The Couple Behind “A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour” Have a Pretty Cool LA Home
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I LOVE a roadside attraction, a themed business (or bathroom), and a quirky interior or exterior that defies the ordinary. And, considering the popularity of the Instagram and TikTok accounts of A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour (564K followers and 1.3M followers, respectively), I’m not the only one who loves an offbeat hotel motif.
The creatives behind the accounts are couple Margaret and Corey Bienert. “We’ve been married since 2011 and our jobs are photography and video production with our company Marginal Creative,” Margaret begins. “We’ve spent the last couple years working on our travel series called ‘A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour‘ where we visit theme hotels, vintage resorts, adults-only fantasy suites, and other unique getaways.
Along with being curators and collectors of unconventional vibes, the couple can now call themselves authors: Their brand-new book, Hotel Kitsch, just recently published, and it showcases some of their favorite stops from their travels. They graciously sent me a copy to peruse, and I’ve lost hours combing through every photo (most taken by them, plus a sprinkling of vintage shots, too) as well as reading not only about the motels and hotels they profile, but also about the history of how these quirky stays got started. It’s been an inspiration both for decor ideas and a travel bucket list. A handy hotel directory at the back even breaks down stays by amenities (like a heart-shaped tub, erotic furniture, etc.) offered, too.
Their 700-square-foot rental apartment in East Los Angeles is a tamer homage to the quirky spaces they spend so much time traveling to. “I would say my favorite elements tend to be vintage, kitschy, and even romantic,” Margaret begins. “I’m very inspired by the hotels we tour and lots of them were designed in the ’70s and ’80s. I love Art Deco style, lots of mirrors, black marble, a variety of textures and patterns, and anything heart-shaped!”
“This is the first year I’ve really spent time collecting home decor items like that,” she continues. “Because we’ve spent so much time on the road I hadn’t focused on what our own house looked like, but I’m in a phase now where I really want where we live to reflect our personal style. I’m just lucky that Corey and I have similar taste, and when we don’t, he still gives me the creative freedom to try whatever I want!”
PAINT & COLORS
- Pink living room circle — Behr “Rose Pottery”
- Table and chairs — Facebook Marketplace
- Rug — Facebook Marketplace
- Plant hanger — IKEA
- Clock — Savers Thrift
- Love Laugh rug — Wayfair
Thanks, Margaret and Corey!
This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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