Pictured: The world's most kitsch hotels, motels and inns

Pictured: The world’s most kitsch hotels, from a ‘mile high club’ plane to a suite with a DRAGON in the bathroom

  • New book Hotel Kitsch by Margaret and Corey Bienert celebrates ‘nostalgic and one-of-a-kind hotels’
  • Properties in the tome include the Anniversary Inn in Boise, Idaho, and The Dive Motel in Tennessee 
  • READ MORE: A van life weekend – exploring the wild clifftops and woods of Kent in a converted Peugeot van 

This U.S couple is on a mission to sleepover in the world’s most kitsch hotels – and they’ve documented the experience in a whimsical new book.

Margaret and Corey Bienert celebrate ‘creative, nostalgic and one-of-a-kind hotels’ around the world – with a particular emphasis on the U.S – in their new book Hotel Kitsch, published by Artisan Books.

The married couple met while at university in Illinois, where they bonded over their shared passion for photography. In 2018 they started touring around unique ‘theme hotels’ in America and further afield, eventually documenting the experience online on their ‘A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour’ YouTube channel. 

Their footage of these quirky hotel and motel rooms soon struck up a cult following, earning them a combined 1.8million followers on TikTok and Instagram. 

An airplane-turned-love-motel, a cowboy-themed hotel and an ‘Arctic Cave’ suite are among the unique places they’ve spent the night.  

Detailing the project, the Bienerts write in the introduction to the book: ‘Included [in the book] are theme hotels that offer fantastical imitations of familiar settings… as well as imaginative interiors with a shameless abundance of pattern, colour and personality.’ Scroll down for a sneak peek at 12 amazing examples of the hotel suites in the U.S that feature in the compendium…

DESIGNER INN AND SUITES, TOLEDO, IOWA: This rainforest room is one of seven ‘elaborate’ rooms at Designer Inn and Suites, Margaret and Corey write in their tome. ‘The bedroom ceiling in the rainforest room is covered in foliage, a unique touch that adds to the immersive effect of the design,’ they add

LOVE CLOUD, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: Since 2014, tour operator Love Cloud has taken the idea of a rent-by-the-hour love motel to the skies with its ‘Mile High Club’ flight. So say Margaret and Corey in their book, adding: ‘For up to 90 minutes, couples – or throuples – get a private flight in a small plane outfitted with a cosy twin-size mattress.’ The book says that the excursion is ‘just as wild as it sounds’. It reveals: ‘After you board, the pilot puts up a curtain that separates the cockpit from the cabin and wears noise-cancelling headphones so that the experience is totally discreet’

WILDWOOD INN, FLORENCE, KENTUCKY: Each element of this ‘Arctic Cave’ room is designed to look as though it is carved from ice, ‘from the bathroom counter to the side tables and chairs’. The suite also includes ‘a corner tub (right) that was made to look like it’s sinking into a melting glacier’

ANNIVERSARY INN, BOISE, IDAHO (LEFT): Dare to bathe in the shadow of a dragon? At Idaho’s Anniversary Inn you can, the book reveals. This striking ‘dragon’ bathtub lies in the hotel’s Sultan’s Palace Suite. ROXBURY MOTEL, ROXBURY, NEW YORK STATE (RIGHT): Guests can follow the yellow brick road in Roxbury Motel’s version of the Emerald City in Wizard of Oz, the book reveals. The room, number 21, evokes the classic 1939 film ‘with details including a mural of a red poppy field in the bathroom’, the authors note. In the picture, two legs stick out from under the room’s king-size bed, wearing striped stockings and ruby slippers. It mirrors how the Wicked Witch of the East’s feet stick out from under a house that has collapsed atop her in the hit film

BLACK SWAN INN, POCATELLO, IDAHO: This suite at the Black Swan Inn is inspired by the Wild West, with its ‘swinging saloon doors and sunken tub’ plus ‘a clever watering can showerhead’, the authors write

THE DIVE MOTEL, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (LEFT): Walking through the doors of the Dive Motel feels like stepping back in time, according to Margaret and Corey. Of the hotel, they add: ‘The wood panelling, tufted leather barstools, checkered linoleum flooring, and massive disco ball certainly don’t seem like modern features, which is exactly what the designers intended when they opened the place in 2019.’ URBAN COWBOY, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (RIGHT): The book says that this hotel, which is one of a chain, transports you to a perfectly curated rustic-but-glamourous world the moment you step through the door. It continues: ‘While most theme hotels save their pizzazz for the guest rooms, these are top-to-bottom handcrafted, stylistically impressive southwestern designs. The floors are solid wood, much of the furniture is well-worn leather, antlers are used in just about every type of fixture, and the walls and ceilings have hand-printed patterns by artist Clinton Van Gemert’

BLACK SWAN INN, POCATELLO, IDAHO: This inn is housed within a 1933 Tudor-style building in Pocatello, the book reveals. Above is the Black Swan Garden Suite, which features ‘serene floral murals, a giant hot tub, and a gazebo that has been turned into a bed frame’ 

ADVENTURE SUITES, NORTH CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE (LEFT): ‘The adventure begins as soon as this hotel comes into view, disguised as an Old Western town complete with a church, firehouse, town hall, blacksmith, and more,’ the book reveals. Above is the hotel’s ‘Roman Rendezvous’ suite, complete with ‘a heart-shaped tub, as well as a beautiful mountain view’. SYBARIS POOL SUITES, NORTHBROOK, ILLINOIS (RIGHT): Behold the ‘Paradise Swimming Pool Suite’ at the Northbrook Sybaris, one of many Sybaris locations throughout the Midwestern states of America. The book notes that the inn’s founders, Ken Knudson and his wife Charlene, set out for the inn to be ‘a magical place where couples could shed the stress of daily life and reacquaint themselves with love’. Ken and Charlene describe it as ‘an oasis of privacy – no windows, no phones – dedicated to the enhancement of romantic marriage’

Married couple Margaret and Corey Bienert, pictured, are on a mission to celebrate ‘creative, nostalgic and one-of-a-kind hotels’ 

Hotel Kitsch: A Pretty Cool Tour of America’s Fantasy Getaways, published by Artisan Books, is written by Margaret and Corey Bienert. It’s available for pre-sale ahead of its publication on October 10 from £26.79 ($31.50)

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