Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa
158 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise
P: (07) 5592 9800
Cost: The hotel’s own website has the same prices as the bargain sites, which means you’ll get genuine discounting via reception. Rooms start at around $225 mid-week, but can stretch up to $305 or more on a busy Saturday night. There is an off-season rate of $216 per night for a three-night stay, including breakfast.
There are 299 rooms and 30 suites on 28 floors of this hotel.
The first thing to grab the eye upon entering the front door is the balcony. While it’s common for apartment-style accommodation to have an outdoor area, it’s not so usual for hotels.
The room itself has undergone a refurbishment which means it has a clean feel, plush bedding and a small couch in the corner for comfort. Upgrade to the club executive suite, and things become much more spacious.
Here, the bedroom opens to a lounge area with large flat-screen television, dining table and coffee table. The bathroom also steps up a notch with a small spa bath. Artwork, white and brown décor, and finer finishings are noticeable benefits of the refurb.
While there is no kitchen, even in the one-bedroom executive suite, there is a mini bar area with a marble bench on which to serve the martini, or whatever other exotic concoction in which guests might choose to indulge.
So, it’s been established that the executive suites are special. That is, if you find time to spend in them – when you’re not eating.
The highlight is the Sunday lunch buffet at Citrique. This isn’t your everyday buffet. If you were to look at the main salad bar with cheeses, cold meats and some fish, you’d be forgiven for thinking so. But turn around, and there’s a wall stacked with bread just like a local bakery. Around the corner, there’s a dedicated noodle bar with a selection of curries. Keep walking and there’s a dedicated roast station.
Resist the temptation to stop because there’s more. Walk down a few steps and you’ll reach the dessert bar, one with a selection of exotic ice creams and every topping and lolly imagineable, and another bar with morsels of chocolate, tarts, fruit and mini treats.
Breakfast might well be included in the room rate, but if the buffet’s on the agenda, be careful not to over-do it. There are plenty of locals here to vouch for the theory.
Benihana is the place for dinner. Chefs bang salt and pepper shakers on the side of their barbecues as they sing their way to teppanyaki delights and surprises. There’s no time for being precious here. Turn 10 again, and catch food in your mouth. And don’t be afraid to sing along.
Welcome to the house of fun. There are plenty of hotels which are functional, and many with similar facilities to the Marriott. But when walking in here, there’s almost a compulsion to have a good time.
If it’s not the party atmosphere of Benihana, it might be the view from the room itself, or a journey to the Gold Coast’s only saltwater pool with tropical fish. Alongside the pool, there are cabanas available for booking, and there’s plenty of sand to run your toes through. There’s also snorkel gear for those wanting to get up close and personal with the fish which meander through the rocks.
There might once have been a few more fish, but the 20 or so which remain are pretty to watch. The waterslide is a fun 12 or so seconds, say the children using it at 9am. And the spa is warm. Cool off afterwards under the waterfall.
There’s also an on-site spa, and for those compelled to shop, the main Surfers strip is a 10-minute lazy stroll away.
Those with access to the club lounge will enjoy an afternoon snack on arrival. That can lead to pre-dinner drinks overlooking the coast, which can lead to time in the pool and dinner with the seemingly mad – but highly skilled chefs – of Benihana.
It’s a new day. Breakfast back in one of the best executive lounges around (and there are a few good ones) – more intimate than most, but with great service and an ongoing selection of food and drink. Go for another swim. And then it’s the buffet, a deluxe finish to a packed out weekender.
A two or three-night stay is a better option. Whatever the case, it’s a nice place to escape.
- Simon Holt was a guest of Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa.