If you don't mind your beaches backed by glittering high rises and a touch of Vegas sparkle, then The Gold Coast is for you. The best places to stay on The Gold Coast range in style in a similar way to the beach towns themselves, with the glitziest closest to the fun mecca of Surfers Paradise and the more stylish, boutique options radiating south and into the lush green hills behind the coast.
There are 35 long, flat, golden beaches along this stretch of sunny coast, offering some of the best surfing in Australia. Some of them, like those around Surfers Paradise, are backed by bars, clubs, cafes, hotels and theme parks, while those towards the southern end have more laid-back charm and significantly fewer parking maids in gold bikinis.
Behind the Gold Coast's perfect stretches of sand is a subtropical band of national parks, dotted with waterfalls, mountains and spots with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. So while most people are here for the beaches, there's actually a lot behind them.
Laminton National Park is famous for its rainforests, huddling in deep valleys, ripe for exploring, while the Springbrook National Park covers an ancient volcano.
If you're here for the surfing, this is a great place to learn, as well as being ideal for experienced surfers. There are surf schools up and down the coast willing to teach you or just rent you some gear. Several big surf competitions are held here annually, so you might even catch the pros at work.
Surfers Paradise has become one of the biggest party towns in Australia, with thousands of visitors descending daily, onto the theme parks, the malls and then the restaurants, bars and clubs.
But it's not all like this, and if you want wildlife sanctuaries and peaceful sand you'll still find it, you just have to head south.
Our pick of the best places to stay in the Gold Coast range from the great value to the truly OTT!
Still undecided? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay on the Gold Coast, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Or you can widen the net and take a look at all our recommendations in Queensland.
This jazzy hotel has gone in for vibrant and retro decor, matching its lively central location in the heart of Surfers Paradise. With the beach a stone's throw away, sea-facing rooms have spectacular ocean views, whilst others face the mountains. Fantastic spa on the lower level.
Gold Coast (Hope Island)
Luxury hotel on the banks of the Coomera River marina in a 1940s building. Rooms are large and light, with timber sleigh beds and wooden floors overlooking the marina and lush tropical gardens. With an acclaimed golf course and one acre lagoon beach.
Gold Coast (Benowa)
Close to Surfers Paradise Beach is this resort with spacious double rooms, a spa, gym and tennis courts. Family friendly with adjoining rooms available and separate pool areas and slides for kids. Perfect for golf lovers as 27 hole course on site.
Gold Coast (Main Beach)
Direct access to the beach, numerous swimming pools, and a spa and fitness centre are just some of the top facilities available at Gold Coast's only 5* hotel. Spacious & stylish rooms and suites many with sea views and great seafood buffet at Terraces Restaurant.
Gold Coast (Main Beach)
If you're not au fait with Italian fashion house Versace, you will be after a stay in this luxe hotel where all the furnishings come from their home collection. With huge rooms and top amenities including Australia's only water salon, the result is a purely indulgent hotel experience.
Gold Coast (Willow Vale)
Set high in the Gold Coast Hinterland, this luxury hotel offers a range of suites and villas with magnificent views out to sea or over Tambourine Mountain. An infinity pool, deluxe spa and three acre garden ensure a peaceful and intimate experience.