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The Dive Motel Brings Legit 70s-Era Swagger to Nashville

As the saying (sort of) goes, “Everything old is cool again.” With the passing of enough time, things once considered old and decrepit are reborn as “vintage chic.” It’s true in every aspect of design, from fashion to cars to travel. The 1970s are having a moment at the moment, and it seems we’re all once again fascinated by disco-era flash. Now, a newly opened retro-chic Nashville motor inn is diving feet-first back into the nostalgic novelty of the decade.

In the same way that Mad Men recaptured the ’60s and Bad Times at the El Royale inspired us to revisit Route-66-flavored road-tripping (minus the non-stop bloodshed), The Dive Motel is a pitch-perfect study in ’70s kitsch. The lobby lounge is awash in leather booths, disco balls, a glitter-speckled bar, and checkered tile flooring — all surrounded by floor-to-ceiling wood paneling. It’s part disco club and part old-school bowling alley chic with a liberal dose of seedy gentleman’s club sex appeal.

Each of the 23 rooms features a unique, retro decor with period design staples like shag carpeting, mustard yellow recliners, brass accents, and garish, floor-to-ceiling nature murals. Room categories run the gamut from basic Cabins to chic Pool and Penthouse Suites. The rustic cabins feature a muted, pared-down aesthetic designed to cater to the urban cowboy while the Suites are bright, bold, and unabashedly gaudy. The flagship Honeymoon Suite, for example, boasts an in-your-face condiment-inspired color scheme, shag carpeting, side-by-side, six-foot soaking tubs, a sunken platform bed, and twin disco balls.

Despite the “motel” moniker, in-room amenities are surprisingly modern and upscale. Guests can expect minibars curated by Rainbow Caviar, EO bath products, and Wright brand mattresses and bedding. Every room is equipped with a “Party Switch” that cues up a disco ball to the sounds of the motel’s Dive Radio with four unique channels: Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Sleep. Overnight guests also have year-round access to the on-site Swim Club with a heated pool, hot tub, and swanky sun deck.

Nightly rates start at $160 for entry-level Cabins, while the Honeymoon Suite runs almost twice as much. Guests looking to see what the fuss is about without an overnight stay can opt for a classic cocktail at the Dive Bar lounge or purchase a day pass to the swim club. Either way, if you’ve been eager to dust off those six-inch platform shoes with the goldfish in the heels, the time is now.

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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