Local Escapes

13 Of The Gold Coast’s Best Accommodation Spots For Your Summer Staycay

By Isabel Croker
27th Oct 2021

With overseas travel still well and truly off the cards (gosh, even interstate travel is touch-and-go at this point), it’s time to set our sights on an adventure a little closer to home. The Gold Coast punches well above its weight when it comes to dishing up the best, but don’t just take our word for it—it’s time you spent a weekend staycaying (or vacaying) in our pocket of paradise. From the stunning stretches of beach to the vibrant nightlife to the lush hinterland, we truly have it all.

Of course, whether you’re here for a vacay or just a relaxing staycay you’ll need a place to rest your head. From modern beachside villas to luxe hinterland glamping to sweet Airbnb cottages, we’ve done the hard work for you and slept around to give you this ultimate list of the Gold Coast’s best accommodation options. 

These incredible Gold Coast stays will have you whipping out your credit card ASAP and stocking up on the essentials. And by essentials, we mean wine, lots of wine. 

Best Hotels
QT Gold Coast

Surfers Paradise

This quirky hotel smack bang in the middle of Surfers is the perfect place to rest your head in the party playground. QT Gold Coast kind of has everything you could possibly want so you may not even step a foot outside. For starters, they have some of the best noms on the Coast. Their Bazaar dining area features cuisines from all over the world, from freshly shucked oysters and king prawns to a pizza station and the most epic dessert bar—you’ll want to wear your stretchy pants for this one. There’s also exquisite Japanese eatery Yamagen, cocktail haven Stingray Lounge, and a gorgeous café for your morning coffee fix. QT Gold Coast boasts a truly Insta-worthy pool and a luscious spa, as well as complimentary use of the retro cruiser bikes—cute! Trust us, this is one hotel you won’t want a one-night stand with.

The Pink Hotel

Coolangatta

If the 'gram-worthy factor rates highly on your list of pros when looking for accomodation, then we've found the ultimate digs for you. Located on uber-cool Cooly beach, you can't miss this candy-pink hue hotel. The Pink Hotel boasts 17 stunning rooms, six of which are luxury suites each with its own identity. They're a mix of rockstar and retro-chic with a subtle touch of Scandi. Expect bright pops of colour mixed with dusty jewel tones. There’s fur throws, velvet rugs, custom neon-lit poetry by Coco Loberg and Smeg fridges stocked with Young Henry’s beers. When you’re ready to catch some of those gorgeous GC rays, head on upstairs to the rooftop where cabana beds await you, oh and some of the most incredible views of the coastline. Thirsty? Their rooftop bar Santeria will keep you refreshed with cocktails aplenty. Our top pick for the Gold Coast’s most Instagrammable hotel.

The Island

Surfers Paradise

The Island is what you wished your home looked like—all the fresh and fancy feels that bring the outdoors within their lush white walls. The iconic venue has a vibrant, spacious and modern style that radiates luxury and relaxation while ensuring you feel like you made your way to paradise. Immerse yourself in The Island experience and stay in one of the 98 luxurious boutique rooms and suites, each with stunning views across either the Surfers Paradise CBD or the Gold Coast Hinterland. Home to the Gold Coast’s biggest rooftop bar and sprawling alfresco patio, The Island Rooftop is bringing the cool back to the tourist precinct’s after-dark scene with DJs, a retro-styled cocktail bar, ample seating, nooks and one of the best Sunday sessions on the Coast. Stop looking for one of the Gold Coast’s best hotels, ‘cause you’ve found it here.

La Costa Motel

Bilinga

Situated just a hop, skip and a jump to the barely touched, squeaky clean sands of Bilinga Beach, and smack bang in the middle of Kirra and Tugun, this is one of our favourite spots to spend a night (or a few) on the Gold Coast. La Costa Motel has a retro, nostalgic feel complete with a white picket fence and colourful deck chairs in the courtyard, while the rooms are beautifully simple and have everything you need for a comfortable vacay (and yes they include a minibar if you forget to grab something for a nightcap). A short stroll to Mervyn Roy’s for your morning cup of joe and freshly baked scones and then watch the sunrise over the sea, followed by a mid-morning acai bowl (from our favourites at Niche and Co) will make you never want to leave. Honestly, we might stay forever. Please and thanks.

Q1 Resort & Spa

Surfers Paradise

If you’re going to holiday in Surfers, you might as well go big, and it doesn’t get much bigger than the iconic—and 230 metre high—Q1 Resort & Spa. Australia’s tallest residential tower boasts state-of-the-art, self-contained apartments, capturing breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, the sparkling lights of the city and the lush green of the hinterland. Level up the luxury and unwind at one of their three swimming pools, or indulge at the award-winning day spa. Hungry? They’ve got you covered there too with Osaka Kaiten for high-end Japanese cuisine or the Seventy7 Cafe for memorable sky-high dining. If you’re feeling adventurous, conquer the Skypoint Observation Deck Climb, which is Australia’s highest external building climb and boasts 360-degree panoramic views from a staggering 270 metres above sea level. 

Best Luxury Hotels
The Darling

Broadbeach

A pretty special place worth saving your pennies for and treating a darling in your life, this hotel is luxury at its finest, boasting six fanciful stars. The Darling is located at the front of The Star Gold Coast, 17 stories high in the sky, right in the heart of Broadbeach. Get this—the deluxe suites have the choice of billiard rooms, a karaoke room or a private gym plus a butler. As if you wouldn’t already be feeling pretty lucky to be staying here, there is a bridge adjoining the hotel to the casino. The infinity pool is also worth a special mention because it juts out 5 metres from the side of the building and is 67 metres above the ground with spectacular views of the coastline. You won’t have to leave your perch in the sky with Nineteen at The Star proving a delight to your senses, and most importantly, those taste buds. A stay here should be added to your Christmas wish list. Dreams are free right?

Palazzo Versace

Main Beach

There’s something about fancy hotels we love—whether it’s the prime locations, stunning rooms or just those fluffy bathrobes, there’s something special about them. And when a hotel ticks all of those boxes, you know you’re onto one of the Gold Coast’s best hotels. Palazzo Versace is just that—an exclusive waterfront setting, spectacular architecture, opulent accommodation, extraordinary service and an ambience of pure glamour. Stay in the lap of luxury in one of their 200 light-filled, artfully designed rooms before you feast at their award-winning restaurants—from refined fine dining to a Gold Coast high tea, each restaurant and bar serves as a tribute to the Versace brand’s luxury aesthetic. Palazzo Versace is ticking all the boxes as one of the Gold Coast’s best luxury hotels. 

Sheraton Grand Mirage

Main Beach

Would you really expect a roundup of the Gold Coast’s best hotels not to include the Sheraton? The Gold Coast's only five-star beachfront resort, the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort is a distinctive tropical oasis set amongst six hectares of sparkling lagoons and lush gardens. The hotel oozes luxury—from the modern design to the opulent furnishings to the compelling art pieces, everything has been carefully selected to set the grandiose tone. Home to four award-winning restaurants and bars, you’ll struggle to choose where you want to dine (it must just be the hardest decision you make during your stay). Pro tip: don’t check out until you’ve treated yourself to a cocktail in the Oasis Pool’s swim-up bar.

Best Airbnbs
Stargazer

Beechmont

If you want to fall asleep under the stars but in the comfort and warmth of a bed, Stargazer house has you covered. The house’s glass ceilings make stargazing possible from rooms all over the house and glass walls make watching the sunset possible from the bathtub. Apart from the stunning glass ceilings and walls, there’s an outdoor fireplace, entertainment deck and a pizza oven. Yes, a pizza oven, you read that correctly. Enjoy the views of rolling hills and ridges and the starry night sky with a woodfired slice of pizza in hand—it’s the only right way to do it.

Chippewa Cottage

Mermaid Beach

This cozy little cottage has a breezy retro vibe with the quaintest touches throughout, reminiscent of a 1960s beach retreat. The beach home sleeps six people with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, has a plunge pool that looks like it belongs in Palm Springs and is a quiet and private space just one block from the beach. Chippewa Cottage’s living room also opens out onto an alfresco dining area with a perfect backyard view. The kitchen has touches of the old school mixed with modernity, like the sleek Smeg fridge and other appliances, while the bathrooms are pretty psychedelic with the cutest old pink basin. Chippewa Cottage is probably the most unique place on our list of beautiful Gold Coast Airbnbs and is definitely for those appreciative of finer details among us.

Avalon Abode

CURRUMBIN

From the creators of Trader Trove homewares store in Miami, this luxury holiday rental is everyone’s dream home goals. The stylish space is newly renovated with high ceilings, double-glazed windows, a soothing colour palette and within easy strolling distance to one of the Gold Coast’s best beaches. At Avalon Abode you will feel at home, away from home, on your holiday with all the special touches making it a stress-free stay, from complimentary tea, Nespresso coffee machine, beer, wine, toiletries and Netflix. You won’t need to fight over who gets the big bedroom either, as there are two master bedrooms in this indulgent abode. After a stay here, you might get a little inspired and head to Trader Trove to pick up some rattan and rustic furniture to take home with you. If you’re hunting for one of the best Airbnbs on the Gold Coast, stop the search. 

Best Glamping Spots
The Hideaway

Cabarita Beach

At The Hideaway, boho canvas tents are scattered around to create a gorgeous village, just moments away from the beach. You can sleep in stunning bell tents complete with plush beds, featuring pillowy soft Koala mattresses, floor rugs, bedside tables and lamps, charging sockets and tripod fans for those hot summer nights. The luxury versions even have their own air-conditioning unit, bar fridge, king-sized bed and lounge chair—it’s practically a hotel room. As well as the stunning tents, the compact resort features shipping containers upcycled to create a chill-out zone, communal kitchen and cooking area, complete with BBQs and inviting picnic tables, designed with mingling in mind. Basically, a stay here will ruin your reality of everyday camping for life. 

Nightfall

LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK

If you're looking for a truly luxurious glamping experience close to home, Nightfall has nailed glamping with the perfect combination of secluded wilderness and wholesome luxuries. In summer, you can open your canvas walls (don’t worry, there’s still mesh for the bugs) to relish in the surrounding rainforests. While in winter you can keep it intimately closed, spending your eves relaxing in the free-standing bath or curling up around the fireplace. Pretty awesome, right? Next, there are the finer details of each tent—elements like hand-carved stone basins, smooth wire-brushed timber floors, and lush organic bedding elevate luxury to new and lofty heights. If you want to go next-level luxury glamping, you can even opt for complete organic catering which basically means more time to enjoy the private natural spa pools, lazy hammocks, explorations into the tangled forest, or—wait for it—an outdoor massage by the creek. Pure bliss.

Of course, now you’ve found somewhere to rest your head, you need somewhere to fill your belly. We’ve got all your wining and dining needs covered with the best new venue openings on the Gold Coast.

Image Credit: Brooke Darling Photography, Kaitlin Maree Photography, Hayley Williamson Photography, The Island Gold Coast

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