Retro hotels on the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast was an Australian mid-century getaway playground awash with the very popular hotels and motels of the day. Today, these four retro gems live on for a new generation of beach-loving holiday makers, retraining original features and charm thanks to thoughtful restorations by their owners.
The Pink Hotel Coolangatta
In the past couple of years, this mid-century landmark hotel, located on Marine Parade overlooking Coolangatta Beach, has been revived anew as The Pink Hotel Coolangatta. The former Ocean View Motel was acquired by three childhood friends Samuel Diklich, Elliot Balk and Sam Cleary who together started Eddie’s Grub House located behind the hotel. The trio had always talked about the iconic pink hotel, with a shared vision to one day take it over.
Eventually the opportunity they were waiting for arose and five months of hands-on renovation followed, working through a few rooms at a time. Guests (and lovers of pink) can now stay in one of 17 rooms – each with a king-sized Koala mattress, mid-century styling and Scandinavian bathrooms; room service from Eddie’s Grub House downstairs; flat-screen TVs with NETFLIX; a fully stocked SMEG fridge and minibar; custom artworks and neon in each room; and record players in select rooms – with a vinyl library in reception.
Guests have access to SANTERIA Rooftop Bar and THE JANITOR’S CLOSET – the hotel’s hidden, speakeasy piano bar. Two pink beach cruisers with helmets are also available for local Gold Coast sightseeing.
Blue Heron Motel
Just a two-minute walk from Mermaid Beach and a 10-minute drive from Surfers Paradise, Blue Heron Motel is a recently renovated boutique motel inspired by the golden era of travel to the Gold Coast. In 2018, husband and wife duo, Karl and Andrea, carried out meticulous renovations to the classic motel to inject a modern aesthetic while keeping a nod to the retro bones of the building.
Rooms feature Nespresso coffee pods, selected teas, complimentary bathroom amenities, Blue Heron Motel, free WiFi and a flat-screen Smart TV. Guests can also take advantage of free parking. At the motel, a swimming pool is surrounded by tropical gardens with BBQ facilities available to all guests. Some of the region’s most popular cafes and restaurants are found within just a five-minute walk. Staff can also arrange beachside picnic hampers, bike hire, free beach towels and a laundering service.
Ventura Beach Motel
Found in the heart of the Mermaid Beach district, Ventura Beach Motel has been recently refurbished with a fresh, coastal look. Formerly known as the Mermaid Beach Flats, this property contains nine apartments, each with a fully equipped kitchen with brand new appliances throughout, air conditioning and a shared pool area. A communal laundry room is equipped with washers and dryers. Some of the Gold Coast’s top cafes, restaurants and attractions are within close walking and driving distance.
La Costa Motel
With a convenient location opposite Gold Coast Airport and only 100 metres from the sparkling Bilinga Beach, La Costa Motel is a great spot for a weekend getaway or overnight stay in a total, retro-vibe motel that is rich in history.
Owners Diane and John Cartmill purchased the 1950s weatherboard motel which was nominated as one of the original ‘Highway Heritage’ motels of the Gold Coast. The pair had a vision to renovate La Costa and retain its important features, such as the colour of the building and the original lettering of the neon light box.
The motel rooms inside have been upgraded, but the vibe of ‘playfulness and fantasy’ is still felt throughout. Guests can walk just 50 metres to the end of the street for a beach experience; ride one of the property’s vintage-style bicycles along the boardwalk to cafes, restaurants and shops in nearby Kirra, Coolangatta and Tugun; take a 10-minute walk to the local surf club; or check out the views from Point Danger, Rainbow Bay or Coolangatta Beach.