Most people love to travel. Modernists are no exception.
Modtraveler.net is a travel guide for modernists to find and experience modern shopping, buildings, and accommodations in Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Hawaii and Vancouver, British Columbia (with more locations in the works).
When I discovered Modtraveler.net, I knew it was a website 360modern readers would love and wanted to learn more. The founder is Ken MacIntyre, who combines a love of mid-century modern architecture and 1950s-60s popular culture with travel. We had the chance to catch up with Ken MacIntyre to ask a few questions…
Please tell us about the original inspiration that led you to create Modtraveler.net.
As clichéd as this sounds, I was walking along a beach in Hawaii when the idea began to ruminate. I’d written a book several years ago – Reel Vancouver: An Insider’s Guide to Hollywood North – which combined my love of movies with Vancouver’s booming film industry. I was looking for another creative outlet to throw myself into and modernism seemed like a natural fit because of my passion for it. Friends were always asking me for recommendations when they’d travel to Palm Springs, Honolulu and Las Vegas, so I actually had the beginnings of Modtraveler.net years before I knew the website would even exist.
Modtraveler.net currently cover 4 locations, what cities are you planning to cover next?
In addition to the aforementioned Palm Springs, Honolulu, Las Vegas … and Vancouver, I’d love to add Phoenix and its surrounding area. The desert environment seems to have spawned some pretty bold mid-century modern architecture and that place has a lot of stand-outs. Seattle also seems like a no-brainer since I only live 2 hours away!
What is it you love about modern design?
The clean lines and simplicity of it all. Although I went to art school, I’m not an architect and I’m not a designer so my love for this esthetic comes from within, it wasn’t necessarily “learned.” There’s nothing like beautiful mid-century architecture that’s one with its environment. Plus, I’m a Virgo, so we love everything to be clean and orderly!
Can you share a few personal favorite modern accommodations you’ve stayed at during your travels?
Although it’s not yet featured on the website, the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale is a knock out. It was designed by Edward Varney in the mid ‘50s and then restored about a decade ago with an added tower, which was part of its original design but had never been built.
In Honolulu I tend to stay at the Queen Kapiolani, an Ernie Hara designed 1969 tower that combines Tropical Modernism and New Formalism. It’s not the fanciest hotel in Waikiki but it’s in a beautiful spot that overlooks Diamond Head. The Ilikai (by John Graham Jr., 1963) is also pretty cool if you’re a fan of the original Hawaii Five-0.
In Palm Springs I called The Chase Hotel home for over 15 years before it was sold in 2016. It was designed by Herbert Burns and opened as The Holiday House in 1951. Its new owners have completely renovated and will be opening imminently as The Holiday House, once again, so I can’t wait to see what they’ve done with the place. The Desert Hills hotel is where I stay now; just up the street in the Tennis Club neighborhood, it’s a very cool, low slung mid-1950s classic.