be dissuaded by the fresh-off-the-highway setting of this very unique retro
motor lodge. The Pines is not so much a motel in Saugatuck but more a
delightful experience. This is a place for people who seek out the unexpected
and who prefer personality to plastic room keys. This bright chartreuse
wood-frame vintage motor lodge is just such a place.
Steve Laughner and Rob Goeke, both expatriate entrepreneurs from Indianapolis
with backgrounds in renovating historic landmarks, specifically sought out this
property to create the area’s first 1950s “funky, groovy makeover”. They bought the old Pines Motel in
Saugatuck-Douglas in 2001. After traveling throughout the east coast and pouring
through old issues of Architectural Digest, they decided to pattern their
re-invention around the post-war era from 1945-1955 and focus on what was in
vogue at the time.
off the former motel’s name, the guest rooms are decorated with knotty-pine
nuances and architectural twists. The king, queen and full-size pine-log beds
were custom-crafted by Amish woodworkers specifically for this project. The
rooms are clean, fresh, crisp and decorated in bright cheerful colors. The beds, all with pillow tops, are decorated
in rich textured fabrics and feather comforters. Bamboo lamps and accents,
which reflect the “kitsch” Hawaiian influences of the era, and many of the
mirrors and decorative touches were imported through the innkeeper’s
interior-design shop in downtown Douglas.
keeping with the post-war theme, the motel’s front office is located in the
“Groovy Groovy” gift shop, which specializes in merchandise that matches the
flavor of the era. The shop also stocks many convenience items for guests.
the guest rooms, there are small tables and solid-wood Adirondack chairs
flanked by large metal oval planters brimming with flowers. A large central
shaded deck is where guests congregate to meet new friends, barbecue or read
quietly with a glass of wine.
weekend at the Pines is transporting.