Bars and Nightclubs
Melbourne South, Melbourne

The Motel Nightclub

172 York St, South Melbourne, VIC
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Melbourne’s iconic nightlife venue, The Motel is a dance arena like no other. Downstairs is a sophisticated lounge bar resplendent with old world glamour and retro fittings and middle of the room dancefloor. Upstairs opens you to the atmosphere of Melbourne looking out to the largest roof deck in the city and a second thumping dance floor area. Four bars, including an outdoor bar, just adds emphasis to this amazing institution. The eclectic fusion of retro furnishings, modern finishes and breathtaking city views gives this Melbourne party icon a cool and contemporary edge. This is a unique space!

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What to Expect @ The Motel Nightclub

By Melissa Zheliba

I am a compassionate person who looks for the best in things and I want to say ‘With You Friday’s’ at The Motel is a great! /fun! /happening! /wicked! night out, but I have major beef with The Motel; specifically it’s inability to ‘deliver the goods’. After my first visit I was confident enough to boast about what an awesome night it was and even assure my friends that they were bound to enjoy themselves when they went. My second visit, however, was a bit of a slap in the face. Which I now responding to with… Although The Motel is not the seedy establishment you may picture it to be, it’s no Hilton either. And it certainly does not have your back.

The $20 cover charge, considerable queue at 10:30 and random guys roaming the streets looking for girls to escort them in (thus allowing them to meet the required 1 guy 1 girl ratio bluntly enforced by the bouncers) in addition to its location in the notoriously trendy South Melbourne tick a considerable amount of the ‘worthwhile venue that people rate’ boxes. Three full bars, 5 star drink prices, spacious outdoor area, honestly, the only thing Motel-esque about the place was the state of the toilets, but no real attention was paid to that because… wow! It was such a great time that was being had! It seemed difficult to find any reason to leave the dance floor, except maybe for ABC shots (absinthe, Bacardi 151 and if you make it to find out what the C is, you are not human).

Perhaps you can imagine my disappointment when my rather fond memories were refuted with a new, vacuous reality where instead of celebrating, people entered only to retreat to the secluded booths, chain smoke outside or surrender their hard earned cash to drown their sorrows. The dance space, albeit empty appeared noticeably smaller than I remembered and the outside area distinctly larger. Bittersweet ballads were being sung under the moonlight by a live musician to a projected backdrop of season one Gossip Girl. Not. Even. Joking.

As much as I tried to deny it, it seemed as though Motel was just determined to prevent a party from occurring.

I’m no expert, but if The Motel were a person, it would defiantly suffer from a personality disorder. On a superficial level, The Motel appears pessimistic and un-ambitious yet it possesses traits that conspicuously reveal a high level of self-esteem, some might say borderline arrogance. I have experienced The Motel on two separate occasions, thus providing myself ample opportunity to observe the behavior of York St’s Friday night hotspot. My educated conclusion is to expect the unexpected.

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