For the many whose English motorway memories consist predominantly of Little Chef, a windowless Premier Inn, and Stone Henge, it's hard to say motels have ever been on their radar. And with only a few preconceived stereotypes in mind (hookers, stains, and strays), a fair amount of intrigue surrounds how Mollie's Motel, a hotel off the M5 in Cribbs Causeway, has generated such acclaim.

Mollie's is the creation of Nick Jones. He's the brains behind country hotel Babington House and head honcho at Soho House, whose empire of hotels and members clubs span several continents and many dazzling cities. There are currently two Mollies, in Buckland Oxfordshire and Cribbs Causeway Bristol, with a site in Manchester set to open in late 2023. All three have set out to provide something a little different in an attempt to resuscitate UK road stays (which we all can agree were flat-lining). Expect Soho House-designed interiors, high-spec contemporary rooms, burgers, shakes, a swishy digital check-in, and surprisingly affordable prices.

Ranking in the Sunday Times Top 100 Places to Stay in Britain 2023 and made by one of the world's most successful hotel brands, could Mollie's Motel be a revolution to roadside stays?

What’s the draw?

Mollie's is a hybrid of American fifties nostalgia, with contrasting scandi-minimal décor reserved for its bedrooms. It's a smart move because, after stop-start traffic on the M5, and three hours of Magic FM, the last thing you would want is to stay in a bedroom with a leery black and white checked floor, red pleather headboard and neon signs.

The bedrooms are stylish and neutral. The beds are king-size, the sheets are Egyptian cotton, and the bathroom is kitted out with Cowshed products and a rainforest shower. Unlike many roadside hotels, there are big windows and even better, the windows let in natural light. Check-in is via an app or at the lobby, which conveniently doubles as a bar, meaning you can request room keys and a glass of sauvignon simultaneously.

Alongside the motel, there's a separate diner, which is a stark contrast to the rooms. With green leather Cadillac booths, retro ceiling lights and a kitsch tiled floor, you feel like you could be sipping a milkshake at the Waffle Hut from Fargo (minus the bloodshed).

What to eat?

Breakfast at the diner serves up the classics – think eggs (Benedict, Florentine, etc.), fry-ups, waffles, French toast, and granola. The Full English deserves particular recognition - golden yolk fried eggs with a crispy skirt, the crunchiest hashbrowns with razor-sharp edges, buttered white bread and a pile of bacon and sausage.

There’s also an all-day menu which caters to all your food needs which aren’t breakfast. As expected, ribs, rotisserie chicken, burgers, all-day eggs, and waffles make an appearance on the menu. The food is comforting, crowd-pleasing, and a far cry from the tepid pasties and overpriced frappés you would normally tolerate at a motorway services.

What to drink?

Something feels off about recommending alcoholic beverages for a roadside stop-off. But if you are not the designated driver or are staying the night, we recommend the spicy paloma, English garden or rum punch. There’s also an attractive selection of beers, ciders and wines, whiskies, mocktails and milkshakes. This may also be the first motel with Kombucha on the menu, but we are living in the 21st century.

What’s the damage?

Really quite minimal. A double, twin or bunk room will cost you £75-150 depending on the day of the week and time of the year you stay. With the sort of bed linen Soho House members have become accustomed to, Dyson hairdryers and seductive wooden interiors, it feels like a steal. Food at the diner is cheap and cheerful, with mains and breakfast dishes costing around £10 a pop, cocktails £8 and bottles of wine spanning £18-39. Granted, you would hope that a stop-off at a motorway-side hotel and restaurant isn’t going to ruin your finances, but it’s nice to know the good value you are receiving here. With ten more motels in the pipeline, it seems that the roadside hotel market is about to get disrupted.