Sunday, January 15, 2012

Crowne Plaza, Gold Coast


I liked the Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise. It had a nice feel to it.

It can be a tad challenging finding a reasonably priced hotel for a Friday night on the Gold Coast when there is an event on. The night I wanted to stay there (Jan. 13) was the weekend of the Magic Millions horse sales. Added to the fact it was still school holidays, this meant it was a busy weekend on the Gold Coast.

The Crowne Plaza is a bit in the middle of nowhere...to quote from the Qantas website - "South of the Surfers Paradise hub but close enought to experience all the Gold Coast has to offer. Located on the Gold Coast Highway, in Surfers Paradise, 250 metres from the beach". (it's about a half-hour walk, in flat shoes, to the centre of Surfer's Paradise and a little bit less to the Broadbeach restaurant precinct).

There were a couple of little things about the room - the contents of the room service directory were old (one of the restaurants in the hotel, Relish, was still called by its old name, the Terrace Restaurant and Bar, which caused some initial confusion) and the pages of the directory were upside down and back to front. The grouting in the bathroom tiling was looking a bit old (despite this, the bathroom was very clean).

However, these were minor issues that didn't affect my stay there. More importantly, I loved the relaxed feel of the hotel and the service was great - better than some 5-star hotels we've stayed at, and even some so-called 6-star hotels.

I have discovered that this post runs slowly if viewed on Internet Explorer. It's best viewed on Google Chrome or Firefox (not as fast as Chrome).


THE ROOM


The room was an Ocean View twin room - $245/night (extra $20 for an ocean-side room).

The room was on the 23rd floor and was a good size. The view was spectacular and faced north, so the view a bird's eye one of the Gold Coast skyline with the ocean thrown in (through out the multitude of highrises).

The bathroom was big, with a large bathtub and shower to match. If you're into shower parties, you could have squeezed half-a-dozen in there (or four and an esky).

There was a small table with a few glossy magazines and some stationary. Unusually, there was a TIME magazine sitting next to the TV. I'm not sure if this was 'the norm' or if the previous occupant had left it and the cleaners decided to leave it for the incoming guests.

The mini-bar was ample and the balcony small. To be honest, if you opened the curtains and door, the view was so spectacular there was little need to use the balcony.

Of course, I did the bloke thing and went in search of the TV guide within minutes (okay...seconds) of getting into the room. You'll be glad to know there was a good selection of channels and the thing I liked was they had a card with all the channels on it.

As far as the laundry is concerned, you get two bangs for your buck and there is the usual laundry service, as well as a guest laundry in the basement (info later in this post).


The balcony and beyond.

The bathroom - big tub and shower cubicle.

View to the hinterland.

Storage space.

Bathroom goodies.

If you don't want to have an expensive stay, make sure you avoid
using this power point located next to the mini bar!

Breakfast?

Daytime/night time view.


DINING


Relish Restaurant and Bar (a la carte dinner: 6pm - 9pm)

Located on the Ground Floor just off the lobby, Relish Restaurant and Bar is open plan and overlooks the pool area.The location is great and, with the floor to ceiling glass windows, you feel like you're right by the pool. Right in front of these windows is a shallow 'lagoon' that is usually only occupied by ducks, so you don't have to worry about people swimming up to the window and checking out what you're having for dinner. Or worse, you don't have to watch anyone lather up with suntan lotion.

The pre-dinner drink involved sitting at the bar and having a glass of Annie's Lane Shiraz, $8.50

In the mini-bar in the room was a bottle of Morgan's Bay Cabernet Merlot. If you presented the 'voucher' around its neck at either of the two restaurants in the hotel, you received a free bottle of Morgan's Bay red, white or sparkling wine (with two main courses purchased at Relish or a full priced seafood buffet purchased at Four Winds Revolving Restaurant).

Some of the items on the menu:

Entree
Seared Lamb Loin - marinated in harissa with warm couscous salad and fire roasted pimento
Tomato, Basil and eggplant soup - infused with basil and eggplant chunks and finished with preserved lemon cream
Warm Goat's Cheese Tart with prosciutto shavings, rocket leaves and red wine infused Spanish onions
Freshly Shucked Pacific Oysters:
Natural - soy, lime and mirin dressing on the side
Kilpatrick - topped with grilled crispy bacon and Worcestershire sauce
Mornay - topped with cheese in a white sauce
All served on rock salt with a sliced baguette

Main 
Slow Roasted Pumpkin Risotto - with baby spinach, bocconcini and toasted pine nuts
Baked Whole Baby Barramundi - with lemon herb butter and cherry tomatoes served with pilaf rice
Over Roasted Black Angus Fillet Mignon - with pommes fondant, roasted tri-colour peppers and latte veal jus
Gnocchi in a creamy mushroom and black pepper sause with crispy panchetta
Grilled Spatchcock served on roasted chat potatoes with tomato and field mushroon ragout and red wine jus

Dessert
Tropical Selection of Fruits - served with natural yoghurt and passionfruit coulis
Hazelnut Chocolate Brownie Layer Cake - layered with a bitter chocolate mousse
Large selection of Baskin and Robbins ice-creams (by the scoop)

Relish also offer a buffet breakfast from 6:30am - 10:30am.

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Four Winds Revolving Restaurant
If there's one location where a revolving restaurant is going to work, the Gold Coast is that place.
Four Winds website, and some reviews to give you an idea of what to expect.

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If you'd like to know how to turn your images into visual stories, I've published a book that takes a whole new slant on photography and 'translates' the art of taking photos into a language we all understand.

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***I use all the tips and hints from my book in every photo I take, including those in Travel With Giulio.


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Room Service

The room service menu (scan not great quality - apologies) ticked all the boxes and there was enough of a selection to satisfy anyone keen to have a day/night in. Like alot of room service menus, it mirrored one of the restaurants in the hotel - this time, Relish.

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OTHER FACILITIES - 

The swimming pool.

The gym - not huge but ample (no natural light but easy access to pool).

Guest laundry.
Washing machines: $2.40 and 35-minute wash time. 
Dryer: $2 and 39-minute drying time.
Washing powder: $1 (two washes).

The Business Centre - copying, courier service, high-speed internet access, 
facsimile, printer, PCs available.

Serenity Medispa - wide range of spa services.



Enjoy your stay!

Giulio

*If you stayed at the Crowne Plaza, Gold Coast as a result of this post, please tell us!
cometravellingwithus@gmail.com


Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise
2807 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise, 4217
Ph: 07 5592 9900
Bookings: 1800 669562


View Crowne Plaza Hotel Surfers Paradise in a larger map


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All photos, video and text by Giulio Saggin (unless otherwise stated)
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