Vintage design meets modern creature comforts at this roadside retreat in the Gold Coast.
The seven-room Mysa Motel (pronounced "mee-sah" and named after the Swedish word for "cosy") is a reinvention of the old Palm Trees Motel in Palm Beach. Husband-and-wife owners Jason and Eliza Raine have kept the retro feel of the original single-storey brick motel, but updated it with fresh fittings and furnishings. The couple were keen to upcycle whatever they could, so used the exposed hardwood ceiling trusses from the original building, and sourced second-hand materials, like breezeblocks, from nearby sites where possible.
The Mysa is located on the Gold Coast Highway, one block back from the white-sanded shores of Palm Beach. It's also in the heart of Palm Beach village, so there are plenty of trendy cafes, shops and restaurants within a couple of blocks. The whole area has a chilled-out vibe that starkly contrasts the glitz of Surfers Paradise in the north. Conveniently, the Mysa is only a 12-minute drive from Gold Coast Airport.
The Mysa is a nostalgic take on the Gold Coast's 1950s and '60s motel heyday, which is making a modern resurgence, with a number of motels being renovated in a similar vein along the coastal strip. Each room is colour-themed, drawing on soft pastels of pink, green, blue and purple. The retro look is enhanced by scuffed leather feature chairs, polished concrete floors and quirky old photos of the Gold Coast, including a rusted car yard and an old-school kitchen with a VB bar runner (in context, it works). Outside, the kidney-shaped magnesium pool, lined with pink, plastic sun loungers, looks straight from the Barbie movie set. The Mysa's pink and blue neon sign, which depicts two twisted palm trees, was made by the creators of Surfers Paradise's heritage-listed 1960s "Pink Poodle" motel sign as an ode to the now iconic symbol of the Gold Coast.
All of the old motel rooms have been modernised with a complete makeover, including the installation of blackout blinds, smart TVs, USB charging ports and keypad entry. The beds are Australian Asthma Foundation-approved. Passing highway traffic can be a little loud, but double-glazed windows shut out most of the unwanted noise.
In all rooms you'll get some tasty snacks, like protein balls and popcorn. Then the two-bedroom "gold room" has a kitchenette and the one-bed "peach room" has modest kitchen facilities, so you have the option to dine in if you want to. But, do you want to? On holiday, probs not. Luckily, down the street there are plenty of groovy restaurants to choose from. Some of the best options include Balboa Italian, The Collective and - my top pick - Palm Beach Avenue.
The motel's main facility is its pool, which is an excellent hangout if you want a quick splash before kicking back with a good book. Beyond the motel, the biggest drawcard is the beach, which is a two-minute walk away. Further up the beach there's a flagged area for swimming, and keen surfers will be able to find a good spot nearby for waves. If you're a beginner surfer, Currumbin Alley (a five-minute drive south) is one of the best places on the Gold Coast to learn.
The laidback atmosphere married with near-perfect beach access - it's the Gold Coast on a plate, with a nod to the old and a celebration of the new.
Where: The Mysa Motel, 1100 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach, Queensland
How much: Rates start at $224 a night, up to $700 a night for the two-bedroom apartment
Explore more: themysamotel.com
Read more on Explore:
The writer was a guest of The Mysa Motel.