Wisconsin April 14, 2017
You’ll Never Want To Check Out Of This Epic Themed Hotel In Wisconsin
Located way up in Sturgeon Bay, this kitschy, retro motel was actually Door County’s first ever motel when it was built way back in 1952. Opened three months before the first Holiday Inn chain hotel, the Holiday Motel/Hotel sign used to switch between the M and H.
The motel underwent significant damage from a fire and reopened in 2008. Renowned for both its amazing, retro decor and its commitment to music – and art – collaboration, this place is one in a million and absolutely should be on your list of Wisconsin places to visit.
The Holiday Motel would be cool enough on its own with its retro design and green building practices. But what makes it so unique is that it's the world's only fully operational motel featuring live music, collaborative songwriting retreats, and a radio station that exclusively broadcasts the music created within its own walls.
There's so much music history intertwined with the story of the Holiday Motel. There's the downstairs lab where Bob Egelund modified Ampex machines used by some of the biggest names on the Chess label in the 60s. That space is now a rehearsal, recording, and performance space. There's a consignment music store next door, and then there's the Tambourine Collaboratory and Lounge with open mic nights and Painted Recordings, their own label. There's so much music happening here.
The motel is an integral fixture of the local music scene. The current owners include Jackson Browne and came from a group that worked on local music festival Steel Bridge Song Fest. The hotel hosts songwriters' retreats, has an on-site recording studio and performance venue and has an in-house Grammy-nominated sound engineer. Thousands of songs have been written, recorded, and mastered at the Holiday Motel.
Even if you're not there for a writers' workshop, the Holiday Motel is just an awesome place to stay, with a laid-back, be cool sort of vibe and a ton of retro furniture.
There's an open, collaborative, social vibe to the place and it's a great home base for exploring Door County.
Their sign is original and was grandfathered in when Door County changed their laws to disallow neon. It's a literal sign of the times and a relic of a very different past.
Nothing gets overlooked at the Holiday Motel - the fire allowed them to think of everything and they rebuilt both with history and modern thinking in mind. They modernized, thought green and saved as much as they could. They also upgraded everything digitally, improving their pull from a music and recording standpoint.
The building melds the best of both worlds and sends you back in time while giving you all the modern amenities.
You'll love everything about a visit here, from the vintage decor to the musical instruments for group use in the lobby. There's nothing they haven't thought of here and there's no place else like it in the world. Whether you're just passing through or are an artist - of any type - looking for inspiration, this place provides a unique experience and is consistently rated one of the best places to stay in Door County.
Located at 30 N. 1st Ave, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235.
Looking for more unique places to stay in Wisconsin? Check out
7 Unique Places To Stay In Wisconsin That Will Give You An Unforgettable Experience.