The Gympie Times - - ESCAPE - WORDS: KIRI TEN DOLLE The writer was a guest of Avani Broad­beach

The lat­est ho­tel on the Gold Coast’s glit­ter strip also hands you the “keys to the city”.

Avani Broad­beach Gold Coast Res­i­dences rises over 35 floors, of­fer­ing trav­ellers the keys to 219 one- or two-bed­room con­tem­po­rary suites.

It’s just one of many sig­nif­i­cant changes in the city’s sky­line ahead of the Com­mon­wealth Games this year.

With all the com­forts you’d pos­si­bly need, its great­est at­trac­tion is how it con­nects you in­stantly with lo­cal in­sider knowl­edge to dis­cover the coast’s best kept se­crets when it comes to where to eat and play. As a na­tive hol­i­day­ing in my own back­yard, even I dis­cover some new, non-touristy things to do.

There’s no need to plan an itin­er­ary, haunt the vis­i­tor in­for­ma­tion cen­tre or spend hours trawl­ing Google for the best breaky or beaches for kids. It’s right in the palm of your hand.

Upon pick­ing up your room swipecards from the lobby, sim­ply scan the unique code on the card us­ing the Mes­sen­ger app and you are in­stantly con­nected to a lo­cal tour guide to pro­vide rec­om­men­da­tions for your stay, any­time, any­where.

The apart­ments, which were un­veiled in De­cem­ber, are fresh and taste­fully dec­o­rated with lash­ings of colour.

Apart from be­ing new, one of the best fea­tures is floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows in the liv­ing ar­eas and bed­rooms, max­imis­ing the mag­nif­i­cent ocean, city and hin­ter­land views. The higher you go, the more in­cred­i­ble as­pect you’ll wake to. The nice-sized bal­cony would be the per­fect place to spot whales be­tween May and Novem­ber.

There’s a land­scaped ter­race and zen gar­den, pri­vate res­i­dent’s lounge, well-equipped gym­na­sium, out­door swim­ming pool and sun deck, and ex­pan­sive ground floor bar and restau­rant open­ing soon.

With our bags un­packed, it’s time to ask a lo­cal in­sider for their best rec­om­men­da­tions to make the most of 24 hours to spare on the coast.

Best Mex­i­can feast? After a cou­ple of swipes of the phone, we are booked in for a sun­downer din­ner at Miss Mar­garita Mex­i­can Cantina. It’s hard to pass up a $10 mar­garita.

Healthy breaky spot? Elk Espresso. Just a skip and a jump from the ho­tel, an al­most-too-pretty-to-eat break­fast panna cotta breaks the fast. We also hear The Loose Moose, voted No. 1 break­fast on the Gold Coast last year, is well worth a try for its Nutella waf­fles and “freak­shakes”.

Next take a dip in the cool shal­lows of Kur­rawa beach. You might even grab lunch at the newly re­fur­bished surf club. Across the road, see how many bags you can jug­gle at Pa­cific Fair Shopping Cen­tre or hop on the G:Link tram out­side the ho­tel doorstep and ex­plore the coast at leisure. If you’re feeling ad­ven­tur­ous, hire a bike. Beach Bikes de­liver your wheels, hel­met and lock to your ho­tel.

For an hour of af­ter­noon fun, we jour­ney south to Cur­rumbin Al­ley and hire some stand-up pad­dle­boards.

While there, you could also check out Cur­rumbin Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary with the kids, or ditch the coast­line com­pletely and head to the hin­ter­land to dis­cover “green be­hind the gold”, like Nat­u­ral Bridge or Lam­ing­ton National Park.

The best part is you can con­nect to the ho­tel’s chat bot any­time and any­where you need a sug­ges­tion to make the most of your sea­side sojourn.

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