Sheraton Grand Mirage, Gold Coast

During the recent school holidays we had an opportunity for a quick mini-break on the Gold Coast.  My brother-in-law who lives in Los Angeles had to fly to the Gold Coast for a business trip.  As he was coming out with his family, we all decided to join him – but not for the business part, just the holiday.

Beautiful

Beautiful

Getting to the Gold Coast from Sydney is easy.  It’s less than a 90-minute flight.  As long as your flight isn’t delayed, delayed, delayed and then finally cancelled.  But I won’t bore you with that; I’ll just get straight into what a fantastic few days we had on the sunny Gold Coast.

Walking along to dinner

Walking along to dinner

There are so many options and choices of places to stay on the Gold Coast.  Narrowing it down, we wanted to be as close to the beach as possible and there is only one resort that’s situated on the beach and that’s the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort.

View from the foyer

View from the foyer

The resort was built in the 1980’s by the infamous Christopher Skase and his Quintex Group.  Long story there that we’ll avoid!  Recently the resort has had a comprehensive renovation and it now sparkles and shimmers with a very edgy and modern look.

Entry

Entry

The accommodation options at the Mirage are numerous.  We had Alfie with us so decided on a corner spa room because these rooms are a little larger and come with a king-sized bed and a couch that can be turned down to a sofa bed.

Twilight

Twilight

We arrived in the afternoon and had a fairly seamless experience at check-in except for the fact our room wasn’t quite ready.  We were told it had ‘maintenance issues’ and were given complimentary bottles of water while we sat in the expansive lobby and waited for the ‘issues’ to be resolved.

Outdoor lobby

Outdoor lobby

Foyer with a view through to the beach

Foyer with a view through to the beach

It appears that long-gone are the days where a porter escorts you to your room.  When our room was ready the receptionist gave us a map and with a wave of her pen, marked our room with an ‘X’ and we set off it find it.  We did have a bit of trouble as it was on the first floor and when we walked into the building we couldn’t find a set of stairs to take us to the next level.  I asked a cleaner if we were having a blind-moment and he explained that the stairs were actually external and we had to walk through that building and then out a set of doors where we would find the staircase.  Seek and you will find!

Looking for our room

Looking for our room

Our room was light and bright and flooded with sunshine.  It had windows that slid right back leaving an expansive opening and it was lovely to sit in front of the opening and enjoy a drink.  While we really liked our room, it was situated directly opposite the restaurant and the function room so there were times when we felt we were lacking privacy and had to live behind the curtains.

Corner spa room

Corner spa room

Windows slide open to the view

Windows slide open to the view

While the room has certainly been brought up to date from its birth 30 years ago, there were a few things that seem to have been overlooked.  There were no cupboards or drawers in the bathroom so everything had to sit on the counter where we quickly ran out of room.  There was not even somewhere for the hotel’s hairdryer so we found that in a drawer outside the bathroom.  Overall the room was lacking in cupboard space and drawers and we had difficulty unpacking so Alfie had to live out of his suitcase for lack of other options.

Corner spa room

Corner spa room

Afternoon sunshine streaming in

Afternoon sunshine streaming in

The bed was comfortable although I did prefer the bed at Peppers Soul, a resort just a short drive from the Mirage.  I also would have liked a few more pillows as there were just four on the bed and no extra pillows supplied.  We also only had one chair to sit on for the three of us but I guess that’s because the couch had been turned down to a bed for Alfie.

View from our room

View from our room

We did experience noise from the people in the room above us and this noise was especially obvious in the bathroom where I could hear word-for-word conversations.  However, the people above us were not the considerate type.  They had what sounded like a dozen children in the room and we could hear every thunderous footstep.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Our room was serviced daily and the bathroom restocked with a good range of products.  You could opt to not have your room serviced but for me, not having to clean your bathroom or make your bed defines being on holiday.

Large open spaces with lots of water

Large open spaces with lots of water

Hands down, the breakfast buffet is the best I’ve ever experienced.  Em, who lives in LA, said the American breakfast buffets she’s experienced just don’t compete.  The food area was spotlessly clean, there was ample staff, and the most incredible offer of a range of quality foods I’ve ever experienced.  There were many healthy options but also, if you wanted, you could have pancakes topped with ice cream.  Go Alfie!

Looking through the waterfall to the restaurant

Looking through the waterfall to the restaurant

Restaurant

Restaurant

The resort features water, water, water.  It’s everywhere with low-rise blocks of accommodation separated by pools of water with overhanging palm trees.  Its complete effect is a serene, tranquil and soothing environment that really gives you that holiday feeling.

The blocks of accommodation are surrounded by water

The blocks of accommodation are surrounded by water

The lagoon pool is expansive and is heated to 26C.  It’s surrounded by level lawn with plenty of sun lounges parked under umbrellas.  Pool towels are available from a couple of cupboards that are constantly being re-stocked.  The pool has a swim-up bar which is a terrific novelty for the kids who often sat there in the afternoon and enjoyed an ice cream or a milkshake.  Unfortunately there isn’t a heated outdoor spa which would have extended the time we spent outdoors as it was the middle of winter and in the afternoon the air temperature started to rapidly slide south.

Swimming pool is heated to 26C

Swimming pool is heated to 26C

We spent a couple of days by the pool and it was very relaxing and peaceful.  The only sting in the outdoor experience was the price of food at the Oasis Pool Bar.  While the food was of a very high standard and while it was always served promptly, it was unnecessarily expensive.  A burger from the kid’s menu was over $20.00.  The only person in our party of 16 who didn’t nearly keel over from shock after reading the prices charged was my LA brother-in-law who found instant relief by converting the prices back into US dollars.  Lucky him.

Lagoon-styled pool

Lagoon-styled pool

Swim-up bar

Swim-up bar

The children all enjoyed being so close to the beach and spent many hours just playing in the water and building sandcastles.  We brought surfboards with us (never leave home without them) and Drew spent lengthy time in the water teaching his nieces and nephews how to surf.

Entry to the beach from the resort

Entry to the beach from the resort

All 16 of us drove away from the Mirage proclaiming the four days to have been terrific.  Fantastic weather, a gorgeous beach, excellent food, comfortable accommodation, a fabulous pool, and all in very aesthetic surroundings.  It was a great destination for a family reunion.

Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Verdict:  Incredibly relaxing.

Strolling along to the buffet breakfast

Strolling along to the buffet breakfast

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort:  71 Sea World Drive, Main Beach, Gold Coast

View from the foyer

View from the foyer

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Comments

  1. You are bringing back memories from many long years in both the Northern Rivers and Gold Coast at a time the ‘Mirage’ was indeed the ‘cat’s miaow’ . . . inevitably socialized quite a bit with Christopher and Pixie Skase: she had lovely, lovely parents who were to suffer so during all the ‘Troubles’! Hope the shopping centre opposite is still in good shape: the restaurants there far outstripped anything available in the Hotel. Don’t quite agree with you on the ease of access: that may not matter during a big family get-together, but does if you do not have a car and are stuck miles from Surfers and other attractions. And it may take just 1 1/2 hours to fly Sydney > Coolangatta, but the one sits in the traffic for almost as long to get to the Spit! For my ‘rant’ to be over, looking at the photos of the ‘refurbished’ rooms – not only may they have practicality faults but did look much nicer in the previous version: don’t know whether you had been 🙂 ? Hope you walked up to the ‘Seaworld’ , if that is still going . . .don’t know how many kids were along . . . hope Semester 2 going well . . .

    • Hi Eha, you certainly have led and interesting life! The Christopher and Pixie Skase dramas were many, many, many and yes, it must have been so awful for Pixie’s mother. I have heard Pixie is back in Oz living in an apartment in Melbourne. The life she’s lived you certainly couldn’t script! The shopping centre across the road was looking a bit empty although there were some good shops. I have never before stayed at the Mirage so I’m not sure what the rooms were like before the make-over. We didn’t get to Sea World on this visit as my brother-in-law had meetings at Dreamworld so we spent the day there instead. There’s always next time! Semester 2 is busy, busy, busy and I’m about to try and get two assessments plus an on-line quiz done this weekend. It’s a frantic pace as I’m sure you’re aware.

      • Glad to find this here! If only to say that all fingers and toes and all else will be crossed for your tests and quiz . . . . I am certain you know your work, so just keep your ‘cool’ and a ‘Cr’ honestly will do once in a while 🙂 ! Hmm: you should know how honest I am, so I shall ‘confess’ I looked up Pixie as of ‘now’ on Mr Google! She got ‘caught up’ as I got ‘caught up’ and there is nought either of us can do about it: like her, I made my peace a long time ago and am just grateful, as I am certain she is, that we had what we had when we had it 🙂 !! Oh – one should always live in’ today’ – ‘yesterday’ is past . . . . [and I have fewer wrinkles . . . miaow!!!!]

  2. What a great place for a family reunion. I’m with you, having your bed made and the bathroom cleaned is what a holiday’s about. Not sure why you’d opt out of that. GG

  3. Love this! The Sheraton is my favourite hotel on the Gold Coast – although you have to try the buffet at the QT. Awful hotel, amazing buffet. I also love peppers but I do love being able to wander onto the beach. Gorgeous photos!
    You should try Kingscliff – it’s right near Gold Coast airport and you would Love. It. My favourite hotel there is the mantra….which is obviously counterintuitive, but it’s actually great! The add ons at the Sheraton make for an expensive check out. Honestly Charlie, head to Kingscliff the next time you’re on the GC- it’s all of the natural beauty, top end restaurants but none of the nonsense!

    • No no don’t give away our secrets:)). The fewer people who know of kingscliff the better.

    • Hi Lucy, I haven’t tried the buffet at QT on the Gold Coast but I have tried it at the QT in Canberra. It definitely is a fantastic buffet and I would say it was the best except when I was there you couldn’t have Eggs Benedict – my favourite holiday breakfast! Thanks for letting me know about Kingscliff – I’ll definitely look into it for my next visit.

  4. I’m so glad you had another lovely stay on the Gold Coast… Maybe you could “retire” up here??? hehe! Liz xx

  5. I always love reading your reviews. You have such a great way of writing that I feel I’m right there with you as a traveling partner.
    Thanks for keeping up with the blog…even with all you’ve got going. Honestly…how do you do it?! (And sometimes I think you actually need a holiday from your holidays. Ha!)
    Thanks for letting me live vicariously!

  6. Wow, what a beautiful resort Charlie and such a nice break for you with all that studying going on. On more than one occasion I have had to ask to change rooms because of various issues and the lack of privacy would have been almost at the top of my list. The lack of storage in some hotel rooms makes me think the architect and designer have never stayed in a hotel, it’s quite astounding.
    Giving you a complimentary bottle of water while you wait for your room to be ready was nice but they could have done more (a drink at the bar, ice cream for Alfie, a credit for breakfast) considering how much this room likely cost, bottled water is lame.
    I am often shocked at the pricing of food in the better hotels. In Austria, in 2012 we paid 29(EUR) for one continental room service breakfast (it was enough to split, plus a little left over for a snack). In 1986 in NYC, we paid $21(USD) each for a continental breakfast in the lobby restaurant!!!
    Im glad that you had a nice getaway and were able to reconnect with your sister and her family.

  7. I am so pleased you are able to take some time out from your super hectic and overly full schedule Charlie, and not gonna lie, feeling totes jealous of your lovely stay at the Sheraton, and the sunshine and warmth you got to experience on the Gold Coast. It’s a shame the food was overly expensive, I stayed at the Four Seasons last week, a bowl of noodles cost $42.00. What the actual F?! Anyways, I wouldn’t say no to a visit north right now. Hope you had a lovely weekend. 🙂 xo

  8. I often wonder if people actually try out the beds etc before they buy hundreds of them for their hotel. And chairs for their restaurants. So odd not to have enough space or seats in your room. We have had weird weather up here this winter. Hot cold you don’t know where you are:).

  9. Apart from the not so perfect room with the lack of cupboards, seating and noise levels, sounds like a wonderful place for relaxation. Everything looks so spacious.
    My Pete is off to New York for a week and we are sick to our stomachs at the exchange rate!
    Have a beautiful week Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  10. Wow it looks really lovely with all the water everywhere and fun with the swim up bar in the pool. I smiled at your comment about no porters because when we went to our hotel in scotland (just a small one) I was surprised that the young woman at the desk took our very heavy cases up to our room for us and was not at all bothered about it when I expressed my concern – she said it was getting her in shape for her wedding! Glad you had a good break there!

  11. I went here with my sister in honour of her 18th birthday – it was nice being taken back and reminded of just how relaxing it is! I loved all the water around the hotel and it looks as beautiful as ever.

  12. Wow, wow, wow. I would love to stay at a retreat like this. It’s stunning.

  13. What an interesting hotel. Am certain Alfie and the cousins loved every minute there. Who wouldn’t. You know, Charlie, what I appreciate most about your reviews is that you are always honest. You give the good and the less than perfect, and you give it with style. What a lovely holiday!

  14. It looks very Californian from your photos with those palm trees, blue skies and swimming pools. I bet the cousins had a great time catching up and you had a well deserved break too.

  15. That all looks so sunny and relaxing – and I’m saying that from the perspective of one who lives in the Adelaide Hills & is enduring one of the iciest winters we’ve ever had, so am just a bit jealous.
    Little story about pool bars – my cousin and her husband were fairly ‘hands-off’ parents to their 3 boys, with an out-of-sight-out-of-mind attitude. The downside of this became apparent when they checked out of a Bali hotel after a family holiday and discovered that the boys had been entertaining themselves at the pool bar quite lavishly. The holiday ended up costing them many, many $100’s more than they had anticipated.

  16. Chgojohn says:

    You certainly did select a great place for your reunion, Charlie. with a room so large, however, you’d think they could have had a few more chairs besides the sofa. That aside, it sounds like you all had a fantastic time.

  17. It must have been very special for you all to be together! It would have been delightful under any circumstances, but to vacation together on the Gold Coast and in such a beautiful hotel (even if it was noisy) was a wonderful opportunity to create new family memories. You do travel to some really ideal locations, Charlie. 🙂

  18. Sounds like a great place! Although the lack of drawer/storage space and extra chairs is a bit weird. But no matter — you had a lovely time, and that’s what’s important.

  19. Love all the water features at the hotel…it sounds like a great trip with your family. Alfie must have really enjoyed his time there with his cousins.

  20. What a beautiful place for you all to stay Charlie, the water features are amazing.

  21. I’m sitting in a teeny tiny stateroom on a cruise ship and your hotel room looks like heaven!! Sounds like the perfect getaway for you after the grueling school term. And way to go, Alfie—wish I could eat pancakes topped with ice cream, but I think that might put me in a carb coma 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend, Charlie! xo

  22. It sounds like yet another wonderful experience! It sounds like your run of odd places with strange service/rooms might be over 😀

  23. What a fantastic location for a family reunion, good food, great weather and all that lovely blue water. Glad you had a wonderful time.

  24. Must admit I don’t like the Gold Coast one single bit, however this hotel/resort looks amazing. I think they have one at Port Douglas too?

  25. Swim up bars will never cease to be a novelty. Hope you managed to have a fab holiday despite the noise and privacy issues!

  26. What a lovely cool reviw & what cool photos! What a place!

  27. Hello Charlie. I thought I had left you a comment when I read this a while ago. it is an incredibly relaxing looking place . I am sure your little guy enjoyed it as much as you. hope you are ok x

  28. I agree about how leaving the bed unmade is a treat when on a trip! The waterfall by the restaurant is so pretty. And, the view of the beach is beautiful!

  29. Fabulous review again – thank you…I have not visited the Mirage since said ‘Christopher Skase’ days…I was pondering a trip to the Gold Coast with the kids and wondered where to stay – I will also re-read your Peppers review. Definitely big ticks for great breakfasts, and having your bed made – however I cannot understand why a Resort trying to attract a family market charges like wounded bulls for basics like kids burgers…xx

  30. Just wanted to stop by and say “hello”. I hope your studies are going well.

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