Local Escapes

21 Of The Best Queensland Resorts To Book Into

By Victoria Patapan

It's time to put that holiday nest egg to good use with a Sunshine State vacay guaranteed to take your breath away. We’re talking luxury hotels, five-star suites, and tropical island villas designed to give you a taste of the luxury resort life, Queensland style.

Here at Urban List, we're big believers in the adage 'have less, do more,' so we fully support your decision to give up on that house deposit and just live large on holiday whenever possible–and there's certainly plenty of places where you can do just that in our fair state. Dust off your suitcase and book yourself in at one of the best luxury Queensland resorts.

Hamilton Island Coming Soon: The Sundays

Image Credit: The Sundays | Supplied

If you’re heading to Hamilton Island, you want to be doing it in style—luxury accommodations are the way to go. But for those with kids, that’s not often an option—with resorts like qualia adults-only, and others geared towards the sinks and dinks it’s usually apart-hotel or bust. The Sundays is here to change all that though—opening in autumn 2025, this luxe new boutique hotel comes from the team behind luxury resort qualia, only it’s being created with families in mind. Featuring interconnecting hotel rooms, a stunning pool surrounded by private cabanas and a waters-edge restaurant and bar, The Sundays will take your next Whitsundays family holiday up more than a notch. Of course, you don't have to have kids to enjoy the lush ocean-side stay—bookings are set to open in spring, so stay tuned. 

Mission Beach The Elandra

Image Credit: The Elandra | Website

The team behind the just offshore Bedarra Resort are behind the recent renovation and reopening of this luxe Mission Beach resort, and have spent millions transforming The Elandra into a five-star beachside retreat. Featuring just 20 rooms for now, with 12 more to come, the dreamy resort features its own day spa, restaurant, tennis court, gym, and of course, that stunning pool.

Each room has its own balcony with sea views, and you’ll have direct access to the beach and Kennedy Walking Track when you’ve had enough of relaxing with cocktails. Picturing yourself starting the day with breakfast on that pool deck already? Book here

Whitsundays InterContinental Hayman Island Resort

Image Credit: InterContinental Hayman Island Resort | Booking.com

If you want all the luxury and amenities of a mega luxury Queensland resort but you also want total privacy and a kid-free slice of beach literally at your front door, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort’s Beachfront Pavilions are the getaway you’re looking for. These adults-only one-bedroom cabins are perched on the edge of Hayman Bay, with the ocean just steps away from the front deck of each of the 12 sites.

You can gaze out on the horizon from the private heated plunge pool, your plush king-sized bed or even the free-standing bath, whichever best matches your mood for the day. Of course, if you want to leave your dreamy bubble of perfection, the resort’s restaurants, bars, pools and spa are only a short walk away. Book in here.

Hamilton Island Qualia

Image Credit: Qualia | Website

Situated on the northernmost point of Hamilton Island, Qualia offers interrupted views of the Coral Sea and the surrounding islands. One of the best luxury Queensland resorts, this luxe tropical getaway will whisk you away to a quiet corner of nature hidden from the rest of the world.

Relax and unwind in a sun-filled Leeward Pavilion, creatively designed to celebrate the memorable Whitsunday sunsets. Better still, wake to panoramic ocean views by booking a stay in one of QUalia’s Windward Pavilion. Whichever you choose, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re living in luxury.

Brisbane City W Brisbane

Image Credit: W Brisbane | Booking

Okay, we admit it, we’re starting with the obvious. But there was no way W Brisbane wasn’t gonna make this list—from the moment you step through the doors you’ll feel like you’re in a luxury resort, not in the middle of the Brisbane CBD.

This glamorous riverside hotel boasts incredible sights of the city from its sprawling pool deck, so you can dip in decadence while taking in the night life. The roomy suites are filled with stunning decor, so you can sneak in an Insta post from the comfort of your hotel room. Book here.

Mt Mulligan Mt Mulligan Lodge

Image Credit: Mt Mulligan Lodge | Tourism & Events Queensland

Dig out your akubra and discover the outback at Queensland’s most iconic all-inclusive luxury outback hotel. Mt Mulligan Lodge offers 16 spacious retreats overlooking a eucalyptus-fringed weir for that all-natural Aussie charm.

The earthy-tones of the lodge’s plush linen, sisal rugs and lavish leather furniture mirror the hues found in the landscape outside. Take a dip in the deep outdoor bath on your own private verandah and watch your worries melt away. Yes, it does cost a mint—but so would that African safari you were planning on taking. Book here.

Townsville Ardo

Image Credit: Ardo | Supplied

Ardo is Townsville’s first luxury hotel and since opening in December 2023, has garnered national attention. Primely located on Townsville’s foreshore, Ardo is the epitome of coastal luxury—it boasts Tropical North Queensland’s first infinity rooftop pool, three distinct restaurants and an opulent day spa.

The $88 million hotel houses 132 generously-sized rooms and suites, all with private balconies or courtyards, and most with panoramic views of the Coral Sea. Wraparound balconies, curved outdoor baths, couples’ daybeds and Magnetic Island views are all on the agenda for those staying in a suite. Book here.

Einasleigh Gilberton Outback Retreat

Image Credit: Gilberton Outback Retreat | Tourism & Events Queensland

Gilberton Outback Retreat is the perfect place for a digital detox—if you’ve got the coin to pay for it. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Gilbert River, this luxurious getaway offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the surrounding rugged landscape. All activities and meals are inclusive, including their 4WD Buggy Safari and Gold Mining and Fossicking Tour.

There’s plenty to see and do in the area; we recommend a trip to Cobbold Gorge, or an Outback Tour From Above. Retreat to your room to nibble on your complimentary welcome platter as you don a luxurious fluffy bathrobe and matching slippers. Book here.

Daydream Island Daydream Island Resort

Image Credit: Daydream Island Resort | Whitsunday Holidays

When it comes to taking the holiday of your dreams, Daydream Island Resort has it in the bag. Located in the heart of the Whitsundays, a stay at Daydream is the perfect getaway to the Great Barrier Reef.

Following a massive $140 million refurbishment, the Queensland resort’s bright and airy rooms are like a tonic for the soul, with all the modern touches you need to make life easy. Upon arrival, head straight for the day spa and unwind with a bespoke spa experience designed to soothe and invigorate. Book here.

Hardy Reef Reef Suites

Image Credit: Reef Suites | Cruise Whitsundays

Take your vacay to the next level with a stay in one of Hardy Reef’s Reef Suites—Australia’s first underwater accommodation on the Great Barrier Reef. Begin your journey with a high-speed cruise to Reefworld’s revamped pontoon, where you can swim, snorkel and dine in on a star-lit longtable dinner.

Spend a magical night soaking up the sights of a marine wonderland before waking up to turtles swimming by your floor-to-ceiling windows. Take it from us—these suites give a whole new meaning to ‘room with a view’.

Palm Island Orpheus Island Lodge

Image Credit: Orpheus Island Lodge | Website

Located just north of Townsville, Orpheus Island Lodge offers a tropical escape surrounded by the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Their beachfront villas and open plan suites offer a contemporary island ambience right on the ocean’s edge.

Alongside all the regular resort activity offerings, Orpheus gives guests the chance to explore the island’s surrounding beaches with their very own dinghy—complete with a chef-prepared picnic, of course. If you've got a couple of grand to spare, this is one to tick off the bucket list. 

Lizard Island Lizard Island Resort

Image Credit: Lizard Island Resort | Website

Lie back and relax on one of the 24 pristine powdery white private beaches of Lizard Island Resort—they're worth spending your savings on. Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, the island is fringed by some of Australia’s most stunning coral formations, just steps from the beach.

Enjoy secluded picnics on squeaky-soft sand, world class fishing or indulge in a luxurious treatment at their onsite spa. Wind down with a private beachside degustation dinner at sunset for a night you’ll never forget.

Bedarra Island Bedarra Island Resort

Image Credit: Bedarra Island Resort | Website

Looking for a place to get away from it all? We’re pretty sure we’ve found the perfect spot. With just ten private villas nestled amongst 45 hectares of tropical rainforest, Bedarra promises guests solitude and privacy alongside breathtaking views over the sparkling waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Each villa offers a unique escape from civilisation, from private plunge pools to outdoor bathrooms and sprawling sundecks.

Indulge in a 5-star dining experience with a candlelit dinner for two on your own private beach deck, or sample the chef’s exquisite menu with a meal at the open terrace restaurant. Either way, with food this good, you know you’ll be coming back for seconds of this luxury resort Queensland loves.

Whitsundays Elysian Luxury Eco Island Retreat

Image Credit: Elysian Luxury Eco Island Retreat | Website

Tucked away in a three-hectare private cove on Long Island in the Whitsundays is Elysian Luxury Eco Island Retreat—the cove itself is called Paradise Bay, which really just says it all. Awaiting you and your special someone is a secluded, self-sustaining retreat surrounded by rainforest, where lazy beach days and waterfront adventures are all that fill your daily to-do list. All-inclusive, your stay includes three meals a day, with onsite chefs who whip up feasts utilising local seafood and produce from the resort’s own garden.

Unwind at the island’s day spa where expert therapists use sustainable practices and organic treatments that will spoil you so much you won’t want to leave the chair. Once you do, however, you can get active with activities like snorkelling, kayaking, paddleboarding and yoga, with free rein on all water sports equipment. We haven’t even mentioned the fact that you’ll be sleeping in your own private villa, some of which have private plunge pools overlooking the water—book your stay here.

Cairns Crystalbrook Riley

Image Credit: Crystalbrook Riley | Website

One of the few resort-style accommodations in Cairns, Crystalbrook Riley takes luxe to the next level. With over 300 rooms, a restaurant, rooftop bar (and another bar coming soon), spa and stunning pool with a man-made beach, you won’t even want to leave the building.

Even though it has everything you need, the city’s attractions are just a short distance away, with the Cairns Esplanade and waterfront right outside, and the town centre right around the corner. The ferry terminal where you can start your journey out to the reef is also just a short walk away. Book your stay here.

Port Douglas Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort

Image Credit: Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort | Booking.com

Venture north to the tropical end of Queensland and you’ll find Sheraton Grand Mirage, located in breezy Port Douglas just an hour’s drive from Cairns. Here you can immerse yourself in luxury at the beachfront property right on the on cusp of the Famous Four Mile beach, surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

Practically the definition of ‘escape’, this Queensland resort has grand suites and rooms with views of either the sparkling lagoons or gorgeous gardens, with the option of private, swim out balconies if you really want to level up your holiday. Refresh your soul with dips morning, noon and night or practise your swing on the resort’s private golf course. Come evening, you can down a poolside drink (or three) and take your pick from one of the three onsite restaurants. Book your stay here

Gold Coast The Langham

Image Credit: The Langham | Website

The Langham is one of Queensland’s newest luxury resorts and towers high like a shining spire as the tallest of the three eye-catching Jewel Towers in Surfers Paradise. Boasting 17 different types of sleek rooms and suites, direct beachfront access and panoramic ocean views, this 339-room destination offers an unprecedented level of five-star accommodation on the Gold Coast.

The first hotel with direct beachfront access to be built on the Gold Coast in more than 30 years, The Langham is home to incredible  facilities including one of the hotel’s star attractions, a huge lagoon-style beachfront pool with a swim-up pool bar and spa. Other reasons it makes our list include the Chuan Spa, a holistic wellness retreat complete with an indoor pool, and a world-class lineup of six dining and bar venues, including T’ang Court, a Michelin-starred restaurant. Book here.

Gold Coast JW Marriott

Image Credit: JW Marriott | Booking.com

JW Marriott in Surfers Paradise undertook massive renovations in 2020—$35 million dollars' worth to be exact. So what does a $35 million-dollars refurbishment look like? Well, we’re talking a total refresh of the 223 rooms and suites, as well as the Marriott’s two original restaurants, the lobby lounge and bar and pool bar.

JW Marriott's signature teppanyaki restaurant, Misono,  showcases Japanese-inspired dining experiences, including an intimate izakaya, tearoom, sushi bar and a Japanese whisky bar with a stunning new outdoor terrace, while Citrique, the Marriott's main restaurant, now features a new interactive show kitchen. If you’re not here to eat though, JW Marriott’s incredible saltwater lagoon is quite frankly a Gold Coast icon, complete with sandy beaches, waterfalls and over 200 tropical fish. Oh and there’s a freshwater pool, jacuzzis, cabanas and a children’s slide too, just to top things off.

Gold Coast Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove

Image Credit: Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove | Booking.com

It’s impossible not to get into max-relax mode at this stunning little corner of the globe. So pack your pool slides and get yourself to the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, stat. Pretend you’ve on vacay in Bora Bora by parking yourself on the insane one-acre Lagoon Beach, where your only worry will be if you should order an Aperol Spritz or an Espresso Martini (we ask, why not both?). 

Make sure you book yourself a Lagoon View room, which features a deep bathtub to soak your troubles away, and splurge on a three-course meal in their signature restaurant The Fireplace. Just around the corner, Sanctuary Cove is also home to some chic bars, restaurants and bakeries, so you definitely won’t go hungry here.

Noosa Sofitel Noosa

Image Credit: Sofitel Noosa | Website

In classic Sofitel style, Sofitel Noosa draws inspiration from local culture and tradition while celebrating innovation and the French art de Vivre to offer a one-of-a-kind, luxurious coastal hotel experience. Located on Hastings Street, there are a variety of room offerings and the hardest choice you’ll have to make is choosing between a river view or an ocean view. It’s tough, we know.

In each room, natural textures and a soothing palette of colours take inspiration from Noosa's rich cultural heritage and beachside locale. You’ll also be spoiled for choice with five food and drink offerings, from modern Europe flavours at Noosa Beach House Restaurant, to swim-up drinks at Water’s Edge Pool Bar.

Brisbane The Calile

Image Credit: The Calile | Booking.com

So dripping in pastel cool that we’d happily just move in, The Calile Hotel only opened on the Valley’s James Street at the end of 2018, but has already made quite the name for itself—in fact, it was just awarded the title of the 12th best hotel in world on The World’s 50 Best Hotels List. Imagine being able to say you stayed at one of the world’s best hotels, right here in little old Brisbane?  

We’re guessing the gorgeous bathrooms in every designer suite here had something to do with the win, but it could also have been the eye-catching brutalist architecture, iconic outdoor pool, luxe day spa and onsite restaurant, Hellenika. Let’s be honest, it was the whole package, and you experience it for yourself here.

Scenic Rim Spicers Peak Lodge

Image Credit: Spicers Peak Lodge | Website

Jaws will drop as you drive up the majestic 12km driveway of Spicers Peak Lodge. Located 1100 metres above sea-level in the stunning Scenic Rim, Spicers Peak is one of the few all-inclusive resorts in Queensland, and so worth the splurge. While the country-style suites are large and cosy, you won’t be spending all your time in them—there’s a tennis court, activities room, pool table and library, not to mention the two outdoor jacuzzis and spa treatments to make the most of.  

If you want to get outdoors, multiple hiking and walking trails crisscross the property, with plenty of lookouts, a rope swing, a bright red phone booth and a few Scottish highland cows to find and pop on the ‘gram. Melt into a treatment at Spa Anise, dine at award-winning restaurant, The Peak, or just stargaze from your private patio, you can do it all here. 

Looking for something luxe on a smaller scale? You might also like: 

Image credit: The Elandra | Website 

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