Paul’s Motor Inn
An unpretentious throwback to 1950s road culture
GIVEN VICTORIA’S REP as a retiree hotbed, this candid shrine to kitsch is a porthole into an era when the (allegedly) nearly dead were painting the town red. Originally built in 1938, authentic retro flourishes dominate the three-storey motel’s design and décor—wood panelling galore, a copper-plated ceiling, oversized hexagon and oval patterns—to the point that you’ll wish you’d packed a poodle skirt or bowler hat.
Black-and-white photos lining the hallways trace the motel’s rich history as a beacon of Victoria’s social scene (as well as the eponymous owners’ saucy sense of humour), and lead to a cozy, angular fishbowl of a diner that still attracts weekly patronage for cheap and cheerful home cooking, like liver and onions or pie à la mode.
Bygone enticements aside, the motel’s 78 rooms are clean, snug and unpretentious, and the distractions (a small, serene garden courtyard among them) are simple enough to keep you focused on exploring downtown and the Inner Harbour on foot, just steps away.
Prices start at $64 in the off-season, and $109 otherwise.