Best Resorts on the Gold Coast
Author: Mal Chenu
Photography: Courtesy Q1 and Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Dreamtime Makeover: Q1 Resort & Spa
In the heart of Surfers Paradise, Q1's funky elliptical design is a monument to architectural modernity. Inside, the Q1 Spa offers indulgent treatments from the other end of time, with therapies based on traditional Aboriginal values.
Experience the unique exfoliation sensation of crushed pearl, desert- and sea-salt scrubs, cocoons of ochre, peat mud, sea moss minerals and essential oils, as well as opulent wet treatments.
Downstairs in the piazza you'll find Absynthe Restaurant, a sophisticated French fine-dining establishment created by two-Michelin-star chef Meyjitte Boughenout.
Soul Therapy: Hilton Hotel Eforea Spa
Another iconic Surfers' resident is the Hilton Hotel, home of Eforea Spa, which emphasises organic products and results-driven practices. Eforea's menu of treatments includes a range designed specifically for men, including warm bamboo rolling and deep muscle massage. "Express add-ons" are available for those who need to relax in a hurry.
The Hilton is also home to Luke Mangan's Salt Grill and his concept-deli, The Food Store, renowned for its selection of European charcuterie, browse-worthy Australian and imported wines, cheeses, olive oils, and coffee.
Strategic Rest: Gwinganna Lifestyle
Just 15 minutes from Burleigh Heads beach, Gwinganna's plateau site in the Tallebudgera Valley affords both ocean and valley views. Villa, suite, cottage and lodge accommodation options cater to all tastes and their locally-sourced organic cuisine was developed to reflect their ethos of "Low Human Intervention food [Low HI]". Pick up their book Gwinganna...from garden to gourmet to keep the Zen going at home.
Gwinganna promotes what they call "strategic rest", incorporating naturopathy, emotional wellness, functional movement, as well as more mainstream therapies.
Disconnect: Nightfall Wilderness Camp
To seriously get away from it all, be one of the first to experience the brand-new Nightfall Wilderness Camp, nestled in a sub-tropical rainforest just 45 minutes from the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
You retain a touch of luxe - orraw-luxeas owners Steve and Heidi Ross call it - with king beds, high thread-count cotton sheets, woollen quilts and organic toiletries standard in the spacious canvass tents. Think campfire chats, double hammocks and a massage by the creek or in the forest.
Following sunset drinks, enjoy a fire-cooked organic meal, including wild bush tucker.
"Settling-in period" discounts apply until 30 June, 2014.
Workout and Chill Out: Palazzo
Versace's Aurora Spa Retreat
Gold Coast's pre-eminent resort is still Palazzo Versace and their in-house Aurora Spa Retreat menu is as fabulous as the four-poster cabanas surrounding its exclusive water salon - a space less luxurious resorts would call a pool.
Aurora's pampering options include signature steam treatments, massages, hand and feet therapies, and facials. Their luxury spa products, Aurora Spa Rituals, make fine heaven-at-home keepsakes.
Balance your spa treatment with a workout at the state-of-the-art Fitness and Wellbeing Centre. Get your heart pumping with a cardio machine, sign up for a boot camp or personal training session, or stretch out with a yoga or Pilates class.