We booked direct a 5 night stay at the Camden Motor Inn at Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast and were quoted $100/night, but this was reduced to $95/night after I quoted that rate from Booking.com.
The day before our arrival the motel manager phoned me to advise that she’d be out on Sunday afternoon but would leave a key for us. With a 2pm check in time we’d intended to have a long lunch with friends, but when this plan fell over we arrived at the Camden Motor Inn about 2.20. But our key, with a tag No.5, would not open the door to room 5. After many attempts I noticed “10” stamped on the metal key. After knocking, I tried it at room 10 but no success. Phone calls to the mobile number on the office door went unanswered.
What to do? A swim at the beach would be nice but we had no towels. A friendly couple from room 6 offered us their beach towels. The weather was perfect and the sea refreshing. Patricia from the motel called later and seemed annoyed that we had arrived earlier than anticipated. She said she would be at the motel in about an hour. Fine by us, we had another swim and went to the motel.
Checking in, I was again accused of changing my plans and that I shouldn’t have tried the key in any other doors bar No.5. No apology for the key not working. While settling into our room we had not seen anywhere to dry our neighbour’s beach towels so hung them on the balcony rail in the breeze. It wasn’t long before Patricia came along and took them down, explaining that, by law, they were not permitted to hang any washing on the balconies. (strangely there were 2 blankets and a mattress cover hanging for a few hours outside a room 2 days later) She told me there was a clothes line behind the laundry (which was locked). (She also gave me an additional copy of the Motel rules!) I hung the towels on the line and when the couple next door returned, I went to get their towels, but the laundry was padlocked – until 7.30 the next morning!!! Too bad if they wanted an early morning swim.
The room was quite large with tea and coffee, plates, cutlery, good size fridge, split system air conditioner (noisy), queen bed, desk, table & 2 chairs, lounge, good size wardrobe and shelves and luggage rack. The bathroom was neat with usual toiletries, a hair dryer, however, broken tiles in the shower recess and a loose shelf on the wall were a minus. Car parking is good with undercover sites below the motel.
When we finally connected to the free WiFi the signal was strong and fast. However, both my wife and I initially could not access any sites. Our devices showed we were connected, but we couldn’t load sites. I went to the office for advice but found it closed, so I tapped on the flat door but there was no answer. So I returned to the room and phoned the office, Patricia answered and after hearing of our problems said it must have been our devices because she had never had any complaints from any other guests about it. (We’ve never had any trouble connecting at other motels!!) When we went out for dinner, there was a new sign on her flat door – “PRIVATE No Entry Do Not Knock”.
Patricia was quite helpful in booking tickets for the theme parks and hires beach towels for $2 each/day.
There are many shops and restaurants close by and a 24 hour Night Owl supermarket across the road. While this is very convenient, it results in cars, motorbikes and hoons coming and going and trucks unloading with the normal associated noise throughout the night. This, coupled with the highway traffic, has a detrimental affect on sleep quality.
Servicing of our room never happened. After four days the rubbish bins had not been emptied and the floor not cleaned. After swimming each day there was a sprinkling of sand on the floor which made its way into the bed. We didn’t expect the towels or sheets to be changed, but a daily dusting, vacuuming and replenishment of tea, sugar and coffee and bathroom requisites should be a given.
On the guests rules sheet that Patricia gave me, it was a little surprising to read :
“Use the luggage rack for your luggage(avoid using the beds..)” and “Clean Room Policy” Please ensure your room is clean before departure….all coffee cups, glasses emptied and rinsed dishes neatly stacked on bench near fridge…..Extra room charges will apply for room cleaning and removal of rubbish including takeaway food containers, drink bottles, fridge items”. In 35 years of travel I have never seen guest instructions like this. Before we left, I jokingly thought about contacting reception for a mop, vacuum cleaner etc., but as we were leaving at 0530, the other guests might not have appreciated it!
Finally, this is not a budget motel and there are hundred of other equivalent choices along the Gold Coast. Would I stay here again? No.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Camden Motor Inn is nestled in the heart of Mermaid beach just metres from the famous Mermaid Surf Beach. With shops and restaurants at your our doorstep. Transport to the theme parks right outside the door. Sparkling Salt Water Pool and Heated Salt Water spa. Come in a just have a relax.... or see the sights.... ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travel Republic (UK), Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Ebookers, Agoda and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your Camden Motor Inn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Camden Motor Inn Gold Coast/Mermaid Beach, Australia