Robert McKinley renovates 1930s motor lodge into minimal retreat in Laguna Beach

Studio Robert McKinley has transformed a motor lodge into the minimal and rustic Hotel Joaquin, providing an escape in Orange County, California.

Hotel Joaquin by Studio Robert McKinley

Located a short walk away from the Pacific Ocean in the small coastal city of Laguna Beach, the 1930s motor lodge has been reconfigured to make the most the views to the waters.

Now named Hotel Joaquin, the building was renovated for hotelier Auric Road by New York-based Studio Robert McKinley.

Hotel Joaquin by Studio Robert McKinley

White-painted siding clads the exterior, while inside a simple material palette teams bright whites, woods and textured stones.

The studio enlisted local artisans to source materials and build furnishings, while works by local artists such as Daniel Fuller and Sean Spellman decorate the spaces.

Hotel Joaquin by Studio Robert McKinley

Hotel Joaquin’s restaurant, The Bar, which serves French Mediteranean cuisine, informed the aesthetic, which Auric Road describes as an “homage to the laid-back elegance of the California and Mediterranean coastlines”.

“Every detail has meaning and intentionality, designed to inspire our guests,” said Auric Road CEO Paul Makarechian in a project statement.

Hotel Joaquin by Studio Robert McKinley

Folding glass doors open the eatery onto a terrace overlooking the ocean, featuring caned chairs and wooden tables for guest to relax. Terracotta-hued tiles cover the floor of the outdoor area and run inside, where they also line the base of the golden bar top.

Pale wooden panelling covers the wall behind and extends up to line the ceiling extending over the lounge on the other side of the communal area.

Hotel Joaquin by Studio Robert McKinley

Studio Robert McKinley has chosen an eclectic mix of vintage furniture and artworks arranged around a fireplace in this area. A vinyl record player set atop a wooden cabinet filled with records for guests to chose from.

Each bedroom also features a vinyl record players instead of a television to encourage relaxation. Hotel Joaquin provides a curated music collection to suit different guests, as part of its “highly personalised” service.

Hotel Joaquin by Studio Robert McKinley

In the bedrooms, bright white bedding and upholstery complements the pale painted walls and exposed wooden ceiling beams, and the hues of the curtains. This forms a bright backdrop to the wooden bed frame and caned chairs.

Glazed tiles, sinks and bathtubs in a variety of stones, and metallic faucets provide a more textural setting in the adjoining bathrooms.

Hotel Joaquin by Studio Robert McKinley

Among the amenities at Hotel Joaquin is the outdoor pool, where pale decking complements the wooden sun-loungers, and large day beds.

Hotel Joaquin is among a number of motels and motor lodges across the USA transformed into boutique hotels. Others include AvroKO’s Wes Anderson-style Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, also in California, Liz Lambert’s overhaul of the Austin Motel in Texas and Studio Tack’s renovation projects in Wyoming and upstate New York.

Photography courtesy of Hotel Joaquin.

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