San Francisco's Phoenix Hotel undergoes rebirth by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel, San Francisco, California, by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel, San Francisco, California, by Liz Lambert

San Francisco's mid-century Phoenix Hotel undergoes rebirth by Liz Lambert

The latest mid-century American motel to be revived as a boutique hotel is this 1950s building in San Francisco, which features colourful guest rooms and a landmarked swimming pool.

The Phoenix Hotel was revamped by Liz Lambert, the designer and hotelier behind the recently reopened Austin Motel, which she similarly renovated under her operation company Bunkhouse.

Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert

Centrally positioned in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, the hotel originally opened in 1956 as the Caravan Lodge, then was given a makeover in 1987.

"The Phoenix Hotel is considered a beloved cultural icon and longtime favourite of the rock n' roll set, frequented by everyone from Neil Young to David Bowie to Kurt Cobain," said a statement from on behalf of the hotel.

Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert

This pedigree influenced the design of its most recent overhaul, which the hotel described as "inspired by the travelling musician".

The lobby is modelled on an old recording studio, with wood panelling and a record player, while a hotel shop sells memorabilia influenced by the 1980-90s grunge scene.

Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert

Vintage rock concert posters are used for decoration in the 44 guest rooms, which are split over two levels. In these spaces, bold red doors and bright blue headboards add accents, while yellow curtains and vintage furniture hark back to the building's mid-century roots.

Neon lighting above the beds creates an entirely different atmosphere at night.

Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert

The rooms face onto a courtyard, where guests can relax under red and white striped cabanas, or on butterfly chairs that surround the oval swimming pool.

This heated pool is one of only two landmarked swimming pools in America, according to the hotel, and features a mural by artist Francis Forlenza across its bottom.

Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert

"Forthcoming plans include cultural programming in the courtyard, from poolside yoga to Drag Queen bingo and more," said the hotel's statement.

Adjacent to the pool area is the hotel restaurant and bar, Chambers, which serves New American dishes in another music-themed space.

Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert

"The spacious restaurant boasts an interior reminiscent of a contemporary speakeasy, with dark-wood walls and shelves of records, along with an enclosed poolside patio to enjoy drinks in the urban oasis," Phoenix Hotel said.

Across the US, run-down mid-century motels and motor lodges are being revitalised to provide new accommodation options. Properties in California, Wyoming, New Orleans and Upstate New York have all undergone similar revamps.

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Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert
Phoenix Hotel by Liz Lambert