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Mercure Gold Coast Resort review, Queensland: Weekend away

TIME : 2-26 17:47:45

Mercure Gold Coast Resort review, Queensland: Weekend away

DEFAULT Simon Holt

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Our rating

3.5 out of 5

THE LOCATION

For 17 years, the Gold Coast Mercure Resort has been considered an unofficial accommodation partner of neighbouring Palm Meadows Golf Course. Unlike the golf course, the hotel was ageing and fast losing prestige appeal, which is why management has spent millions of dollars on an upgrade. The decision to embark on refurbishments was a no-brainer, but importantly, the Penny del Castillo-inspired designs have worked, giving the rooms the bright lift they needed. Add that to new dining areas and a spruced-up lobby, and the place rightly has a reinvigorated spring in its step.

THE SPACE

There are a couple of large resort pools here, and while this might not be a beach-side resort, the number of people wearing boardshorts and flip flops are an indication the resort is retaining a coastal holiday vibe. There's a restaurant and bar, and plenty of space for a casual walk. The refurbishments, which were completed in November 2014, were geared to help the resort reclaim a reputation once held by former owners, the Radisson, as the Gold Coast's top hotel for sports fans. It's worth checking out the oversized and extra-large pendant lights in the lobby, apparently a first in Australia.

THE KIT

It's refreshing to see local thought go into modern room designs. Tongue and groove-style timber walls offer a distinctive Queensland flavour. Blended with deck chair, fabrics, scattered cushions and slimline furnishings, rooms offer a breezy beach-style holiday feel. Balconies, either overlooking the gardens or golf course, are a nice escape from the hotel room.

STEPPING OUT

The resort bills itself as a hub for sporting events, which it is. There are five championship golf courses in the Gold Coast's "green belt" - Palm Meadows, Lakelands, Robina Woods, Colonial and The Glades. There are also nearby rugby league and AFL stadiums.  The shopping is less well known. For many years, Carrara has been home to weekend markets from 7am to 4pm, and while it seems some of the stalls have been there for the duration, there are still some bargains to be had. If airconditioning and piped music are more your style, Robina Town Centre is now arguably the Gold Coast's premier shopping destination.

THE VERDICT

The rooms are much nicer following the refurbishment, and the location of the resort is perfect for those wanting to attend sporting events, particularly the Suns games at the nearby Metricon Stadium. And the price is right - stays at this resort costs less than at other beach-side hotels of a similar quality. Parking is convenient, upgraded facilities are well and truly up to scratch, and service is terrific. If there's one downer, it's that noise from the hallways can echo through the rooms at odd hours.

HOW TO GET THERE

The Gold Coast is an easy one-hour drive from Brisbane. Take exit 77 along Gooding Drive. Turn left into Palm Meadows Drive and follow the signs to the resort.

ESSENTIALS

Mercure Gold Coast, 64 Palm Meadows Drive, Carrara. Early booking rates start from $121 for a standard room and stretch to around the $200 mark for a resort room. Some packages include breakfast and car parking, and golfers can ask about special rates at neighbouring courses.

Phone 07 5555 7723, see mercuregoldcoastresort.com.au.

The writer stayed as a guest of Mercure Gold Coast.