The Gold Coast is home to no shortage of motels stuck in a time warp, but I found one that has been given a very colourful new lease on life.
171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta, QLD
From $144 per night
An overwhelming sense of my own ordinariness washes over me as I enter The Pink Hotel Coolangatta, a quirky beachside stay that is a style riot of retro glam, roguish rockstar and California cool. Dressed in blue jeans and a plain white tee, I am at the other end of the colour spectrum from this fairy-floss-hued hotel and its equally hip, inked-up receptionist. In comparison, I am totally beige.
The hotel’s courtyard is decorated with hot-pink plastic flamingos, cactus gardens and palm trees festooned in fairy lights. In the reception room, a neon sign reads ‘I like existing in rooms with you’, and there’s an inviting wall of vintage records for guest use – where the Rolling Stones mingle with Billy Idol and Kris Kristofferson. And we are handed two vouchers for tequila ball shots in the hotel bar. Zing!
But The Pink Hotel hasn’t always been this edgy. Until the people behind Eddie’s Grub House (an LA-style dive bar located in the same building) bought the property in 2018, it was a drab, outdated motel. It underwent a complete transformation: rooms were gutted, the facade was given a more vibrant lick of pink paint, and the entire hotel was injected with playfulness in the way of murals, slogans, neon – and those flamingos. The cool clientele and Instagram set followed shortly after.
We have been assigned a Superior King Suite at the front of the building, which has views of the beach across the way. The room has a retro industrial vibe with sleek, polished concrete floors and timber furniture, a black vintage-style Smeg fridge, shades of turquoise and mustard in the furniture and decor, and a shocking-pink neon sign that reads ‘Got some bad desires’. But the fun factor doesn’t detract from the quality in the details, including bathroom amenities by Australian brand Biology that include such essentials as a toothbrush set and a plush king-size bed dressed with premium linen.
Party people needn’t leave the hotel – nay, even the room – for a good time. The minibar is helpfully stocked with mid-sized bottles of spirits, 10 cans of Young Henrys craft beer and ciders (and, naturally, Panadol); there’s a brooding speakeasy-style bar hidden underground where live music is king; a rooftop bar that has views out to Surfers Paradise in the distance; and Eddie’s Grub House downstairs continues to churn out tasty burgers with a soundtrack of blues and rock’n’roll.
There’s also a tattoo parlour on site, should you wish to book in for some spontaneous ink. I may not have opted to receive a permanent injection of colour, but our stay at this cool and quirky hotel was anything but beige.
Kitsch decor and revelry is the schtick here; best suited to people who don’t take life too seriously.
We rated: The tongue-in-cheek interiors, from the cheeky neon signs to the communal ice-box painted ‘Ice, Ice Baby’. Its location, directly across from the beach and within walking distance to shops and dining, is also unbeatable.
We’d change: The hotel appeals to party people, so it was a little noisy at times during the night.
Notes: We paid $223 for a Superior King Suite.
All AT reviews are conducted anonymously and our writers pay their own way – so we experience exactly what you would.