The Star Gold Coast
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