Australia’s Designer Motel Trend Is Taking Guests Back To The Swinging ’60s

What's old is new.

Image Credit: @sodashades x @saltywings⠀⠀⠀

Australia’s retro motels are saving old school architecture and making it cool again.

That’s right; places like The Mysa Motel, which offers a modern twist on retro Gold Coast (by merging old school bones with Instagram aesthetics), and is part of a growing trend of run-down accommodations being done up and turned trendy.

Co-owner of The Mysa Motel, Jason Raine, told DMARGE it used to be an “extremely tired and run down” motel originally built in the 60s which was “almost dilapidated.”

“It was extremely important to us to hold onto as many elements as we could. The Gold Coast has so much architectural heritage but it’s losing it at a rapid pace because of the new development that’s going on.”

“We’re all for change but we think it’s important to hang onto some of these elements like architecture. We feel it’s very important – not only that but it’s sustainable practice.”

“A lot of the materials and furnishing are upcycled or recycled – like the breezeblocks in the courtyard and garage. They are repurposed from commercial and residential properties on the gold coast that have been torn down.”

“Some of our bathrooms and the pool area’s mosaic tile that we use is actually recycled glass.”

There are also 64 solar panels on the roof and rainwater tanks (and the maintenance equipment is powered with batteries).

The Mysa Motel has a growing geotag on Instagram and 49 (and counting) posts to its name (under the ‘themysamotel‘ hashtag).

The Mysa Motel is not alone in this renaissance. The Sunseeker in Byron Bay also taps the nostalgia vein. Its website describes it as: “80s brick motel nostalgia reimagined (in every way) into a boutique accommodation experience for the modern conscious traveller.”

“Hidden behind the magnificent beaches of Byron Bay, Australia, The Sunseeker is nestled just out of the hustle and bustle of the main town.”

The Sunseeker, too, has a popular geotag page and 53 Instagram posts to its name.

There’s also The Sails Motel & Pool Club in Brunswick Heads, which is a lot cooler than your average motel, and Noosa’s 10 Hastings Street, as well as an avalanche of Airbnb’s also using The Instagram Effect in a similar way to convince you to press ‘book’ (“oh, this is a unique stay? Excuse me while I fish out my credit card”).

What is The Instagram Effect? Our theory is this: instead of calling your granny flat with some pot plants around it a granny flat with some pot plants around it, you call it a ‘treehouse.’ And then you give it its own Instagram page and geotag and encourage People With Followings to stay there and take photos. You then put it on Airbnb and make some dosh.

Jason, however, co-owner of the Mysa Hotel said it’s also a natural thing. In The Mysa Motel’s case, he says: “It’s more so an organic thing. I feel people have the choice whether they want to tag us or not we don’t really ask them to tag us or post a photo; that’s something they do of their own accord and it’s exciting for us to see. Everyone has a different eye of the motel.”

In all seriousness though, there are many positive aspects to modern prison block hotel chains losing their grip over your travel options. There have never been more (accommodation) options when booking a holiday. Now, all we need is some certainty around Australia’s domestic and international borders staying open (and entry requirements remaining consistent) and we’re good to go…

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