Novotel Surfers Paradise – Hanlans Restaurant/Bar

Mini Breaks are a great way to give your mind and body a chance to take a breath before you launch back into the routine of life. This view of Surfers Paradise Main Beach area, could be all yours at Novotel Surfers Paradise.  As an Accor Plus member, the complimentary room for the year was still waiting to be utilised.  Hence a visit to Novotel Surfers Paradise.

Our view from the room, was mesmerising.  From here we could watch the activity on the streets below, check for whales passing out at sea, view the river and its boats, or simply chill out and enjoy the landscape canvas rolled out before us.   Sunset and Sunrise views, were nothing less than superb!

Day rolled into night, with outstanding orange hues as the sun dropped in behind the Western Ranges.  As the hunger pains set in, we visited the Novotel Restaurant, Hanlans.  Located on Level 1 of the complex, the expansive restaurant mainly operates as a buffet for both breakfast and dinner.   On the ground floor, Hanlans Bar is open through the day, with a breakfast and lunch mini menu to keep you going.Staff here are attentive.  Water is topped up throughout your meal, plates are cleared in a timely fashion and above all else, every staff member we came across, throughout the hotel, from reception, concierge through to bar, restaurant and cleaners, were professional yet friendly.  Its a rare venue to have all staff displaying good quality customer service.

From fresh seafood, to seafood salads and other salads or meats, through to a delectable dessert selection, along with many options in between, there is plenty to choose from.

Should you have the prilege of being an Accor Plus member, you will receive big discounts of your meals.  For two people with one membership, this results in a 50% meal discount, essentially one of you eats for free.

Rooms are comfortable, clean, with balconies plus the added bonus of being so close to a lot of options, where you will likely park the car and leave it there.  Shopping is below the hotel, or walk to the beach in 5 minutes.  Check out the Q1 tower for a birds eye view, barely 10 minutes walk or visit the many other attractions in the area.  

As night falls, life does not become quieter on the streets below. Patrons flock to the nightlife, bathing in the depth of colourful lights, twinkling around them from all angles.

A winter sunrise in Queensland is stunning.  Orange hues light up the fiery sky before fading through to the daylight blue.  Take a short walk to the beach and you may have the opportunity to see a surfer disappearing into the waves. 

Silhouettes outlined by. the rising sun provide not only fantastic photo opportunities, but also those moments where time stands still, momentarily.  Indulge yourself, take the walk and wonder at the colourful birth of a new day.

All the food we enjoyed at the Novotel was fresh, nicely presented, and enjoyable.  Below are some food images from our weekend stay.Caesar Salad with Chicken tenders at Hanlans Bar.

Love the presentation of the loose leaf tea.

Calamari & salad at Hanlans Bar.

Cheese plate at Hanlans Bar.Burger at Hanlans Bar.

Ice cream is made fresh on the premises.

I love this personal touch with what we think are staff handprints across the front window, making an interesting view from Hanlans Bar.   Sit down in the bar, enjoy a barista or bar drink whilst you watch the world go by.   There is always something happening in Surfers. This is a venue we will return to, look forward to seeing you there!


Jupiters – Gold Coast

A recent conversation with friends, turned into a night out on the Gold Coast. The Jupiters Hotel & Casino constantly run scoupon deals, which we decided we would try. Value wise, this one was a good deal purchased a couple of months before we stayed. $139 for two in a standard king room with $60 of vouchers. $40 could be used for anything in the hotel complex, the other $20 were massage vouchers. Free wifi, free under cover parking, all in all a worthwhile package.

Most definitely not the place to go if you’re after a quiet weekend away. Jupiters is glitzy, ritzy, bright lights and never closes. Very easy to lose track of time as no matter what time of night it may be, the bright lights are deliberately designed to trick your body into thinking it’s still early. Seven restaurants, bars, casino, shops, show rooms, this place is like a small city in itself. If you’re seeking the Vegas feel, you’ve found it!

Check in was probably the worst experience we have ever had at any hotel. 45 minutes in the queue, however the bar staff did circle the queue with glasses of complimentary juices. Even those checking into the executive rooms, which advertise no waiting to check in, were standing in their line for around 20 minutes on average.

One thing you have to get used to at this complex is queuing for everything. It’s part of the territory here with a constant stream of people ensuring everything is continually pumping. There are quieter days , however weekends are generally peak times.

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Rooms were well appointed, clean, tidy with fabulous views of the pool area and Surfers Paradise. The small room bar has a decent sized fridge if you’re wanting to take anything of your own. The only thing lacking was a balcony. Then again you haven’t come here to relax, although there is a pool bar and plenty of seating areas around the pool, if the bright lights, noise and people become too much or you’re simply wanting to escape outside for a while.

High rises pierce the sky as you check out the view from your room.

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Time to decide on the Restaurant for dinner. Now we thought Food Fantasy. This is the buffet of your dreams. Food abounds here, masses of variety, catering to all tastes and dietary requirements. Only problem on this occasion was the endless queue. This sent us checking out other restaurants, with the PA Pub the shortest queue.

Meals were very generously sized, nicely presented, tasty and very good value for the price. Even with the pub bursting at the seams with a sea of people, there was plenty of room at the table and meals arrived in a very reasonable time frame, a lot quicker than one would have expected given the crowds.

The huge copper vats above the bar were impressive.

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Dinner preceded trips to different bars plus checking out the casino. Everywhere we went, staff were professional, helpful as well as those who had a sense of humour. Security guards, bar, restaurant, cleaning, reception staff, all were fantastic. Most especially the grinning security guard who cheekily asked for my ID, then laughed along with us. Even wandering through the wide passage ways of the hotel, staff would smile greet you, and throw in a short conversation if there was time too.

Retiring at the end of the evening, we found the room well insulated from the noise levels. You could have been in a completely different hotel.

Breakfast was a buffet brekky at Food Fantasy. The variety is incredible, from many fruits, including a fruit/ vege fresh juice maker, through to a chef making omelettes to your taste, even a selection of ice creams! You can stay for the whole brekky service if you want, however you may eventually find the noise levels are constantly high, causing you to crave a bit of quiet time.

Checkout was much better than check in, straight up to the counter with the finalities quickly dealt with.

If you’re looking to party on through the night on the Gold Coast, you will find Jupiters the place to be.