voco: From the Latin ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’.
voco Gold Coast is not only a first for Australia, but it is also a world first. The former Watermark Hotel is the first voco property to open on the planet and is right in the heart of of Australia’s playground at Surfers Paradise.
Opposite the towering Q1, voco is a three-minute walk to Surfers Paradise beach and only 90 seconds to a G:link that will whisk you away to Pacific Fair if you have the irresistible urge to shop. voco ticks all the boxes for a weekend stay or a little longer on the GC.
Keeping it playful the hotel reminds you to enjoy ‘me time’ and the ‘voco life’ from ‘do not disturb signs’ to little touches liberally spread throughout the hotels 21 floors. The Lobby includes a large, designer, lounging area that is relaxed and comfy. So we took the challenge to see how voco is “Reliably Different”.
Doing things a little differently
Check-in is efficient and friendly and finishes with a little yellow goodie bag of lavender and honey shortbread; the honey is as local as it gets; it comes courtesy of the hotel’s very productive rooftop bees.
Our Deluxe Ocean View room on the 19th floor is positioned to take in the hotel’s most panoramic views at the southernmost corner of the hotel. The room is smart with a signature voco livery of navy and yellow. Cleverly a chaise lounge sits next to the floor-to-ceiling windows for maximum beach gazing.
Sustainability is a big feature of the hotel without it cramping your style.
Sweet dreams are assured with a not too soft, not too hard king size bed topped with a quilt of smart down made from recycled plastic bottles. Bedside lamps cast the right light with adjacent USB and power points making overnight phone/iPad charging a breeze. (Extra points for multiple power points throughout the room). Find your waffle weave robes and slippers and relax.
Hotels create a lot of waste and voco is committed to creating as little stress on the planet as possible while offering a quality guest experience. A note on the fridge reminds you that water is filtered so there’s no need for plastic bottles. Guest rooms at voco Gold Coast have two part bins to divide recyclables from garbage and the entire hotel is plastic straw free.
Bathrooms are compact with extra-large marble showers with two showerheads – hand-held and rain shower vying for my attention. Water pressure has been enhanced and aerated showers cut back on water and power usage. The well-lit bathroom features a large mirror and the all-important illuminated make-up mirror. The deep drawers do their best to make up for a lack of space for toiletries around the ample basin.
To further reduce plastic waste the hotel is close to completing the installation of 220ml dispensers filled with Aveda’s natural and luxurious shampoo, conditioner and soap. The voco Aveda Rosemary Mint collection is formulated with green ingredients sourced from organic, sustainable and renewable plant-based origins.
Why is it all my favourite amenity brands all start with an ‘A’? Aveda, Appelles and Aesop?
voco eats and drinks
Clifford’s Lounge and Grill has been a Gold Coast favourite for over five years. Chef Daniel Smith has given the menu a little nip and tuck to reflect the hotel’s sustainable philosophy while maintaining the ever-popular dishes cooked over a flame.
The expansive restaurant opens to the street with extra large windows that bring the outside in. The breeze is welcome on this stormy night while G:link trams whoosh past quietly. This is both a popular special occasion and a regular meeting place for locals.
Clifford’s has long championed premium, local produce. With the ten-burner flame grill centre-stage, it would be a shame not to indulge in a little char-grilled action. We share an entrée of 5 jumbo king prawns grilled in their shells and served simply with mint, chilli and shallot salad and preserved lemon mayo.
The 260gram grain-fed Angus sirloin arrives at the table as ordered – juicy, not bloody and delicious. Grilled baby vegetables, potato aioli, café de Paris butter and house jus work well in their supporting roles.
The impressive wine list offers many treasures. A McLaren Vale Kay Brothers 2017 Basket Pressed Grenache is soft and juicy and served slightly chilled – perfect in the Queensland heat. From the oldest still in founding family hands winery in the region, it is a cracker discovery.
Lamb cutlets sit under and over the most delectable accompaniments that give the lamb just the right Middle Eastern zing. Sumac, seriously good and smoky baba ganoush share the plate with yoghurt, roasted olives and parsley salad. It’s Friday night so we did order fries with an indulgent bit of sorcery – crème fraiche, Parmesan and truffle oil for delicious dipping.
The Clifford’s Signature Bombe Alaska for two is quite simply the bomb. Meringue desserts can be cloyingly sweet, but somehow this dessert is balanced with vanilla bean and salted caramel ice cream with a macadamia croquant and buttered popcorn. This dessert is an absolute triumph.
voco – Reliably different
voco takes care of all the little things so you don’t have to. Free WiFi connects quickly and easily, a gym, spa, two outdoor pools with plenty of different areas to relax and unwind. Breakfast is buffet-style at Waves with endless choices and seriously good made-to-order omelettes.
A wonderful addition to the Gold Coast, voco gets it right for any occasion or business stay. We will be back.
Disclaimer: This Magnificent Life were guests of voco Gold Coast.