Sometimes, you don’t need to splash out on an expensive flight for a little much needed R&R. More often than not, there’s a very attractive alternative right under your nose.
Take the Gold Coast—even though it’s barely an hour’s drive away, you probably don’t hit the epic destination nearly as much as you should. But if it’s good enough for the millions of tourists who visit every year, it’s good enough for us, so we’ve planned out the ultimate weekend of luxury for you to take this summer. Don’t put it off any longer.
7pm | Check In To The Star
Hopefully you can swing an early Friday finish, because you’ll want to check in to your plush suite at The Star as soon as possible. If it’s been a while since you were here, you’ll barely recognise the place, after a staggering top to bottom renovation recently. The envy of hotels across the Coast, the spacious suites are top notch and the décor is bursting with playful sophistication (you’re staying in a casino, after all).
8pm | Say Cheers At Garden Kitchen & Bar
No need to go far for dinner—once you’ve scoped out your room, just wander down to Garden Kitchen & Bar’s stunning surrounds. Snag a beanbag outside on the grass and down a frosé or two before nabbing a table indoors to feast on plates of Coffin Bay oysters, crispy pork belly and salt and pepper calamari. Oh, and put your order in for breakfast in bed once you get back to your comfy suite—because what’s more luxe than that?
9am | Bliss Out With A Massage At Azure
A few hours cocooned within the soothing walls of Azure Spa will have you feeling spoilt in no time. This soothing, full-service spa offers clients a momentary escape from their hectic daily lives with essential massages, including soothing hot stone massage, rhythmic body massages inspired by traditional Aboriginal techniques, remedial massage and more. Or, spoil yourself with a tailored package complete with hair masks, facials and full body wraps.
11am | Sip Bottomless Bubbles At Burleigh Pavilion
A bottomless brunch with front row seats to the Gold Coast’s iconic cityscape-meets-sea view—does it get any better? Head down to Burleigh Pavilion for this indulgent meal, with two hours of bubbles or rose from 11am to 1pm while you feast on freshly-shucked oysters, decadent truffle and mortadella toasties, woodfired pig buns and prawn cocktail rolls. Get the details here.
2pm | Laze Around By The Pool
The beach is great, but when you can drink cocktails in a cabana by the pool at The Star? The choice is easy. Take your staycay to the luxe level and reserve a private cabana for the afternoon. Work on your tan, swim a few laps, beckon the pool boy for a cocktail or five and then repeat.
6pm | Dinner With A View At Nineteen At The Star
The crème de la crème of Gold Coast hotel restaurants is Nineteen at The Star. This is where the who’s who come for superbly marbled Wagyu steaks and grilled Patagonian toothfish with glittering views of the coastline 19 floors up. Whatever you order, make sure you grab a side of Fifty-Fifty Mash Potato—half butter, half potato, it’s the side you’ve always dreamed of.
9pm | Catch A Show At The Flamingo
Don’t settle into a food coma just yet, it’s time for a late night party at Broadbeach’s new The Pink Flamingo, a glittering 1920s themed burlesque bar with hedonism at every turn. Expect mind-spinning aerials, cirque-style acrobatics, sexy choreography, sultry vocal solos, tight buns, ripped abs, plenty of feathers, glitter and a dose of laugh-out-loud cabaret comedy.
10am | Tuck Into Brunch At Elk Espresso
We’ll let you have a sleep in before you check out of your suite at The Star—you’ll want to make the most of those fluffy bathrobes after all. Once you have though, it’s time to head to breakfast at one of Broadbeach’s (and all of the GC’s) best brunch spots, at Elk Espresso. The wait for a table will be worth it once you have an epic pile of waffles (there’s sweet OR savoury to choose from) in front of you, promise.
11am | Go Homewares Shopping
You know the best part of a weekend away you can drive to? Not having to worry about how you’ll get all your holiday purchases home. On that note, you might like to know that the Gold Coast has some seriously stylish homewares stores, whether you love them beachy, boho, Scandi or somewhere in between. Find all our favourites here and get shopping.
2pm | Grab A Snack At Bam Bam Bakehouse
Need a snack for the drive home? Stop in at Bam Bam Bakehouse before they close and stock up on loaded croissants, eclairs and cookies. You may end up covered in crumbs by the time you get back to Brisbane, but what’s a little mess when there’s red velvet croissants to be had?
Want to have a staycation without even getting in the car? Just book into one of Brisbane’s best hotels.
Image credit: Kaitlin Maree, Hayley Williamson