Pearl among the palms

Re­cent re­fur­bish­ments have in­jected new life into this beach­side beauty and given it a fresh new look that won’t fail to im­press

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - SUITE LIFE -

BRIDES al­ways man­age to steal the show.

It is Fri­day af­ter­noon, the clock just a few ticks away from three, and a beau­ti­ful young twenty-some­thing Katy Perry look-alike dressed in a white marsh­mal­low gown has ev­ery­one’s at­ten­tion.

Her mother gen­tly squeezes her hand as they start the walk into the pool­side func­tion room where the cer­e­mony will be­gin.

The gath­ered ho­tel guests and lin­ger­ing staff, most with no con­nec­tion to the wed­ding, col­lec­tively gasp as the bride stops. Is she ready, ready, ready . . . to run . . . Ju­lia Roberts-style? Not to­day.

Her mum reaches out, wipes away a tear, and squeezes that hand just a lit­tle harder.

She re­sponds and marches to­wards the groom, who has ner­vously watched this un­fold from a dis­tance.

Dur­ing the heady days of Christo­pher Skase own­er­ship, the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage on the Gold Coast was the place to be seen. Noth­ing ri­valled it for glitz and glam­our.

It ap­pears noth­ing has changed. There is no ho­tel in Aus­tralia that can match the grand scale of the Mi­rage’s foyer and it would be cost­pro­hibitive by to­day’s stan­dards for any­one to try.

It is big­ger than a foot­ball field. The floors are mar­ble and bathed in nat­u­ral light. The Gold Coast’s iconic strip of beach, just through the win­dows and past the la­goon pools, pro­vides the wow fac­tor.

The Sher­a­ton Mi­rage Re­sort & Spa Gold Coast tends to be over­looked by trendy types putting lists to­gether of “Aus­tralia’s hot ho­tels”. But to leave it off such a list would be a ter­ri­ble mis­take.

The ho­tel has al­most been com­pletely ren­o­vated. The planned makeover of the in­ti­mate Oys­ter Bar restau­rant will be one of the fi­nal touches to this ho­tel mas­ter­piece.

My wife and I were booked into the Royal Suite – Room 3034. It is the sec­ond time we have stayed in this room. We slept here about two years ago when it was first ren­o­vated. We loved it, but the ho­tel man­age­ment and own­ers in their wis­dom had de­cided that it wasn’t quite right.

The suite is about the size of a stan­dard two-bed­room in­nercity apart­ment.

But that is the only time you would use the word stan­dard and Room 3034 in the same sen­tence.

The suite has 180-de­gree beach views. You can hear the waves break­ing and smell the sea. It is the ul­ti­mate in beach chic.

I’m told the fur­nish­ing alone cost close to $180,000.

There’s a small, but prac­ti­cal, kitch­enette. Two dis­tinct sit­ting ar­eas – one with a gi­ant widescreen tele­vi­sion (yes there is Fox­tel) and the other with a


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