One year after launching, IHG’s newest brand, voco, is stinging the competition with modern comfort and true sustainability – especially at voco Gold Coast.
As the candles blew out on voco’s first anniversary, Lux Nomade checked into the Surfers Paradise stay where we experienced first-hand the property’s unique approach to hospitality.
‘Unique’ isn’t an exaggeration.
Everything at voco Gold Coast felt refreshingly different to its sea of competitors from the freshly made complimentary shortbread biscuit at check-in, to the in-room plants, and the rooftop beehives.
Yes, actual rooftop beehives, but more on that later.
Voco Gold Coast’s Location
voco Gold Coast occupies the former Watermark Hotel, which is conveniently located in the heart of Surfers Paradise.
Everything you could possibly need or want to do is a quick five-to-10 minute walk away.
No, seriously. Surfers Paradise Boulevard is a few steps away with its vast selection of restaurants and pubs, while Cavill Avenue is also nearby, along with Paradise Centre, and of course, the beach.
For anything else, there’s a light rail station around the corner from the hotel.
Those of you planning to hire a car, the property is an easy 30-minute drive from Gold Coast Airport. Self-parking in the underground car park is $25 a night while valet is $35 a night.
“The tap water in your room is filtered and delicious to drink” – voco Gold Coast
Relaxation and self-care is front-of-mind at the hotel, along with great food and responsible practises.
Trickled throughout the building are reminders that voco’s goal is to provide each guest with an opportunity to “relax, and enjoy moments to themselves”.
This ‘unwind’ approach continues inside Retreat Suite 2022, where one can have a bath in front of the television, sip wine by a full view of Surfers Paradise, or enjoy a great night’s sleep in a bed made from recyclable materials.
Large windows fill the spacious room with natural light throughout the day, while earthy blue, white and grey tones with wooden furnishings create a holistic and peaceful vibe.
The Retreat Suite’s bathroom is fitted with a roomy shower equipped with an amazing high-pressure shower head, large refillable shower products and a range of amenities from environmentally friendly soap, a dental kit, and a vanity kit.
A comfortable King Bed sits in the centre of the Suite’s main room, along with two bedside tables, easy-to-access electrical outlets, USB ports, a flat screen TV and a coffee table.
Attached to the bedroom is a lounge room featuring a three-seater L-shaped lounge, a mounted flat screen TV, a plant, and… a bathtub!
There’s much to love and enjoy in the Retreat Suite, but a particular favourite is the tap water, which is filtered so that guests can refill their bottles and drink freely.
“Ask us how to receive a free night.” – voco Gold Coast
There’s no shortage of love at the hotel, with perks appearing at every corner.
During check-in, it’s immediately evident that staff are attentive and genuinely keen to assist.
The property has two on-site pools – the East Side Pool on level one catches the morning and midday sun, and has a heated spa. Meanwhile, the West Side Pool on level two is perfect for a swim later in the afternoon.
Both pools are open until late, they have a selection of day beds, and thanks to the property’s close proximity to the beach, they don’t get overly crowded.
When it comes to dining, voco Gold Coast has three vastly different yet equally delicious options.
The Social House is open throughout the day and acts as a café, bar and casual dining venue. It serves burgers, salads, chicken wings and chicken parmigiana.
Waves is a buffet restaurant where guests can almost literally dine their way around the world. Guests can create their own salads, enjoy a slice of pizza, slice into a piece of pork, enjoy pad thai, and the list goes on.
Be sure to leave some room in your stomach because a highlight at Waves is the dessert stand where there’s everything from passionfruit pana cotta, macarons, Middle Eastern citros cake, a chocolate fountain, and a DYI ice cream bar.
And finally, there’s Clifford’s Grill & Lounge, which is open Wednesday-Sunday and is described as a “paleo’s paradise”, with special lamb, pork belly, and other meat options.
Other perks of the stay include free (and fast) wi-fi, complimentary shortbread at check-in, access to L’Aqua Day Spa, and more.
PLUS, there’s a special IHG offer whereby guests who book a two-night stay receive a third for free. In order to redeem the special, travellers need to be a member of IHG’s loyalty club.
So, What’s With the Bees?
“Enjoy a complimentary shortbread, our chefs made it using honey from our rooftop beehives.” – Alex in reception
When IHG launched the voco brand (exactly a year ago), it did so with the intention of making it a true leader in sustainability.
This, of course, meant going above and beyond simply removing single-use plastic from its buildings to include out-of-the-box (or in this case, out-of-the-hive) initiatives.
That’s where the rooftop beehives fly in.
voco Gold Coast’s rooftop is proudly home to two hives, which house some 300,000 bees.
A resident beekeeper monitors and cares for the swarm, while also removing and delivering honey to in-house Chefs who use the sweet produce in their creations.
Taste-testing all honey-featured food and treats – such as the shortbread biscuits at reception, honeycomb, macaroons, and mango chutney at the Waves Buffet Restaurant – is a must during your stay.
Beyond bees, voco Gold Coast also proudly works with OzHarvest to reduce food waste, has large-format bathroom amenities to cut out plastic, biodegradable straws, filtered tap water in guest rooms, beds made of plastic bottles, and so much more!
Who is voco Gold Coast for?
Everyone and anyone, but especially those who want a carefree escape to unwind and enjoy some quality ‘me time’.
It’s also perfect for the eco-conscious travellers who want to know that every dollar they spend is going towards protecting the planet.
31 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia
07 5588 8333
For more information and bookings visit www.goldcoast.vocohotels.com