Sick of minimalism, organic tones, and tasteful restraint? Then Museumotel in Raon-l'Etape, France may be your perfect vacation destination. Its nine freestanding "bubble" bungalows, completed in 1968, still exude the trippy, uninhibited vibe of the psychedelic pop years.
The "bubbles" are futuristic in the best 1960s comic-book way — they look as though they might lift off for space at any moment. They were designed by architect Pascal Haüsermann, who proposed his unique "bubble" architecture as an urban planning solution. He was hired by local hotel manager M. Thierry after Thierry read an article about him and was inspired to add a few of his designs to an existing hotel. The freestanding homes were conceived of as a "village" a short walk from the main lodge of the hotel, not a separate location. The Motel de l'Eau Vive, as it was then called, became a popular destination for a few years before psychedelic pop fell out of fashion. The motel was eventually sold and fell into disrepair. Its current owner bought it in 2007 and reopened it last May after extensive renovations.
The Museumotel's "bubbles" vary in size and can hold between 2 to 5 people. Inside the decor is awesomely retro. A few of the rooms swirl with the neon-colored, pop-art patterns that so inspired the set design for the Austin Powers movies. Other rooms feature murals that veer toward cheesy — such as the moon and peace signs — but that work well in their environment. And since the hotel is located on a island in the middle of a river, you can just unplug, stick a few flowers in your hair, and chill out completely.
For more information, photos, and rates, see Museumotel.