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Australia's Coolest Motels for Luxury on a Budget

Treat yourself to a 5-star experience without the hefty price tag at one of Australia's coolest Motels.

The Isla

When you think of motels, chances are the words luxury holiday don't come to mind. Synonymous with stopovers on your way to the coast and 5am flights, this budget-friendly alternative has forever been living in the hotel's shadow - until now that is.  From blissful Bryon Bay retreats and reimagined beach shacks to a retro wonderland that has seen the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and AC/DC, these are the coolest motels in Australia to book for your next holiday.

Australia's Coolest Motels: NSW

The Isla

The Isla 

For a nostalgia fuelled getaway, book your next girls trip at this beautiful motel. Just a two hour drive from Canberra, or four from Sydney, Batehaven is a charming town in the Eurobodalla region of the NSW South Coast - but casting your eyes upon The Isla, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into 1970s Palm Springs. Oozing with Malibu Barbie pool party vibes the fun and playful redesign of this property makes it one Australia's coolest motels to book into. 

Taking design cues from the relaxed local vibe and unspoilt natural landscape, the overall feel of The Isla leans into a 70s aesthetic with luxe shag rugs, terrazzo features, warm sunset-tones and deep indigo blue accents. Sophisticated yet unpretentious, we can't get enough. 

Sitchu Tip: Be sure to make a splash in the gorgeous communal pool area during your stay. 

222 Beach Road, Batehaven

Blue Water Motel

Blue Water Motel

Step into the beautifully revamped Blue Water Motel, a coastal gem curated by designer Jason Grant. Just steps from Kingscliff Beach, it boasts refreshed rooms, a saltwater pool, 24/7a  kitchen, and charming alfresco areas. Retro touches and Grant's effervescent Aussie take on coastal cool ensure this is one of Australia's most delightful motels. 

Easily accessible, it's just a breezy 12-minute drive or a quick Uber ride from Gold Coast (Coolangatta) Airport.

129 Kingscliff Street, Kingscliff 

The Berry View

The Berry View 

Soak away your stress in one of the blissfully appointed rooms at The Berry View. For a slice of Palm Springs in the South Coast, a stay here is an absolute must. This boutique hotel-motel in the heart of Berry is a retro step back in time and features 13 light-filled and calming rooms, ideal for a girls' trip. The perfect combination of scenic locale and uber-stylish interiors where you can get lost in the ultimate hillside escape, The Berry View is one of the coolest motels in Australia if you're looking for a luxe meets unique escape. 

180 Queen Street, Berry 

Kyah Boutique Hotel (Image Credit: Steven Woodburn)

Kyah Boutique Hotel

The bohemian Blue Mountains village of Blackheath is home to Kyah Boutique Hotel, a 1970s-era motel that has been reimagined with a ‘luxe’ touch. The 46-room, family-owned hotel sits on two exquisite acres, embodying everything travellers desire in a modern mountain retreat.

More cutting-edge than kitsch, Kyah Boutique Hotel is what happens when fresh mountain air collides with Palm Springs-inspired design. Think on-trend archways, curves and cutaway interiors; Art Deco-inspired furnishings and an abundance of space, resulting in an elegant (but playful) escape from suburbia. Be sure to book in for dinner at the on-site restaurant BLAQ for a hyper-local feast. 

13-17 Brightlands Avenue, Blackheath

Motel Molly

Like we needed another reason to head to beautiful Mollymook. Motel Molly offers the perfect blend of classic South Coast charm with a modern edge. Perfectly positioned just a few sandy steps from the gorgeous Mollymook Beach, this 16-room motel oozes cool with its pastel tones, Mediterranean vibes and a touch of Moroccan flair. A chic outdoor BBQ area overlooks the swimming pool, surrounded by deck chairs and scalloped Basil Bangs umbrellas, which are perfect for escaping the sun with a good book and an Aperol Spritz. 

2 Shepherd Street, Mollymook 



Appease your inner traveller and escape to the Mediterranean - no passport required. Hidden next to one of Australia's best-kept coastal secrets, this unique urban stay caters to all. With an impressive array of lodging options ranging from penthouses to holiday containers (yes, it's actually a container), you're in for a one-of-a-kind experience regardless of budget with The MED. La Costa Cantina will keep you fed and watered with tasty Mexican bites and cocktails that are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. From lounging by the pool to catching some serious waves at the picture-perfect Crescent Head Beach, this seaside escape is easily one of Australia's coolest motels. 

35 Pacific Street, Crescent Head 

The Sunseeker

The Sunseeker

Calling all '80s kids - this one's for you! Travel back to the time of shoulder pads, 16 candles, and boomboxes at The Sunseeker. Concealed behind Byron Bay's iconic beaches, this bungalow-style retreat blends art, music, and culture from a time defined by indulging in all the colours of life. Forget your standard motel amenities, Sunseeker's boutique offering was designed with conscious creatives in mind. Exercise the brain at the library curated by Good Publishings before hitting the mineral pool to soak your way to serenity. What would a holiday be without a tiki bar? Luckily they have that too. 

100 Bangalow Road, Byron Bay 

Astor Hotel Motel

Astor Hotel 

May we suggest you book a room at the impossibly cool Astor Hotel? Having undergone a multi-million dollar transformation by renowned architects Technē Architecture + Interior Design this is the place to be - and easily one of Australia's coolest motel stays. 

Its impeccable fit-out, striking retro motel facade and gourmet pub-style food have fast-tracked it to becoming one of border town Albury's most popular destinations.

The food is, and the gorgeous vintage-style rooms will ensure a memorable stay.

641 Young Street, Albury

The Sails Motel

The Sails Motel

In the words of Bryce Holdaway, it’s all about location, location, location. Surrounded by all your favourite vacation indulgences, this modern retro stay offers you the opportunity to redefine the meaning of treat yourself through accessibility. An easy drive from holiday heavyweights Byron Bay and Coolangatta, The Sails Motel has everything within arm’s reach. If lazy days are on the cards, head down to the fully licensed pool club for a drink and a dip. Adrenaline junkies have no fear because they have you covered too. Head straight to the front desk where the friendly staff can arrange anything from skydiving lessons and canoeing to a cruise along sapphire waters.

26/28 Tweed Street, Brunswick Heads 

The Chalet Motel

The Chalet Motel

If the only thing on your itinerary is to do a whole lot of nothing, then The Chalet is the place for you. A classic '60s motel with a tropical twist, relax amidst the palm trees and be ready for a healthy dose of good old fashion hospitality. Clean, comfortable, cute and charming, it ticks all the boxes for a budget-friendly stay. Break up the tanning sessions with a trip to Brunswick Heads where you’ll find everything from surf beaches and prime sunset spots to a myriad of places to eat, drink and be merry.

68 Tweed Street, Brunswick Heads 

The Brunswick

The Brunswick

With its laid-back style, impressive entertainment offering, and prime location, it’s easy to see why The Brunswick snagged the People’s Choice Award in 2020. Situated on the Brunswick River, this blissful retreat favours the art of simplicity. From taking a dip in a saltwater pebble pool to sunset paddle boarding, The Brunswick’s divine location lends itself perfectly to holiday activities guaranteed to nourish the mind and body. Choose between poolside and treetop sanctuaries to retreat in the evening where calming interiors have been designed to ensure the perfect night’s sleep.

2-6 Old Pacific Highway, Brunswick Heads 

Australia's Coolest Motels: Western Australia

Baileys Motel

Baileys Motel

These charming and welcoming retro units are the perfect low-key stay on your next adventure west. Cosy and affordable, the 60s vibes of Baileys Motel 

Each room at Baileys is designed to offer a relaxed, subdued atmosphere, where thoughtful touches of Western Australia can be found throughout, like Western Australian sandalwood beauty products to help you relax and experience Perth your way.

Explore the hidden surprises of neon and pop art providing a delightful escape from the ordinary or immerse yourself in the nostalgia of a bygone era while enjoying the ease with which you can get to all of the city's finest attractions from the motel. This is one of Australia's coolest motels for luxe vibes on a budget. 

150 Bennett Street, East Perth

The Timothee Resort

The Timothee Resort

Think modern facilities with all the charm of the holidays you grew up on. Wind back the clock and experience a modern homage to tranquil days gone by at The Timothee Resort

Nestled in the iconic coastal town of Busselton, it has bespoke design and retro charm for days, making for an unforgettable getaway that’s equal parts nostalgia and luxury.

Soak up a peaceful night's sleep in the thoughtfully crafted rooms. Relax poolside. Stroll by the Vasse River or enjoy a meal at their lovely on-site restaurant. You're guaranteed a soul restoring stay with all the mod-cons you need at your fingertips. We're just a little bit smitten. 

2/70 Causeway Road, Busselton 

Indian Ocean Hotel

Indian Ocean Hotel

Always wanted to party like a rockstar? Standing in all its glory since 1968, the Indian Ocean Hotel knows a thing or two about hosting a killer bash. Complete with a disco ball and jacuzzi, it's no wonder it has seen the likes of rock legends like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and AC/DC. Located in the heart of Scarborough Beach, this insta-worthy space is an iconic getaway where you too can live like a star. With free in-house movie screenings and live music, you’ll never be short of things to do but let it be known that if you’re looking for calm and quiet, this is not the place.

23 Hastings Street, Scarborough WA

Australia's Coolest Motels: Victoria

Sunnymead Hotel


For fun seekers and sun seekers, Sunnymead Hotel is one of the coolest motels in Australia. Serving up good vibes for days, it's full of fun, colour, and personality.

Located in the heart of Aireys Inlet, a small coastal town with a vibrant culture enjoyed by foodies, art lovers, and nature seekers alike, it's also breathing new life into a classic motel-scape that is attainable for all. 

Fancy a little me-time? Sunnymead's onsite spa, Indie, is equipped with a rasul (mud chamber) and bathhouse, designed for sitting back, soaking, and sipping on a cocktail or two. 

There's also an onsite restaurant, Santara, and Sunnies Bar brings all the vacay vibes too. Hanging out by the pool has never looked so good.

64 Great Ocean Road, Aireys Inlet

Kyneton Springs Hotel

Kyneton Springs Motel

Discover the perfect blend of nostalgia and modernity at boutique Kyneton Springs Motel. This charming establishment is a salute to the classic road trip while catering to the needs of today's traveller. With 20 private and cosy rooms, each brimming with old-school charm and unique personality (no two are the same) you'll experience more than just a good night's rest at this cool Australian motel. 

101 Piper Street, Kyneton

River Drive Motel 

This strikingly transformed motel, tucked alongside the tranquil Tarwin River in the heart of South Gippsland is a nostalgic-evoking dream stay. An ode to the simplicity of holidays gone by, River Drive Motel is where guests get to set their own pace and make memories that will last a lifetime.

The five-room motel offers self-contained and beautifully designed rooms equipped with all the essentials, and is perfect for every kind of travel group, from families on holiday, solo travellers exploring the region's natural wonders, and couples on a romantic escape.

It's all in the details at River Drive, which pays homage to the natural landscape surrounding the motel. The five rooms enchant in palettes of eucalyptus greens, earthy tones and wattle golds, with custom-designed Victorian hardwood furniture, Moth designed vintage pieces and a collection of 25 artworks by Australian artists adorning the walls. 

Perfectly located close to a quaint strip of shops, River Drive is close to amenities but manages to feel a world away, making it a must-add accommodation to your travel bucket list.

19-21 River Drive, Tarwin Lower

Hara House

Hara House

This a classic, re-imagined - and a hotel experience you'll want to relive over and over again. Welcome to Hara House, Bright’s freshest boutique hotel-motel stay. It's the perfect escape, sprinkled with mid-century luxe furnishings, a massage before dinner, a splash in the onsite Dead Sea mineral pool and heated spa, and seasoned with world-class service and a refreshing cocktail in hand before dining at Pepperberry. This onsite restaurant pays culinary homage to the history of the hotel - and there's an extensive local wine menu for you to peruse. All of this and more awaits at this blissful escape, made for cosy winter nights with a loved one in one of Victoria's most charming alpine towns. 

2 Ashwood Avenue, Bright 

Australia's Coolest Motels: Queensland

Cheshire Cat Motel

Cheshire Cat Motel

Looking for a Gold Coast getaway with a touch of nostalgia? Check in at the Cheshire Cat Motel! If you’re a GC regular, you might remember the iconic purple sign with the smirking black cat that once greeted holidaymakers along the Gold Coast Highway in Palm Beach. The purple signage is now gone, but in its place stands a reimaged replacement, heralding the new look and feel of this recently renovated motel.

Mixing nostalgic Australiana vibes with a Palm Springs luxe feel, this motel features seven fully appointed queen rooms and a family-sized bungalow. Cool off in “Le Plunge”, the pool deck out the front, which is lined with lush greenery, cacti and Tuscan-rendered concrete surrounds. 

If you’re on the lookout for the perfect couples' escape or group getaway, the Cheshire Cat Motel is one of the Australia's coolest motels for luxury on a budget. 

1005 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Blue Heron Boutique Motel

Blue Heron Motel

One of the Gold Coast's best-rated boutique stays, the Blue Heron Motel is a vintage lover's dream utterly worth seeking out. Nestled in the heart of Mermaid Beach, comfort and fun are at the forefront, with thoughtfully designed rooms for solo travellers, business guests, couples and groups exuding a relaxed beachside vibe reminiscent of the glory days. Late-night check in, friendly service and lovely pool, BBQ and gazebo area onsite are all just the cherry on top. 

2323 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

The Mysa Motel

The Mysa Motel

Sitting poolside is like transporting yourself back to the '60s at this Palm Beach beauty. Balancing nostalgia with innovation, The Mysa Motel is championing the retro revival on the Gold Coast and we couldn't be more here for it. While pastel hues and old-school appliances are a nod to the past, this pretty pink paradise is anything but dated. Charming, vibrant, and with just the right amount of quirk, this luxury boutique motel offers seven light-filled rooms that perfectly capture the Goldie's laid-back beach lifestyle. Within two minutes' walk you'll find golden sand, crystal clear waters, and world-famous surf breaks. 

1100 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach 

La Costa Motel (Image Credit: Destination Queensland)

La Costa Motel

Giving new meaning to the term 'beach shack', this seaside spot is as welcoming as it is convenient. Just minutes away from both the airport and the water, La Costa Motel is the ideal destination for leisure and business travelers alike. Ditch the car and opt for a vintage bike when exploring neighbouring coastal hotspots like Kirra, Coolangatta and Tugun. Retro facades are complemented by crisp, clean interiors that accommodate solo travellers through to families. For all the sunset chasers, you won't be disappointed with Point Danger, Rainbow Bay and Coolangatta Beach which are all within walking distance. 

127 Golden Four Drive, Bilinga 

Motel Nomad

Motel Nomad

The roadside motel has long been regarded as the official halfway point of Australian family road trips. The kind of place where the price is low and your expectations are even lower… but not anymore. Proving that roadside lodging can indeed be fabulous is Motel Nomad an unexpected sanctuary in tropical Cairns. With a spa, pool, and laneway cocktail bar, kicking it curbside has never been so luxurious. Zen out by the pool sipping on colourful cocktails from the bar or treat yourself to a little retail therapy in Cairns City. If visiting the Great Barrier Reef is on your bucket list, they can get you there too. Who says you can’t have it all?

314 Mulgrave Road, Westcourt 

Australia's Coolest Motels: South Australia

Seaview Motel

Seaview Motel 

The first ever motel built on Kangaroo Island in the 1920s has been warmly renovated into a modern coastal themed accommodation.

Heritage listed and nestled right in the heart of Kingscote, soak up the breath-taking views of Nepean Bay from the beautiful ocean front rooms and 2-bedroom suites of the Seaview, with Kingscote's tidal pool right at your doorstep. A blissful island retreat and one of Australia's coolest motels for luxury on a budget. 

51 Chapman Terrace, Kingscote 

Australia's Coolest Motels: Tasmania

Alabama Hotel

Alabama Hotel 

Yes, it might be more hotel than motel, but there's no denying the retro (and affordable) charm of Hobart's Alabama Hotel. This boutique-style, art-infused accommodation is one of Australia's coolest, and has an endless wave of travellers looking to relax and unwind within its comfy and vibrant confines.

The Alabama offers something much more interesting than your standard hotel or motel because it is unique, sincere, a little quirky and a whole lot special.

Green initiatives are par for the course, and its small bar, lounge area and gorgeous, plant-filled balcony a natural beacon for guests and the general public to use for a charming pre-dinner drink or two. 

72 Liverpool Street, Hobart 

Riverfront Motel & Villas

Riverfront Motel & Villas

Relaxed dining and affordable accommodation on 8 acres of waterfront just north of Hobart is imbued with retro flair and welcoming vibes. The Riverfront Motel & Villas is a low-key stay for your next family getaway. It features a children's playground, half-sizea  tennis court, undercover BBQ facilities, and even a long, solar-heated outdoor swimming pool that you can spend endless hours splashing about in. The coin-operated guest laundry will have you feeling like you've stepped back into the Aussie holiday vibes of the 80s and 90s.

Hungry? Riverfront's Restaurant & Bar provides modern Australian dishes using fresh Tasmanian produce and is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

11 Strathaven Drive, Rosetta, Hobart

Loving our list of Australia's coolest motels and looking for more travel inspiration? Plan your next getaway with the best romantic retreats, treehouse stays, and lake house lodging in Australia - or explore further afield with these eco-friendly retreats scattered around every corner of the country. 

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