Looking from the outside, the building is slightly reminiscent of sail design of the Burj al Arab in Dubai and opens up a new architecture possibility for the region. The thoughtful design continues on the inside with a slate gray lobby and appropriately placed royal blue color-pops in the form of front desk uniforms.
You may wonder if the pool is worth the trip if, just steps away, world-class sands await; it is completely worth a visit and a dip. Located just above the street level and has green lawns, shells and palm trees to incorporate the beach feel. The cabana boy offering complimentary Evian water skin spray and sunscreen application was a welcome addition. Hilton and Chef Mangan offer private BBQ cabana rentals where the kitchen supplies the raw meat and vegetables while guests 'throw another shrimp on the barbie'. You don't get much more Aussie beach BBQ then this.
In the ways of eating and imbibing, Hilton has thought of this as well. No need to leave the property with The Food Store in the lobby. This upscale, European deli offers freshly made charcuteries, a variety of cheeses, bottles of wine, gourmet dips and cakes for either eating in or taking away. For the night, Salt Grill is the place to be. With a handful of signature dishes from the chef's outpost in Singapore, he creates a proper fusion of Asian and modern Australian flavors. Comfortable tables and an impressive menu will leave your head spinning, but the whole dining experience is flawless from start to finish. Since the lobby is taken up by a food shop, don't worry, there is a place to partake in tropical drinks. Fix Bar, on the second level, is the place to be and sample some unique drinks such as a chilli-spiked margarita or an elderflower and kefir lime cocktail. The sexy, 30s inspired decor is so comfortable, getting lost in the menu is a dangerous possibility.
While all the fine amenities are great, we may have been slightly critical of the service. We were pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the top-notch interactions we experienced. One of the reasons we would make sure to return to the Hilton is their people. Nothing but seamless service from the moment we walked in, but more notably, the team in the Executive Lounge. We wondered how they could have a smile on their face every time we walked in. We also wondered how we can get the carrot cake recipe, but with no luck.
Being the first international hotel chain to open on the Gold Coast in 10 years, Hilton has re-entered the market with a bang. With the Commonwealth Games being awarded to the city for 2018, this hotel is setting the standard for hospitality leading up to and beyond the sporting events.
Rates at the hotel start around $220 AUD a night.
[Photos: Rayme Gorniak]