Pay for the convenience of a room at an airport hotel and you’ll often get something cheap and nasty (or not necessarily cheap, just downright nasty) for an exorbitant price. However, if you’re flying to or from the Gold Coast, you’re in luck. There are some great hotels at or near Gold Coast Airport with good facilities and quiet rooms with comfortable beds. The following hotels are my top picks for a 24 to 48 hour stay if you’re flying to or from Gold Coast Airport. I’ve also included an overview of how to get to and from Coolangatta airport (as Gold Coast Airport is often known) to make your stay easier.
How to get to Gold Coast Airport
Driving from Brisbane to the northern end of the Gold Coast takes around an hour but you should allow extra time for traffic or hold ups due to accidents. We always stay at a Gold Coast airport hotel the night before if our flight is leaving before 11am as we can’t stand the stress of potentially being stuck in traffic. Trains from Brisbane will take you to Helensvale station. From here, you can catch the G:link tram as far south as Broadbeach and then catch a taxi, Uber or the local bus to Gold Coast Airport. It will take you most of the day to do this convoluted journey but it’s fine if your flight isn’t leaving until late.
Gold Coast Airport transport
Gold Coast Airport is located 20km south of Surfers Paradise. The easiest way to reach your hotel is by catching a public bus, shuttle bus, taxi, or an Uber. Surfside Buslines travel throughout the Gold Coast. A ‘Gold Coast Go Explore‘ pass costs $10 a day for unlimited bus and tram travel, including Theme Park Express buses and travel to and from Gold Coast airport to your hotel.
Gold Coast Airport accommodation overview
There is one airport hotel at Gold Coast Airport and a number of great hotels less than four kilometres away. The hotels which are nearby are also suitable for a longer stay. Many travellers fly into Gold Coast Airport and stay at nearby Coolangatta, Bilinga or Kirra for their entire holiday. However, with popular destinations such as Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise less than 20 kilometres away, you may prefer to head further afield if you’re after somewhere lively than the sleepy suburbs near the airport.
Gold Coast Airport hotels
Rydges Gold Coast Airport hotel is located one minute’s walk from the Gold Coast Airport terminal and five minutes from Bilinga and Kirra Beaches. You can kick back and relax by the hotel’s 25 metre outdoor landscaped resort style swimming pool, or get active in the fully equipped gym, with cardio machines overlooking the airport runway. There is also a la carte dining and poolside cuisine at Runway Restaurant & Bar or you can visit the Salty Fox Rooftop Bar for a sun-downer while soaking up uninterrupted views of the tarmac, the hinterland to the west and the ocean to the east.
Bilinga is across the road from Gold Coast Airport and there is pretty much only one accommodation option but it’s a winner. La Costa Motel is so close you can walk to the airport and it is a bit special as it is a lovingly restored original 1950s ‘Highway Heritage’ motel. The motel’s original pale green 50s facade remains as does the iconic neon sign, but each room has been completely remodelled. We stayed in the upstairs apartment which is ideal for families with a full kitchen, main bedroom and bunk beds tucked away off the main living area. It also has an outdoor sitting area with ocean views. For those staying in a standard room, there is a microwave, fridge and small kitchenette as well as a selection of well-priced ‘heat and eat’ meals if you arrive late. There are some tasty takeaway options available within walking distance but not much stays open after 8pm.
Oaks Calypso Plaza
There are sea views galore at most of the accommodation options along Marine Parade at Coolangatta. Oaks Calypso Plaza is a low-rise resort with two waterslides and a shallow lagoon pool, making it perfect for families with younger children. It’s well located directly across the road from a fun playground and the beach.
Next door, Mantra Coolangatta offers some of Coolangatta’s most modern accommodation with newly renovated one, two and three bedroom apartments featuring chic, beachy decor with matching art prints on the walls. The outdoor dining setting on the balcony offers views stretching from Kirra to Greenmount. Well-priced studio rooms with a small kitchenette are ideal for travellers staying overnight before an early morning flight from Gold Coast Airport.
At the southern end of Coolangatta Beach, Reflections offers upmarket self-contained accommodation in two high-rise towers, but you will need to book a minimum three-night stay. These apartments are owner occupied so the décor and quality of furnishings differ depending on which unit you stay in.
Kirra offers a laid back beach getaway with a handful of cafes and restaurants to choose from and a lovely long stretch of beach. There are no big name hotel brands here. Airbnb has some good options at Kirra or you can opt for self-contained accommodation somewhere like the Kirra Beach Apartments or Iconic Kirra Beach Resort. Kirra Beach Tourist Park has cabins or you can pitch a tent if the budget is tight.
Looking for some Gold Coast accommodation? Read our reviews of the Hilton Surfers Paradise, Oaks Calypso Plaza, The Darling, Surfers Paradise Marriott, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, The Star Grand, voco Gold Coast, Wyndham Hotel Surfers Paradise, AVANI Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences, Rydges Gold Coast Airport, Oaks Gold Coast Hotel, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, and the retro La Costa Motel. If you’re visiting the Gold Coast, don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to the Gold Coast.