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Island Breeze Inn – Stay in a Charming 1950’s Motel Venice, FL

Posted on: February 26, 2010

If we weren’t so lucky to have friends to stay with in Venice Florida, you betcha we’d be staying at The Island Breeze Inn on the Tamiami Trail.

We’ve driven past this place a number of times and it just looked so friendly and well kept that I crossed my fingers, pulled into the parking lot, and hoped it was as sweet as it looked. I am pleased to report  that it was. Retro road traveling folks, I don’t have to tell you that finding a vintage motel that isn’t a scary flop house, well, they’re few and far between in my experience. So hooray for the cute little yellow motel!

Island Breeze Motel Sign

The Island Breeze was built in 1951, and like many older non-chain motels and hotels it has seen its good and bad days. I am happy to report that this cute little vintage motel has been under new management for the past 5 years and in that time has been able to exorcise all of the previous undesirables, and turn it into a place that is a recommended lodging by its neighbor, Venice Regional Medical Center.

The motel entrance is flanked by two semi-circular rooms – one is the office and the other is the on-site manager’s quarters, always a good sign.  The office was cheery with knick-knacks galore, a pot of coffee brewing, and comfy chairs to sit in. Those of us who look closely for evidence of the original motel interior will be pleased to see the yellow tile windowsills. Pam, who later was kind enough to show me around the place, was busy on the phone booking multiple rooms for a multiple night stay. Another good sign!

Island Breeze Inn Entrance

I should state right now for purists, that no, the furnishings are not 1950’s period pieces, so you’re not disappointed, but they are clean and well taken care of. The motel itself however is well maintained and gives you that old timey feel that you don’t get from a cinder block hotel on the highway.

Island Breeze Motel Exterior

Pam was kind enough to show me around the place, and as we walked she told me that the new manager (who was busy tending to the roof, but kind enough to shake my hand as he walked by with a ladder in the other hand) had returned the motel to a place where just regular folks could stay at an affordable price. She said it took a good year for the him to rid the place of its former tenants and begin to repair the reputation of the motel (if you read the online reviews you’ll see that the ones that  the poorest for the Island Breeze date to that transition period, but have been improving ever since.)

Wooden Doors & Ceiling

Room 27 was a cozy room with a big bed, a small bathroom, clean and well kept. While Pam pointed out that the room had a microwave, fridge, and sink, I was more interested in the original wooden doors and, strangely, to me, ceiling – anyone know what indigenous Florida type wood this might be, or why it was used this way?

We made our way across to the pool and as if on cue, a young girl with a small dog on a leash was greeted by a grey haired lady. When they exchanged pleasantries it was obvious that this motel brought out the small town courtesies in everyone. In case you are wondering, the Island Breeze is pet friendly in some select rooms.
Island Breeze Motel Pool
The pool was unoccupied, and given the weather I wasn’t surprised, but it did look like a place where you could take a refreshing dip once it warmed up. Pam pointed out the areas that folks could use for grilling and noted that while all the rooms were non-smoking, there were some tables and chairs behind the room where people could light up if they felt the need.

If you’re not smitten at this point, at night the motel really turns on its charm. Oh I know it’s just a bunch of twinkle lights, but it’s so nice to see a vintage motel glowing happily at night and welcoming regular folks off of the road, just like it has been since the 1950’s.