The Isla | A Luxury Retro-Inspired Hotel in Batehaven

Website: The Isla

Photographer: Anson Smart

Meet The Isla, a luxury retro-inspired accommodation nestled within the beachside town of Batehaven on the NSW South Coast. Neighbours to the equally serene Batemans Bay, The Isla is located amongst relaxing and breathtaking beaches and inviting cafes that depict the ultimate coastal destination. Designed by award-winning Those Architects and inspired by Australian design with European roots, The Isla has been reimagined from its original 1970s-built Abel Tasman Motel into a luxuriously designed motel (that certainly gives the aura of a fabulous hotel). The accommodation leans into a retro 70s vibe whilst maintaining a luxurious and sophisticated style and that encapsulates an ideal Australian beach holiday atmosphere. The design-led boutique accommodation consists of 18 retro rooms, each with modern restoration and amenities, 3 suites, a chic pool and lounge with a one-of-a-kind Cantina that is the perfect relaxation location for fun-loving guests. With this incredible destination in mind, let’s take a tour, shall we?

“There is something so wonderfully nostalgic about the Australian motel; it feels like a home away from home. We instantly fell in love with this property and saw the potential to create something truly special; it was an honour to be able to give it a new lease of life.”

- Yanna Dascarolis, Co-Founder, The Isla

Designed by friends, for friends, The Isla is the passion project of a group of Canberra professionals united by a shared dream to redevelop a retro motel into a modern traveller’s oasis and create a destination worthy of its beachside address (as opposed to a typical motel in the 1970s). A collection of Australian designers are proudly showcased throughout, paying homage to Australian coastal surrounds, with seating furniture from Design by Them, lighting from Coco Flip Design Studio, artwork from Vynka Hallam and Tegan Franks and ceramic panels from House of Orange. Each space was designed with the iconic 70s style feel in mind, with a warm sunset colour palette and natural textures and materials such as oak and terrazzo.

The Isla’s interior explores sunset hues of warm ochre and oak finishes with tones of ivory and kelp green that create a playful, luxe yet calming feel. Certainly not afraid of colour, the colour palette is also extended into the exterior with ivory bricks and breeze blocks, signature ochre-coloured doors and kelp green pool lounges and umbrellas within the poolside cabana and lounge area. With each room featuring breathtaking bespoke oak fixtures and furnishings, terrazzo features, brushed brass accents and textural pieces, guests are provided with such a design-led experience that one would simply not want to leave.

“The challenges of the last few years have given us a newfound appreciation for what we have here in Australia, and we really wanted to create something that brings back nostalgic feelings and creates interest everywhere you look but still feels luxurious and high-end.”

- Yanna Dascarolis, Co-Founder, The Isla

And the most unique and exciting part of The Isla? The Cantina. This Instagram-worthy outdoor retreat is the perfect oasis for fun-loving guests. Converted from the old garage in the original motel, the Cantina consists of a pool lounge and cabana that flows into a dining area and pool area with a retro cool feel. Guests can also make use of The Isla’s bespoke vending machines (or minibar) that offers curated and locally sourced goods such as beers, wines, cocktails, and expresso martinis. It also offers snacks and essentials you typically forget to bring on a holiday like sunscreen, toothbrushes, and phone chargers – how useful is that! 

There’s no better place for those wanting an Australian motel experience combined with a more modern hotel lifestyle. Perfect for those who are design-motivated and in need of a beachside holiday, The Isla awaits you, your friends, and your loved ones.