Editor’s Note: I stumbled across this tongue-in-cheek piece of Gold Coast hospitality nostalgia from last decade. It was written in a street press magazine called Team Evil and I thought I’d share with our readers for a bit of a laugh and reminisce at the colourful old Gold Coast motels, few of which have since survived. I have fond memories of staying at the original Pink Poodle when I was young and poor… good times! If you’re in the mood for further laughs, I’d highly recommend the author’s new book; God Willing; as he recounts his adventures working as a museum curator in the Middle East – five stars on Amazon
The Gold Coast is home to over 600 motels. Most of these are as sterile, boring and professionally run as you would expect. Most of them are not run by crazy people….
While the region has experienced massive development in recent decades, and has been turned into a weird and shiny mix of Vegas and Florida, a small cluster of “classic” motels skim the southern fringes.
Largely untouched since their construction in the 1950s and ’60s, these monuments to a bygone era are run by the weird, stupid and criminally insane. While those qualities might go largely unnoticed by the locals — we’re talking about “the GC” here — outsiders looking to book accommodation are in for quite a show.
MIDGET DWARF MOTEL
The guy opened the door like he’d just beaten someone to death out the back. Maybe he had? Whatever he was up to, he clearly didn’t want to discuss it with potential guests. A short “I-no-speaka-da-English” routine later and he slammed the door in our faces / went back to chopping up body parts.
MOTOR NEURON PROBLEMS MOTEL
Call me super cynical, but if you were a hopeless lush then faking a motor neuron disease seems like a pretty good way to stay liquored up without losing your job.
THE BANK MOTEL
The conversation at front reception went a little something like this:
ME: So are you the owner of this place?
DUDE: No, I used to be. The bank owns it now. I’m just collecting the cash until they tear it down.
ME: Oh. Sucks to be you, then.
A COUPLE OF OLD BROADS MOTEL
A pair of 50+ broads with too much makeup, tiny dogs under their arms and cigarettes dangling from their lips were running the place. They were actually lovely and happy to explain that the rooms hadn’t been renovated since the 1970s, “although they probably should have been.”
GHETTO HELL MOTEL
We walked up and down the parking lot of this place looking for a reception desk. We never found it -– we did, however, see lots of abandoned mattresses and dudes who looked like they would murder you for a cheeseburger.
CIGARETTE WOMAN MOTEL
A bored 50+ women came out to the front desk smoking a cigarette after we sounded the buzzer a couple of times. She tried to make us rent a room for $250. When we inquired about how many “stars” the accommodation was, she said the RACQ Stars rating systems was bullshit and they didn’t believe in it. The place looked like a dump.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT A CASTLE” MOTEL
You have to respect the optimism. Unfortunately, painting a coat of arms on the side of your brick building and gluing on some faux Tudor bits doesn’t really sell the concept. Also, the swimming pool looked like someone had recently fished a dead body out of it.
SUPER EXCLUSIVE HIGH CLASS MOTEL
You know you’ve got yourself a quality establishment when they feel that “Colour TV” and “Coffee making facilities” are selling points. The faded mural of the ocean and the old Commodore with the broken taillight complete the picture.