Caribbean Motel

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Discover Caribbean Motel, the quintessential icon of “Doo Wop” architecture in the New Jersey beach resort community of The Wildwoods.

Caribbean Motel was constructed in the years following World War II, in which the United States was defined by the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War.

The historic Caribbean Motel is widely regarded as the quintessential icon of ""Doo Wop"" architecture in the New Jersey beach resort community of The Wildwoods, which is home to the largest surviving collection of mid-20th century commercial beach resort architecture in North America. Funky motels, glitzy neon signs, and plastic palms proliferate this eye-popping time capsule of a resort, and are a window into the classic American family summer vacation of the 1950s and 1960s. Some of the widest, if not the widest, beach on the East Coast, a thriving boardwalk with three world-class amusement piers, more rides than Disney World, and an array of restaurants, nightclubs, and other activities continue to make The Wildwoods one of the most popular family resort destinations in the region.

The landmark Caribbean Motel, a most dramatic example of this homegrown style of architecture now labeled as ""Doo Wop”—similar styles on the West Coast are often referred to as ""Googie"" or ""Populuxe""—was built in 1957 by Lou Morey, whose family built many of The Wildwoods' most distinctive Doo Wop motels, for the original owners, Dominic and Julie Rossi. First open to vacationers in 1957, the historic Caribbean Motel was among the most daring, imaginative structures to be built in the resort during that era of post-war optimism and leisure. It was a period when everyone had one eye on the future, a better future, and the other eye on exotic vacation destinations in far-away lands, or at least the way they had seen in the movies.

The Caribbean Motel combined both fascinations into one. It sported ultra-modern architectural elements, like the futuristic levitating ramp, crescent-shaped pool, canted glass walls, and candy-colored spaceship lights along with the very first plastic palm trees to be ""planted"" in The Wildwoods. It gave vacationers the feeling that they were in a far-away tropical paradise while only a short drive from home on the Jersey Shore. Among the signature features of this ultra-modern motel is a curving ""Jetson"" ramp that winds from the ground level up to the second floor sundeck and lounge. Then there is the crescent-shaped pool, still unique to this day, set off by the island's first plastic palms. Last but not least is the Caribbean's famous oversized rooftop neon sign. When first proposed, no sign as large as the Caribbean's had ever been installed, or permitted, in the Borough of Wildwood Crest. After much debate, the Borough approved it, thus setting the stage for other similarly over-the-top motel signs, which gradually established the neon-lit fantasyland of the Ocean Avenue strip.

Today, the restored, renovated, and re-invented historic Caribbean Motel stands as a living monument to this magical era in our Nation's history, providing a taste of pure Americana with a 21st century tropical twist. The classic restored and reproduced mid-century architecture, furnishings and ambiance creates a unique lodging experience that's part nostalgia, part exotica, and part good-old-fashioned fun.

  • About the Architecture +
    The landmark Caribbean Motel, a most dramatic example of this homegrown style of architecture now labeled as "Doo Wop”—similar styles on the West Coast are often referred to as "Googie" or "Populuxe"—was built in 1957 by Lou Morey, whose family built many of The Wildwoods' most distinctive Doo Wop motels, for the original owners, Dominic and Julie Rossi. First open to vacationers in 1957, the historic Caribbean Motel was among the most daring, imaginative structures to be built in the resort during that era of post-war optimism and leisure. It sported ultra-modern architectural elements, like the futuristic levitating ramp, crescent-shaped pool, canted glass walls, and candy-colored spaceship lights along with the very first plastic palm trees to be "planted" in The Wildwoods. It gave vacationers the feeling that they were in a far-away tropical paradise while only a short drive from home on the Jersey Shore. Among the signature features of this ultra-modern motel is a curving "Jetson" ramp that winds from the ground level up to the second floor sundeck and lounge. Then there is the crescent-shaped pool, still unique to this day, set off by the island's first plastic palms. Last but not least is the Caribbean's famous oversized rooftop neon sign. When first proposed, no sign as large as the Caribbean's had ever been installed, or permitted, in the Borough of Wildwood Crest. After much debate, the Borough approved it, thus setting the stage for other similarly over-the-top motel signs, which gradually established the neon-lit fantasyland of the Ocean Avenue strip.
  • About the Location +
    The historic Caribbean Motel is widely regarded as the quintessential icon of "Doo Wop" architecture in the New Jersey beach resort community of The Wildwoods, which is home to the largest surviving collection of mid-20th century commercial beach resort architecture in North America. Funky motels, glitzy neon signs, and plastic palms proliferate this eye-popping time capsule of a resort, and are a window into the classic American family summer vacation of the 1950s and 1960s. Some of the widest, if not the widest, beach on the East Coast, a thriving boardwalk with three world-class amusement piers, more rides than Disney World, and an array of restaurants, nightclubs, and other activities continue to make The Wildwoods one of the most popular family resort destinations in the region.

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