In one word, the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast is oh so cool. The recently refurbished hotel that used to be the Gold Coast International Hotel greets you warmly into their bright ambient lobby, high ceilings and quirky mix of industrial surf style matched with super friendly retro inspired staff. For me personally I felt like I’d stepped into a world styled by my favourite couple from The Block, Sophie & Dale.
The hotel offers a contemporary open style living space that is a mixture of nostalgic surfer chic meets Miami swim catwalk with custom furniture, fun graphics, touches of whimsy and pops of bold colour are some of the highlights of the design inspired by the 1950’s and 60’s with Eames-era chairs, artist crafted feature walls and photographic ceiling mosaics of the Gold Coast through the ages.
Tucked 10 minutes walk away from the hustle and bustle of Surfer’s Paradise it strikes the perfect balance between retro and luxury with absolutely no stuffiness as it maintains that five star hotel vibe we love when going for a pampered break some where!
Where do I start? The fresh lemonade presented to you on arrival was a perfect welcome gift (alongside a dish of fresh pastel hued macaroons), that you make yourself from fresh lemons they hand deliver on your arrival and it’s just plain refreshingly yummy. I was checked into my king size room, complete with massive bathtub and sweeping views of the beach close enough to hear the magic of the ocean lapping on the shore.
The rooms are brightly decorated with quirky, whimsical design pieces in a way that makes the rooms cosy without being over styled. The pillows and the blankets were so soft and super comfy– the only issue was the hard line down the middle of the bed – a minor drawback for bed hogs like me! I ended my evening after dining soaking in the bath, pampering myself even though I’d already spent the afternoon in the QSpa!
Wowsers … I’m going back here again. Eating at Bazaar restaurant, on the second floor of the hotel, brilliant restaurant based on marketplaces around the world. They provide you with much more than your standard all you can eat buffet. Produce is as local and fresh as possible with the seafood freshly caught each day from local fisherman. The chefs tailor the menu from season to season and week to week. The staff are incredibly passionate and proud about the experience they have created.
When you walk in to your left is a floor-to-ceiling glass window, allowing you to peer into a cool room full of premium meats. If you look past the wood fired pizza ovens, classic pot roasts and refreshing organic salads, you’ll see refrigerators bursting with colourful, fresh produce. And just around the corner past the Asian wok stations, there’s an abundance of delicious seafood on offer.
There was a fabulous mix of patrons visiting – which the hotel has said is their standard week in week out; groups, families, couples, young and old made for a fantastic atmosphere. Bazaar has found something for everyone to love.
I was treated to a wide variety of foods including fresh seafood, Asian noodles and endless salads. The main event however was the meat on offer: fresh roast pork, Osso Bucco, Hungarian goulash and spatchcock wings that melted off the bone. Cooked right in front of you, it is an incredible culinary experience.
Saving the best for last, the dessert buffet was the highlight of the evening. Creamed polenta, apple and berry slice, panacotta and a wide range of pastries, it’s heaven for those with a sweet tooth. They cater for all allergies and dietary requirements, so everyone will find something to eat. Plan for a long night of dining – you won’t be able to stop at just one trip through the amazing selections.
And trust me, at the end of your night you’ll be asking to be rolled up to your room or out to your cab!
Breakfast the following morning was just as much a treat. An omelette bar tailoring the ingredients mixed together of your choices, a wide range of teas and coffees and amazing pastries, it was a breakfast heaven.
Dinner: $69 per person, $21 per child, kids under 4 are free. Breakfast: Adults $32. Children under twelve $15. Children under 4 eat free. Breakfast and dinner are offered every day, lunch available on Sundays (remember to book ahead, otherwise there can be up to a half hour wait although it’s well worth it!).
Other food venues include the popular Stingray Bar downstairs, Yamagen Teppanyaki BBQ Grill and FIXX Cafe (read about them all here).
I was treated to a blissful two hour spa treatment at the airy spa on the second floor of the hotel – it was a lovely treat to not be down in the basement as spa’s tend to be these days, with lovely big airy light windows, walking in to be greeted by the lovely Lily with an offering of tea while you fill in your forms sinking into the comfy chairs with their vibrant cushions, I knew I was going to be in for a fabulous treat.
The Hamamm steam room was a perfect way to start my treatment, with the room set at the perfect temperature of 31 degrees. It was just hot enough, but not so that I was left gasping for breath, relaxing my muscles so I could enjoy my massage and facial to perfection by Roberta, hailing from Brazil and who gave me the perfect spa treatment.
Starting off with a relaxing Foot Spa, feet soaking in petaled water, moving onto the USPA Concept Facial, that includes a divine back massage, a deep cleanse, exfoliation, masks, cell theraphy and therapeutic face and scalp massage (wish the scalp massage was longer), followed by an eye contour wrap, all customised using an Australian spa botanical skin care brand, USPA (visit their website here: www.uspa.com.au).
As an FYI About the SpaQ:
spaQ was launched as a brand new ‘designer spa’ concept for the hotel in December 2011. Features include; the serving of La Gaia teas along with an exclusive spaQ blend, in kitsch cups and snug sheepskin rugs adorn loungey chairs for luxurious relaxation. spaQ takes on the philosophy that ‘like your mind, your body isn’t static’. Rather than insisting on a pre-selection of treatments, spaQ encourages guests to reserve a block of time and make a treatment selection on the day, using the therapist’s knowledge to fit in with the groove of the individual. As well as packing the menu with some serious therapeutic punch, spaQ makes room for flexibility, customisation and individualisation.
spaQ facilities include; a range of treatment rooms, a reception and retail area, male and female change rooms, a complimentary hammam inspired steam room with ice fountain, a relaxation lounge and a birds-eye-view nail bar. The menu features a selection of different massages, a variety of facials and body treatments by USpa, an ‘accessories’ section with a creative range of 30-minute ‘add-ons’ and perfectly sequenced treatments pooled uniquely for the Gold Coast – including the Weekend Warrior for men and nail bar essentials from Zoya.
On the whole, QT Hotel provided an incredibly unique experience from the moment I walked in the door and sadly when I had to leave. The only drawback for me was leaving and the cost of using the wifi internet connection, but this is a common issue in most hotels. When I visit a hotel I love spending time in my room, here I wanted to sit in the foyer on one of the “Sophie and Dale” inspired sofa’s with my iPad all day, it is such a creative inviting and relaxing space considering it’s a main thoroughfare. They are putting some final touches to their pool/outside area but it should be ready for summer! Oh and all day parking costs $8, a bargain!
The QT maintains the laid back beach culture of the area, but with an added dose of style and sophistication. Truly worth the visit, I think you will fall in love with it too just the way I have. Rooms start from $156 a night.
Visit the QT Gold Coast HOtel’s website for more information – seriously, it’s so retro and funky – they are located at 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise: www.qtgoldcoast.com.au or phone 07-5584 1200.
Disclosure: I was a guest of the QT Hotel, everything was paid for by the hotel but all comments are my own and I have already returned as it’s just that fabulous!
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