Just south of Brisbane, the outdoor playground of Gold Coast is known as one of the best vacation destinations in Queensland, if not in all of Australia. The presence of the famous Gold Coast beaches along the Pacific Ocean on Australia's East Coast, along with theme parks, luxury hotels, unmissable things to do at night, and the lush Queensland rainforest in the Gold Coast hinterland all combine to make this an unforgettable place to take some time off.
If you're wondering where to stay in Gold Coast, you'll find yourself spoiled for choice. Thanks to the annual influx of tourists to the sandy beaches and fabulous attractions, you'll find yourself with no shortage of Gold Coast accommodation options, ranging from the best luxury hotels to cheap and cheerful budget options ideal for backpackers and bargain hunters. And whether you want to be within walking distance of the top attractions or closer to the Gold Coast hinterland, there are bound to be hotels in Gold Coast to suit your needs.
But Gold Coast is very much a city of neighborhoods. From the big attractions and lively atmosphere of bustling Surfers Paradise to the more laid-back vibe of Currumbin, you'll be able to find great hotels in Southeast Queensland. Plus, you can make things easier on yourself by stopping by a Bounce luggage storage in Gold Coast. Traveling light will make it far easier to get around and enjoy the very different atmospheres of the interesting neighborhoods of the city.
Where to stay in Surfers Paradise
Perhaps the best-known neighborhood in the whole city, Surfers Paradise has a ton to offer visitors to Gold Coast. This is where you'll find many of the city's most popular attractions, including the Gold Coast Wax Museum, the rejuvenated Foreshore, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and Adrenalin Park. It's also the location where you will find the famous bikini-clad Meter Maids. With its impressive skyline and the Nightlife Precinct, generally considered Australia's top nightlife destination, this is the place to be if you need to be in the heart of the action.
Surfers Paradise is ideally located for those who want to be in the center of everything, or for anyone who wants to be able to stumble home to their Gold Coast accommodation after a long night out. But all that fame and notoriety comes at a cost. You'll find that hotels in Surfers Paradise are generally more expensive than they are anywhere else in the city. Plus, with all the tourist crowds and late-night partiers, this is not the place to stay in Gold Coast if you're looking to enjoy some peace and quiet.
On the plus side, Surfers Paradise has some of the best hotels in Gold Coast, including an impressive selection of luxury hotels. For example, The Island Gold Coast has an outdoor swimming pool and a rooftop terrace and has a great location next to many of the city's top tourist attractions. Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise is known for its Mediterranean restaurant and rooms with incredible views of Surfers Paradise beach. The Hilton Surfers Paradise is also located in this neighborhood and offers the luxurious accommodations you'd expect from such a well-known international brand.
If you want to stay in Surfers Paradise without spending a fortune, your options are a little more limited. However, hostels like BUNK Surfers Paradise cover the lower end of the price range, and if you don't fancy sleeping in a dorm room, BreakFree Cosmopolitan is one of the better budget Gold Coast hotels.
Where to stay in Main Beach
No prizes for guessing how this neighborhood got its name. The main beach of the neighboring town of Southport is the standout feature of this neighborhood. If you're looking to spend most of your time in Gold Coast on the beach, you could do a lot worse than choosing to stay in this maritime neighborhood. Surfers will love the open shore break of the beach itself, and families with kids will enjoy the stretch of golden sand the beach offers. Plus, Sea World is located in this neighborhood, making it an excellent option for a family vacation.
This neighborhood offers a real mix of different types of people, drawn to Main Beach not only by the beach itself but also by the eclectic spirit of the neighborhood. You'll find everything from high-end restaurants and hotels to cozy cafes to hipster eateries to classic Australian pubs in this neighborhood. Home to the Australia Fair shopping centre, it's also an excellent place to get some retail therapy. And with so many interesting restaurants in the area, there's a good chance you'll find the best brunch in Gold Coast here too.
If you're looking for luxury hotels in Main Beach, the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort is a popular option. With incredible views and a celebrated buffet breakfast, this resort manages to make you feel far away from the city center while still being quite close. Meanwhile, the five-star Palazzo Versace is the answer to where to stay in Gold Coast for the utmost in pure opulence and exclusivity. After all, this is one of only two Palazzo Versace hotels in the world.
But true to the mixed nature of this neighborhood, you can also find more affordable options. Budget choices like Main Beach Tourist Park ensure that just about anyone can get a taste of the high life in this oceanfront neighborhood.
Where to stay in Southport
Right next to Main Beach, Southport is where to stay in Gold Coast if you want to sample a little bit of everything. Located north of Surfers Paradise, this neighborhood isn't as loud and rowdy as the heart of the city, but you'll still find enough nightlife to keep you occupied. The leafy streets of this suburb are a great place to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet, but there are enough attractions to stop you from getting bored. Anzac Park is an excellent place to get some fresh air and take a break from the busy city, and Southport makes a great base for boat trips along the coast to go whale watching or explore some of the coastal treasures in the area. Southport also has its share of beaches, and with Main Beach so close by, you won't have to travel far to experience the Pacific coast.
The Aquarius Gold Coast is a good choice for budget travelers, with an on-site bar with regular happy hours that makes a great place to meet other backpackers. The Earls Court Motel is an unfussy place to stay that's conveniently close to a tram stop, making it easy to get around in Gold Coast. The Woodroffe Hotel, with contemporary rooms and free Wi-Fi, is a little more upscale, but if you want true luxury in this area, Main Beach is probably a better choice.
Where to stay in Burleigh Heads
For those wanting to get away from it all, Burleigh Heads in southern Gold Coast is a fantastic option. Whether you're looking for a romantic retreat or close contact with the natural beauty of Queensland, this is where you'll find it. Located on the southern edge of the city, Burleigh Heads is home to Burleigh Head National Park and David Fleay Wildlife Park, and if you head a little inland, from the beach, you'll soon find yourself in the famous Gold Coast Hinterland.
Naturally, the disadvantage of staying in a place like this is being a little further removed from the bright lights of the big city. However, thanks to Gold Coast's excellent public transit system, it isn't hard to reach Surfers Paradise or the other popular neighborhoods of the city from here. But with a National Park on your doorstep, you'll likely feel like you've traveled a long way. This is where to stay in Gold Coast if you want to enjoy a vacation in nature and don't need to be all that close to all the major attractions of the city.
Regency on the Beach offers a good mid-range option for travelers to Burleigh Heads. The huge outdoor pool and proximity to the beach is a major attraction here. If you'd prefer a little luxury even on an out-of-town vacation, try The Village at Burleigh, a resort-style hotel where most rooms have a private balcony overlooking either the outdoor pool or the beach.
Where to stay in Coolangatta
Situated between the natural splendor of Burleigh Heads and the busy atmosphere of Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta offers the best of both worlds for those looking for Gold Coast accommodation. This is where to stay in Gold Coast if you like an area with a lot of charm and some great outdoor activities. For instance, Rainbow Bay Surf Club offers delicious seafood dining overlooking Greenmount Beach, and neighboring Coolangatta beach is a great place to work on your tan or try your hand at surfing. Snapper Rocks is another great surfing destination that's quieter than Main Beach if you want to practice your moves without too many people watching. The Kirra Hill lookout also offers incredible ocean views from one end of the beach.
But despite all this natural splendor, Coolangatta is surprisingly central. After all, this is the location of Gold Coast airport, and so the neighborhood is well connected to the rest of the city via public transit. It also offers some great Gold Coast hotels, with a range of options to suit all budgets. Rainbow Bay Backpackers caters to the budget end of the market, while the spacious rooms, heated outdoor pool, and ocean-facing balconies of Nirvana By The Sea make it the ideal place to splurge.
Where to stay in Broadbeach
Home to the Gold Coast convention centre and the Pacific Fair shopping centre, Broadbeach is the answer to where to stay in Gold Coast if you want to be close to everything. Just south of Surfers Paradise, this neighborhood is extremely well connected by public transit to the heart of the city and the outlying areas and is easy to reach from the airport. It offers beautiful beaches like Kurrawa beach, and it's a haven for foodies who want to try some of the best cuisine in Queensland.
The Star Gold Coast is an icon of this neighborhood thanks to its casino as well as the hotel itself. With its rooftop bar and on-site theater where you can catch some of the best performers from around Australia, The Star Grand at The Star Gold Coast is a destination all by itself. But if your budget doesn't stretch that far, you could try the Queensleigh Holiday Apartments for a low-priced but comfortable option in Broadbeach
Where to stay in Currumbin
Burleigh Heads is an excellent place in Gold Coast to get away from it all. But nature lovers have another great option in the form of Currumbin. Located on the other side of Gold Coast airport from Coolangatta, Currumbin is where to stay in Gold Coast if you want the feel of a tropical getaway. Hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, and other classic activities are all on the menu here. And yet, all you need to do is hop on a tram, and you'll find yourself back in Surfers Paradise or anywhere else in Gold Coast you want to visit. For a stay in Gold Coast that lets you feel a million miles away but still have the city close by when you want it, Currumbin is a fantastic option.
For peace and quiet, try Sanctuary Lake Apartments with its tropical gardens. Or you could splash out at the Royal Palm Resort and enjoy an ocean view from your room along with a luxurious on-site spa. But wherever you choose to stay in Currumbin, you'll be close to some of the best natural attractions the Gold Coast has to offer.