4217 Travel Guide
Keeping with our series of bending the ear of our favorite barkeeps, we recently had the opportunity to find out what bartender, Nicholas James, from Stingray Lounge at QT Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise thinks about the industry's preferred poisons.
HotelChatter: How many years have you been in the industry and time at Stingray?
Nicholas James: 5 years in the industry, and coming up to nearly one year at Stingray.
HC: What type of formal training do you have?
NJ: I have studied and worked alongside some of Australia’s most recognized and award winning industry professionals in and around Sydney’s small bars, pubs and restaurants.
HC: With such an extensive list of creative cocktails, what is your least favorite to make; the one you go 'really? I have to make that?' but still do it with a smile?
Fashion Hotels / Versace Hotels / Australia Hotels / Gold Coast Hotels / Hotel Movies / Hotel Cocktails / → All Tags
It's not too late enjoy the last few weeks of Summer in Australia, especially in the place where, it seems, the season shines. We're going to take you to Palazzo Versace in Gold Coast where they are holding onto every last bit of Summer with a Gin Palace and Open Air Movies for the rest of the season.
In the Aussie state that claims to have 'endless summer' it seems like no better reason to have a party and we're fine with that. The fashionista hotel celebrates the equally fashionable drink with a full menu of gin libations. Hosted in the lobby bar, Le Jardin is transformed into a gin palace featuring live music and summer-y cocktails based with the juniper-berry spirit. Every Saturday night, the lobby turns into a place for everything glam and super trendy—after all, it is Versace.
Few things pair as well as gin cocktails and classic cinema under the stars, so if you prefer a little more a more subdued evening, out in the super posh, Fountain Terrace, movie-buffs can sit back in a bean-bag chair or a private cabana and relax to various films. Guests are offered salted popcorn, chocolate top ice-cream and a signature slurpee for $30 per person. If you prefer a little more sustenance during the movie, you can pre-order a picnic-basket dinner for $45 per person.
[Photo: Palazzo Versace]
A stay at QT Gold Coast was as if we just stepped out of a Gidget movie and into a surf side vacation rental with a lot of class and personality. Long gone are the days of mis-matched wicker furniture, well loved carpeting and not-cool-vintage design. This place is done right.
Here is a peak inside the super-quirky beach side property known for fantastic views and even better brews. From the vintage station-wagon sporting a few surfboards to StingRay Lounge and to the in-room squeeze-your-own lemonade, this place screams vacation. Even the Sunday brunch at the interactive Marketplace goes on our list of favorite hotel brunches.
With large comfy rooms, that are decked out in mid-century modern decor it was easy to settle in to staying just blocks from the beach. The modern bathrooms are the furthest from overused beach house that we could imagine and with a few splashes of bright colors; they have summer written all over them.
Hotel High Tea / Hilton Hotels / Gold Coast Hotels / Hotel Bars / Hotel Cocktails / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Typically, high tea is an experience we recommend everyone to experience at least once in their life. The pomp and tradition of well-decorated petits fours, delicious finger sandwiches and scones with clotted cream is highly regarded amongst a large segment. This can get a little stuffy sometimes especially if you are not part of said segment. This is where the Hilton Surfers Paradise comes to the rescue with their High Tea with a Twist.
The mere mention of 'high tea' conjures up thoughts of well-healed ladies donning large hats and nibbling on crustless cucumber sandwiches from white gloved fingers. Well, you can throw that image out of the window once we tell you about Fix Cocktail Bar's most unique high tea we have ever been part of. Gloved-hands down.
All of the traditional elements are present; hotel, three-tiers of goodies, and, of course, tea. But like we said--with a twist. The entire menu is themed off of popular cocktails and we're not talking the virgin kinds. Think of mini mojito, vodka martini Jell-O shot or a jellied Bloody Mary served on a cucumber slice; get what we're talking about?
It isn't very often that a hotel wants you to leave the property, sometimes even offering free transport. That's how things work at QT Gold Coast in Australia. They want their guests to go...and explore the city and everything it has to offer.
The hotel offers guests free use of their super cute, vintage bicycles to pedal around town and pretend to be Gidget in a 1960s beach movie. The Papillionaire bikes are displayed in the hotel gift shop and look like part of the mid-century Miami Beach decor. If the sun is shining and the tide is high, they are an affordable way to cruise the neighborhood for up to 3 hours.
For those of you with the need for speed, QT has the solution mopeds! A vintage-looking scooter is propped by the main entrance with a sign tempting guests to 'rent me'. It's not only the perfect way to hop from beach to beach, but its a great way to get some sun and blow off the sand stuck to your skin. Since the hires are handled by a local rental shop, the selection of scooters are not limited to just the retro feel and range in price for all tastes.
We've already told you a great way to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee is an elegant high tea at a fancy schmancy London Hotel. Since we assume that a Jubilee party is teaming with royals dressed in haute couture, we can introduce you to the high tea at Palazzo Versace.
Located in Australia's playground, the Gold Coast, the fashion house's hotel is nothing short of extravagant. Situated 'off-the-beaten-track', just north of the heart of Surfers Paradise, the property boasts a dazzling pool, marble lobby and everything Versace. It is a little slice of Donatella in Oz.
Nothing beats a new hotel, especially when it is in a town called Surfers Paradise. Hilton's house got a little too tight and they had to build a whole new tower to attract new guests. The two-month old Orchid Tower of the Hilton's Surfers Paradise Hotel is not only designed beautifully on the outside, but boasts some of the best service and amenities on the Glitter Strip.
Hilton's new tower soars above one of the most iconic beaches in Australia, aptly named Surfers Paradise, and is just one block to the beach. This new tower is home to the Executive Rooms for the hotel and private residences. Celebrity chef, Luke Mangan, has also made this hotel a new outpost for his culinary delights with the first Salt Grill available in Oz. Not only does he offer his expertise, he has ventured to set the menu for all aspects dining in the entire hotel.
And now we present you with the second edition of our Original Boutique Hotels series. Enjoy.
Nowadays, it's all the rage for fashion designers to create hotels. But just remember that Donatella Versace was one of the first designers in the boutique hotel game with the Palazzo Versace Hotel on Australia's Gold Coast.
Of course, in the words of the all-knowing Heidi Klum in the fashion world, "One day you are in and one day you are out." Thus the Palazzo Versace had to make some changes.
The hotel has just wrapped up a AUD $5 million renovation--its first since opening more than seven years ago. Label-loving guests will now find new bedding and upholstery as well as updated technology, including LCD televisions, in all 205 rooms which are completely furnished from the Versace Home Collection.