Traveller's Choice "Best of the Best" win for Port Douglas Motel


Karlie Brady


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John Nagan, Jenny Derbyshire and Lillian Nagan are ecstatic with their TripAdvisor recognition. Image: Karlie Brady.
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A local accommodation provider has been recognised in TripAdvisor’s highest honours, the Traveller’s Choice "Best of the Best" Awards.

The Port Douglas Motel was voted number one in the top 25 bargain hotels in Australia and number eight in the world.

The Motel also took out number one spot in the top 25 bargain hotels in the South Pacific and was number 17 of 25 hotels in Australia for extraordinary stays with standout service.

The retro-themed motel has picked up a Traveller’s Choice title for the last six years, however, this year has been a step above, joining the “Best of the Best” category, ranking the Motel in the top one per cent of hotels worldwide for bargain stays.

Port Douglas Motel owner, Lillian Nagan, said it was a “very proud moment” when TripAdvisor informed her of the awards.

“We were so excited and elated that we've achieved so much,” she said.

“It’s quite a big feather in our cap.

“It has been a major accomplishment for us because there's a lot of competition in Port Douglas.”

Ms Nagan said it was a huge team effort, attributing the success to her team’s exceptional customer service.

“Everybody genuinely cares about the customer and it comes through when you're dealing with people. That personal touch is so important.”

The Port Douglas Motel has been a feature of Port Douglas for 50 years, however, it didn’t always sport the colourful, eccentric, Palm Springs styling it is well known for today.

The retro, tropical theme was the brainchild of Ms Nagan and her husband John.

The couple, who have lived in Port Douglas for 35 years, said when they bought the motel in 2013, they quickly decided it needed a point of difference.

“When we bought the motel, it was just typical beige colours everywhere and was going nowhere with its personality,” Ms Nagan said.

“So, I thought how can we stand out from the crowd, what can we do that's different?

“So, we came up with the retro theme.”

The Nagan’s also let out the holiday house next door to the Motel, the Port Douglas Holiday Cottage, which is also decked out in their signature retro theme.

“We’re just a bit quirky, funky, and cheerful,” she said.

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