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The Top Places to Stay on the Gold Coast

Jetting off to the Gold Coast? An hour south of Brisbane, the region is famous for its sandy shores, excellent surf, and lush rainforests and national parks. With world-class casinos, sprawling shopping centres and twinkling hotel towers, it’s glitzy and glamorous, but still manages to hold onto its laidback, family-friendly feel. From Surfers Paradise (aka the ‘Glitter Strip’) to Broadbeach and the Hinterland, there are classy accommodation options in every pocket of the GC.

Here’s where to stay on the Gold Coast.


This holiday home earned the top spot on AirBnb’s Australian wishlist last year, and not just because it’s dog-friendly. In Mount Nathan, the luxury villa sleeps up to 10 people, and has an outdoor hot tub, 25-metre lap pool and pavilion for dive-in movies. The nine-acre property – which the owners also live on – has horse stables and sweeping views of the Hinterland.

708 Maudsland Road, Mount Nathan

The Star Gold Coast

Sitting pretty on Broadbeach Island, The Star is fabulous, flashy and freshly renovated. There are 596 rooms and suites, and they’re luxe, with tech controls, espresso machines, monogrammed towels and pillow menus. The casino is open around-the-clock, but if that’s not your scene, the swimming pool (complete with cabanas), 2000-seat theatre, day spa or pool bar might be.

Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach

Ruffles Lodge and Spa

For peace, quiet and pampering, check out Ruffles. Nestled in a eucalyptus forest, the adults-only resort is all about relaxation. It has a range of suites and villas, including three treehouses, as well as a day spa and three acres of gardens. Wander one of the many mountain trails, then reward yourself with a cocktail and dip in the infinity pool.

423 Ruffles Road, Willow Vale

The Island Boutique Hotel

Once a pastel-pink party pad, The Island has said sayonara to Schoolies and transformed into the Gold Coast’s newest – and trendiest – boutique hotel. Along with giving the 98 rooms a sleek makeover, the new owners added an open-air bar, Italian restaurant and a rooftop that screams Sunday sessions. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and its woodfired pizza is a hit.

3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

To leave the daily grind behind, escape to O’Reilly’s. Hidden away in the rainforests and mountains of Lamington National Park, the retreat is a 90-minute drive inland from Surfer’s, and it’s breathtaking. On any given day, guests can be spotted hiking, wildlife watching, 4WD touring, and strolling the Treetop Walk, while others opt for the day spa and wine-tastings at the O-Reilly-owned vineyard.

End of Lamington National Park Road, Canungra

QT Gold Coast

In QT’s signature style, no detail at this retro-chic hotel has been missed, right down to the Kombi vans, cockatoo-shaped lamps, and staff members wearing turquoise jumpsuits. After you check in to your room, nab a bright yellow pool lounger or make a beeline for SpaQ. Hungry? Wander the Bazaar, a foodie marketplace, or grab a bite at Stingray Lounge.

7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Peppers Soul

In a prime position on the Esplanade, Peppers Soul is a five-star hotel that rises 77 levels above Surfers Paradise. The rooms are beautiful, with all-white interiors, designer furniture, spa baths, kitchens and sliding doors that look over the ocean. Spend the day at the stunning rooftop pool and Zen Garden, and then dress up for dinner at the two-hatted Seaduction restaurant.

8 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Q1 Resort and Spa

To live the high life – literally – stay at the Q1. The hotel is the highest building on the Gold Coast, and the Skypoint Observation Deck offers 360-degree views of the hinterland and Surfers Paradise in all its splendour. There’s a pool and day spa on-site, and the self-contained rooms boast balconies and baths. For a fun dinner, go to Hananzono Teppanyaki.

9 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa

Planning a family holiday? The Marriott is famous for its $8 million water playground, which has a waterslide, cascading waterfalls, and a saltwater lagoon with over 400 tropical fish. It also has picnic areas, BBQ huts, tennis and basketball courts, and a private beach. The kids will adore it – and so will you, thanks to the day spa, cocktail bar and high tea.

158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise 

Top tip: Paradise Resort is another kiddie heaven on earth. With a water park, ice rink and kids club under its roof, plus complimentary child supervision, it’s brilliant for families.