Six of the best: Chic Gold Coast hotels

Is this heaven? The utopian dream is pulled of with full gleam on the Gold Coast. Here are six of the best hotels.


The Gold Coast overdoses on strata-managed towers that mix up residential apartments and hotel rooms, but Soul pulls the concept off best. The usual bonuses of apartment stays – plenty of space, full kitchens, washers and driers – are all present and correct, but the utopian dream look is pulled off with full gleam. The apartments available to visitors seem like aspirational lifestyle showrooms – all white leather chairs and sliding doors to humungous ocean view balconies.

Accentuating the just arrived in heaven feel is the remarkable third floor, which is essentially a private landscaped park, full of fountains, pools and barbecue areas. One bedroom apartments cost from $349.



The QT's relentlessly perky and design-heavy take on the traditional Surfers Paradise tower resort is a high energy blizzard of colour in a sea of fun-free safe blandness. A tongue-in-cheek vintage seaside theme pervades the whole property, whether it's the wholesomely retro bikini babes on the lift mirrors, jumpsuit receptionist uniforms or garish mesh bags with thongs inside on the bathroom hooks. Anyone who doesn't love the cockatoo-shaped bedside lamps has a heart of stone, while the Stingray bar has become one of the hottest cocktail spots in town. Doubles cost from $219.




Neatly fitting Coolangatta's surfy style, Komune has a boarder's beach club vibe, with upside-down pink flamingos painted all over the walls and huge sink-in bean bags clustered around the pool. Inside, psychedelic portraits and a Baja California-themed bar/restaurant add to the Beach Boys-esque hip.  The rooms have a bring your buddies round feel, with red leather box stools scattered around for seating, but it's the penthouse suite with multiple double beds built deep into the wood panelling that really rocks brims with Coolangatta cool for would-be Superbank riders. Rooms cost from $120.



The tree change option is to head into the Hinterland, where a little slice of Ubud tranquillity can be found on a rainforest-covered hillside. On Tamborine Mountain, Songbirds is going for the South-East Asian retreat look. Little Balinese statues dotted through the grounds, bamboo groves and trickling water features lead the way to majestically serene villas. Dazzlingly polished wooden floors combine with gas fires and spa baths with (approximately) a million nozzles, while yabbering birdsong accompanies the evening degustation menu in the open air restaurant. Villas cost from $278.


Pethers Rainforest Retreat

From the outside, the treehouse villas don't look like much – just corrugated sheds. But once inside, they have a genuine wow factor. Antique Chinese cabinets, enormously cushioning grey-green leather sofas, curving rainforest-view terraces and ultra-high ceilings invite nodding stylistic approval. The Pethers Rainforest Retreat, also on Mount Tamborine, leans more Sino than South East Asia in decór. The best example of this is the dwarfingly huge porcelain vases from Jiangxi province in the lobby/ restaurant. Oh, and if you hear a car alarm in the middle of the night, it's probably the resident lyre bird – it has learned how to mimic them. Villas cost from $275.


La Costa Motel

Not content with simply being a handy budget option opposite the airport, the owners at La Costa have renovated their old weatherboard motel, taking it right back to the 1950s when it was built. The retro beach chic is dabbled with throughout, with orange and white stripy deckchairs taking pride of place on the grass verge outside and the reception decorated with cuttings from old women's magazines.

Another key point of difference is the special events held there, such as writers' workshops and the monthly "Retro Makeover" package. Stylists, rollerskates and photographers are brought in to give guests a rockabilly-style vintage makeover and photo session. Rooms cost from $100.


The writer was a guest of the QT Gold Coast.

Take a look at the six chic hotels in the photo gallery above.