When we heard that there was a “retro-vated” vintage 1950′s motel on our route from Atlanta to Asheville NC that’s all it took for us to get off the beaten path and check out The Sunset Motel in Brevard, NC. You know how picky Mod Betty is about recommending vintage lodgings, right? Well rest assured, this neat little motel is definitely worth the detour, and not just for the awesome neon signs out front!
Since Retro Roadhusband and I would not have time to stay at the motel to give it a proper check, we actually called ahead to owner Lori Roberts and “outed” ourselves to let her know we’d like to come and check out the place. She was cheery and enthusiastic, and just as fun and funny when we met her in the office of the motel. Perhaps she was extra giddy because of the fab vintage dinette set that her able assistant Katie had scored for them at a local garage sale. Heck, those chairs are enough to get my pulse a quickenin!
While Lori showed us around the place she explained that when she first saw the 1950s era motel it was, like most of its ilk, run down and filled with dubious characters. But she could not resist the charm of what remained of the fun vintage style – the neon sign, the decorative concrete walls with holes like swiss cheese, and its convenient location within walking distance of downtown Brevard, NC. (We had not gone through town before visiting the motel, but once we did, we were smitten with the entire place as well – it’s TOTALLY Retro Roadmap worthy, and there will be a whole ‘nother post about the town, stay tuned!) If that wasn’t enough the county (Transylvania, isn’t that a hoot?) was named one of the top mountain biking destinations in the country in 2012. So we can see why Lori could not help but buy the place, rid it of its tawdry tenants, and begin to restore it to its original vintage style – with a little sass and humor thrown in for good measure.
Mod B was already nodding in appreciation of the the pairs of vintage chairs outside each room (every vintage motel should have ‘em) as we walked across the small parking courtyard to check out one of the redone rooms, and were pleased with what we saw. There’s nothing that a fresh coat of cheery colored paint and some modern yet mod inspired decorative touches can’t brighten up! While Lori and her staff want to preserve as many of the original fixtures and details as they can, each of the dozen or so rooms has been (or is in the process of being) improved with new furniture, bedding, and even flat screen TVs and wifi. Ah, vintage charm and modern amenities, the best combo IMHO.
As we walked behind to the back of the motel where Lori showed the cabin you can rent for larger groups, Mod Betty was already scheming how soon we could actually get back to this area and have a stay at this fun motel…as it’s perfect place for a Retro Roadmap weekend! I’ll be plotting how to get Retro Roadhusband a gig in the area as an “excuse” for another southern roadtrip, and we’ll keep you posted!