Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa needs your clear attention right now. Forget holidaying abroad. Forget stressful flights, lost luggage, delayed planes, trying to find foreign taxis, and food hygiene you might be unsure of. Instead picture yourself taking some time away in fantastic luxurious surroundings without all the stress of an international or interstate holiday.And there you have it – a five-star resort on the Gold Coast, and you can spend all the money you saved on having more fun. Bliss. The Gold Coast is known as Australia’s playground for a reason – it’s fun and beautiful. People come on international and domestic flights all year round to spend time here. And we need to remember why: The Gold Coast is one of the best places to go for a holiday. Isn’t it about time we all started going for sneaky staycations here? Now that we have decided to stay at the Coast for a holiday this year, let’s go straight to the top – the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa. Prepare to get divine.
Tucked amidst white sandy beaches and cascading waterfalls is the famous and achingly picturesque pool. It is simply heavenly and the reason why the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa is the best resort in Queensland. Truly an unmatched saltwater paradise. The deeper part of the pool is absolutely full of tropical fish. Incredible. The tropical fish in the lagoon are those that would usually migrate down the east coast of Australia from the Barrier Reef. But here, they remain undisturbed by predators and live in ideal conditions, with pool temperatures hovering between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius.
SWIM AND SNORKEL AND SNACK
Snorkelling here is magic. You don’t even have to bring snorkelling gear because it’s available for rent. The kids can do this for hours without getting stuck in a rip or drifting out to sea. You can keep an eye on them from the cabanas that you book for the day. This is the stuff of dream holidays.The bad news is that you won’t be able to pull yourself away from this pool. The good news is that you won’t have to. You don’t have to leave if you are hungry. Order both lunch and dinner from the poolside bar. And of course, for the adults, you can order cocktails to be brought to you while you soak up the sun in your poolside position. What did we do to deserve such a good life! The lagoon is 50 metres across the longest diagonal, and the waterfalls aerate the water for the fish to breathe. You can actually swim into the waterfalls and jump through and dive under them! The kids will do this all day long. There are two spas – one is in a cave near the waterfalls and both are incredibly relaxing. The large shallow part of the pool is reminiscent of an authentic tropical paradise.
The kid-friendly beaches are so inviting, and kids can spend hours there every day playing, swimming, and joining other little ones as they dig around in the beautiful clean sand. Which was, incidentally, shipped in from the soft quartz beaches of Bundaberg. What sets this resort apart is its fast and exhilarating enclosed water slide and the places for kids to play amongst waterfalls and rockeries. Kids absolutely love it, and they don’t even realise how exhausted they have made themselves until they hit the pillow at night.
The sounds of nature around the pool are rapturous. The Marriott pool area is home to a colony of currawongs. Their favourite food is the berries on the cabbage-tree palms that surround the pool and make it look like a tropical postcard. Often guests can see dolphins swimming in the river nearby and water dragons laying eggs in the surrounding gardens. Nature is excellent for our sense of well-being, and it all adds up to a refreshing break.
OTHER COOL STUFF
If you have a boat, you can actually arrive at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa via the newly-built marina. Now that’s the way to arrive at your staycation! The G:Link stops at the door for further roaming if you want to ditch the car. The rooms are very spacious. The balconies lend themselves to fine family photos with a picturesque Surfers Paradise Beach back-drop or the hinterland and its beautiful sunsets. The bathrooms are huge and have a shower and a separate bath that kids enjoy immensely after long days of playing at the pool or beach. The floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathrooms, and pillow top mattresses are what 5 stars are all about. The Marriott is just a short walk to the Gold Coast’s most famous stretch of white sandy beach coastline. You don’t even have to go near the car to spend a day at the beach. Just load up the beach wagon and you are good to go! It’s simplicity and ease all the way. But don’t forget the sunscreen! For a bit of a thrill, there is a jet ski rentals business right in front of the hotel on the river. You can book 1, 1.5 or 2 hour trips, which is wonderful fun! Plus, here’s the ultimate trump card. There is a Kids Club that runs 365 days a year. While the kids are being entertained, you can take off for a gorgeous meal in the restaurants. You can enjoy the spa or the fitness centre or have a game of tennis or basketball with friends. Or just relax around the pool with a decent magazine and a cocktail.
COME WITH AN APPETITE
The cuisine choices in the hotel itself are fantastic. And of course, because they sit within a five-star hotel, it’s just so good. The buffet breakfast that comes with the room is beyond sensational, and many locals come just for dinner or cocktails. So you can count on a great vibe inside the hotel’s public spaces. You can enjoy high tea with friends or an evening drink in Chapter & Verse Bar and Lounge. Have breakfast or a seafood buffet dinner in the award-winning Citrique Restaurant. If you want something different, you can try Teppanyaki like you’ve never seen it before in Misono Japanese Steakhouse. (More about the food in the following pages, sorry to make you hungry!) And the staff. All are beyond pleasant and so helpful and polite. Yes, this is the life. We could get used to this! It’s staycay all the way!