Motel on Tybee goes retro

ByKen Griner|June 11, 2020 at 12:36 PM EDT - Updated June 11 at 12:36 PM

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - A lot of people might tell you that when you cross the Lazaretto Creek Bridge heading to Tybee Island, you step back to a different time. WTOC found one motel on the island that wants to make sure it stays that way.

The folks down at the Royal Palms Motel are about a week away from having the place all spruced up and ready to open.

“We are excited, excited to get open in the next week or so and start hosting guests,” said Corey Jones, Royal Palms partner.

Jones is one of about 11 investors that bought the property about a year ago and decided to stick with a retro 60s look. The colors are there, with yellow or coral doors, and inside you’ll find modern appliances with the throwback light sea green look.

“The lodging is just a small part of somebody’s experience here on the island, and we want to really take that to heart and dive in and be a helpful part of that guest’s trip. You can see we welcomed our guest today with the big sign, so those are little touches that are easy to execute for a product like this that may not be so for a large franchise,” Jones said.

It has a classic horseshoe motor court and is located on Butler Avenue between 9th and 10th streets, right across from the Fresh Air Home.

Jones feels like guests will get a true Tybee experience, as it’s away from the commercial districts, and right in the middle of the locals.

“Everyone says living on Tybee Time, and that’s what we want to encourage our guests to do and give them a great place to experience Tybee in that setting, but the level of service they get will be a little more accelerated,” said Jones. “I’ve had conversations with at least three locals that say, ‘oh yeah, I know that property, we used to do dive and dash.’ I guess that was a thing before the fence was put up. You would just come and after going to the beach, you’d just hop in the pool and get out of there too quick to get caught.”

One more thing Jones wants to do is take out a small area of grass that’s behind the pool, replace it with sand, and then put up some hammocks in the palm trees. He hopes to start taking reservations next Thursday.

What’s interesting is even though it’s been around since the 60s, the motel has only been owned by one family prior to the current group.

Photo: WTOC

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