weird vibe, they have an extremely strict No Cake policy in the rooms. I kid you not, you cannot, for any reason, bring cake into your room. I'd love to know the story there.
It's hard to know if Weird is the right word for them, but Adventure Suites in New Hampshire was certainly unlike anything we've ever experienced. We stayed in their Haunted Castle suite and it was truly terrifying. There was a man who worked there who we kept seeing around the grounds and he would say something to warn us about the room - and when we left I kind of wondered if he really existed or if that was a ghost we kept running into. I decided not to look him up to find out because either way it added to the experience. That night was unforgettable, weird, scary, and definitely restless.
Regal Inn & Suites
One very weird experience we had recently was at a hotel called Regal Inn & Suites. I'd found the photos online and the rooms looked beyond incredible with heart shaped tubs and mirrors galore. I don't think they had a single positive review online but I knew we had to see the rooms. When we arrived we got to see a couple rooms before checking into the one we'd booked and I could pretty quickly tell this place was falling apart at the seams. When we were in our room, we noticed a huge cockroach on the wall just watching us - among other unsettling sights - and when we checked out shortly after we were greeted at the door by an exterminator who was waiting for us to leave so he could spray the room. We had a laugh about it later but I was definitely shocked to see they already knew the room needed a spray and they rented the room anyway!
The first time we ever had a run in with "the chair" was at the Executive Hotels in Miami. These hotels are very sexy-focused, with poles and ceiling mirrors and the "love chair", aka a sex chair that kind of looks like a big metal octopus. I had never seen a hotel that had sex furniture right there in the room, but then again I'd never gone to a love motel in Miami! The entire experience there is certainly weird...but it's not all bad!
The only heart shaped tub I can find in Los Angeles is at the Mustang Motel. This place is iconic but quite dirty. It's one of those places where when you check in you're not even meeting anyone in person, just a two-way mirror at a walk-up window. You will always have a weird experience at the Mustang, there's just no way around it.
I mentioned this place already, but the Rainbow Motel in Chicago has the Picnic themed room with a sandwich shaped bed. I will forever be wondering who decided that had to be in their fantasy hotel category. Mad respect to them, they really went all in on a pretty unique idea!