Modern motel in melon country

ROADSIDE motels are a dime a dozen, mostly offering adequate but forgettable experiences. Beds are lumpy, bathrooms are tired, TV pictures are fuzzy. But they serve their purpose as highway stops.

Only occasionally does one stand out from the pack.

I recently found myself in quaint Chinchilla (300 km inland from Brisbane, via Toowoomba and Dalby), source of 25% of Australia’s watermelons, and discovered the new 44-room motel in the heart of town.

It’s opposite a busy RSL club, Chinchilla’s only dinner venue besides a couple of pubs, three coffee-shop-cum-takeaway places and a country-style Chinese eatery.

The motel’s restaurant (closed for lunch and dinner) serves aboveaverage cooked breakfasts.

My room is a surprise, appointed much like those at upscale city properties. It’s big – with kitchenette, wellstocked mini-bar and spacious bathroom. The TV is a 107 cm cable-connected plasma job.