Leasehold is ok if your debt level is low, and if you are of the understanding that (unless you are very fortunate) you are buying a depreciating asset.
If it is a new lease, negotiate both the price and terms. Try to get the lessee to cover land rates and building insurance, and try to get a clause installed that says the owners must spend $xxxx each year on upgrading the infrastructure. Make sure the asking price is justified by hard figures, not projections.
After running a lease for 10 years, my recommendation would be freehold, at least there is a better chance of your asset appreciating in value.
With any motel: Don't think you will be sitting in your recliner waiting for customers to come in.....it is long hours and relief managers are expensive. One of you being a handyperson is a great advantage.
Bear in mind that (for a freehold at least) you will pay a premium for properties near the coast. Generally speaking, an inland motel is only worth it's return so you will likely pick up a better business.