In my 30 odd years of travel, I’ve stayed in some pretttttttty colourful places. Like the time I thought I’d booked somewhere nice, and found it was a single bed, above a pub, with a shared bathroom, and no air conditioner. Had they changed the sheets? I didn’t dare ask.
Or the “quaint” bed and breakfast where the owners stayed next door and thought nothing of popping around unannounced during a romantic weekend.
These days, I’m too old and grumpy for such incidents. As such, there’s one accommodation option that I’ve found myself boomeranging back to. It’s familiar. It’s warm. It has a breakfast hutch. And from the floral quilts to the tiny packets of biscuits, you know exactly what you’re going to get.
In short, I’ve rediscovered the simplicity of the motel stay.
They're never pretentious. They're practical, dependable, and some of the most underrated accommodation options in Australia. I've stayed at the ol' Golden Chain Motor Inn a bunch of times in my life and the novelty of it never leaves me. Let me remind you of their Golden ways:
1. The check-ins.
Warm, friendly, and no-fuss is the modus operandi of motel check-in. In my experience, people who work in motels have generally been working there for a long time and have a sense of ownership. In one case, I was arriving quite late to a motel in winter. We pre-arranged our late check-in, and when we arrived, they had turned the heater on for us in advance so the room was warm. That is hospitality with a capital H for 'Holy moley, thanks cobber'.
2. The parking.
I don't even have a car park outside my own house. So pulling up right outside your own front door cannot be underestimated, especially on road trips when you have overpacked like I always do, and have to keep nipping outside to get stuff. And free parking. For as long as you want. Zero chance that you'll be stung by hotel valet parking, and ticket inspectors can get stuffed. At motels, you are your own valet.