Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa
Address: 158 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
Phone:+61 7 5592 9800
My Rating: 85%
Price Rating: $$$$
Summary of Stay: Surfers Paradise is deserving of it’s name. It is an idyllic spot on Australia’s Gold Coast that has been voted one of the best beaches in the world. Although Surfers Paradise is home to only 20,000 people, it has everything a sophisticated traveller needs.
I booked 10 nights at the Marriott in Surfers Paradise and was initially concerned that I might get bored on the Gold Coast after being in Sydney. But this was most certainly not the case.
Upon checking in, I was greeted by the staff and shown to the front desk. I was welcomed with a glass of champagne and a welcome chocolate. I was still shaking off a bit of a hangover from the night prior in Sydney, but it seemed rude to refuse such a generous gesture. I inquired if there might be any upgrades available and they mentioned that they had already upgraded me to an ocean view room. Perfect. The lobby is massive, stunningly appointed and flooded with light. Lots of thoughtful and interesting decor throughout the main areas.
I entered my room and it was exactly as shown online. Clean, modern, bright and maybe a bit boring. Luckily there were a few punches of colour to give the room some life. However, the room was more comfortable than it looked. The bed was delightful and soft. The desk was well designed and I spent many hours there writing. The red chair by the window was comfortable enough for me to curl up in and read—so much so that I actually took it out on the balcony to enjoy. I wish I could praise the bathroom as much. Clearly when renovations were being done, the bathrooms were ignored. They were extremely clean but stuck in the 1980s and clearly did not reflect the aesthetic of the rest of the room. A big shout out to a large enough closet to house all my luggage and clothes—not an easy task.
The resort is home to a few restaurants and bars. Citrique is the hotel’s big draw and boasts an award-winning seafood buffet—$85 Australian dollars and in my opinion, it’s extremely overpriced for the value. Misono Japanese Steakhouse and Sake Bar seemed out of place in the hotel and I didn’t try it out. There was a silver lining though. I spent several evenings in Chapter and Verse Bar where the staff, cocktails and food were all outstanding. Often I would come down here with a novel and have a relaxed time. The pool bar also hit all the right spots: awesome casual food, friendly service and huge drinks. Sure you pay a small premium for poolside service but it was totally worth it. Did I mention the drinks were awesomely huge? I have to rave about the room service. I rarely indulge in room service because I honestly prefer to dine in a beautiful restaurant with actual service. But the first night I arrived, I just felt like a quiet meal in-room and I was surprised by the quality and the value of the room service. Dialling for a meal became a fairly regular event during my stay. Finally, there is a small cafe by the front doors of the resort. They serve elevated, and pricey, coffee shop fare—gourmet sandwiches, imported snacks and the perfect cup of java. I would usually get my breakfast here each morning before heading out.
Highlight of the Hotel: It would be quite a challenge to find a hotel in the area that has a better pool area. Sandy beach on site. Check. Several grottos and lazy river. Check. Massive hot tub. Check. Waterfalls. Check. Quiet pool areas. Check. Saltwater lagoon filled with tropical fish where you can swim and snorkel. Check. Full bar. Check. Gigantic tropical tiki drinks. Check.
Highlight of the Stay: As mentioned, I was worried that I might get bored by myself on the coast for a week and half. The concierge team ensured that did not happen. They were a wealth of information and helped with everything from dinner reservations to arranging private transportation. The real highlights were a number of the tours they suggested for me:
Fly-in snorkeling tour of the Great Barrier Reef at Lady Elliot Island (Amazing)
Trip to Currumbin Animal Sanctuary (Incredible)
Sky High Afternoon Tea at Q1 Seventy7 Cafe (Mind-blowing views, mediocre tea service)
Private Hinterland and winery tour in a Hummer (Very Enjoyable)
Mount Tambourine Glow Worm Caves and Observatory Tour (Just ok)
Drawbacks: I had a wonderful stay at the hotel but I was disappointed with a couple things. Citrique was a big disappointment and certainly did not live up to the hype. Guestroom bathrooms really need a refresh. Also, I think the hotel is large enough that it should have an airport shuttle bus. I recall the taxi ride being rather steep.