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.
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. 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: Western Australia
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
When driving through Bendigo you can't miss the bright, shining and inviting Oval Motel neon sign out the front. Centrally located and well-appointed, the Oval Motel provides the creature comforts of home for when you're road tripping. Expect clean and tidy rooms, free wi-fi, excellent value for money and a well-stocked bar at reception, where you'll also find your friendly hosts Carolyn and Gary who can tell you everything you need to know about the local area.
194 Barnard Street, Bendigo, VIC
Australia's Coolest Motels: Queensland
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, Queenland's newest 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 QLD
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 QLD
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… 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 QLD
Australia's Coolest Motels: NSW
While the sign reads Motor Inn, this sophisticated stay is far from basic. Delivering the perfect mix of value, comfort, and convenience, it offers a family-friendly setting with a long list of amenities that far exceed its approachable price tag. Well-appointed rooms feature everything from coffee machines to cocktail glasses and come complete with their own patio or balcony. For all the foodies, you're in for a treat at the Whale Kitchen. It's not every day that an ex-pro surfer heads up one of the town's most sought-after dining experiences, but it's safe to say executive chef Matthew Hoar and his team know their way around a kitchen.
102 Wagonga Street, Narooma NSW
Appease your inner traveller and escape to the Mediterranean - no passport required. Hidden next to 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. 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 NSW
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 NSW
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, this secret holiday spot 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 NSW
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 NSW
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 paddleboarding, 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 NSW
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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