The June Motel: Reviving Retro Vibes in Sauble Beach, Ontario

The biggest travel trend this summer will be the road trip, hands down. Despite the financial challenges posed by inflation and high gas prices, a significant majority of Canadians still remain determined to embark on road trips this summer.

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Enter the small beach town of Sauble Beach, Ontario. A hidden gem tucked away on the picturesque shores of Lake Huron, Sauble Beach is not your typical summer destination. With its charming retro vibes and laid-back atmosphere, this small beach town has captured the hearts of travelers seeking a nostalgic getaway. 

Imagine this, cruising down the country roads with your favorite tunes from the era(Fleetwood Mac, anyone?) playing loudly through the car speakers, wind tousling your hair as you make your way to a motel straight out of Palm Springs. Welcome to the June Motel, where vibrant colours, fun patterns, and retro yet modern decor reign supreme. PS , Check out their vibey playlist below to really get in the mood while you read this.

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In the Netflix six-part series Motel Makeover, best friends April Brown and Sarah Sklash transform a dingy roadside motel in Canada’s Sauble Beach into a second location of their trendy The June Motel, originally in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Get ready for unique experiences like beach yoga, movie nights by the pool and even just playing board games or cards in their lobby. They even have a fireside Lobby Bar with a cocktail menu & small snacks with complimentary s’mores! How Instagramable!

I spoke with Co-Founder, Sarah Sklash to get the inside scoop.

What prompted the renovation at The June Motel?

“We purchased and renovated our first motel in Prince Edward County in 2016/2017, and we completely fell in love with the process of finding these diamonds in the rough properties and transforming not only the look and feel but the entire experience of staying at a motel. When we opened as The June in Prince Edward County, we were hooked. We knew we wanted to do it again, we just had to find the right property. We discovered Sauble Beach and this motel in 2018 and it completely charmed us!”

Did you have a design in mind when you were going into it?

“When we took on the renovation in Sauble Beach, we already had a brand and an aesthetic that felt very much The June. But we didn’t want both motels to feel the same, we wanted this motel to have a little of its own identity. So, we asked ourselves, “If June had a beach house in the 1970s, what would it look like?” That exercise really helped to shape our vision for the motel design.”

How has business been since the Netflix show launched?

“Crazy! It was really powerful to see the show launch in 191 countries around the world, it really put our little beach town on the map on a global scale. We’re getting people from Europe, Australia, the USA, and across Canada. It’s pretty special!”

What are you looking forward to most about the 2023 season?

“I think it’s taken us a few years to really find our groove. We have an amazing team in Sauble Beach this year and solid processes, so we’re feeling really good about the experience we’re able to offer this year. We also landscaped a big patio off the back of the Lobby Bar with three firepits and a bar and an outdoor bar serving wine, beer and aperitivo-based cocktails. It’s really a vibe to see this space come to life in the evenings!”

Has the community in Prince Edward County and Sauble Beach been receptive to the developments?

“Both communities have been amazing, we’ve been really lucky to be surrounded by such great people and had the opportunity to collaborate with local businesses.”

So there you have it, embrace that “rosé state of mind” as you sip your favorite pink wine and soak up the sunsets.