Gold Coast

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Escape -

Some­times, life calls for a lazy sea­side hol­i­day with all the trim­mings, and when it does, you can count on the Gold Coast’s Sher­a­ton Grand Mi­rage Re­sort to de­liver. The city’s only five-star beach­front estab­lish­ment doesn’t muck about. From the mo­ment you en­ter the gleam­ing white lobby — re­plete with ocean views and an in­door wa­ter­fall — it’s clear this place epit­o­mises a cer­tain kind of Gold Coast glam­our: one that has less to do with un­der­state­ment than, say, six hectares of man­i­cured trop­i­cal gar­dens, Gre­cianstyle sculp­tures (“Is that Po­sei­don?” my hus­band asks) and turquoise ‘la­goon’ pools. If it sounds a touch over the top, that’s the point. Just try feel­ing stressed when you’re knock­ing back piña co­ladas in th­ese sur­rounds. The pic­ture-per­fect land­scape of­fers ex­actly what we’re af­ter: pure es­capism. (And, of course, a swim-up bar.)

Con­structed in the 1980s, the ho­tel, lo­cated on the South­port Spit, has re­cently un­der­gone a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar facelift.we’re stay­ing in one of the new Mi­rage Vil­las, with two bed­rooms, two bath­rooms, a spa­cious lounge, bal­cony and kitchen. Cool blue and grey fab­rics, com­bined with pale tim­ber, give the suite a light, airy feel. The beach is just me­tres from our door.

The re­sort has sev­eral din­ing op­tions (Pearls Bar is the spot for drinks served with a spec­tac­u­lar wa­ter vista), but re­ally, it’s all about the seafood buf­fet.we’ve been told the spread at Ter­races, the main restau­rant, is “iconic” on the Gold Coast, and dis­cover a crowd of lo­cals and tourists has de­scended on a Fri­day evening to taste their way through ev­ery oys­ter/oc­to­pus/ocean thing on the menu. It’s not a task for the faint of heart — or palate — but if you have the stamina to de­vour plate af­ter plate of aquatic fare (oh, and some Asian- and Western-style dishes), the re­wards are rich. (Some­times a lit­tle too rich for those who lose all sense of por­tion-con­trol/ deco­rum; it turns out there is such a thing as too many prawns.)

The next night, we head to Broad­beach — a 15-minute drive from the re­sort — for din­ner at Ma­masan. Chef Ray Choi (pre­vi­ously at Sydney’s China Doll) has crafted the South­east Asian­in­spired menu, with must-try dishes in­clud­ing crab ravi­oli dumplings and crispy Ma­masan KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) wings served with “al­mond snow”.around us, chatty din­ers fill the moody, low-lit space, which fea­tures Wish­bone chairs, con­crete floors and in­dus­trial light­ing.the at­mos­phere is pol­ished, ap­proach­able and a whole lot of fun. Just like the Gold Coast it­self. – Jessica Matthews

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