This is our one-page super-guide to finding the place that’s right for you and where to get the best possible deal. Included is a guide to the suburbs and areas to choose from, the different styles of accommodation, the best times to find discount rates, our hand-picked lists of top places, and the latest booking sites where you can hunt down amazing local deals.
Low and High Seasons – A tip for finding value and discounts
When you choose to have your holiday can have a big impact on room rates, with rates discounted by 60% or more during off-peak times. Sometimes, unfortunately, there’s not much choice as to when you can go, in which case the best suggestion is to be the early bird and catch the best rates.
An approximate guide to the low and peak periods:
Late January to late March – Low
Early April to Early June – Mid
Mid June to late September – Low
Early October to mid-November – Mid
Early November to late December – Low
Late December to mid-late January – Peak
There’s also peaks around major events such as the GC 600, Magic Millions Horse Racing Carnival and so on. There are localised peaks too, for example, rates in the suburb of Broadbeach will go up during a big event, or conference at the Convention and Exhibition Center. And of course, there are peaks during the school holiday breaks, particularly if both NSW and VIC are off at that same time, see School term dates for all states.
Our Personal Picks for the top places to stay
We have done some of the hard work for you, here are our lists of the top choices based on our own experiences as locals, previous visitor reviews and ratings, value for money, and location. The listings also feature links to where to find the best deals.
The Top Gold Coast Spa Hotels
The Top 10 Surfers Paradise Hotels & Resorts
The Top 12 Mermaid Beach Hotels & Resorts
The Top 12 Coolangatta Resorts and Hotels
The Top 11 Hotels & Resorts in Main Beach
Pet Friendly accommodation options
The Big List of Family Accommodation Options
The Big list of Hotels & Resorts with Beach Access
Direct from Hotel Deals and Specials
Where to Search for Hot Specials
The beauty of these sites is that you can easily search and compare rates, specials, features and get insight via guest reviews. The prices change daily and it’s all relative to how sold-out they are. Booking.com probably has the best coverage and also features an indicator as to how sold-out the rooms are in the area for the dates you want to travel.
If you are looking for luxury with breathtaking ocean and beach views it’s hard to go past the Surfers Paradise Hilton.
Flight + Hotel Packages
There are various airlines servicing the Gold Coast and they occasionally offer special deals on hotel and flight packages. That can include from local destinations such as Sydney to Gold Coast, Melbourne to Gold Coast etc. and also from international destinations such as Tokyo to Gold Coast, Kuala Lumpur to Gold Coast, Auckland NZ to Gold Coast, Singapore to Gold Coast, Wuhan China to Gold Coast, to name just some.
Online Travel Auctions
Another place to hunt for deals is via online auction sites, where you will find a mix of people who are offloading unwanted bookings, travel agencies and property managers posting offers.
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Alternative Accommodation Options
Resorts and hotels aren’t the only option, there are loads of other experience based options and value options.
Cabins and Cottages
For cabins check out the Camping and caravan park listings below, for a cottage experience among the beauty of a National Park check out Witches Falls Cottages.
Private Holiday Houses
Another interesting option is holiday houses and private homes. Some homes are dedicated for this purpose and some are simply people renting there house out while overseas etc. Check the papers and real estate sites for listings. There is a list here to get you started visitgoldcoast.com/where-to-stay/holiday-houses.
Caravan and Camping
The very first visitors to the Gold Coast were campers and caravaners, such that the caravan parks we see today retain there amazing locations, many being beach-side or within walking distance of the beach. More here
It’s hard to imagine a better way to relax than cruising the peaceful waters of the Gold Coast in your own houseboat. Check out Coomera Houseboats
Set among truly scenic and serene, peaceful locations you can find a number of retreats and wellness destinations on the Gold Coast. The top picks are Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Pethers Rainforest Retreat, Songbirds Rainforest Retreat, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and Mouses House Rainforest Retreat.
Bed & Breakfast
There’s several Bed and Breakfast on the coast, for one with amazing views of the Hinterland and the Gold Coast check out Hillside Bed and Breakfast and Gumnut Cottage
Backpackers & Hostels
There’s plenty of options for international backpackers and hostel style accomm, More here
Which Suburb to stay in?
Having lived on the coast for more than ten years, here’s my personal guide to choosing a place to base your holiday. By far, the most popular suburbs are Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, but if you are looking for value then you may try around Southport, and from Miami along the beach to Coolangatta. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the area that’s right for you.
For travelers, and holiday makers, the region features a large range of quality self contained apartments and resort style apartments, which is a legacy of the building booms that have been a feature of the local property market. Many of these apartments are self contained featuring kitchens and laundry facilities, which is a bonus for those on a family holiday.
The city has a growing selection of hotels, mostly centered around Surfers Paradise. There are several well known global chain hotelier brands in operation, providing that style and level of service that many prefer.
The city also has several caravan parks, many with great beach front locations. Not only for caravaners and campers, they also have cabins which are nicely appointed. There are several backpacker hostels mostly located in Surfers Paradise, and in Southport.
Choosing the right place to stay for your holiday, or visit to the region, for the most part may depend on how you plan to spend your time, your tastes and budget. For example, if you simply want to enjoy the sunshine, sand and surf, you may find a great deal at Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach or Coolangatta. It’s away from the hustle and bustle, close to the beach but also close to public transport if you need to go somewhere.
Alternatively, if you are planning on being out and about, taking in all the attractions and sights, or perhaps painting the town red, you will probably want to consider the hotels and resorts in Surfers Paradise.
Some accommodation buildings are located right on the Gold Coast Highway which can be convenient in some respects, although, if you were looking for tranquility you may prefer to be a block back from the highway itself. Places at Tugun can also experience noise from the airport, although some of them offer great deals, good service and direct access to the beach.
If you are not concerned about being close to the beach, or in the heart of the nightlife, don’t forget the options at the northern suburbs including Southport, Labrador and Runaway Bay. And of course if you are looking for luxury accommodation then around Main Beach or Hope Island will probably be the suburbs for you.
If your looking for a nature or eco escape, then the Hinterland area is the place to look including around Mt Tamborine, Springbrook National Park and Lamington National Park.
Luckily, no matter your budget or taste, there is an abundant range of holiday accommodation on the Gold Coast.
Listings by Type
Here you will find popular hotels, apartments, caravan parks and resorts with each listing features a location map, a review of features and options to compare the rates and deals available.
Listings by Suburb
A guide to the suburbs including a map of accommodation locations and links to where more info and deals for each hotel or resort in the suburb.
Broadbeach – Burleigh – Chevron Island – Coolangatta – Currumbin –Kirra – Main Beach – Mermaid Beach – Miami – Mount Tamborine – Nobbys Beach – Palm Beach – Runaway Bay – Sanctuary Cove – Southport – Surfers Paradise – Tallebudgera
See here for a full list of suburbs.