Cover image courtesy of the Jim Seelen Motel Images Collection
With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to highlight a retro motel that’s turned itself into quite the little romantic getaway in St. Pete – the Lover’s Nest!
Located on 34th Street North, the 14-room motel got its start as the Motel Rand back in 1954. On the back of a 1965 postcard, the motel’s motto was “Friendliness is a habit here”, and it touted itself as having “Really clean kitchenettes and overnight rooms”. The front of the postcard features the one-story L-shaped brick motel with its clean and straightforward lines is typical of many mid-century motels built back during the boom in roadside accommodations. It even had one of those cool Googie-inspired signs with a big red arrowhead pointing the way to the motel.
That old postcard was all we could dig up on the history of the Motel Rand. We imagine that, over time, the motel started going the way that many motels we feature here on Motel Mondays tend to go. The interstates started bypassing the highways these older motel were built along during the 1960s, the energy crisis and rising fuel prices of the 1970s, and more affordable flights made available to the public in the 1980s came along and mom and pop struggled to keep their motel open. They likely sold it eventually to somebody who saw that they could make a quick buck in the now seedy and run down part of town renting rooms by the hour and letting the motel fall into disrepair, only to be sold and torn down later for parking lots, convenience stores, or fast food joints.
From Rand to Randy
Fortunately, the Rand Motel (as it was later renamed) survived the latter part of that fate. Sure, judging by online review, the place was headed in that direction and already known as somewhat of a “No-Tell Motel”. However, that all changed a few years ago when new owners took over and saved the motel from its fateful demise.
Today, the motel is known as Lover’s Nest (though they still use the newer backlit version of the Rand Motel sign complete with picture a rose-petal scattered jacuzzi – the Googie neon sign long gone).
Lover’s Nest touts itself as a family-owned, adult’s only romantic getaway in St. Petersburg. And, indeed, it seems to do just that. The fun and exciting rooms here are themed and feature, in-room private hot tub, queen-size beds, mirrors on the walls and ceilings, and – ahem – free in-room adult movies. That’s right! They’ve traded in the seedy rent-by-the hour rooms for pure old-school romantic kitsch!
And it works!
Though it claims to be a three-star motel, it has an average rating of 3.8 on Google with many giving it 5 out of 5 stars and praising the Lover’s Nest for its “beautiful, clean rooms” and romantic ambience. Many say they will be back again and again for the experience.
If any of this sounds like your idea of a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day (or really any time of the year you’re feeling randy), you can call the Lover’s Nest/Rand Motel directly to make your reservations at 727-522-8820 from 11 a.m. to 8.p.m.
Whether you’re headed to St. Petersburg or St. Augustine, Florida has five Stuckey’s locations to choose from for your next stop along the way. From sweet treats for your Valentine to road trip snacks for your next family vacation, Stuckey’s has all the pecany goodness you want for your next highway adventure. Choose from our iconic Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our classic Pecan Pralines or anything in-between to get you where you’re going.
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Also, from Florida to Texas, be sure to check out other great things to see and places to stay when you find yourself on America’s Third Coast by visiting Go! Gulf States today!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road trips Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
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Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!