So there aren't many Motels these days and especially not in Europe... But Zagreb is a town of pronounced contrast so it is no surprise that tucked in the outskirts of the Croatian capital is the oh so idiosyncratic Motel Europa. Historically Motels first popped up to accommodate a growing number of adventuring motorists tooting around Europe and the US in the 1950s. What set them apart from traditional Hotels was that usually they were located directly on a major highway and all the rooms were contained in a long one story building built on a huge parking lot. The Europa breaks the mold by actually having 3 stories and the rooms are arranged like in a traditional hotel. This stylistic betrayal is made up however by the fact that most of the first floor is occupied by a cheesy Chinese Restaurant and a full service car wash, both of which fit the Motel mold perfectly. But let's talk atmosphere; part of the mystique (and no doubt demise) of the Motel is the pop cultural notion that they are havens for psychopaths (Psycho, No Country For Old Men etc.) and prostitutes (rooms by the hour is a standard Motel policy). And the Europa... well, to be honest the rooms are pretty comfy and spacious although the pictures of strippers and tractor trailers on the walls help preserve the tacky panache. The clincher is the "bar" which is covered in mirrors and bright red paint, has creepy lounge music, a suspicious bar tender and even drunk cops. Motel Europa = David Lynche's next location.
5 / 5
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