Until this trip to the Gold Coast, the words ‘hotel’ and ‘resort’ were pretty interchangeable in my mind. A night at the QT Gold Coast, however, and you’ll quickly realise that a resort like QT Gold Coast will reward you for staying in, as easy and convenient as it is to go out and hit the beach. Best of all, you don’t need to book a room at the hotel to enjoy a lot of what QT has to offer.
If you are, however, coming to the Gold Coast from Brisbane or Brisbane Airport, a cost-efficient and convenient way to arrive at QT Gold Coast is to take the hour-long train ride from Brisbane to Nerang station via Brisbane Airtrain (the train will also stop at the stations for the respective theme parks so it’s a great idea if you’re looking to hit any of the key Gold Coast attractions). Book a package with the Airtrain Train & Transfer program with Limoso Australia and your driver will be waiting for you at the exit of the station to drive you right up to the lobby of the hotel in style, taking all the stress of transport out of your holiday. He’ll also probably be better dressed than you.
QTea and ‘Man Tea’
Simply from looking at the design of the high tea platters, you know that this isn’t going to be your conventional high tea. QT’s high tea at FIXX is a playful exercise in subverting expectations a la Heston Blumenthal and is great for group gatherings. A selection of T2 teas and coffee is provided at $39pp or $54pp with Champagne Perrier-Jouet. I really enjoyed the lightness of my Gorgeous Geisha green tea, that helped to balance the sweetness of some of the dessert.
Case in point: the wagyu ‘doughnut’, which features a bite-sized chunk of beef and horseradish mayo, or the tomato macaron which incorporates a curious combination of sweet, almost jam-like sweetness with herby basil filling. I really enjoyed the mushroom éclair, which had a vivid punch of mustard mayo cream, with tart onion and smoky barbeque flavours. The actually sweet desserts include selections of cheeky bikini shortbread, upside-down ice cream cupcakes, cheesecake in the shape of thongs and chocolate beach balls in biscuit ‘sand’ that have a sweet mojito filling.
While QTea is designed for people of all ages and genders, QT Gold Coast also cheekily offers the only ‘Man Tea’ in Australia, which features sliders, meat pies, prawn cocktails and chocolate cigars and can be ordered as a package with alcohol or without. This is a good alternative for those who want a slightly more substantial (and savoury) experience.
QT Cocktail Class
If you’re more of a Friday drinks kind of person, QT’s newly launched Cocktail Making Classes happens on a weekly basis and includes two cocktails that you can make from scratch, as well as hot food to munch on in between sips. If you’re not laughing with your companions by the time you’re waking the dead with ice and cocktail shakers (new respect for bartenders – those things are cold!), the alcohol will do the trick very soon, especially as half of us all gave up measuring a standard shot and just dumped the entire bottle in. Hey, you’re on holidays, right?
It’s a sign of the quality of food at QT Gold Coast that the cocktails were almost upstaged by the homemade cheeseburger dumplings, which incorporates a secret ‘Big Mac’ sauce and actually just gives you a Willy-Wonka-esque blend of all the cheeseburger flavours…in a tiny dumpling. The homemade guacamole and three kinds of potato chips definitely sealed the deal.
If relaxation is your goal, a visit to spaQ after a session in the swimming pool or gym can definitely be an indulgent alternative to the high energy beach crowds. If there’s ever an occasion to wear the bathrobe and indulge your stereotypical hotel fantasies, this is the time. For Gold Coast locals, there are special discounts off spaQ treatments from Monday to Thursday.
Again, spaQ is furnished with an eye for detail, providing disposable underwear and robes in their locker room, as well as tea and water for all visitors. A session in the tiled spaQ steam rooms will take roughly 45 minutes before your spa session. Book an early session at, say, 9AM and you might have the entire room to yourself, which gives you some time to meditate and relax in silence.
spaQ offers a huge variety of treatments, from massages to nails to facial treatments using products from the uspa skincare range and an individual consultation with a therapist takes place before you go for treatment. I particularly liked the cooling effect of the Revital Eyes Eyelift Gel. The products used were quite light and pleasant smelling, and didn’t leave me with a ‘heavy’ feeling on my face afterwards, which is always important.
A quick tour of QT’s garden on the second floor reveals a balcony full of home grown herbs, edible flowers and fruits. In growing some of their own produce, the chefs saved $5000 per year on mint alone, and employ people with disabilities to help maintain the plants on a day-to-day basis. The passion the head chefs hold for fresh produce is clearly evident and the hotel plans to start garden tours, so guests who are curious about QT’s food practice will be able to look around the gardens.
And of course, there are buffets at the QT Bazaar and rooms to enjoy – look to the Queensland Buffet Roundup for more information there.
QT Gold Coast
7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Phone: (07) 5584 1200
Web: QT Gold Coast