Perfect hotel for a writing retreat, if the writer in question is weird
August 14, 2022 8:32 PM   Subscribe

Toying with the idea of using some vacation time on a solo or pair writing retreat later this year. I could go to a standard cute B&B but if I'm going someplace specifically to stay in my room/in the building, I'd rather stay somewhere that was at least a little strange.

I just like weird hotels man. Like, the Feather Nest Inn is a possibility, if I go by myself. Think theme hotels, castles, treehouses, grain silos, train cars (I am aware of the train car hotel in PA). If I make my friend come, I would go as normal as this library vibe, only not $1200 a night. I would also consider a quite normal place if it had cool animals.

I'm in Philly, friend is in New York, neither of us owns a car but we can rent (but I'm out of practice and I don't think my friend has a current license so long drives aren't ideal). "Stay on an Amtrak sleeper car" counts as weird if you have experience with this and recommend it. Prefer somewhere between Boston and DC (and somewhere in one of our cities is fine, as there's no plan to do tourist stuff—great, actually, because it's convenient!). Hotels, B&Bs, AirBnBs all fine. Kitchen/restaurant access is not super important because I like to eat in my room like a little rat when I'm trying to write and will probably just bring a bag of snacks. Neither of us has much money but if you have a ridiculous luxury suggestion lemme have it, I won't stay there but I'll enjoy imagining it.
posted by babelfish to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Roxbury in the Catskills is an indie hotel where each room, suite, and cottage in the system is decorated in a different kitschy theme - like, one suite is designed to look like the inside of the genie bottle from I Dream Of Jeannie, another emulates Star Trek, another has a Charlies Angels theme. The bigger/spendier the room the more elaborate the theme - one cottage is decorated like Indiana Jones would stay there, with hidden maps, "ancient artifacts", and a custom-designed fishtank in the bathroom. There are even more cottages at its sister location just down the street where the themes are even more elaborate, with one looking like Galileo's study and another looking like a superhero lair. Two look like enchanted castles and one looks like a fairy-enchanted forest.

But even the more modestly-priced rooms have some kind of theme, even if it's just some eye-popping mid-Century Modern design or a room designed to pay homage to a barrel maker who used to live on the property, right down to the tub being made of an old barrel and the whole thing designed to look like you're inside a barrel in the room itself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:47 PM on August 14 [6 favorites]


Oh, and there's also the old TWA terminal at JFK Airport which has been turned into a 60s-air-travel-themed hotel as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:09 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


There's always Kate's Lazy Cabin, a theme hotel run by a member of the B-52s (the band, not some sort of weird USAF tie-in). I'd bet the original themed-RV camp in SoCal is weirder, but also harder for you to get to.
posted by Alterscape at 9:15 PM on August 14


I’m not sure of the price, but I understand Lucy The Elephant is available
posted by bq at 9:43 PM on August 14


I recently went through a phase (five years) where (for reasons) the only focused creative time I got was in motel rooms, maybe once every two months. I'd load my stuff in, pack the fridge, lock the door, draw the blinds and ... get busy.

In this regard, I think all motels/motels are as weird the need to be. The trick is to shut that door you're paying good money for ... and get busy.
posted by philip-random at 9:45 PM on August 14


If you ever make it out to the PNW, check out Sylvia Beach Hotel.
posted by stormyteal at 9:53 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Monasteries and convents are often underutilized nowadays and may rent out spartan private rooms with simple meals for retreats.
posted by fairmettle at 2:30 AM on August 15


The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, CA, is a legend and has many themed rooms. I've just been in the lobby (and public restroom) but I've had friends who've stayed there and said it is a nice hotel experience.
posted by agatha_magatha at 9:09 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Check out the Airbnb "omg" section for some inspiration (mostly very expensive, but not all of it). Here's a weird tiny home in the Hudson Valley.
posted by pinochiette at 4:01 PM on August 15


There’s a hotel representing aspects of Huron-Wendat First Nations culture in Canada near Quebec City. Quick video tour, and here’s their website. Looks super cool!
posted by nouvelle-personne at 2:04 PM on August 17


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