Lulu Motor Inn. Just outside downtown Silver City, the Lulu blends retro touches like chrome-style handles on the microwave and minifridge, and a rotary phone on the nightstand. A contemporary aesthetic in candy-colored hues and splatter art painted by hotel staff is complemented by modern comforts, such as a strip of USB and outlet plugs at the bedside for powering up.

The Lulu Motor Inn blends retro touches like chrome-style handles on the microwave and minifridge. Photograph courtesy of Lulu Motor Inn.

Post Time Inn. A 2020 overhaul converted a 1950s Carlsbad hotel that formerly housed a bank, saloon, and nightclub into a 40-room motel named after the former Post Time Saloon. Renovations focused on a crisp, modern look. The location in downtown Carlsbad is situated for day trips to the Carlsbad Museum (a short walk away), Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and the Living Desert Zoo and Garden State Park.

The 40-room Post Time Inn in Carlsbad. Photograph by Steve Gleydura.

Taos Motor Lodge. Subtle Southwest details, like exposed wood beams, patterned prints on some linens, and original artwork of adobes, shine in the Taos Motor Lodge. The motel reopened about a year ago after years of effort renovating and polishing the former Motel Taos, including a new, neon-adorned sign. Guests can tuck into rooms or a pair of suites with a kitchenette, living room, and wet bar, or retreat to a fleet of three Airstream travel trailers parked on-site. Follow the staff’s restaurant suggestions into downtown Taos for morning huevos.

Read more: With its turquoise exterior and eclectic collection of 1950s antiques, the Raton Pass Motor Inn keeps visitors returning year after year.