Illuminated by the funky glow of a stand-up lamp, my feet are enjoying some well deserved ‘off time’ raised atop a camel-coloured sofa. Having succumb to the week’s tiresome hours playing at day care, the only reminder of my highly-energetic toddler sons' presence are the ‘Hot Wheels’ cars scattered across the beige carpet. Tucked gently in a port-a-cot and single bed, the depths of slumber have taken over and the result is a pleasant moment for myself – hubby and grandma are also sound asleep in the main and connecting bedrooms.
Outside the moon stands bright above the ocean offering the final touch for a majestic late-night on the champagne – albeit solo – whilst note taking and flicking through travel magazines. I have left the balcony doors open slightly to allow the iconic sound of the Surfers Paradise surf to whisper gently into the dimly let living room, but not for long...the sound of coastal perfection soon becomes marred by the shouts and hoots of a drunken private-party crowd below. If you are in your 20-30s, you will feel right at home at QT, but if it’s romance or some serious resort relaxation you’re after, this might not be your thing.
Around 1am the shouting starts to dissipate, and I drag my solemn butt to bed - the smell of fresh linen a genuine treat.
Back-track eight hours. Our ‘kids of mass destruction’ bolt out of the elevator door and momentarily climb a modish sculptured chair found resting under the window before sprinting off down the hallway, trying to open every door in their path. It was a mission in itself to get through the infamous 50s inspired lobby area without racking up a credit card debt for breakages – the boys practising for Cirque de Soleil, doing acrobatics on citrus coloured Acapulco chairs and bouncing off the designer sofas.
King Suite Ocean View
The kids dash under my legs and are testing the beds’ ‘bounce factor’ before I can even finish opening the door to our suite, the eldest giving the springy mattresses a healthy thumbs up. Hubby, my mother and I take in the surroundings of our two rooms, the King Suite and interconnecting twin room, both with ocean views.
The spacious living room is art deco meets modern chic. Blending mostly neutral whites and creams, the room gets its sense of life from splashes of pop colour through clever placements of funky lampshades and cushion covers. The styling is innovative yet mature, but falls a little short of my quirky expectations - I attribute this to the fact that QT have taken over an ageing 80s hotel and attempted to invoke 50’s glamour with the Gold Coast’s surfside resort feel.
A flat screen TV rests upon a large, golden timber desk, the same timber used on a small round dining table and the two lamp table stands either side of the beige sofa. The living room and bar kitchen (the sitting bar counter and well-stocked bar scores well with me) offer a comfortable ‘at home’ vibe that you would expect in a stylish Gold Coast apartment, complete with iconic ocean view. The quirky snacks and ‘pleasure kit’ are admirable, and hubby, mum and I spend a good hour at the bar while the kids play happily around two rooms. If anything the nontraditional styling could be quirkier to fit inline with the lobby.
Atop a plastic ottoman sits a clear plastic serving tray with a jug, two glasses and swivel sticks. A note reads “Fresh lemonade for you from us” following with instructions on how to make the lemonade using the fresh lemons, mineral water and sugar syrup provided. Fantastic idea, but there are no lemons (nor sugar syrup or complimentary mineral water) in sight and after a thorough search we give up on the idea of lemonade and hit the (unfortunately not complimentary) Moet instead.
The ‘at home’ feel continues through to the enormous master bedroom with a large king bed, colourful cushions, a cane sitting chair and a twin of the living room’s tall lamp and shade. My mum is in love with the glowing night light - a white, handmade ceramic Sulphur Crested cockatoo; for $99 the hotel will allow you to snap one up for your own home.
Two elderly wardrobes are the room’s odd sock: tall, clunky and sporting numerous cream paint chips - modern built-ins would be a better use of space while still fitting with the suite’s overall theme and being kinder on the eyes.
The oversized bathroom is bold; black and white rectangular tiles make up the back wall, topped with three round mirrors of different sizes - a courageous feature wall that hides any hint of the 80’s still evident from the hotel’s previous fit-out. I like it - in fact I think this is the best designed room in the suite – and the twin-sink vanity and large adjacent shower room also get my nod of approval.
Under a small window sits a slightly raised, deep Japanese-style bath tub hugged by shiny white tiles (tall folks might struggle with the under abundance of leg room but on the whole it’s a nice fit – excuse the pun). Amenities are minimal with only the absolute basics provided – I can’t find any body wash of bath gel for the bath, and being an ex Tokyo-ite and married to a Japanese, this is a slight issue for us.
Our room interconnects to a much smaller, ocean view twin room. The fit-out is much of the same, just on a more minute scale and if you were opting for an ocean view double room with kids you'd be struggling to find breathing space.
Hot tip: The King suite and interconnecting twim room combo is perfect for travelling families – we’ve stuck nana and our toddler in the twin beds, while our youngest gets a port-a-cot (the hotel can arrange this for any guests with young kids). Hold the connecting door open with one of the plastic chairs and the kids can come and go freely from room to room.
Resembling a European fresh produce market, Bazaar might just be the Gold Coast’s best buffet. Now don’t let the word ‘buffet’ scare you out the door, because the fare served up by Bazaar’s top chefs is nothing short of world-class. In fact, best to book your tastebuds a first-class round-the-world ticket, because dining at Bazaar you’ll journey from the Australian coast (think succulent fresh prawns, oysters, mussels and scallops) to Asia, India, Europe and the Americas. We are treated to a tasting board which I highly recommend, especially if the chef is serving up the pork belly – the options change regularly. My husband and mother specially order sirloin steak to their liking – you can speak to each chef and order custom dishes, great for vegans or people with special needs.
The wine list is pretty awesome; a bottle of Veuve compliments my large plate covered in freshly shucked oysters. It's a full house, with diners coming down from their rooms and off the street alike; kids are welcome but if yours are as feral as mine you're best to leave them home with the nana. If you are forced to bring them along, the Cold Rock inspired ice cream station works as fabulous barter tool: "sit down, eat and be polite...then mumma will let you dive into the mutha of all sugar hits". (Note: best to have a nana planned for the sugar meltdown that no doubt follows such indulgences.)
Hot tip: Don't miss the bite sized sweet offerings. Perched upon a well-deserved pedestal, these handmade handfuls in an array of colours will tick the final box to award Bazaar best buffet restaurant on the Gold Coast - there, I said it.
The kids tucked in their beds with nana kindly taking on the babysitting duties (post sugar meltdown), hubby and I dart out of the room dressed to impress and head straight for Stingray, QT Gold Coast's signature bar. Truthfully, I'm trying not to gallop through the lobby, having just read online that Stingray has 50 in house tequilas...yup, margaritas are singing my name. The bar's decor is edgy industrial with splashes of QT pop, and the vibe is throbbing. The adjacent pool area has recently been turfed - the day before to be precise - and is right now set up as a makeshift casino for a private function filled with young 'Goldy' hipsters dressed in Gatsby-esque threads.
I'm told by staff that Stingray is the hottest bar on the Gold Coast, and that the brand is all about creating its own culture, particularly in the fashion industry - QT Gold Coast even hosts its own fashion show every year.
I wake slowly with the 'few too many margys and night-cap bottle of champagne are now kicking my butt' vibe, but a cup of herbal tea helps with the head-throb and in under an hour I am trotting down to spaQ with my eager mother - it's pamper time. We're shown through to the change room where we are assigned bright yellow lockers, strip off our clothes and slip into QT satin and towelled gowns that make us look more ready to jump into a boxing ring than a spa treatment room.
I opt for a customized pedicure and am taken through to a well-lit treatment room while my therapist washes my feet before pulling the blinds closed and offering me a spot on the massage bed. I'm a little surprised as I've booked a foot session, but soon learn I'm in for a real treat: at spaQ pedicures (and manicures) are executed while you lie comfortably on a massage bed, free to fall asleep while your feet are exfoliated and buffed then toes polished. The 60-minute session was heavenly, and mum comes out of her hand treatment boasting about her hour-long snooze only to be gently woken to the sight of well-shaped shiny nails - chuffed!
If You Go
The Gold Coast is warming up, with plenty of activities outside the hotel if you go. For families, I recommend Movieworld, Wet'n'Wild, Dreamworld and Whitewaterworld - weekdays are best to avoid the pulsing crowds.
About Surfers' Eyes
Angie Takanami is one of two Travel Producers here at Yahoo!7, her husband Kuni is an internationally acclaimed photographer. Together they are Surfers' Eyes, a creative partnership fueled by their shared passions for travel, surfing and balancing life's little luxuries with simplistic living. When they are not surfing the waves of Byron Bay with their two wild sons, Angie and Kuni are sipping back cold bevvies in airports or planes with their notebooks, cameras, and surfboards in tow, all while sharing their experiences to the world from Surfers' Eyes.
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