Stay in Style at These 6 Cool Retro Motels

Stay in Style at These 6 Cool Retro Motels

15 Mar 2024

Our seaside city has a long history as Australia’s favourite holiday destination. During the 60s and 70s the Gold Coast Highway was lined with motels and hotels, sporting blinking neon signs and catchy names. Happily, a few of these classics still remain and have been lovingly restored and updated with all the mod cons, while staying true to their fabulous retro heritage. Bringing back some vintage style, these boutique motels and hotels offer a nostalgic experience that honours our city’s colourful past and coastal lifestyle.

For a different sort of stay, check into one of Gold Coast’s retro motels that channel the style and charm of yesteryear. 

The Cheshire Cat Motel


Originally built in the late 1960s, this iconic Palm Beach motel has flicked the switch on its neon sign again and opened its doors as a newly renovated boutique motel that honours its retro heritage. Combining nostalgic Australiana holiday vibes and lo-fi luxe, The Cheshire Cat Motel, offers unique accommodation on the southern Gold Coast, two minute’s stroll from the beach.

Stay in one of six rooms or the two-bedroom bungalow with a fully equipped kitchen and lounge area. Guests get to enjoy the terracotta tiled plunge pool and relax on the deck area, or share a sundowner in the  communal terrace where you can sit and catch the sea breeze. With many of Palm Beach’s best bars and eateries a short walk away, it’s an ideal home base for a Gold Coast stay.
Location: 1005 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

The Pink Hotel

The Pink Hotel

You can't missThe Pink Hotel, found beachside in beautiful Coolangatta. This Southern Gold Coast icon boasts a Barbie pink paint job, a Palm Springs style courtyard filled with cacti, a breezy rooftop bar with ocean views and a rock 'n' roll swagger.

Rooms and suites have been styled to retro perfection with custom wall art and neon signs, Smeg fridges and the type of effortlessly cool vibe you wish you could recreate at home. Stay in the Artist Suite and you'll be able to play a tune or two on the white Baby Grand piano! As an added bonus, hotel guests even get exclusive access to a hidden piano bar called The Janitor's Closet for late night escapades.

Coolangatta is absolutely packed with dining gems and drinking holes with something to suit every taste, plus  a slew of stunning beaches and a little holiday shopping if that’s your vibe. All in all, The Pink Hotel is an absolute must if staying somewhere beautiful and a little bit unique is your thing.
Location: 171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

La Costa Motel

La Costa Motel

A beach shack of the most beautiful kind, this Bilinga abode offers comfortable accommodation just a couple of minutes from both the Gold Coast Airport and the beach.La Costa is a boutique motel at its finest, perfectly at home within the oceanside suburb, painted the prettiest mint green and with striped lounge chairs and umbrellas finishing off the look out front.

Rooms range from a Standard Studio to a Family Room and each offers comfort and convenience, bright airy spaces, TVs and DVD players, espresso machines and high speed WiFi.

Of course, when you’re not relaxing inside, you’ll want to go out and explore. While Bilinga is one of the Coast’s most relaxed suburbs, there’s still plenty to see. Starting with the expansive beach just a few metres down the road and the local surf club a 10-minute walk. You can borrow one of La Costa’s vintage cruiser bikes and explore the boardwalk down to Kirra and Coolangatta in style.
Location: 127 Golden Four Drive, Bilinga

The Mysa Motel

gold coast natural wonders mysa

The Mysa Motel brings a modern twist on retro Gold Coast and it’s absolutely delightful. A sustainable, luxury motel on the Gold Coast Highway, the space has been artfully restored with vintage design elements to maintain its original motel vibe but with a stunning new aesthetic.

There’s a magnesium pool for guests to soak away their stress and each room boasts a signature interior, smart TV and a cosy, arrival pack. It’s self-service just like the olden days – you’ll receive a unique pin code for your room and can check in all by yourself. If you manage to drag yourself away from the retro charm, there’s plenty to see in bustling Palm Beach.

Starting with restaurants like Balboa, just a short walk away and serving up five-star Italian eats, Barefoot Barista for a locally sourced breakfast and perfectly brewed coffee and The Scottish Prince, for a nightcap or two. There’s plenty more where they came from plus of course, a perfect stretch of beach and plenty of friendly locals to get to know.
Location: 1100 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Burleigh Beach Tourist Park

burleigh tourist park van.jpg

Two of the cutest additions to the Gold Coast accommodation scene are a couple of vintage caravans that can be found at Burleigh Beach Tourist Park, just a short stroll across the road to one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia.

The vintage caravan option is as retro Gold Coast as it gets, perfectly refurbished and with a little striped annex out the front. It’s a compact option but a stunning one and let’s face it, you’ll want to sit outside and soak up that Burleigh sunshine as often as possible.

Not to mention, you’re going to want to visit some of the MANY incredible bars and restaurants the beachside suburb has to offer from Rick Shores, right on the sand (and just 100 metres away) to Jimmy Wah’s modern Vietnamese, Rosella’s Australiana bar, Restaurant Labart for a modern Australian masterpiece and an absolute slew of others well worth sampling.
Location: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Blue Heron Motel

blue heron motel.jpg

Moving north a little you’ll find the Blue Heron Motel, another recently refurbished beauty just a few short steps away from the ocean in Mermaid Beach and it’s an absolute stunner.

The seventies-style motel boasts a picture-perfect pool and outdoor area complete with beanbags and lounge chairs, rooms decked out in bright yellows and deep blues and a fresh, modern vibe that’ll have you feeling right at home.

There’s an undercover BBQ area if you’d prefer to stay in (and who could blame you) but of course, Mermaid Beach also offers plenty of five-star drinking and dining options should you want to venture out.

Starting with the beloved Mermaid Beach Surf Club, just a short stroll away plus exceptional eateries like The North Room, Bam Bam Bakehouse, Lupo Italian and Bonita Bonita (Mexican) to name a few. Roll into Mermaid Beach Bowls for Sunday afternoon barefoot bowls or simply pull up some sand and soak in that sweet sunshine. It’s win-win here.
Location: 2323 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Looking for more unique Gold Coast stays? Check out The Best Tiny House Accommodation on the Gold Coast.


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Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.