Glittering gold, sequins and Christmas tinsel greeted me at the entrance to The Darling Gold Coast – but it wasn’t the hotel’s reception area. Sparkling before me was the costume of one of the young marching girls who were set to perform next door at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. The girls and their parental escorts had arrived at the wrong hotel entrance but, luckily, I had not.
I couldn’t wait to check in to The Darling, one of the soon to be four hotels that make up The Star Gold Coast’s portfolio of accommodation, which also includes The Star Gold Coast. The Darling’s reception was grand yet refined with a luxe lobby resplendent in lush peacock hues of burgundy, turquoise and emerald green. Strands of sparkling crystals hung from the ceiling and tasteful water features provided a sense of calm. There was just enough bling to make us feel like we were staying somewhere luxurious without the décor being too glitzy or over the top.
After a quick and efficient check-in, we were presented with the keys to our Stellar Suite and then got a quick lesson in elevator technique. Even the lifts at The Darling are special, with no buttons inside. Instead, you swipe your key in the lift well and can choose to stop at (only) your floor, or one of The Star’s public areas. The Star Gold Coast takes security seriously which we found reassuring.
With just 56 suites, even the ‘standard’ rooms at The Darling are anything but, as our Stellar Suite proved. This suite lived up to its name with 70sqm of space which included a separate lounge room and bells and whistles such as a Bose sound system, Bluetooth connectivity and remote controls with multiple romantic mood settings for the lights. However, our favourite feature was the oval bathtub which was almost big enough to swim laps in. The shower with its rain, waterfall and handheld setting was impressive as well. A king bed and balcony plus a complimentary non-alcoholic mini bar rounded out the highlights of our suite.
As part of The Star Gold Coast, The Darling connects to the recently refurbished five-star hotel, The Star Grand, and offers easy access to the casino, bars and restaurants such as Cucina Vivo, Kiyomi, The Garden Kitchen & Bar and Uncle Su. Upstairs on the top floor of The Darling, you’ll find Nineteen at The Star, a rooftop restaurant, bar and pool with fantastic views of the Gold Coast’s glittering lights.
After refreshing in our room we made our way upstairs to the rooftop bar, Nineteen at The Star which is located on level 19 of The Darling hotel. With sweeping views of the Gold Coast skyline and beach glimpses, we chose one of the high tables for two behind a glass partition to take in the view without the sting of salt air and high winds.
As we admired the views and the stylish crowd at the bar, and were glad we had booked dinner at the adjacent Nineteen at The Star restaurant. This is a stylish space with waitstaff who know their stuff and stunning Modern Australian cuisine that packs a flavoursome punch. It’s not a cheap night out but we really enjoyed our evening at Nineteen and would not hesitate to dine there again.
The next morning we had an upmarket a la carte breakfast here that included a coffee, juice, breakfast biscuit (similar to a scone), and a dish from the a la carte menu. We both loved our respective choices, waffles with fresh berries and corn fritters with avocado mousse. This exclusive experience only costs $1 more than the buffet breakfast at Harvest Buffet at The Star, which is very good but it can feel chaotic, especially if you eat breakfast later in the morning.
Dinner at Uncle Su, which is a hit with locals and visitors alike, was another highlight. On a previous stay, we ate at Kiyomi which is located on the mezzanine level of The Star Gold Coast. This restaurant is a cutting edge destination for Japanese food lovers, with bench tables are in a prime position for people watching and do double duty as a private bar if you would like to enjoy a drink before you order.
With its prime Broadbeach location and multiple high-quality dining venues at The Star Gold Coast, The Darling offers a sophisticated getaway with plenty of choice. Add easy access to the beach and Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, and it sparkles brighter than the marching girls’ outfits.
Disclosure: The writer stayed as a guest of The Darling and paid for dinner at Nineteen at the Star.
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.