I have had the pleasure of staying at a couple of older motels, in reasonable shape which were run by older gentlemen. The first was the Rittenhouse Motor Lodge (23054 Lankford Hwy, Cape Charles, VA). This is in the woods and the steps needed constant sweeping to insure that they were free of leaves. There was a wood fire in the office lending a rustic feel to the place. It was not the most modern of motels but a throwback to an earlier time of motorized vacationing.
And last night I found The Mountaineer Inn (155 Tunnel Rd, Asheville, NC) run by a short Greek gentleman who arrived in this country in 1951. It has a pool out front and some fabulous neon signs. The TV is from the turn of the century, perhaps, but the remote works and the sheets are clean and there is a small breakfast available.