Motels: a great value stay

by Andrew Morgan - QTHB 02nd September, 2019

Motels: a great value stay

In my continual travels around Queensland, and in my stays and visits to motels (which without exaggeration would have to be approaching a thousand stays over the last 24 years in the industry), I continue to see just how good the product and service of the motel is. I can say without any reservation (pardon the pun), that more often than not, I come away from my stay extremely happy and thinking, what great value that was.


The difference between a well operated motel and a poorly operated one is very evident.  The are some motels in need of a little TLC and their time comes around at some point (unless the “highest and best use” becomes an issue of course). However, most motel operators understand the industry and what the guests, in their particular market segment, demand for their dollar.


The room that is on offer for $85 a night against the one at $185 a night will differ considerably in size, standard, services available, and so on. It has to, there is a $100 a night difference. What I have found however, is that each has its own personal characteristics and niceties that make that stay one of a kind, enjoyable and good value for money in some way. Perhaps it was the surprisingly large room for the dollar being charged, which was unexpected as I walked through the door for the first time. Maybe it was the renovated bathroom that had been completed by the new and enthusiastic owner/operator since I stayed at the motel the last time. Perhaps the high-quality bed that helped get a good night’s sleep after a long drive or busy day.


It may just be human nature, but people tend to focus on the negative with an experience they have, good or bad. 


“I had a fantastic time riding a jetski at Hamilton Island, but it was a bit bumpy.” Sound familiar? There is no difference with accommodation. 


“I prefer a bar of soap, not a pump system.”  The smallest of concerns that are not really an issue in the bigger scheme of things seem to become stories that get rolled out and repeated whenever the opportunity arises, as opposed to focusing on the positives of the experience.


Looking at it from a different perspective I believe the value for money available to travellers requiring short- or medium-term accommodation throughout Queensland motels is excellent. Forget turning up to accommodation booked online where there is no manager onsite, the key is not where it is supposed to be, the place is dirty or does not present anything like it did online. The value for money a guest receives in general terms at a motel facility in Queensland is exceptional in my opinion.

Motels for Sale

The room rates throughout the state vary greatly depending on location, standard, etc but the amount of value for the guest packed into a $80 - $120/night studio motel unit for example, is a lot when you break it down. Let’s look at just some of the absolute basics of what one gets for their hard earned $80 - $120 (and less in many cases).


  • An on-site manager who is available to the guest if and when required, providing security and attending to any personal concerns, maintenance problems or requests on the spot that may arise during the stay;
  • 20 hours of accommodation – 2pm check in to 10am departure and often longer than that if required;
  • Freshly laundered linen and towels;
  • Basic hot beverages and biscuits;
  • Basic appliances, crockery and cutlery
  • A functional kitchenette for meals (in some cases)
  • A refrigerator
  • Mini bar or convenience item facilities
  • A table, bench, chair and couch to work from or relax
  • Television with free-to-air or a Foxtel or Netflix subscription
  • Ensuite with personal amenities
  • Cupboard hanging space and ironing facilities
  • Under cover or non-covered off-street carpark
  • Pool and outdoor area
  • Wifi access (often free)
  • Laundry facilities
  • Air-conditioner
  • Alarm clock
  • Rubbish disposal

So, when you break it down there seems to be significant value for money. 


The value to the guest of having a manager on site for peace-of-mind for security, and/or having something addressed immediately if required, is worth the room rate alone.



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