Hotel Review: Novotel Surfers Paradise doesn’t trade location for service; turns out you can have both

Jumping off the tram from the Airport, right on Cavill Avenue on the Gold Coast, it didn’t take long to spot the towering structure that is the Novotel Surfers Paradise, which sat just meters from the spot. But if my memories of Schoolies some [REDACTED] years ago is anything to go by, a towering hotel in the heart of the Surfer’s Paradise is going to be some run down, tacky establishment that relies on a regular influx of tourists to get by with being… well, average. Thankfully, Novotel’s brand doesn’t trade its location for service, while still offering amenities unique to the area that any visitors would be expecting. But let’s get started with the view…

My room had a stunning view of the beach. Indeed, this is not a new building, but the rooms are brand new; I swear you could still smell the drying paint in some areas of the hotel. The massive King Bed was as comfortable as they come, with spectacular pillows and a gigantic 49’ flat screen TV sitting opposite the bed. It has a few Foxtel channels on top of your normal free to air – and there’s a little less than 40 channels all together, with good sound.

You’ll notice there’s no carpet – and from the colours of the room, giving you a warm, homely feel, with beach accents, to the way the room has been designed, they recognise you’re going to be bringing sand into the space. Family rooms even go so far as to leave the Boogie Boards there for your to take down to the beach yourself. But the room has been built to withstand the general leftovers that will filter back from the beach; but they haven’t let that keep away the touches of luxury that you would hope for from the Novotel brand.

Showing off the young age of the hotel, they have met the demands of the modern traveller, offering both traditional AC plugs and USB ports on the side of the bed. There’s no “desk” so to speak, but there is a table to Work on that’s part of the couch (which had a guidebook to the Gold Coast sitting on it), or you can set things up on top of the mini bar area. The fridge is empty bar for some small milk for your tea or coffee, so you don’t have to worry about surprise mini bar charges from your late night cravings, and just run downstairs to the nearby supermarket to grab what you need. Being the heart of the Gold Coast, you’ll be able to get whatever you need at any time of day or night.

The bathrooms were clean, stylish and modern, with an excellent shower and all you need. Half of the rooms in the hotel also offer a bath, though mine didn’t. Novotel’s range of Fair Trade Cane Sugar toiletries – including soaps, shampoos and conditioners – were readily available. And the towels were oh so fluffy!

Other facilities at the hotel

From 4-8pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays they have drinks on the “rooftop terrace”, which is where the pool and patio is. It’s actually level five. The pool is heated year round and though isn’t massive, provides plenty of room and comfort. Nearby you’ll find a tennis court and even a business centre! And getting from one floor to another proves a quick task, thanks to having 5 lifts in a t-shape, ensuring you never have to wait too long for the lift.

Dining Options

There’s a bar in the hotel’s large and welcoming lobby, and Hanlan’s Restaurant is upstairs, which is open from 6.30am to 10am, and for dinner and drinks from 5.30pm to 9pm. In room dining, meanwhile, is available from 6.30pm to 10pm.

The breakfast buffet is included in some room deals, otherwise it’s $34.95 – and either way it shouldn’t be missed. There’s an chef who’ll make some fresh eggs your way. I had a delicious omelette with ham, mushroom, tomato and cheese. There are piles of pastries, fruits, breads, cereals and even meats, cheeses and nuts.

The self serve coffee and tea machine is ready for your use, and there are a variety of juices too. Of the hot food selection, alongside the usual bacon (served smoky and American style), mushrooms and scrambled eggs. You’ll also find corn fritters – sure to satisfy the vegans in the room – and fried rice to satisfy their Asian residents, and just about any of us who would eat fried rice for every meal of the day. There’s plenty of sauces to choose from and enough choice to keep everyone happy. The breakfast finishes up at 10 on the dot so don’t be late.

Getting to the Hotel

There’s a Skybus from Gold Coast Airport for $21, but honestly I want to say public transport is usually quicker, and cheaper – depending on where your hotel is of course. But given this hotel is right next to the tram line stop, I would say that’s going to be your best bet. It goes every 15 minutes or so.

Final Verdict

The level of luxury that Novotel provides isn’t by way of making things over the top fancy; rather it’s about making it modern and comfortable. All the while providing everything a guest could possibly need from a beach hotel, and then some. This is without question the best hotel I’ve stayed in in the area, with great service, food and a wonderful night’s sleep to match. And did I mention the view!?


Novotel Surfers Paradise is located at 3105 Surfers Paradise Blvd. To book a room, request a night below or head to their official website.

The writers stayed as a guest of the hotel for one night earlier this year. All the photos by the author.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

Tags: , ,