Arriving at the Rydges Gold Coast Airport, you are greeted with a gleaming seven storey hotel and a painted statue of a kangaroo. I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for this quirky hotel greeter who really seemed to be missing his international tourist friends. Poor Skippy, none of the Aussies at this new Gold Coast Airport hotel were the least bit interested in taking selfies with him. Rydges Gold Coast Airport is a shiny new Gold Coast Airport hotel located on the doorstep of the Domestic and International Gold Coast Airport terminals that is waiting for visitors to discover just how good it is.
Most people book an airport hotel when they’re flying somewhere but with the Rydges Gold Coast Airport hotel, you can enjoy a great staycation here as well. It’s all about the location, and we’re not just talking about the airport. Kirra Beach is only a 10 minute walk away and Coolangatta is close by as well. With an express public bus to take you straight from the airport to Broadbeach (where you can connect with the G:link tram), it’s easy to get around with or without car.
Parking is available underneath the hotel and was free for in-house guests during our mid 2021 visit. I entered the bright and tastefully Gold Coast themed reception area where a cheerful staff member gave me my keys and a brief rundown on the hotel facilities. Rydges Gold Coast Airport hotel has 192 well-appointed Deluxe, Premium and Executive rooms spread over six levels. I booked into one of the Executive Coastal View Rooms but asked to move to an Executive Concourse (Airport) View Room instead. If I can’t fly anywhere, the next best thing was going to be watching planes take off and land through my room’s full-length windows. Yes, I’m a truly tragic aeroplane and travel nerd.
I made my way to my room located on the 6th floor, the highest floor of the hotel with guest rooms. The higher the floor, the more you’ll pay as the views get better the higher up you go. There are distant ocean views available from high floor Ocean View rooms, but I loved my Concourse room for its sheer entertainment value. However, for a quick airport pre- or post-flight stay when you simply want to flop and drop, the cheaper rooms are your best option. High-quality sound proofing and thick curtains dropped the jet engine noise outside to a mere whisper. The only downside of my room was the multiple curtains did not meet in the middle so quite a lot of light came in. Bring an eye mask if you like sleeping in a completely dark room or sleeping in after the sun rises, especially in summer.
Décor throughout the hotel has a Gold Coast flavour and features works by local artists. We loved the full-length wall mural of the Gold Coast skyline above our super comfy king size bed. There are 16 different murals in the rooms so if you’re a regular visitor to the hotel, you can have a new picture to enjoy every time you stay. All the rooms are well appointed with a large bathroom with walk in shower, work desk with charging points, large flat screen TV, mini-fridge and tea and coffee making facilities plus free and very fast Wi-Fi. There was no mini bar which didn’t bother us but not having a coffee pod machine did. It might give you a caffeine hit, but instant coffee tastes evil.
On the ground floor, there was an attractive heated 25m resort style pool area with an adjacent pool bar and the hotel’s main Runway Restaurant. We loved the Surf Lifesaving boat which took pride of place in the spacious lobby and drew our eyes down to the Runway Restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner options in a nice bistro style area that is bright and airy. Full length folding doors can be pulled back to take advantage of the Gold Coast’s famous weather but bring your sunglasses as the sun can be bright if you’re dining early in the morning.
Breakfast was included in all room rates during our stay and a great add on with a simple hot selection such as bacon, eggs, etc made fresh to order. We liked the Grab and Go options such as muesli bars and fruit for diners in a hurry or those who have early flight to catch. Menu options for lunch and dinner include burgers, pizzas and more substantial dishes like barramundi and a chargrilled 200g tenderloin. While beautifully cooked, we felt the latter was rather pricey at $38 given the limited sides.
Also located on the ground floor are the conferencing facilities that can cater for 120 to 250 guests in multiple configurations. Our next stop was Level 7, the top floor of the hotel, which has a premium event space with sea views and an impressive gym. However, the jewel in the crown of this hotel is The Salty Fox which has the front of a restored VW Kombi at the entrance and wonderful views. This roof top bar looks out over the airport and Gold Coast seascape, taking in the Surfers Paradise skyline, the lush green hinterland and the airport concourse and runways.
Our only disappointment was the word was certainly out and The Salty Fox was absolutely heaving with people on the Saturday night we were at the hotel. Locals who had wisely got there way before we did crowded the outdoor area, along with large function and family groups, making it virtually impossible to get a seat outside to enjoy the view. We bought a drink each and stood until a couple of seats became available. With great views plus a well-priced selection of beer, wine and spirits and a happy hour on Thursday and Friday afternoons, this is the place to be for a brew with a view. Very busy but highly recommended.
Overall, the Rydges Gold Coast Airport is very good value for money for a quick airport stopover or an enjoyable Gold Coast getaway for a few days. Rooms are contemporary and appealing and the hotel hits the mark for quality and bang for buck. Get in quick and enjoy a stay at this great value Gold Coast hotel before everyone else finds out about it. You’ll be glad you did.
Disclosure: The writer was a guest of Rydges Gold Coast Airport for one night and paid to drink, dine and stay at the hotel for an additional night. He would not hesitate to stay at this Gold Coast hotel again at his own expense.
Looking for some things to do on the Gold Coast? Some of our favourite Gold Coast activities include hot air ballooning, whale watching, jet boating, visiting Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or David Fleay Wildlife Park, indoor skydiving with iFly, bushwalking in the Gold Coast’s national parks, SkyPoint Climb, exploring the Gold Coast’s markets, checking out the local cafe scene, and enjoying the Gold Coast for free. There’s also plenty of fun to be had if you visit the Gold Coast in winter or have some wet weather.