Located directly on the Gulf Coast of Florida is the iconic motel, The Sands of Treasure Island. Built in 1947 as the first concrete motel, Sands was owned and operated by the same family until February 2017. Featuring the post-war, mid-century modern style of the late 40’s, the quintessential appeal of this 34-room, beachfront motel has kept the same guests coming back year after year.

Earlier this year, The Sands experienced a big change—new ownership for the first time in 70 years. It seemed obvious that it was time to give a refreshing update to this classic destination, so the new owners reached out to JAI for our hospitality design expertise. Janet Ott, lead designer for this project, immediately deemed this JAI’s “Boutique Motel” design project and set out to give The Sands a more modern take on its timeless Mid-Century design.

Janet quickly turned her focus to the 23 apartment-style units that include a bedroom with two double beds, a living room with a sleeper sofa, a bathroom and a kitchen. In addition, she also began plans to redesign 11 efficiency rooms featuring a studio-like bedroom/kitchenette combo.

Janet recently gave us a glimpse into her design plans as this project is underway:

I decided to give a nod to the historic value of the interiors by keeping all of the original 1940’s metal furnishings but adding an updated twist. A local company will sandblast and paint the desks, nightstands and dressers to give them new charm. New beds and seating will elevate the comfort and freshness of the design, while vintage-like artwork and accessories will echo a flashback to the 40’s and 50’s that returning guests have always loved about this motel. 

Burnt orange, bright peacock blue, yellow and touches of black will set the stage for beautiful patterns and textured materials. The current flooring will be replaced with gray driftwood-look vinyl plank floors. White subway tile, fun, colorful countertops and cabinets and retro-style appliances will make the kitchens and kitchenettes bright and attractive.  

Outside, the pool will receive new finishes as well as an updated deck and furnishings. The retro vibe of the area will remain unchanged, for example, ping pong anyone? The Sand’s original ping pong table was built right into the concrete slab, which also features the original shuffle board game. Those entertaining amenities are a must-keep. However, new hardscaping will give guests a refreshing place to sit at patio tables outside their rooms. There will be so many beautiful exterior opportunities to enjoy the Florida sunshine. 

No hotel refresh is final without a complete lobby update. Guests will soon enter The Sands and find a new, contemporary front desk and comfortable modern seating. The lobby will also feature the driftwood-look vinyl plank flooring. To add to the beach feel, a new white tongue and groove ceiling will be installed. For the first time, The Sands will also have a market available for travelers who wish to purchase snacks and sundries during their stay. 

JAI values The Sands and the character it represents of a historic era. We are not changing the ambiance of The Sands; we are enhancing it. We want the returning guests who have decades of family memories at this location to say, “This is the same Sands we have always loved, but now it’s even better!” Additionally, we want new guests to say, “We must book our time at The Sands, because it looks like such a fun and inviting place to stay!”

Word of advice: If you think a stay at The Sands would look good on your 2018 schedule, we recommend you make your reservations now. The Sands is already in high demand for its location and nostalgia. Once the JAI renovations are done, The Sands expects to be in even greater demand.

Changes are underway and The Sands hopes to reveal their completed new look by the end of 2017. Keep checking back to JAI’s blog and Facebook page for updates on the progress.