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.
But the best place to start is by deciding where the heck you want to base yourself.
Do you want the razzle-dazzle of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach at your fingertips? Perhaps it’s the pumping surf breaks and boutique shopping at Burleigh Heads that tickles your fancy? Maybe you need to recharge the batteries with a Hinterland escape?
To help you find what you’re looking for, we’ve compiled this 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 sure knows how to shine-bright-like-a-diamond, with a social scene that could rival that of the Kardashians.
Everyone that comes here is spoilt for choice, with beachside shopping, a buzzing nightlife, and the largest Indoor Family Entertainment Centre in the country, all a part of the energetic mix.
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 the recently added ‘Cliff Hanger’ mega inflatable ladder 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!).
Date night: Palazzo Versace
Just having Versace in the name is enough to impress fashionistas, but then there are the richly decorated suites oozing Italian luxury (ceilings hand-detailed in gold, anyone?), 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.
Out of the box: 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 bar’s on the coast, the Stingray Lounge, and a gourmet buffet experience that will send foodies into a frenzy at Bazaar restaurant. Oh, and Fixx Cafe is also home to a delicious candy corner, but no biggie (*cough TOTAL BIGGIE cough*).
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 Seaduction, one of the Gold Coast’s premier, hatted restaurants), 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.
Love you long time (self-contained apartments): Wyndham Surfers Paradise
For an extended vacay, base yourself in the beating heart of Surfers at the Wyndham. You’ll find everything you need only a short walk away, including the main beach and Cavill Avenue with its plethora of restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
Check out some more accommodation options in Surfers Paradise.
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: where hi-tech and high-end 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. At night, snuggle up for a bit of family bonding when you catch a flick in the private cinema.
Date night: 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 ocean trout sashimi and toothfish tempura washed down with a shochu cocktail at Kiyomi; then hit the casino and (try to) win big before face-planting on the king-sized bed in your newly-refurbed executive room.
Out of the box: Cést La Vie Elite Holiday Home
Waterfront location? Check. Cinema and entertainment rooms? Check. Outdoor kitchen? Tick, tick, tick. Yep, the multi-million dollar Cést La Vie Elite Holiday Home at Broadbeach Waters has got all 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.
Epic beach views: Carmel By The Sea
The name says it all; opposite the magnificent beach and parkland, Carmel By The Sea is serving up some seriously epic water views alongside their cosy coastal apartments. 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 alfresco dining options.
Love you long time: The Wave Resort
Never mind the fact that The Wave Resort‘s design is actually in the shape of waves ( you’ve got to admit though, that’s pretty damn cool), but 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) infinity AND sky pool. Need we say more?
Mermaid Beach to Burleigh Heads
The underdog suburbs of the Gold Coast; from Mermaid 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.
Family getaway: Nobby Beach Holiday Village
Whether camping or caravanning is your family style, or you want to hail holiday home in one of their deluxe villas, everyone will get a kick out of the Nobby Beach Holiday Village. It’ll be hard to find reason to leave the grounds at all during your stay, with their own 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.
Date night: Swell Resort
Stoke the flame with a little one-on-one time at Swell Resort in Burleigh Heads. When you’re not relaxing poolside, take advantage of the boutique shopping and delicious dining down at James Street and Justin Lane, a short 5-min stroll away, before making your way to the beach for a sunset picnic.
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: Burleigh Mediterranean Resort
There’s no need to head overseas for a tropical holiday when we’ve got the Mediterranean a la Gold Coast style. Located on the esplanade, you will feel like a Greek god/dess as you laze about the Santorini-inspired rooftop terrace of the Burleigh Mediterranean Resort soaking up the sunshine. That is, when you’re not to-and-froing between the beach and indoor/outdoor pools.
The Meditarrean life is tough, ain’t it?
Epic beach views: Spindrift on the Beach
There are epic beach views, but then there’s beach-front 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 apartment, down to the pool and onto the sand in less time than it took you to slip, slop, slap!
Love you long time: Bujerum Apartments on Burleigh
A staycation at Burleigh Heads is always a good idea, and at the Bujerum Apartments? Perfection. You can’t beat the centralised location of these stunning Queenslander-inspired 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, it’s easy to see why most people flock to the Southern Gold Coast for 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 ’round 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.
Date nights: Blue C Coolangatta
Treat your better half to a bit of wining and dining at Blue C Coolangatta. After you’ve had your day’s worth of massages and jacuzzi sessions, enjoy a few glasses of wine at the beachfront restaurants and bars at The Strand centre down the road. Oh, and while you’re there, stop into Gelato Messina for dessert. You won’t regret it.
Out of the box: 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.
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 killer panoramic views of Kirra Beach from your own rooftop plunge pool, because, well, IT’S FREAKING SPECTACULAR.
Love you long time: Nirvana By The Sea
Taking holiday living to a whole new level, the luxury 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.
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
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 kidlings over 5 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.
Date nights: Pethers Rainforest Retreat
Romantic escapes don’t get much better than your own secluded tree house 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 fire place and spa treatments (which can be had either inside or on your balcony overlooking the magical rainforest) all going down in the comfort of their own ‘home’.
Out of the box: 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 brush-tail 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.
Love you long time: 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 2-7 nights, they include massages, organic meals, wellness seminars, and access to all facilities and scheduled activities.
Check out some more accommodation options in the Hinterland.
What’s your favourite holiday spot on the Gold Coast?
This post was originally published in 2016 and updated on 26 March 2018.