Since we moved from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane so many have asked us whether we miss the beach.
Of COURSE we miss the beach. Having it on our doorstep was something we tried not to take for granted when we lived at the Coast.
This meant that most holidays and long weekends we’d stay put.
As a commuter, the last thing Mr SY was up for was more driving.
As beach lovers, we wanted to make the most of the fact we lived AT the beach.
What’s taken us a while to realise now that we’re officially “Brissos” is that it’s standard practice on holidays and long weekends to leave the city and seek out the very thing we used to stay at home for.
Most beach-loving Brissos will head north to our old home, the Sunshine Coast, or south to the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales. Some will travel to North Stradbroke (Straddie); others will head even further north, 4WDs loaded up for an escape to Fraser Island.
With the realisation that a long weekend would soon be upon us and work commitments preventing our escaping early on the Thursday to venture somewhere further afield (the past two years we’ve flown south to spend Easter on NSW’s Central Coast with the Woogs), I made the executive decision that it was time I showed Mr and Master SY the QT Gold Coast hotel.
See, I’d visited the hotel twice before, staying as part of a huge, annual blogging conference. These stays not only ensured I fell in love with the hotel but gave me the intel on which room type to book should I ever be returning with the family (see #9 below).
The QT Gold Coast is about 10 minutes walk north of Cavill Avenue. The building’s exterior is not new (it’s the old Gold Coast International Hotel building for those who remember back IN THE DAY) but step inside and it’s Gold Coast relaxed, retro glam all the way.
Like all the hotels in the QT chain, it’s packed with personality to suit its location.
I love the decor, staff uniforms and numerous small touches such as a free lemonade stall in the lobby (or ingredients to your room) but there are many more reasons why I’d happily return.
1. The staff genuinely seem to like working there. The hotel was at capacity across the Easter weekend but every staff member we encountered had a smile on their face and a “can-do” attitude.
2. You really don’t need to leave the hotel for good food options. The Bazaar Restaurant offers probably THE best hotel buffet my accompanying buffet aficionados have ever encountered. According to the hotel’s website, it’s not a buffet, it’s “an enticing international mosaic of foods in a deluxe street stall setting”. You help yourself to food so in my books it’s a buffet, a fancy buffet yes. At night time you can order a steak cooked to your specifications as well as starters – but you order those at the chef’s station. Same goes in the morning at the omelette station.
Iconic Gold Coast Japanese teppanyaki grill restaurant Yamagen is also on site. I stuffed up with the restaurant bookings, didn’t I? In my head I had Yamagen down for Sunday evening so booked Bazaar for Thursday night. Except Yamagen is not open Sunday or Monday. Fail. Now I’m sitting here on a Tuesday badly wanting a teppanyaki fix.
The food that can be ordered from the Stingray bar is top notch too. Particularly top notch when fish tacos are ordered and eaten poolside and downed with a margarita of any description.
3. If you really want to leave the hotel for food, pretty much everything you could ever want on any budget is five to 10 minutes’ walk away. The heart of Surfers is, however, not for the faint of heart. So. Many. People. Our people-induced tension eased when we stepped off the street and up into Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill restaurant at Surfers Paradise Hilton. Breathe. And Eat.
4. Surf clubs are always on the money for location and family-friendly offerings. Quite a few families we know were holidaying at the Gold Coast over the weekend so 20 of us descended on the Kurrawa Surf Club at Broadbeach. The kids played a marathon handball tournament (without fights!) in view of us from the deck upstairs, the mums sipped on a champers (or six), the dads downed beers while watching three games of footy on three different TVs. Everyone’s a winner.
5. There is a patrolled beach straight down the front from the QT. It’s not Surfers’ main beach but this is a good thing as it’s not as crowded but is still safe to swim at between the flags.
6. Gold Coast’s new light rail/tram system makes it very easy to get around and avoid carpark nightmares at shopping centres. There is a stop just down from the QT Hotel and we caught it to the end of the line at Broadbeach for a quick shop at Pacific Fair.
7. It’s worth getting out the car from the basement carpark to visit The Village Markets. These are on at Burleigh Heads and Paradise Point on alternate Sundays. Check the website for dates. Don’t think I didn’t shop up a storm (home decor pieces and boardies for Mr SY) and down a fresh, gluten-free donut and a fresh pineapple and coconut shaved ice.
8. Any hotel that comes with an in-house spa offering superior levels of pampering is always going to get my thumbs up. It will not surprise you if you’re aware of my self-publicised and acknowledged Spa Rat status that I’ll always book a spa treatment in advance of a hotel/spa stay. I’ve done so at each of my stays at the QT and am not one to break this kind of habit. I was in *need* of a facial so I didn’t muck around, opting for the USPA Concept Facial – 90 minutes of bliss that started with a foot scrub and back massage and ended with me snoring and drooling sometime between the exfoliation, therapeutic face and head massage and the hydration treatment. More info here.
9. Being able to book a hotel room with an “extra” room is always a bonus when travelling with kids. I’d stayed in the King Suite Ocean View rooms with my blogging roomies, Mrs Woog and BabyMac so I had the heads up that this was the room to book when travelling with our youngest – especially for more than one night. These particular rooms are on the corner of the building and have a lounge area with sofa bed, bar, powder room on one side and a king bed and ensuite with Japanese deep soak bath on the other side. Master SY declared the sofa bed the most comfy ever. We declared the ability to shut the door and switch the lights out on his side the best hotel room configuration ever.
We booked our Easter stay through the QT’s hotel rewards program, Priority Guest Rewards. It’s worth joining before you book as you’ll save at least 10% on the lowest hotel room rate, plus at least 20% off meals and drinks at the hotel where you’re staying.
Have you ever stayed at the QT Gold Coast? Are you a regular Gold Coast visitor? Share what you love to do and where you like to stay.