Like everything else in life, the way in which we choose to take holidays has changed dramatically over the decades. And while the popularity of certain destinations is still as strong, if not stronger, the choice of accommodation is vastly different.
Queensland’s Gold Coast has always been one of our favourite seaside holiday spots, and it’s also a great example of how these destinations have grown and changed, catering to the huge number of holidaymakers who visit every year.
Originally known as the South Coast, the term Gold Coast was adopted in the 1950s, coinciding in a period of major investment in the area’s tourist facilities. It seems everybody yearned for a holiday by the sea, so there was a pressing need for suitable accommodation to house all these guests.
The first Gold Coast hotel to open was Lennons, which became the coast’s tallest building when it opened in December 1956. Gradually, more and more hotels appeared, as well many guest houses of varying quality.
There was something for everyone – hotels for those who could afford them, and B&Bs or boarding houses for those who couldn’t. Staying in a hotel was definitely seen as a sign of success and social standing.
But how things have changed! Back then, catering for oneself in an apartment would have been unheard of, as guests demanded to be waited upon. Now, however, more and more holidaymakers are choosing holiday apartments on the Gold Coast, preferring the freedom and privacy that they offer.
Indeed, many people who previously owned luxury holiday homes on the Gold Coast are also choosing this type of accommodation for their weekends away and summer breaks.
Holiday apartments on the Gold Coast do offer many advantages over hotel rooms – the main one being space. Clearly, there is far more room to move in an apartment that includes a kitchen, lounge and balcony, than there is in just a bedroom.
This is particularly handy for family holidays – imagine the space in a two-bedroom apartment! And the facilities. With a fully equipped kitchen, it’s easy to produce quick snacks for the kids, or save money by dining in.
Just like a hotel, your linen and towels are provided, as well as everything else you could possibly need, from glasses, crockery, cutlery, hair-dryer, iron, washing machine and more.
Be sure to choose a top quality apartment resort, such as the AAA 4-Star rated Phoenician, and you’ll also enjoy the highest standards of decoration, fixtures and fittings, as well as phones, security and entertainment systems.
Conveniently positioned close to the beach, shops, cafes, restaurants and tourist attractions, holiday apartments on the Gold Coast tend to offer much more privacy than hotel rooms, too. Your apartment becomes your own personal space for the duration of your stay, with the freedom to come and go as you please.
Even within the apartment it’s possible to grab a little ‘you time’, away from the kids or other travelling companions, to read a book or simply chill.
Just like a hotel, your stay includes full use of the resort’s facilities and, again, if you choose your resort carefully, you’ll discover a tropical paradise of swimming pools, spas, saunas and more.
And yet when you work out the cost, even the most luxurious of holiday apartments can still work out cheaper than a hotel.
You’ll discover luxury holiday homes and holiday apartments on the Gold Coast in various locations, such as Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads and Mermaid Beach. They are all fabulous locations, although my recommendation would always be Broadbeach.
First identified as a seaside township in 1934, and an important sand-mining resource during World War II, it was the opening of the Lennons Hotel in 1957 which heralded the start of its popularity as a holiday destination.
And while it has developed over the years Broadbeach, unlike some other areas of the Gold Coast, has managed to retain its original charm, blending original architecture with new luxury apartment buildings and resorts.
Broadbeach still delivers the feel of a true seaside holiday while, at the same time, offering a fabulous choice of accommodation and facilities. Indeed, Broadbeach is home to some of the Gold Coast’s best restaurants and, of course, Jupiter’s Casino.
It’s an easy stroll to the gorgeous beach, the park and foreshore, with trendy cafes ready to serve you breakfast and lunch, chic boutiques and popular ice-creameries. The Sunday markets are a must, full of colour, and the perfect place to pick up souvenirs and gifts to take home.
There’s easy access, too, to swimming, boating, fishing and any number of fantastic tours and charters. It’s a short drive to the Gold Coast’s famous theme parks, and just half an hour out to the lush hinterland and mountain ranges, where you’ll discover ancient rainforests, waterfalls, mountain walks and look-outs and delightful restaurants and tea rooms.