Hotel Intel: The Beatnik

Hotel Intel: The Beatnik
Words by Jennifer Kornegay
Photos by Christy Ryan and EJR Photography

The Vibe: A row of wooden boxes sits not far off a busy street in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Metal letters staked in the manicured lawn out front spell The Beatnik. It’s a tiny hotel that scores big style points with its mid-century modern design and gives new meaning to traveling light with airy, sunshine-flooded spaces and laidback arrival and departure procedures.

While it’s within shouting distance of the heavily trafficked bridge connecting Ocean Springs to its coastal community neighbor, Biloxi, The Beatnik remains quiet. Add the lush landscaping, and the property achieves an oasis feel. It’s a mood that continues at check-in, which is a breeze. Not long before your stay begins, you’re texted a code for the keypad door. There’s a good chance you’ll never talk to a member of The Beatnik team. Unless you need them. A few “how are you doing?” texts make it clear assistance is a reply text away. Check-out is also simple and quick. Another text offers the opportunity to interact and give feedback if needed. Otherwise, just grab your things, shut the door and go. 

Your Room Key: Each of the four aforementioned boxes is a cabin room, with a private back patio, complete with an outdoor shower, and on the other end, a deep screened porch facing a slim soaking pool and a wide deck for lounging that are available for all guests. The cabins sit closely side-by-side, but the porch layout provides ample privacy. The interior includes a small sitting nook (conveniently outfitted with reading material), and a kitchenette, nicely stocked with pottery mugs and plates, as well as a mini fridge, sink and coffee maker. 

Every inch is cloaked in contemporary style. Furniture is sleek and low-slung. Décor is minimal and awash in neutral tones with a pops of burnt orange and black for impact. Natural materials like wood and rattan reign. And the platform bed is as chic as it is comfortable. It’s all set aglow with abundant natural light thanks to the full window wall looking out to your porch. It’s framed by a touch of luxe—plush, spruce-green velvet drapes—that close with an easy pull to shut out the world when you’re ready. 

The Neighborhood: Ocean Springs is flooded with fun, fresh-air activities, good eats, shopping, museums and more to explore. Stroll the charming downtown (just a few minutes’ drive from The Beatnik) and make sure you peruse the collection of paintings at The Walter Anderson Museum to soak in the creative spirit of this Ocean Springs native. Fill up with fat, fluffy donuts at Tato-Nut, and make a resy for chef Alex Perry’s James-Beard-award-honored cuisine at Vestige. And don’t miss this waterside community’s main attraction: the glimmering Gulf.

Other Notable New Southern Stays

In Athens, Georgia, ATH |BNB started welcoming guests in fall 2021 and combines the best of bed and breakfasts—like a morning meal and afternoon snacks—with the amenities of a hotel. It offers 14 suites, all individually decked out and sporting a distinct personality. Common threads include bold-print wallpapers; big, luxe bathrooms; and the location in Athens’ Five Points neighborhood, which is packed with some of the college town’s best dining and entertainment options. 

Tupelo, Mississippi got a new accommodation option last year. Hotel Tupelo, a boutique property in the heart of downtown, is sophisticated but not stuffy. Rooms and common areas like the bar have a bare-bones, industrial look, and the lobby has some subtle Elvis nods like blue suede panels on the check-in desk plus Elvis-focused art and books scattered around. And location is nice too: a mile from The King’s birthplace and just a few more from the Tupelo Regional Airport.