Poolside Posers

Fairway Motor Hotel, McAllen, Texas

There was a time when almost all motels and hotels had free  postcards for their customers. The postcards were not just a convenience for the customers to write to their friends and relatives. They were also a marketing tool for the hotel or motel. The best of these postcards highlighted the lodging’s amenities and used attractive images designed to appeal to the recipient.

Early motels didn’t have pools, and early motel postcards tended to emphasize their quality mattresses and bathrooms. Swimming pools began being installed in hotels in the  1930s, and became common in motels in the 1960s. Picturing attractive people posed around a pool and appearing to be enjoying themselves was an ideal way to showcase a hotel or motel. Who wouldn’t want to join the fun and relax by the pool in nice weather?

These postcards are mainly form the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s and are some of my favorite motel postcards.

Holiday Inn, various locations, circa 1976


Queen City Motel, Manchester, New Hampshire


The Ascot – Luxury Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey


Deauville Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida


Venetian Isle Motel, Miami Beach, Florida

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About postcardy

I am a longtime postcard collector who has been creating websites and blogs based on my postcard collection since 1998.
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9 Responses to Poolside Posers

  1. kerbent says:

    I wonder if there were professional photographers who traveled the country who for a fee would take the photos and design the postcards. Except for the first postcard there is a sameness about the images. Having said that I think they’re great.


  2. The girls in the Fairway Motor Hotel (which = motel !!) look like they’re practicing for a bobsled team. And some mischief is afoot by the pool at the Deauville Hotel. As a kid I remember being the spotter for signs offering “pool, AC, and color TV.”


  3. jofeath says:

    That Deauville diver doesn’t seem to be facing the pool, which is a bit strange. Hotel/motel pools do have a sameness about them that shows in these post cards, I agree.


  4. La Nightingail says:

    All the postcards pix are great, but that first one screams “1950s” all the way – the typical patio umbrella of the times, the webbed patio chairs, and the gals’ strapless bathing suits. Those were the days! 🙂


  5. luvviealex says:

    It is tragic but true that I possibly get a little excited seeing these postcards still. I have many happy memories of going to what I thought were very glamorous motels with pools when I was growing up. I particularly liked that you were allowed to swim at night until about 8pm. The height of glamour for a 10 year old.


  6. Wendy says:

    As a kid I put up with family vacations to Civil War battlefields only because there was going to be a motel and pool at the end of the day. These postcards look like my life!


  7. Barb Rogers says:

    Great postcards! Back in the sunbathing days…or maybe just the days of my youth! I remember motels having free postcards! Pools often were too hot to really swim in, in Florida anyway.


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