Last month Drew had to attend a conference on the Gold Coast. He would be away for two nights and rather than sit at home staring at the amount of overdue domestic duties, I decided to join him. Not for the conference, but for the two nights of R&R in a resort at Surfers Paradise.
The idea being that I would do some studying in preparation for my upcoming exams – if swimming at the beach and relaxing in the steam room and soaking in the spa, counts as exam preparation.
It has been many, many years since I have stayed at Surfers Paradise; I think the last time I stayed there was when I was four! I have been to the Gold Coast many times since then but always avoided Surfers due to it becoming overly touristy, tacky, and with a beach lined with dated and ugly 1960’s questionable developments.
Over the past decade, Surfers Paradise has been transformed. Gone is the over-supply of souvenir shops selling stuffed koalas and sheepskin rugs, the cheap motels and the ugly high-rise apartment complexes. Along the beachfront it is all new, new, new with fabulous hotels and resorts offering not only spacious and comfortable accommodation, but views and tempting restaurants.
We stayed at Peppers Soul and I can very much recommend this fairly new complex. It is positioned very close to the iconic arched sign that leads you onto the three kilometre beach that with its golden sands, warm water and brilliantly blue skies, many refer to as paradise.
At Peppers Soul there are no squishy hotel rooms but more preferably, you have a choice of one, two or three-bedroom apartments. We were booked into a one-bedroom apartment with ocean views.
Drew went from the airport straight to the conference so I arrived at Peppers solo. I headed straight for the reception desk and was greeted with friendly smiling faces all eager to assist me with great courtesy and professionalism. It was only 8am in the morning and so my apartment wasn’t available however cafes were recommended where I could have breakfast and later when I wanted to study, a meeting room was made available.
The apartment was ready at around lunch time. Now…I don’t like heights and Peppers is a very tall building of 77-storeys. I am not keen on staying up at cloud level so I was relieved when told our apartment was on the 8th floor. The bonus of not being up so high is that when you’re outside on the balcony, you look out on the Pacific Ocean which is so much more interesting than just seeing sky, the eye-level view from higher floors.
The apartment was very clean, comfortable, spacious and quiet. We had a fully-equipped kitchen with a separate laundry, a bedroom with a king-sized bed stacked with pillows, a large dressing-room area, and an ensuite with a spa bath where you could look through to the bedroom and the view. A balcony ran the full length of the apartment and had reclining chairs as well as an outdoor setting where we had a glass of wine and watched the full moon rise over the ocean.
The Gold Coast has one of the most enviable climates in the world with on average, 300 days of cloudless blue skies and sunshine. That wonderful climate lends itself to outdoor living and so at Peppers you’re just a few steps from the golden sand of the beach. One morning we had an early morning swim and even though we were just a few days out from the first day of winter, the air temperature was warm and the water temperature a comfortable 21C (70F).
Besides the beach, there are the hotel facilities. There is a two-lane indoor 25mtr heated swimming pool with a spa, sauna and a steam room. Outside there’s a 25mtr tiered resort pool that overlooks the beach. There’s also a spa and plenty of outdoor seating and lounges to relax, sunbathe, and enjoy the view. If you’re feeling energetic, there’s also a fully equipped gym – no, didn’t get there.
Within the Peppers complex there is a hatted restaurant called Seaduction however, we did not have the opportunity to experience it.
In terms of price, we were fortunate to be able to take advantage of a special offer making this a very affordable couple of days in paradise. In fact, after still choking on what we paid for a night in a caravan park, the rate we paid at Peppers was unbelievably, almost the same.
I was really impressed with not only Surfers Paradise but also Peppers Soul. Drew, who knows I’m prone to whinging, didn’t hear me say one negative thing the whole time we were away. He said, ‘In future, I’m going to bring you to Surfers for all your holidays’. And if that was at Peppers Soul I wouldn’t mind one little bit.
If there is anything at all to criticise about Peppers Soul it would be that if you try to ring the hotel you are put through to a centralised service. Don’t you just hate that! I find it very impersonal and phone calls seem to take longer than necessary as you are shunted from one department to another. If you could ring the resort directly that would make this a perfect destination.
Verdict: Can’t wait to go back
Peppers Soul: 8 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, Queensland