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Back in the day, when our seaside city became the destination of choice for sun lovers and holiday makers, the Gold Coast Highway was lined with motels. While many have been knocked down to make way for a new era of accommodation, some of these special spots remain and have been reimagined in retro style. Check in any time you like for a sublime stay with a healthy dose of holiday nostalgia.


The Mysa Motel

Bring your bathers and 70s sunnies when you check into The Mysa Motel, ready for some sunning and swimming in the classic kidney-shaped pool. Unlike the pools of yesteryear, this one is magnesium, which is on point, because vintage vibes with a modern twist is something they do exceptionally well.

When local couple, Eliza and Jase, bought the place, the aim was to maintain the history and character of this retro gem, while giving it a sustainability and style upgrade. Whilst the original exterior remained unchanged, the seven rooms of this beautiful boutique accommodation got a major glow up.

Each is themed around a different colour with sleek interiors and thoughtful design. Not only are they seriously stylish, but feature sustainable elements like natural lighting and ventilation, recycled materials and filtered water. There’s still air-con for those sweaty summer days, but since The Mysa is solar powered and proudly registered with the EarthCheck Action Project, you can keep it cool and eco-conscious.

The ocean is a mere minute’s walk from your door, and many of Palm Beach’s best bars, restaurants and cafes are a short stroll away. Keyless entry and contactless check in makes it easy, but your excellent hosts are on hand to answer any questions, provide recommendations and ensure your stay is unforgettable.

Palm Beach |

The Pink Hotel

In 2018 this iconic hotel was restored to her former glory with a full refurb and a lick of bubblegum pink paint. The result is some of the coolest accommodation on the Gold Coast. The record collection on display in reception sets the rock ‘n’ roll vibe you can expect throughout this epic hotel.

The modern retro Mid-century interiors are embellished with bold pops of colour and artistic touches, including custom wall art and neon signage in each of the 18 rooms, plus fittingly flamboyant fluffy robes to swan around in. Get ready for some sing-alongs if you’re staying in the two-bedroom artist suite which comes with a white baby grand piano.

The Pink Hotel is centrally located in Coolangatta, right across the road from a sublime stretch of beach. Room service is available from Eddie's Grub House - the burger joint and live music venue downstairs, and you can enjoy BYO food and beverages on the breezy rooftop with sweeping vistas of the coastline.

Cheshire Cat Motel

For an authentic old-school motel experience, complete with neon sign, check in to The Cheshire Cat Motel in Palm Beach. Originally built in the 60s this retro-style beauty reopened earlier this year and she sure knows how to wow. Glamorous yet approachable, stylish but laid back, this cool cat blends nostalgic Gold Coast holiday vibes with a generous helping of Palm Springs style.

Luxe interiors bring the 70s aesthetic to life with a colour palette of burnt oranges and browns, creamy whites and pale eucalyptus green. Choose from seven queen rooms or the two-bedroom bungalow with a stylish kitchen and living space. While the beach is so close you can smell the salt, there’s a terracotta tiled plunge pool and sun deck where you can lounge, splash and cool off to your heart’s content. Added bonuses like a complimentary mini bar stocked with snacks and beverages, and free parking are a nice touch, and just like its namesake, a stay at this beautiful boutique motel will have you grinning from ear to ear.

Tessa’s on the Beach

The groovy pattern on the courtyard floor and classic Kombi parked outside the reception at Tessa’s on the Beach is a sure sign you’ve reached the right place. As the name suggests, this coastal retro oasis boasts an absolute beachfront location in Bilinga and offers luxurious accommodation across 16 rooms ranging from double to king, and four self-contained apartments, which sleep four people.

Complimentary paddleboards and beach cruisers are at your disposal should you want to explore the coastline, but then again, why would you want to leave? The magnesium pool is surrounded by sunbeds where you could easily laze the day away, the beach is right there and your every desire is catered for at Tessa’s. Begin the day with breakfast on the deck courtesy of a pre-ordered Breakky Box filled with locally sourced treats. Or watch dusk descend and the colours of the day fade over the ocean with a cocktail in hand at the onsite cafe/ bar which serves up snacks, coffees and alcoholic beverages from 6.30am - 8pm.

Relaxing in your room is also a tempting prospect because comfort is incorporated into every detail along with a fresh Palm Springs inspired style. Each room features unique jungle-themed wallpaper, minimalist yet colourful mid-century furnishings and chic terrazzo tiles in some of the bathrooms. The overall effect is classy, coastal laidback luxe with an Australian twist.

The Blue Heron Motel

For boutique accommodation that makes you feel completely at home, make a beeline for the Blue Heron Motel in Mermaid Beach. The rooms are spacious, immaculate and inviting and the interior design gives a fresh feel with coastal colourways of blue hues and sunshine yellow complemented by bespoke soft furnishings and homewares.

A turquoise pool is the sparkling centrepiece of the Blue Heron, beside a beautifully designed lawn adorned with sun loungers and an alfresco area where guests can socialise, relax or enjoy some nibbles and drinks. make use of the BBQ facilities to cook a DIY dinner. That said, the central location and free bike hire also means you can cruise the coastal pathways and explore the many restaurants and bars on this central stretch of the Gold Coast.

Mermaid Beach |


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