voco Gold Coast is your ticket to the good life once the age of isolation is over.
“Why see the world when you got the beach?” Musician Frank Ocean sings smoothly on his summery hit ‘Sweet Life‘. A tough question to put forth but if you too, have found yourself sky-high overlooking a snippet of the Gold Coast’s famous sandy bronzed coastline from lush comforts, you know what the answer would be.
A literal definition of the sweet life could not be more felt at voco Gold Coast. Anchored in the heart of the Surfers Paradise, the 20-storey newly renovated hotel is a much-welcomed respite from the lure beyond the block with famous entertainment strip Cavill Avenue and iconic skyscraper Q1 in close locale. It would be my second stay at this trendy chic hotel; however, this time around, I would experience one of the hotel’s recently revamped suites.
voco Gold Coast
Something was reassuring about the pleasant familiarity of entering the hotel’s airy navy lit reception area that warmed my heartstrings upon check-in – or should I say stomach? A tasty point of difference is receiving the hotel room key card along with a welcome treat: a small bag of the hotel’s signature in-house baked honey shortbread sustainably sourced from the onsite beehive.
My blouse soon sported golden crumbs as I munched on my bite-sized treats in the lift that make me nostalgic from my previous stay. (Good that some things never change, especially in times of needing a tide-me-over snack to satisfy the hunger pains!)
Upon entering the room, I knew I would be hard-pressed to leave. Another personalised touch awaited with a welcome message with my name blaring on the giant TV screen as I entered the suite – or more like a liveable apartment.
The hotel offers four suites: retreat, spa, studio and entertainment. I stayed in the latter. The receptionist had told me that these corner-building rooms are great eyeing off popcorn worthy weather events across both ocean and hinterlands. Luckily for me, I got to experience a real-life thriller watching an incoming storm along the horizon in lux creature comforts.
This kind of epic viewing needs to be shared, and thankfully, the entertainment suite is perfect for inviting your mates to join you in a Gold Coast weekender. The suite features a dining table for six, corner lounge and sizable kitchenette. Despite it seeming jam-packed, the suite is spacious and is perfect for hosting an intimate gathering away from the crowds 20-levels below. Maybe the suite got its namesake from its reality TV-style touch with two hidden lounge seats facing the dining table almost akin to a ‘judge’s room’ of sorts. The hidden lounge also makes for a lovely spot to sip a glass of wine or read a book – decisions, decisions!
As much as it is nice to lay star-fished along the beach, one can easily replicate the mood in the suite’s bedroom and soak up its heavenly ocean views instead. The bedroom décor takes a modern nautical approach with its white walls and navy furnishings complete with lemon yellow bed pillows adding some colour pop. It complimented the nice homely touch felt throughout the suite in the presence of bright, bold artworks and Scandi-inspired light fittings.
Tight spaces are not in this hotel’s grand design as the tiled marble-fawn bathrooms feature a big walk-in rainfall shower. The vanity may be a tad on the small side; however, there is plenty of shelf space below the sink. This would be the only unfortunate critique in an otherwise excellent room layout.
Overall, I did find it hard to have the urge to step foot elsewhere. I felt like a queen of the hotel hive with the grand views of the Gold Coast the added sweetener.
Related reads: The Sweet Escape – voco Gold Coast
Clifford’s Grill & Lounge
It was time to have a toast to the good life at the hotel’s contemporary eatery, Clifford’s Grill & Lounge. Sitting along Surfers Paradise Boulevard, it is both the perfect spot to people watch and of course, to satisfy a healthy appetite. Its menu boasts contemporary Australian-Asian share dishes with a bounty of flavour so bring your mates!
The small plates are a searing affair. Its seared yellowfin tuna is light and fresh on the tongue, served with a wilted fennel and rocket salad and dressed with a tangy yoghurt dressing. On the other end of the spectrum, its plate of seared Canadian scallops dressed with prawn sambal and paired with sticky braised pork belly would appease any strong flavour lovers. (Confession: I loved this dish so much I ordered two serves!)
When in season, ordering a plate of Fritto Misto makes perfect sense. The small plate had a decent portion of local squid, prawns, scallops all lightly battered and golden in appearance. From surf to turf, Clifford’s three-hour pull apart short rib breaks the mould being hearty and full flavoured. Meat fans would not be disappointed with the ribs served with connoisseur crowd-pleasing sides, garlic potato aioli and truffle mustard. The side serve of organic greens topped with balsamic reduction was a great pairing to keep the meal fresh.
For dessert, one cannot go past the restaurant’s signature Bombe Alaska. Just like the stay in the suite and devouring the share plates, this is made to be enjoyed with good company otherwise, it’s a rich spoonful. Its fusion of croquant macadamia, salted caramel and vanilla bean ice-cream topped off with buttered popcorn is intense but a scrumptious treat in small doses.
If you prefer your desserts in liquid form, Clifford’s extensive cocktail menu works to fulfil that craving. Its Cloud 9 cocktail is a bit like an adult milkshake with white fairy floss aligning the glass rim adding kitsch novelty factor.
Wining and dining, sleeping and grazing, it’s hard-pressed not to feel like you have the best of all worlds in one block in Surfers Paradise. Pretty sweet, right?
voco Gold Coast – 31 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD
Clifford’s Grill & Lounge – 3032 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise QLD
Feature image: voco Gold Coast
See more: Queensland travel
Julia travelled as a guest of voco Gold Coast and all thoughts and opinions are of her own.