The Starlux... a deliciously retro Wildwood, NJ motel oozing with mid century modern kitsch from every corner. Even the name says it all... 'Starlux'. I fell in love with it when my boyfriend and I stayed there when we went on a little vacation at the end of September down to Wildwood... and then onto Cape May where we met up with my family. (please excuse the gray, dingy pictures... we were feeling the effects of Hurricane Jose and not a shred of blue sky was to be seen for our time in Wildwood.)
The colors and the architecture and the complete kitsch of it all is what really got me. Throw some teal, some cantilevered roofing and some fake palm trees at me, and I'm guaranteed to swoon. And swoon I did.
What I didn't realize at the time... and just found out as I was writing this... was that the original motel was called The Wingate Motel built in the early 1950s. The Wingate was renovated and the Starlux was born. The light bulb just went off in my head because I remember taking a picture of an old advertisement for The Wingate that was in the game room of the motel. I just thought it was cool so I took a few pictures of it at the time, not realizing in my 'I've had a few beers' mentality, that it was the same place. Ah... gotta love vacation.
At least they decided to renovate and kitsch it up instead of taking a wrecking ball to it, as is what happened to so many of the motels built in the 50's and 60's. I have no idea what the original rooms looked like, but they have definitely been upgraded to include all of the amenities required today. Our room even had a cute little kitchenette with the coolest royal blue microwave. I'm kinda bummed now I didn't snap a picture of it, because I've never seen anything like it. I like blue, what can I say. (easily amused too). And did I mention the wallpaper?!?!?!? OMG!!!! I was in HEAVEN!!! I love, love, loved the wallpaper in all of its mid mod pattern goodness. The furniture and fixtures were sleek and mod too... I really got a kick out of the way it was put together.
The lobby area was another retro space and a feast for the eyes. I took a bunch of pictures of various things in there, because, well, I like things with fun shapes and colors. (and yes, I'm easily amused... I know that's what you were thinking). Going at the end of September was a good choice too because it was not crowded at all and we got to take it all in without 40 screaming kids wiping sticky ice cream fingers all over the kidney shaped tables and lava lamps.
After we walked down the street to eat dinner and take some pics of neon signs at night, we headed back to the motel... grabbed a few beers... and went down to the game room!!! Yes, they even had a game room that we had all to ourselves. We played some air hockey and played one of those video games where you sit down and race cars. I have no idea if there's a name for them... but it sure was fun.
I bet you're wondering if it can get any better? Yes... well it does! So after Night 1 in the actual motel... we spent Night 2 in the... wait for it... drumroll please... 1956 Airstream Trailer located across the street (but still owned by the Starlux). That is going to be Part 2 my friends....