Day 1: Stay and play
When the old Jupiters Casino at Broadbeach went through a massive renovation a few years back, visitors and locals eagerly awaited its new look and offerings — and The Star Grand doesn\’t fail to impress, injecting fresh, modern style and new energy into a Gold Coast classic.
Take your pick from 596 luxurious rooms here — The Star Grand offers every level of comfort for all budgets. We checked into one of the beautifully refurbished Executive Deluxe rooms (all situated on Levels 18 and above with spectacular views across Broadbeach or the Gold Coast Hinterland). Spacious and elegantly fitted out, the room gave us a plush bed with The Star\’s signature range of luxurious bedding and pillow, indulgent prestige bathing amenities from Appelles, and integrated technology so we could adjust the lighting, fine-tune the temperature and close the blinds at the press of the button. Comfort supreme, though we weren\’t spending too much time in our room — The Star\’s award-winning restaurants, lively bars, spectacular stage shows and concerts, plus the non-stop action of a 24-hour casino await, and we\’re ready to have some fun.
After drinks at the Garden Bar (hello spicy margaritas!), we sashay our way through The Star Grand\’s interior to the elevator that leads up to the 19th floor of the adjoining boutique luxury hotel, The Darling at the Star, considered one of THE premier accommodation destinations on the Gold Coast. The Darling exudes grandeur and sophistication, but you don\’t have to be staying here to enjoy the finer things in life — do as we did, and grab a seat (if you can!) on the terrace at the uber-chic rooftop lounge bar at Nineteen at The Star to take in the Gold Coast skyline as the sun goes down, and watch the glittering coastline come to life as evening sets in.
You can also enjoy an exceptional dining experience at Nineteen at The Star\’s chic restaurant to experience Chef Uday Huja\’s exquisite dishes, paired with wines carefully selected by the in-house expert Sommelier. Or head back down to The Star Grand and take your pick from any one of the outstanding restaurants there (there\’s no fewer than nine to choose from!).
We settled into a booth at Uncle Su for a meal to remember, tucking into a feast of flavours over a very long, very large dinner — the restaurant is luxe and inviting, but it\’s the superb menu of dishes that will really make you linger longer, celebrating Cantonese style favourites with a selection of signature Beijing and Szechuan dishes.
Where to head after dinner when the night is young, and the fun is only starting? With the casino beckoning the brave, you don\’t have to go far to find some revelry. But our night took a more surprising turn when we learned about the speakeasy bar hidden out of sight at The Star Grand. While the location of Veladora remains a closely guarded secret, the clued-up knows to cross the bridge where the Broadbeach monorail once lived and look for a red palm tree to light the way. Entry is by DM, and Veladora only allows for an exclusive 30 guests at a time, so if you\’re lucky to get inside the candlelit confines of this intimate mezcal-inspired bar, you\’re in for a real treat.
Day 2: Simmer down
Time to ease into a slower pace, GC style. After breakfast, it\’s time to hit recovery with an indulgent morning out at Endota Spa, which is conveniently located on Surf Parade at Broadbeach, just a few minutes drive or a short stroll away from The Star.
We could be thoroughly tempted to try out Endota\’s Spa Wellbeing Series, which offers a deeper kind of self-care through a series of five targeted spa treatments, but that will have to wait. We only have a few hours before our next destination, so we instead book ourselves in for an Organic Relax Massage and settle in for an hour of pure bliss.
The full-body treatment begins with essential oils to calm our busy mind, followed by a nourishing massage to relax and unwind, and all tensions are melted away as our expert therapist applied warm jade stones to centre and ground the body with a profoundly soothing sequence of rhythmical gentle strokes and movements.
Emerging suitably lulled and utterly relaxed and rebalanced, we float out of Endota Spa to head off by car to drive into the beautiful lush green Currumbin Valley, where we\’ve booked some time to experience one of the Coast\’s best outdoor bathhouses.
The Bathhouse at Ground Currumbin sounded like the perfect place to relax, and it didn\’t disappoint. For just $35 per hour, we enjoyed a series of outdoor spa facilities, including a hand-built Finnish-style sauna (with a woodburning stove handmade by master blacksmiths and hot volcanic stones), a traditional cedar hot tub, use of the outdoor infrared sauna (for an extra fee), hydrotherapy spa baths and a magnesium-enriched plunge pool infused with minerals from the Dead Sea. There\’s also an ice bath on offer for those who want to try the latest craze in wellness, or you can top it off with a treatment in their century-old Queenslander farmhouse (cosmetic acupuncture, anyone?!).
Soaked and satiated, we dry off to drop the car back at The Star Grand and hop an uber to QT Hotels in Surfers Paradise, where there\’s a different kind of water play beckoning. We\’ve got ourselves a private poolside experience booked, and the cocktails are waiting.
A few hours reclining in a VIP poolside cabana, complete with bottle service and gourmet nibbles, was a suitably glam way to soak up the best of The Spring, QT Hotels\’ chic Palm Springs-inspired oasis.
The QT Gold Coast VIP cabana packages range from $145 – 360 for the full day hire and, depending on the package you chose, include everything from fruit platters and chilled face spritz to a chilled bottle of Moët Ice Impérial or Veuve Clicquot Rich (poured over ice) and neck, shoulder, foot and leg massages (15 mins per person – 2 pax).
The poolside precinct at QT Hotel is shared with in-house guests (who have first dibs at the cabana hire) and visitors who just come for the laidback luxury of it all, swimming in the black and white pool or lazing in the spa with the Surfers Paradise skyline overhead, drink in hand. It\’s the kind of scene that reminds you of just how much the Gold Coast has grown and evolved to become a chic epicentre of luxury and sophistication.
For more activities, ideas, and inspiration to plan the perfect Gold Coast holiday or short break, head to Destination Gold Coast
Words: Natalie Bannister