The Star Gold Coast

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - TRIED & TESTED - Va­le­rian Ho

BACKGROUND Orig­i­nally opened as the Jupiters Hotel and Casino in 1986, this ex­pan­sive prop­erty was re­branded ear­lier this year by the Star En­ter­tain­ment Group as The Star Gold Coast, af­ter in­vest­ment of A$850 mil­lion (US$671 mil­lion). All its rooms have been com­pletely ren­o­vated, and the rest of the fa­cil­i­ties, from F&B out­lets to event venues, will be fin­ished be­fore the Gold Coast 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games next April. WHERE IS IT? Lo­cated in the Gold Coast’s Broad­beach sub­urb, the hotel is con­nected by cov­ered walk­way to the Gold Coast Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre, and is close to the Pa­cific Fair shop­ping cen­tre hous­ing more than 300 re­tail stores. It’s a 30-minute drive from Gold Coast In­ter­na­tional Air­port, and an hour from Bris­bane In­ter­na­tional Air­port. WHAT’S IT LIKE? Slightly in­land but with easy ac­cess to the beach, the prop­erty is sur­rounded by tall trees and stands on an “is­land” sur­rounded by canals. The hotel’s main en­trance on level C is shared with that of the casino, though ad­ver­tis­ing for the gam­ing is thank­fully sub­tle. De­spite ar­riv­ing three hours ahead of the nor­mal check-in time, the concierge helped to check that my room was ready, and I took the es­ca­la­tor to the level L lobby where check-in was smooth. ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES The 596 gue­strooms are split be­tween three room types and four suite types. I was in a Su­pe­rior Deluxe room, which fea­tures dark wood and deep-blue fur­nish­ings and has nice mod­ern de­sign touches like the TV turn­ing on au­to­mat­i­cally when you open the door. The work desk is di­rectly un­der the wall-mounted TV, and though there aren’t in­ter­na­tional sock­ets, you can bor­row adap­tors from the hotel or use the USB points to charge de­vices.

My room faced Broad­beach Waters, of­fer­ing a peace­ful vista of canals and wa­ter­side res­i­dences – as well as gor­geous sun­sets. In fact it was prob­a­bly bet­ter than some rooms fac­ing the ocean, whose views might be blocked by the tall Pep­per Broad­beach and Meri­ton Suites build­ings in front of it. With a large king-size bed and a bright bath­room equipped with lux­ury L’Oc­c­i­tane prod­ucts, this was a qual­ity all-round of­fer­ing. RESTAU­RANTS AND BARS There are ten: Food Fantasy, a buf­fet restau­rant pop­u­lar with lo­cals (and the lo­ca­tion for break­fast); Zen Chi­nese restau­rant; M&G Café and Bar fea­tur­ing a clas­sic café-style menu; Mei Wei Dumplings, which serves dumplings, noo­dles and dim sum; Gar­den Kitchen and Bar – which uses a se­lec­tion of gar­nishes and herbs from an on-site herb gar­den; Cucina Vivo for Ital­ian cui­sine; and the award­win­ning Kiy­omi Ja­panese restau­rant. Three large bars in­clude the re­fur­bished Atrium Bar, J Bar and Sports Bar.

I tried Kiy­omi, lo­cated on the lobby level, and was very im­pressed by both the ser­vice and qual­ity of dishes, from koji kar­rage chicken to a gen­er­ous tem­pura se­lec­tion of scal­lops, king brown mush­rooms and kaki­age, and mains like wagyu ten­der­loin with wasabi but­ter. The sig­na­ture dessert Goma Street, served with tem­pered dark choco­late, caramelised white choco­late mousse and black sesame ice cream, was an­other stand­out. MEET­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES There’s a wide range of event space, in­clud­ing a mul­ti­pur­pose the­atre hold­ing up to 2,150 peo­ple; the 1,628 sqm Pav­il­ion Con­ven­tion Cen­tre; the Pav­il­ion Mar­quee, which can ac­com­mo­date up to 52 ex­hi­bi­tion booths and 600 guests for gala din­ners; plus a newly re­vamped 750 sqm lawn, avail­able for team­build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, pop-up food sta­tions or out­door movies for up to 1,000 guests. LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES Casino aside, there’s a gym and an out­door pool where you can un­wind in a ca­bana and bun­ga­low for A$55 (US$43) per half-day.

VERDICT A fresh new look for its rooms, a range of out­stand­ing F&B of­fer­ings and great flex­i­bil­ity for event venues have given this prop­erty a real boost. One of the top ho­tels in the city for both MICE and leisure.

My room of­fered a peace­ful vista of canals and wa­ter­side res­i­dences – as well as gor­geous sun­sets

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