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  • Canberra
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  • Venue Crush: Visit The Isla the Stylishly Sentimental Motel Bringing Retro Vibes to Bateman’s Bay

Venue Crush: Visit The Isla the Stylishly Sentimental Motel Bringing Retro Vibes to Bateman’s Bay

For a nostalgia fuelled getaway, book your next girls trip at this epic Bateman’s Bay motel.

The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)

Step back in time with The Isla, the charming Batehaven motel which will make the perfect destination for your next girls trip! Just a two hours drive from Canberra, or four hours 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 of our favourite new motels in Australia.

The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)

The Brief

The story behind this luxe Bateman’s Bay motel is, simply put, a love story. Made by friends, for friends, The Isla is passion project of a group of Canberra-based professionals who, inspired by beachside holidays of their youth, decided to breathe new life into the space. Having opened their doors in 2022, The Isla is a stylishly-sentimental motel designed to pay tribute to the nostalgia of the quintessential Australian beach holiday but with a luxurious modern twist.

The Isla (Image Credit Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit Anson Smart)

The brief with this space was to revive the retro motel, restoring the space and giving the 18 guest rooms and surrounding spaces a chic coastal redesign. Speaking on the inspiration behind the space, The Isla co-founder Yanna Dascarolis describes the vision their dedicated team brought to the redesign project, “There is something so wonderfully nostalgic about the Australian motel; it feels like a home away from home. We instantly fell in love with this property and saw the potential to create something truly special; it was an honour to be able to give it a new lease of life.”

The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)

The Fit-Out

Stepping up to the plate to master create this new space stepped in modern design with appealing amenities whilst staying true to the sentimentality inspired by retro holidays of the past is Those Architects.

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 the common areas, pool terrace and rooms and suites (which we’ll dive into below) are fitted out with gingham cushions, trendy wavy mirrors, light wood paneling and curved white walls.

The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)

One of the main projects the team at Those Architects tackled was converting the old garage space into a pool lounge which flows into a communal outdoor dining area which is centred around the heart and soul of The Isla: the pool. With an inviting motto inscribed the bottom of the pool inviting you to ‘make a splash’, the pool lounge features mint green tiles, sage green chairs and matching umbrellas.

The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)

The Experience

A truly modern experience, The Isla offers a fully virtual check-in experience with the venue compendium being delivered straight to your inbox and a passcode to access your room texted to each guest upon arrival.

Once you’ve checked-in you’ll be able to settle into one of The Isla’s 18 guest rooms, you’ll be enveloped in a realm of cosy comfort. If you’re in a King Room you’ll enjoy a deluxe A.H Beard king bed – or twin singles upon request – a living area with a day bed, dining table and luxurious modern amenities with a rain shower, smart TV, heating and air conditioning and – because its 2022 – amazing Wi-Fi. For just $20 more per night you can upgrade to a King Courtyard room with a comfortable private patio.

The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)

If you’re thinking of planning a girl’s trip, consider upgrading to one of The Isla’s three suites. The Poco Suite sits above the refurbished pool lounge. Spacious, versatile, fun and capable of accommodating three guests, you’ll have everything you need with a kitchenette, sofa and dining table. The Vista Suite boasts the motel’s best view of the ocean and sleeps four with two deluxe king bedrooms, a fully-stocked kitchenette, a rain shower and oodles of living space.

The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)

The absolute crown-jewel of The Isla, the thing that would take your girls trip from a ten to an eleven, is their epic Grande Suite. As the name suggests, the suite is luxurious with two generous king bedrooms with their own ensuites, a living and dining space with room to seat six, partial ocean views and a private courtyard with an epic round plunge pool. Honestly, sign us up!

The Isla also offers accessible rooms with convenient access and bathroom facilities so people of all abilities can enjoy a stay at The Isla.

The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)

The Details

It’s the little things that make all the difference and, when it comes to those little things, The Isla proudly champions the local. Australian designers and artisans are proudly featured with A.H. Beard beds, seating from Design by Them, lighting from Coco Flip Design Studio, art work from Vynka Gallam and Tegan Franks. Even on a micro level, The Isla is beyond generous with the toiletries from our friends at Leif, with in-room coffee machines with pods from Melbourne-based ST ALi and amber glassware from Maison Balzac which isn’t local but, boy, do we love them!

The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)
The Isla (Image Credit: Anson Smart)

Moving into the common area, The Cantina reimagines the old-school corridor vending machines of yester-year with bespoke machines offering carefully curated locally-sourced artisan treats from Dangerous Ales beer to ST ALis espresso martinis and even canned cocktails from Marrickville’s own Poor Toms gin distillery which just so happen to be one of our favourite ready to drink cocktail providers!

The Isla
The Isla

The Area

Located just a stone's throw away from the beach, the motel is surrounded by some of the world’s best oysters and picturesque walking tracks, national parks and the inviting turquoise waters of three of the areas best beaches. To quote one of The Isla’s co-founders Yanna Dascarolis, “we’re so excited for people to rediscover Batemans Bay. It is a magnificent pocket of the world and the ideal hideaway to get off the grid. Pristine beaches, vast leafy stretches and a beautiful community of people. What more could you want?

If you’re keen to discover more about the local area, check out the area guide the team at The Isla have put together.

The Isla is located at 222 Beach Road, Batehaven. Rooms start from $200 per night for a King Room and Suites will set you back $300 - $480 per night. Head to their website to book or for more information.