Featuring a meandering, sandy-shored saltwater lagoon with artificial reef and the ocean’s edge just 300 metres away, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa is a Gold Coast gem where hours are (well) spent lazing in a body of cyan-coloured water. Read on for the full review.
Don’t think it’s a hotel suited only to a summer stay. The lagoon and freshwater pool are both temperature-controlled all year round, set at 24 and 28 degrees respectively. So a swim at 7am in winter, steam rising off the surface and with nobody else around but the native birds, feels like a private paradise.
Where is the JW Marriott Resort & Spa?
Just 300 metres from Surfers Paradise beach, the high-rise luxury resort backs onto the Nerang River and is just 40 minutes by taxi from Gold Coast airport. Across the road, there’s a light rail stop that will take you directly to the heart of Surfers.
What’s near the JW Marriott Resort & Spa?
Two words: fun parks. Seaworld – where you can dive down a waterslide or two – is just six minutes away by car. Dreamworld, and its waterslides and rollercoasters, is about 25 minutes drive north, while Warner Bros. Movie World is less than 20. Need some grown-up time? Hop on the light rail to The Star casino, just 15 minutes away.
There are 200 minimalist-style guestrooms, each with spectacular ocean or mountain views. Complimentary wi-fi, coffee, tea and a mini fridge is in every room as well as a separate shower and bath. Upgrading to one of the 23 spacious suites snags you separate lounge areas and floor to ceiling windows to capitalise on those views.
Restaurants and bars
When you check in, accept JW Marriott’s signature iced lavender tea (it changes colour – like a magic trick for kids!). Executive chef Paul Smart grows his own herbs, fruit and flowers in the resort garden, which are used in the cooking at the resort restaurant, Citrique. Doubling as a café and fine-dining restaurant, Citrique serves breakfast by day and fresh seafood dishes such as pan-roasted barramundi and Moreton Bay bug dumplings at night. You can also watch your steak being barbecued on the flame grill at the Japanese restaurant Misono, which offers sushi making classes for kids, or kick back with a cocktail at Chapter & Verse, the bar overlooking the lagoon.
In addition to the JW Garden, the resort also has its own bees to produce honey along with a worm farm to aid in composting.
Travel for work
The JW Marriott boasts 13 event rooms and 10 meeting spaces. The Grand Ballroom can accommodate 1000 guests, while business facilities such as audio visual equipment, computers and printers can easily be arranged by the hotel.
Pool, gym and spa
As well as the sandy-shored salt-water lagoon, where tropical fish are fed each day, there is a freshwater pool, waterfall, a mini cave and waterslide — a veritable heaven for energetic kids. The pool kiosk supplies flippers, snorkel gear and even motorised aquatic scooters (and plenty of towels and snacks). While the little ones play, order food and drink to one of the cabanas or relax in a jacuzzi. The fitness centre is open 24 hours a day but if outdoor exercise is more your thing, the resort has a multipurpose sports court and tennis court to get the heart pumping.
At the time of visiting, Ruby Spa was closed for renovations but during operations, it offers all the relaxing massages and facials a holiday requires.
What you need to know
The resort has its own private marina on the Nerang River and can organise boat tours.
Best for: Families
Design: Coastal with a splash of opulence
Ambience: Laidback luxury
Number of rooms: 200 rooms and 23 suites
Rates: From $486 a night
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: Paid on-site and off-site guest parking; valet parking
Address: 158 Ferny Avenue Surfers Paradise, Queensland
Telephone: (07) 5592 9800
Earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 when you book your next stay at qantas.com/hotels