Loving the ‘Motel’ Chair

The next best sensation after a great days’ ride is finding your motel for the night. I love pulling in, checking-in at the office and then moving to park in front of my room. I unload my gear then go back out to my assigned walkway sliver outside my door. Now I can unwind, enjoy a cold beverage and watch the world go by from the vantage of my plastic patio motel chair.

The ‘Motel’ Chair prominently featured poolside at the Hotel Saguaro, Palm Springs, CA. photo: Facebook/OfficialPageoftheSolairChair

And the most famous of those plastic chairs is the Solair Chair; known simply as the ‘Motel’ Chair. Through the 70s they were a permanent fixture in most roadside motels and many hotel poolsides throughout America. Designed in 1972, it was the modern design trends coming out of Expo67 in Montreal that inspired the simple Solair Chair. After disappearing from the landscape for a period, a renewed interest in retro-chic design is igniting their comeback.

Available in a Skittles array of colours: Blue, pink, orange, green, black, white, purple, grey, yellow and brown. photo: Facebook/OfficialPageoftheSolairChair

Moteliers across North America rushed to buy the chairs when they were introduced in the 70s. The Solair Chair was constructed using an infused plastic mould (an innovative process in 1972). This process allows the chairs to come in a Skittles array of colours to match every design scheme. The chairs were inexpensive, easy to clean and easy to stack, all features that added to their appeal.  Today the same Quebec company continues to manufacture the chairs, as they have since 1972.

So the next time you pull into your parking spot outside your motel room door, and you sit down to relax and watch the world go by, check to see if you are enjoying the small Quebec contribution to the era of mid-century modern design, the Solair ‘Motel’ chair. 

Yours truly with my partner and pillion Amanda Keenan, watching the world go by from the ‘Motel’ chairs outside our room at The June Motel.

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