The ultimate Gold Coast accommodation guide
No matter your taste or budget, the Gold Coast has got (an overwhelming array of) accommodation options to suit every type of traveller and holiday experience. The best place to start is by deciding where you want to base yourself.
Do you want to be amongst the bustle of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach? Perhaps it’s the world-class surf breaks and boutique shopping at Burleigh Heads that ticks your boxes? Maybe you need to recharge the batteries with a Hinterland escape?
To help you find what you’re looking for, we’ve compiled an epic list of Gold Coast accommodation options peppered throughout the different boroughs.
Known as the entertainment playground of the Gold Coast, the iconic Surfers Paradise spoils you for choice, with beachside shopping, a buzzing nightlife, and the largest indoor family entertainment centre in the country.
Family getaway: Paradise Resort Gold Coast
As the only resort in Australia that’s got a water park, ice rink and kids club under its belt – not to mention a rock climbing wall and dunk tank – it’s safe to say that Paradise Resort is pretty much a kids heaven on earth (and a parent’s too… hello complimentary child supervision!).
A romantic weekend: Palazzo Versace
Just having Versace in the name is enough to impress anyone, but then there are the richly decorated suites oozing Italian luxury (the ceilings are hand-detailed in gold), an extravagant 65m ‘Water Salon’ complete with a poolside cabana oasis, and chauffeurs ready and waiting to show you the town in the comfort of your own Rolls-Royce Phantom. Once you’ve dined your way through the hotel’s three restaurants, walk two minutes down the road to Glass Dining & Lounge Bar for a romantic evening of fresh oysters, char grilled Moreton Bay bugs and million-dollar waterfront views.
Out-of-the-box experience: QT Gold Coast
If you’re into delicious food, good wine and all things retro, then QT Gold Coast is where you need to be. The funky hotel is an entertainment and dining destination in itself, boasting one of the hottest bars on the coast, the Stingray Lounge, and a gourmet buffet experience that will send foodies into a frenzy at Bazaar restaurant. The rooms are unconventional, boasting plenty of quirk and colour, and each one comes with a private balcony to take in the surrounding mountain, river or ocean views.
Epic beach views: Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise
At Peppers Soul, not only do you get all the goodies that come with this luxury brand (cue state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional dining at Hyde Paradiso, a lively Mediterranean-inspired oceanfront lounge and bar), but rising 77 levels above the sandy beaches of the Surfers Paradise foreshore, uninterrupted beach views will serve as the cherry on top to a perfect stay.
Extended stays: Wyndham Surfers Paradise
For an extended vacation, base yourself in the beating heart of Surfers at the Wyndham. You’ll feel at home in your deluxe self-contained apartment and everything you need is only a short walk away, including the main beach and Cavill Avenue with its plethora of restaurants, shopping and entertainment. If you’re feeling thirsty, head to House of Brews to sample local beers – they’ve got 32 domestic and international craft beers on tap.
Want to stay further north? Here’s where to eat, stay and play on the Northern Gold Coast.
There’s no denying that glitz and glam take centre stage at Broadbeach. While its luxury brand hotels and world-class casino and shopping centre are a key drawcard for this hotspot, ‘Broadie’ still manages to exude coastal cool with its beautiful beaches and lazy parklands home to yoga classes and weekend markets.
Family getaway: Peppers Broadbeach
Peppers Broadbeach is where high-end facilities meet holiday comfort to create the ultimate family stay. Young ones will be kept occupied with the heated resort pool while parents take full advantage of some downtime encouraged by the hotel’s Zen gardens and tai chi lawns. Or, head across the road to spend the day together chilling at the beach or learning to surf. At night, snuggle up for a bit of family bonding when you catch a flick in the private cinema.
Out-of-the-box experience: Cést La Vie Elite Holiday Home
Waterfront location? Check. Cinema and entertainment rooms? Check. Outdoor kitchen? Tick. The Cést La Vie Elite Holiday Home at Broadbeach Waters trades in a classic hotel stay for million-dollar living with everything you could need and then some. Housing up to 16 heads, it’s ideal for families, a large group of friends or a corporate getaway.
A romantic weekend: The Star Grand at The Star Gold Coast
With everything you need under the one roof, The Star Grand at The Star Gold Coast is the ideal location for those wanting to whisk their special someone away for a night of glamorous fun: catch a live show in the theatre; indulge in some tuna tataki and Moreton Bay bug tempura washed down with a shochu cocktail at Kiyomi; then hit the casino and try your hand at winning big before calling it a night on the king-sized bed in your newly-refurbed executive room.
Epic beach views: Carmel By The Sea
Opposite the magnificent beach and parkland, Carmel By The Sea serves up epic water views alongside their cosy coastal apartments that feel like home. You’ll get the best of both worlds as it’s slightly out of the hustle and bustle but still within walking distance to Broadbeach Mall, Kurrawa Surf Club and a range of al fresco dining options.
Extended stays: The Wave Resort
Never mind the fact that The Wave Resort’s architectural design is actually in the shape of waves; you couldn’t pick a better spot for a long-term stay for three very simple reasons: 1) their self-contained apartments are gloriously spacious and modern; 2) you’re smack bang in the centre of Broadbeach where Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, The Star Casino and the Gold Coast Convention Centre are practically your neighbours; and 3) you have access to an infinity AND sky pool. Need we say more?
Check out some more accommodation options in Broadbeach.
Mermaid Beach to Burleigh Heads
The underdog suburbs of the Gold Coast; from Mermaid Beach and Nobby Beach through to Miami and Burleigh Heads, these guys have got some seriously understated charm and charisma. Over the last few years, this golden stretch of coastline has become a hub of coolness with its one-of-a-kind shopping, burgeoning cafe culture, edgy watering holes and trendy markets.
A romantic weekend: bon Sol
Stoke the flame with a little one-on-one time in ultimate luxury at bon Sol in Burleigh Heads. The bespoke interior has been styled by renowned Queensland designer Anna Spiro, and feels like a home of the rich and famous. Guests receive front-row seats on Burleigh Beach with exclusive beach chairs under yellow striped umbrellas, and are well-placed to indulge at some of the Gold Coast’s best restaurants, like Rick Shores and Justin’s Rooftop at Justin Lane. If you feel like staying in but don’t want to cook, order a dinner hamper or splurge on a fully catered private dinner.
Not sure how to get the most out of a weekend in Burleigh? We’ve got you covered with this 48-hour itinerary.
Out-of-the-box experience: Turtle Beach Resort
If your kids were to imagine their dream resort, it would look a lot like Turtle Beach Resort. Just 300 metres away is Mermaid Beach, although you may have a hard time pulling your family away from the huge water park and mini golf course. Adults aren’t forgotten – there’s a grown-ups-only retreat should you wish to drop the little ones off at the kids club and enjoy some downtime in peace. The apartments are spacious and all come with a full kitchen.
Family getaway: Nobby Beach Holiday Village
Whether camping or caravanning is your family style, or a holiday villa or house suits you better, everyone will feel at home at Nobby Beach Holiday Village. It’ll be hard to find reason to leave the grounds during your stay, with the mini mart and state-of-the-art camp kitchen, heated pools, mega waterslide and kids playground on-site. But if you keep an eye out on their hot deals, you could score a bargain stay with VIP theme park passes thrown in.
Epic beach views: Spindrift on the Beach
There are epic beach views, but then there’s beachfront living at Mermaid Beach. For the ultimate sun, sand and surf holiday, it doesn’t get much better than Spindrift on the Beach, where you get direct access to a patrolled beach right in front of the hotel. You can literally walk out of your two- or three-bedroom apartment, down to the pool and onto the sand in less time than it took you to slip, slop, slap. You’re also only two doors down from Nobby’s Beach Surf Club, where you can get a good meal at club prices.
Extended stays: Bujerum Apartments on Burleigh
A staycation at Burleigh Heads is always a good idea, and you can’t beat the centralised location of these stunning Queenslander-inspired Bujerum Apartments for a long-term stay. You’ve got the rolling surf of Burleigh Beach at your doorstep, the bustling shopping and dining hub to your left and the National Park to your right. Basically, it’s a Burleigh sandwich in the best way.
Southern Gold Coast
With its amazing surf, natural beauty and relaxed way of life, the Southern Gold Coast is the perfect place to holiday if you’re after a change of pace. From Palm Beach and Currumbin right through to Coolangatta on the state’s edge, discover the laid-back allure that is the Gold Coast’s southside.
Family getaway: Sanctuary Beach Resort
With the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary around the corner and an uncrowded beach at your doorstep, the Sanctuary Beach Resort is the perfect spot for families looking to avoid the well-worn tourist track but still enjoy all the perks of the Gold Coast. If you have a car, head 15 minutes inland to the Currumbin Rock Pools for a picnic and freshwater swim.
A romantic weekend: Blue C Coolangatta
A close second to the amazing ocean views from your modern Blue C Coolangatta apartment is the location. After an obligatory holiday sleep in, start your day off with breakfast at Rockleigh Cafe (they have an all-day brunch menu so no rush). The rest of the day is up to you: the beach is just across the road or every second Sunday, you’ll find handcrafted treasures at the Coolangatta Arts and Craft Markets in Queen Elizabeth Park. There’s a surf club on either side of you for a chilled Sunday session, and if you’re in the mood for a nighttime stroll, head in the direction of Gelato Messina. You won’t regret it.
Out-of-the-box experience: La Costa Motel
Retro beach style combines with old-fashioned hospitality at La Costa Motel in Bilinga. The famous ‘Highway Heritage’ motel is a hidden gem on Gold Coast’s southside, after being lovingly restored by John and Diane who have managed to revive the unique features, including the original colour of the building and its neon light box with original lettering. Explore the neighbouring beaches – Kirra, Coolangatta and Tugun – on one of the motel’s vintage bicycles or walk up Point Danger (it’s not as scary as it sounds!) for prime dolphin and whale viewing. If you’re flying in from out of town, take advantage of La Costa’s free airport transfers.
Epic beach views: Kirra Surf Apartments
You really can’t go wrong with any of the accommodation options at Kirra Surf Apartments, but we highly recommend booking one of the penthouses for unbelievable panoramic views of Kirra Beach from your own rooftop plunge pool. Since you’re already in an indulgent mood, you might as well go all out with the ‘I Want It All’ feast at Baskk and a stunning cocktail or two.
Extended stays: Nirvana By The Sea
Taking holiday living to a whole new level, the five-star self-contained apartments (with floor-to-ceiling windows, might we add) at Nirvana By The Sea boast all the comforts of home plus a Gold Star theatre room and Executive Lounge complete with library, pool table and lounge for your entertainment and pleasure. When you’re ready to trade in your bird’s eye view of Kirra Beach for an up-close one, take a stroll along the beachfront boardwalk; or, if you are feeling adventurous, do the opposite and sky dive from high above Kirra Beach with Gold Coast Skydive.
Only a short drive from the beach you will find the green behind the gold. Set in the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests, the Hinterland is a nature-lovers heaven, with walking trails, waterfalls and ancient flora and fauna abundant throughout the Lamington and Springbrook National Parks.
Family getaway: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
Run by the third generation of O’Reilly family, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is a nature playground bursting with eco-activities for the whole family to enjoy. From their Eco Ranger program for kids over five years old (held during school holidays and public holidays) and guided glow worm tours, to the famous Tree Top Walkway and dreamy Lost World Spa. Book one of the villas to get your own balcony spa bath overlooking the rainforest.
A romantic weekend: Pethers Rainforest Retreat
Romantic escapes don’t get much better than your own secluded treehouse in the rainforest. At Pethers Rainforest Retreat in North Tamborine, love birds won’t ever have to leave the nest when they’ve got their own private Jacuzzi for two, a snuggly fireplace and spa treatments (which can be had either inside or on your balcony overlooking the rainforest) all in the comfort of their own ‘home’. Worth leaving your room for, however, is the locally sourced and sustainable meals at Pethers’ award-winning restaurant.
Out-of-the-box experience: The Mouses House Rainforest Retreat
Experience a fairytale wonderland at The Mouses House in Springbrook. From your own unique chalet (named after a Disney character) nestled between cascading streams and towering brush box trees to the native birds serenading you with their songs and brushtail possums that visit you at night; you will feel like you’ve stepped into another world when in reality, you’re only one hour from the coastline.
Epic hinterland views: Worendo Cottages
Picture this: green as far as the eye can see… rugged mountain ranges… and sheep in your front yard. Yep, hinterland experiences don’t get more authentic than those at the Worendo Cottages in the Lost World Valley. Whether you’re looking to hole up in a romantic cottage or bring your friends and family along for a farm stay experience, escape the mundane for a little comfort on the edge of Gold Coast wilderness.
Extended stays: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Need a bit of a breather from the hecticness of everyday life? At Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, their innovative wellness programs are the perfect excuse to take a few days off to indulge in a holiday that’s all about YOU. The multi-award winning, ecotourism certified retreat offers a complete wellness revamp to help soothe the soul and nourish you to your healthiest self. Ranging from two to seven nights, they include massages, organic meals, wellness seminars, and access to all facilities and scheduled activities.
Haven’t got a certain date in mind? Time your holiday with one of these annual Gold Coast events.
If you have a certain budget in mind, check out the best Gold Coast accommodation options for every price range.