Sea Temple Surfers Paradise
8 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
P: (07) 5635 5700
Cost: Two-bedroom units start at around $389 mid-week, and prices creep up to around the $500 mark on weekends. Three-night stays will bring that down to about $300 per night. It’s worth noting that Accor offers a Bunnings-like price guarantee on their site – find a better price within 24 hours for the same room and conditions, and they’ll beat it by 10 per cent.
There are 98 one, two and three-bedroom units scattered throughout 77 floors of the Soul building. The hotel operations have just been sold to Mantra group, so it’s not known how this will affect prices or conditions.
Rooms at Sea Temple carry most features of modern-day design. It’s on-trend now to have a spa bath positioned in the bathroom, behind a glass wall looking into the bedroom and at the view beyond.
Hotels are moving consistently away from the pokey rooms, adopting apartment-style accommodation which has long been a favoured option for regular Gold Coast holiday-goers. This fits the latest mould – fully-equipped kitchen, dining table, lounge room with flat screen television, pay-per-view movies and modern fittings and furnishings.
The bedroom is large and connects well with the lounge, but most importantly at the beach is a good view from a broad balcony. The large balcony at Sea Temple has sitting space to catch the cool surf breezes.
Talk to almost any other chef on the coast and they’ll put Seaduction restaurant in their top few recommendations. Steve Szabo is the chef who most recently made his mark at Palazzo Versace for 10 years.
Now, he’s turned Seaduction into a hatted restaurant as awarded by the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide. “It’s like watching a movie from the comfort of gold class,” says the guide. And it’s hard to disagree.
The scallops are divine, and Szabo sticks with the surf theme by offering flavoured froth with each of his dishes. Front-of-house staff are knowledgeable about all food and wines, so use them as part of the guided foodie experience.
Décor in the restaurant is dark and romantic, and then carries its modern tones into the morning at breakfast where the buffet is not quite as vast as some others on the coast, yet upmarket, fresh and wholesome.
One of the attractions of Sea Temple, of course, is its location at the beach end of Cavill Mall. This means there are plenty of dining options in the shopping district, especially for lunch. Explore the smaller arcades for a well-priced and good-quality meal.
Surfers Paradise has a legacy stigma attached to it – tacky shopping, bright lights, nightclubs and plenty of tourists. To criticise the shopping is a harsh call. There are plenty of boutique shops scattered among the souvenir shops, which nobody is obliged to enter.
Being in prime location on the beachfront, the club scene is near enough for those who want to indulge, yet far enough away to avoid. Let’s face it. Many find the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast to be part of its charm.
Timezone and Ripleys are still in the mall for those who have families, and there are plenty of other smaller attractions within walking distance. In Summer, the crowded beach below is an attraction in itself. Alternatively, it’s a little quieter around the hotel’s pool and adjoining bar.
There are better-priced rooms of similar quality on the coast, but none better positioned – right on the beach at Surfers Paradise. From the moment you arrive here, there’s a relaxed beach feel.
Once you navigate your way from the carpark to the reception area, attendants will explain the facilities of the hotel. If the beach is not appealing and you’re too early to check in, make a beeline for the pool area which can be accessed with an interim key. Given its indoor/outdoor aspect, the pool is a treat with genuine sea breezes on the deck.
Food is a key attraction, as is accessibility to the traditional heart of the coast.
- Simon Holt was a guest of Sea Temple.
- View other great Queensland escapes