Stay at any motel in regional Australia and you'll soon start to see a pattern. Low-rise units with gloomy interior brick-feature walls lie on a horseshoe grid around a central asphalt car park with reception at the front to your left and a small pool area to your right. At McLaren Vale Motel & Apartments in the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula, the design is a little more creative.
Sure you'll drive through a massive car park but you'll have to pass the large, central tropical garden with tiered Victorian fountain and hidden nooks to get to your brightly-painted room. And if you're lucky enough to stay in an apartment like I did, your rooms of ample proportions will be newly-renovated - this century - and contain a kitchen and bathroom-cum-laundry with simple, inoffensive design features.
Call me lame but I couldn't contain my excitement at discovering not one but three wide-screen TVs so there was no fighting over the remote control with family members. Thankfully, our apartment was devoid of loud, stained, floral bedspreads and matching drapes that cover the beds and windows of many an Aussie motel of fading glory.
Being an avid swimmer, I tend to judge a hotel by the quality of its pool. The McLaren Vale Motel has a large-sized salt-water pool within a tropical garden of established palm trees and is solar heated to a comfortable 27 degrees - just the way I like it.
Hi Sandy. In Caffrey Street I noticed a number of bed and breakfasts but they may not have pools or accommodate children but could suit you. I haven't stayed in other motels in the area so can't comment.
I didn't get as excited about it as you when I stayed there. Perfectly pleasant etc, but next time I want to stay in McLaren Vale I'm going looking for something which reflects more of the character of the area. Any suggestions?