May 01, 2023
17 mins Read
It’s a coastal city famed for its flashiness, and the reputation extends to a glittering collection of hotels, resorts, and retreats. Whether you’re up for five-star grandeur freckled with designer amenities, sky-high suites draped with jaw-dropping views, family-friendly sanctuaries teeming with activities or something in between it all, luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast is worth the hype.
It doesn’t get swishier than the Palazzo Versace, a long-serving leader in luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast. This waterfront property, which we can personally attest feels surprisingly more glam than gaudy, is awash with marble, parquetry flooring and gold leaf accents, as well as the Italian fashion house’s signature bold prints and bespoke furnishings. But it was recently announced the House of Versace fashion brand has decided not to renew its branding agreement with the luxury hotel and as a result, the hotel will lose its iconic Medusa head furnishings and require a rebrand and extensive remodel. The current deal is set to expire mid-2023 and numerous hotel groups are already in talks to purchase the hotel. The clock is ticking if you want to experience one last stay at Palazzo Versace.
All 200 guest rooms and suites feature a more pared-back design, but each boasts its own balcony, floods of natural light, a spa bath big enough for a couple, plus extra marble throughout the entire bathroom. More parquetry flooring plus fluffy bedding simply begging you to sink into, further heighten the majesty. The Grand Lobby, with its lofty ceilings, enormous chandelier, and weekly grand piano recitals, is arguably the hotel’s shining centrepiece, but there are plenty more strings to this hotel’s bow.
Moor your boat at Palazzo Versace’s private marina, idle away the day in a 63-metre pool surrounded by private cabanas, dine in style at the hotel’s two haute cuisine restaurants before enjoying one of the hotel’s signature high teas at the sumptuous Le Jardin lobby bar, and retreat to the airport in one of the property’s two bespoke chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce Phantoms.
Plus, retail therapy’s right at your fingertips thanks to luxury boutiques located in the lobby and Marina Mirage’s designer stores that are just a short walk away. If you couldn’t shake the kids, Sea World Resort is also just down the road. Rooms start from approximately $450 per night.
Address: 94 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
It took almost eight years to construct and The Langham Gold Coast’s 2022 unveiling didn’t fail to blow us away. Charming guests through its esteemed Sydney and Melbourne outposts for years, the Hong Kong-based chain went big up north, taking up residence in one of the three shimmering, futuristic beachfront Jewel towers in Surfers Paradise.
Offering uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean and Gold Coast Hinterland, all 169 beautifully appointed hotel rooms (and that’s on top of the 170 residences), offer a sophisticated, monochromatic fit-out complete with sleek furnishings and state-of-the-art tech including smart room lighting and motorised blinds, all warmed up via the odd beachy whitewash and rosy rose gold accents. Marble benchtops, moody sheer drapes and deluxe French Diptyque toiletries sexy up the vibes even further.
This is a new level of luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast – and we haven’t even got to Chuan Spa Gold Coast, its exquisite day spa, or the restaurants including The Langham’s first Australian extension of its Michelin star Cantonese dining experience, T’Ang Court. It’s all breathtaking, and the hospitality is natural and endlessly accommodating, leaving a lasting impression long beyond check-out.
Elsewhere, there’s also an ocean-fronting health club, an indoor and an outdoor 20-metre pool with a swim-up bar, seven individual dining spaces, and best of all, you’re mere steps away from the beach itself. An experience worth splurging on, rooms start from $639 per night.
Address: 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise
The ultimate in boutique luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast, this modern all-suite hotel, has just 56 guest rooms, each of which features floor-to-ceiling windows, all very generously sized. Even the entry-level suites measure in at 70 square metres, while The Darling’s most exclusive penthouses can occupy a whopping 328 square metres, and even boast their own personal billiard room, exercise room or karaoke room.
Look and feel-wise, they’re quintessentially Gold Coast – bold colour palettes and dialled-up bling including extraordinary chandeliers and metallic curtains make it all very more-is-more (when is velvet and Italian-made bedding never supremely comfortable?).
But the hotel’s piece de resistance lies on the 19th floor: a rooftop infinity pool with a terrace and sun loungers that’s also home to a lounge bar and the award-winning fine-dining restaurant Nineteen at the Star. And while the food itself is reliably wonderful, it’s the slick service and lovely staff, which extends right through The Darling, that really cuts through.
To cap it all off, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more centrally located address. The Darling is situated in Broadbeach, less than a 15-minute walk to the beach, or a five-minute drive to Surfers Paradise, and Queensland’s largest shopping centre, Pacific Fair, sits just across the road. Rooms start from $799 per night.
Address: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Meanwhile in the always-on The Star complex, The Star Grand offers a similarly glamorous vibe to The Darling, however there’s plenty more space to play in. With a staggering 592 rooms all of its own, each accented with superb ocean or hinterland views, this hotel is a mainstay when it comes to luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast, located in the ideal spot to base your holiday.
Friendly service stars greet you at the hotel’s enormous lobby before a range of magnificent rooms and suites, some featuring balconies while others are fitted out with private bars and open-plan lounge rooms, await. Splashes of shine liven up white furnishings and discreet touches of timber and geometric print, creating an air of distinctly refined elegance when compared to The Darling’s party-time energy.
Rain showerheads and spacious bathrooms make for serious comfort, plus the rooms on level 18 and above also include access to the hotel’s Executive Lounge where canapes and drinks are complimentary from 5pm-7pm every evening.
The casino obviously provides round-the-clock entertainment and there’s also a private pool with two spas and a pool bar, plus Azure Spa & Fitness on hand when you really want to spoil yourself. Rooms start from $334 per night.
Address: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Saving possibly the best for last, the final jewel in The Star’s high-end lodgings crown is Dorsett Gold Coast, which opened its doors at the end of 2021. The younger, chicer sibling to The Star’s older plush hotels, this luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast makes a mark from the moment you slink into its dazzling lobby as glistening caramel shades pop against a palette of stark white and a 750-kilogram marble check-in counter greets you. The service is professional and efficient, making your arrival even more special, and no matter which of the 313 rooms you’re placed in, those stunning ocean or hinterland views follow.
Your digs themselves bubble with character as loud, nature-inspired prints compliment more of the hotel’s trademark gold, while all your creature comforts are stylishly covered in the way of automatic lighting, flat-screen TVs, Google Chromecast, and rain showerheads.
Eventually, the magnificent Slim Aarons-feeling Isoletto Pool Club, complete with peaches and cream-hued umbrellas, a 12-metre pool overlooking Broadbeach and four-post cabanas, will beckon, plus there’s Jin Cafe & Bar located back down in the lobby, offering light snacks, coffee, and cocktails away from the rest of The Star’s facilities.
It all just feels super exclusive, ensuring the Dorsett’s crowd-favourite status within the entertainment juggernaut’s extensive roll call of offerings. Even better, it’s luxury that won’t break the bank, with rooms starting from approximately $260 per night.
Address: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
When only a luxury resort will do, head for this Marriott property in Surfers. The JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa reopened at the end of 2020 after a major facelift and the rooms are an exercise in sleek modern minimalism, all whitewashed with soothing blue accents and marble bathrooms.
But the real scene-stealer is the resort’s lush outdoor oasis, which features a pool surrounded by palm and pandanus trees and strewn with heated cave spas, saltwater lagoons (speckled with tropical fish, so bring your snorkel) and exclusive cabana lounges. You’ll struggle to leave all the action, so don’t and get to ordering meals and delicious cocktails from The Pool Pavilion, located right in the thick of the garden mecca.
You’ll find all the other usual suspects at this Marriott too: a modern fitness centre, four upscale onsite restaurants that specialise in seafood, Japanese cuisine, and international fusion, and a full-service spa. Plus, it’s hands-down the most high-end family-friendly luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast where kids are spoiled with activities including sushi-rolling classes, a buffet at the hotel’s acclaimed Citrique restaurant stacked with ice cream, waffles, pancakes and more, and escorted kayaking adventures.
As for the service, no amount of toddler tantrums or food fighting can rock this world-class team, who will continue to smile as they help you hunt down port-a-cots, highchairs, and additional wipes. Spoken from exhausted experience. Rooms start from approximately $512 per night.
Address: 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Soak away your troubles in the heated resort oasis or stroll a few metres further and dive straight into the ocean at the lifeguard-patrolled Mirage Beach – the world is your swimming pool at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort.
This sprawling luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast occupies some prime Queensland real estate. Spread across six hectares, the low-rise estate plays host to manicured gardens and lagoons crisscrossed by timber boardwalks, setting the tone for a truly tropical and laidback stay that feels worlds apart from the hubbub of glitzy Surfers Paradise.
Switch off from the world and switch on the indulgence at this Main Beach property’s swim-up bar, its indisputable main attraction, before returning to your suite, tailored to extended getaways with open-plan living and dining areas, and panoramic, impossible-to-turn-your-back-on views.
Sophisticated nautical vibes – think a generous dollop of navy and white stripes, plus beautifully textured materials – create a chilled-out atmosphere but serious praise must be showered upon the brand’s Sheraton Signature Bed, manufactured by Sealy and designed to softly glide beneath your body’s pressure points. The comfort is so amazing that guests want to, and now can, take the beds back home with them via a Sheraton purchase and delivery service. Genius.
Two and three-bedroom villas are also on offer, as is a range of eateries including Terraces Restaurant, home to a glorious seafood buffet, and Oyster Bar & Grill where even more impeccable seafood is dished up. Rooms start from around $540 per night.
Address: 71 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
Craving a change of scenery? Head for the lush, mist-masked hills with an unforgettable stay at Verandah House Country Estate, located in Tamborine Mountain. Offering luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast for utter romantics, this is hinterland splendour in the form of eight finely appointed suites that sleep up to two people, bar one that sleeps up to four.
It’s the country styling of your win-the-lotto dreams as Ralph Lauren details, soft florals and striking checks dot an abundance of French oak and wicker furniture. Roaring fireplaces, complimentary mini bars, cosy custom-built king beds, roomy lounge areas and kitchenettes ensure you’ll rarely need to leave your room. But when you do, there’s a magnesium mineral pool, infrared sauna, cedar hot tub, stone fire pit adorned with adorable white Adirondack chairs, spa treatments and a range of walking trails waiting for you.
Led by interior designer Judy Pereira, the team is accommodating and remarkably understanding of high-end yet homely hospitality, so guests are bound to be charmed from start to finish. Rooms start from approximately $549 per night, and that includes a continental breakfast.
Address: 13-17 Munro Court, Tamborine Mountain
While we’re venturing over this picture-perfect neck of the woods, Beechmont Estate is yet another beautiful, hinterland-based Gold Coast luxury accommodation offering, just under an hour’s drive inland from Surfers Paradise.
Lying right on the fringe of Lamington National Park, the property is surrounded by unique wildlife, rich rainforest, and spectacular walking tracks – but it’s what’s inside this place that will take your breath away. Three main room types offer immersive, sweeping views of rolling hills often decorated with farm animals, in addition to private timber decks, potbelly fireplaces and luxurious rain showers.
The vibe is elegant yet pared-back, allowing the focus to remain on those unbelievable vistas, and then there’s The Owner’s Residence, a four-bedroom oasis priced from $5,000 per night, which offers next-level lodging for up to eight guests including champagne on arrival, an infinity pool and spa, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, breakfast hampers, weekend yoga sessions, daily meals at the critically-acclaimed on-site The Paddock restaurant and a selection of drinks.
But if you’re ‘slumming it’ in the cabins and pavilions, you’ll find plenty to indulge in at the accommodation’s Beechmont Estate Day Spa plus organised experiences including wine and cheese tastings and cocktail classes. The service is warm and unpretentious, to boot. Cabin and pavilion room rates start from about $419 per night.
Address: 422 Binna Burra Road, Beechmont
If you’re looking for luxury with a side serving of cool irreverence, then you’ve come to the right place. The QT Gold Coast might not feature the same level of luxe as some of the other properties on this list, but what it lacks in finesse it makes up for with personality.
Expect vibrant pops of colour in the guest rooms, styled with a nod to vintage beach culture through epic photography slung across the walls and cleverly printed on cushions. Lashings of character can be found everywhere including the wardrobe where Missoni bathrobes hang, and the bathroom where hair did-er to the stars Kevin Murphy products feature.
Imaginative cocktails and fusion share plates are on offer in the hotel’s handful of restaurants and bars including The Spring, an action-packed poolside zone decorated with zebra-striped everything including cabanas that offer bottle service, umbrellas and even the pool itself, Bazaar, its excellent buffet, Yamagen, nailing contemporary Japanese cuisine and the fancier Stingray, paying tribute to every shade of California, and featuring a 50-strong menu of tequilas.
Cool down after a day of sunbaking and adventure inside this luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast with a relaxing treatment at the resident day spa, spaQ. Room rates start from roughly $409 per night.
Oh, and if you’re fascinated by the tiny house phenomenon, you’ll need to peek at the QT’s latest rooftop project, qtQT Cabins, a collection of six adorable, 15.7-square-metre stays that encourage disconnection from technology (no TVs in here) through adjoining balconies, a communal fire pit and in-room games, books, and treats. qtQT Cabin rates start from $359 per night.
Address: 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Take graceful Parisian style and whisk it delicately with a beachy Aussie aesthetic to create the unique Sofitel Gold Coast. Positioned right in the thick of tourist central at Broadbeach, this luxury accommodation on the Gold Coast offers 296 elegant rooms, each offering million-dollar views of the Pacific Ocean or rich hinterland.
The rooms are plushly carpeted as warm timber finishes complement a coastal colour palette, and luxurious bathrobes and slippers are included. And if you can lock down one of the 72-square-metre Prestige Suites, do so and you’ll be further spoiled with Balmain amenities, a fully furnished balcony, a pillow menu filled with custom options depending on your sleeping habits, an enormous living area and spa bath.
Three dining and wining experiences are located within the hotel including the outstanding Room81, offering authentic French cuisine, plus there’s a large outdoor pool surrounded by several cabanas fitted with dramatic drawable curtains for ultimate privacy. Rooms start from around $439 per night.
Address: 81 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
A reliable, consistently pleasing name in hotel accommodation, Peppers does the job with total flair on the Gold Coast. Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise consists of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, plus one stately four-bedroom Presidential Suite, inside a spectacular 77-level skyrise.
The theme is, unsurprisingly, coastal chic, bringing in high-shine monochromes and floor-to-ceiling glass to allow those ravishing ocean views to steal the show. It’s totally glamorous while full kitchens and laundries, spa baths and private balconies provide all the necessary ingredients for a comfortable family holiday or couples’ retreat.
A 25-metre outdoor heated pool is arguably the property’s headline act, featuring incredible water views, but there’s also an indoor heated lap pool, steam room, sauna and spa, fully stocked gym and stellar on-site dining space to keep you busy. Hyde Paradiso, a slice of Mediterranean-inspired heaven with coastal vistas to compliment it, shakes up a wide range of cocktails to be devoured over a menu filled with yummy tapas. Rooms start from $423 per night.
Address: 8 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
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