2017-06-06

Making History at The Motel Inn [Hospitality Design]

Studio Design Group Architects has a long history of designing hotels and wine tasting rooms.

Did you know San Luis Obispo is the hometown of an inviting slice of hospitality history? It’s true. The very first motel in the world was built right here on the California Central Coast – The Motel Inn. Our own Tim Ronda and Ariana Melendez are excited to be designing a vibrant future for this historic property.

The Original Motel Inn

The Motel Inn first opened its doors on December 12, 1925. Before that time, lodging options were extremely limited for American motorists. Hotels existed, but were considered an expensive luxury and often located far away from both garages and the highway.

The original builders decided on San Luis Obispo as the location for the Motel Inn because of the convenient location halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Designed in the Spanish-style of California missions, the intent was to exude warmth and comfort. Design elements included flat roofs, Spanish-style lanterns to light the way, and sash windows with elaborate iron grillwork. The original Motel Inn could accommodate 100 guests, the first of which stayed for $1.25 a night.

Since the Motel’s midcentury heyday – the property has changed hands many times and unfortunately languished in disrepair…until recently.


Bringing A Landmark Back to Life

Our Studio Design Group Architects team is excited to be collaborating with local developer, Covelop, to restore the Motel Inn to its former glory. The hotel design is complete with a central lobby overlooking the spacious swimming pool and 10 luxurious bungalows with private guest rooms. Each guest room will include either a sun deck or enticing garden patio depending on the floor. The Motel Inn will feature 55 rooms total with all the charm worthy of the property’s colorful past combined with modern amenities to make guests feel right at home. Construction will begin in autumn of this year.

We’re proud to be the go-to architects for hospitality projects in our own backyard. Explore more of our hotel design work here.

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