In a delightful twist of fate, motels in Australia are experiencing a remarkable resurgence in 2023.
Once considered a fading accommodation option, motels are reclaiming their position as sought-after havens for travellers seeking authentic experiences and affordable stays.
AccomNews explores the reasons behind the renewed popularity of motels in Australia and the unique allure they hold for both domestic and international adventurers.
Embracing the Aussie spirit
Motels embody the true essence of the Australian spirit of laid-back charm, a friendly atmosphere, and warm hospitality.
Often family-owned small businesses and locally managed, many motels offer an authentic taste of Australian culture, and from the moment guests step foot into a local gem, they expect to be greeted with a genuine “G’day” and a heartfelt smile.
Motel owners and staff are known for going above and beyond to provide a personalised service to their guests and to create a welcoming environment that reflects renowned Aussie hospitality.
Iconic road trip culture
Australia’s vast and breathtaking landscapes make it the perfect country for epic road trips and motels have always played an integral role in this culture, offering convenient and comfortable pit stops along the way.
Travellers embarking on coastal drives, outback adventures, or scenic routes are drawn to motels for their prime regional locations, often near major highways, providing easy access to iconic destinations and hidden gems.
As the cost of living continues to rise, and with increasing economic challenges, motels serve as a beacon of affordability for travellers in the accommodation landscape.
Motels offer comfortable rooms at competitive prices, and many are now also offering family-sized rooms, so they can cater to budget-conscious travellers looking to stretch their travel dollars without compromising on quality.
The ability to explore Australia’s wonders while staying within a reasonable budget has contributed to the increasing popularity of motels among savvy travellers.
Unique regional experiences
Australia’s diverse regions each have their own distinct character, and motels often reflect the local flavor.
Whether it’s a coastal motel with ocean views, a country retreat surrounded by vineyards, or an outback oasis under a starry sky, motels provide a gateway to unique regional experiences.
Travellers seeking an immersive encounter with Australia’s stunning landscapes, wildlife, and cultural heritage are drawn to motels for their proximity to these one-of-a-kind destinations.
Modern upgrades and amenities
To meet the evolving needs of travellers, motels in Australia have embraced modern upgrades and amenities and many now offer wifi connectivity, flat-screen TVs, comfortable (even luxury) beds and bedding, and contemporary furnishings.
By blending the nostalgia of yesteryears with modern conveniences, motels cater to the expectations of today’s tech-savvy and comfort-seeking guests.
Community connections and local insights
One of the standout features of motels in Australia is the connections guests can forge with the local community.
Family-owned and operated, motels often provide invaluable insights into nearby attractions, hidden gems, and local events. Guests have the opportunity to tap into the expertise of motel owners and staff, gaining insider knowledge that enhances their travel experiences and immerses them in the genuine Australian way of life.
What’s next for Aussie motels?
As we surge into 2024, motels in Australia should continue to reclaim their place as beloved accommodation options.
With their embodiment of the Aussie spirit, budget-friendly rates, unique regional experiences, modern upgrades, and connections to local communities, motels will continue to win the hearts of both domestic and international travellers seeking authentic and affordable stays.
Like all accommodation and hospitality businesses in Australia, motels need to continue to adapt and evolve according to customer demands and preferences and they may vary based on various factors such as market trends, technological advancements, and evolving consumer preferences
Here are a few potential developments that could shape the future of motels in Australia:
Update and enhance technology: Motels need to embrace advanced technology to enhance guest experiences, consider mobile check-ins, keyless entry systems, smart room controls, and personalised automation for in-room amenities.
Introduce and promote sustainable and eco-friendly practices: With a worldwide trend towards increased environmental awareness, motels will be expected to adopt more sustainable practices to attract guests. This may involve incorporating energy-efficient appliances, utilising renewable energy sources, implementing waste reduction and recycling programs, and promoting water conservation
Install electric vehicle charging stations: With an ever-increasing demand for electric vehicles in Australia now may be the perfect time to consider installing some EV charging points, especially in more remote regions.
Improved connectivity: Motels must be able to offer reliable and high-speed internet access to cater to the needs of tech-savvy guests and remote workers who rely heavily on digital connectivity when they are travelling.
Diversify their amenities: To attract a wider customer base motels might look at adding a swimming pool, on-site dining, spa facilities, business centers, conference rooms, or play and recreational activities.
Collaborate with sharing economy platforms: Motels might consider sharing economy platforms like Airbnb or develop their own platforms to provide guests with a wider range of accommodation options, including short-term rentals or unique experiences within motel properties.
Thinking about buying a motel in Australia?
Read more about The Isla Motel, Batemans Bay: HERE
Read more about WhiteCliffs Underground Motel, NSW HERE
Read more about The Pink Hotel HERE
Read about the Motel Molly refurbishment HERE
Mandy has over 17 years of accommodation and tourism industry writing experience and is Editor of AccomNews & Resort News, Publisher of SchoolNews & Director of Multimedia Pty Ltd. She is a retired registered nurse with a 25-year NHS career that followed a few unforgettable years in hotel housekeeping.