Our picks for the most luxurious places to stay in Queensland are nearly as diverse as the tropical Australian state itself: We’ve got a peaceful resort in the Whitsundays, a Versace-branded hotel in Main Beach, and a small mountaintop boutique in the Port Douglas hinterlands. Discover all of our favorite hotels for a luxury getaway in Queensland.
A peaceful and romantic resort with a stunning private beach, Qualia is located in the Whitsunday Islands just off the Queensland coast. The resort sits on the secluded northernmost tip of Hamilton Island, which is the most accessible of the islands and is popular with those who like to sail. Its 60 rooms are decadent waterside pavilions, each one with sleek wood decor, a private terrace, and a huge luxurious bathroom with freestanding bath. Property highlights include two infinity pools with sea views (free bottled water and sunscreen are provided), a private beach with kayaks and catamarans, a luxurious spa, and a fine-dining restaurant. Room service is available 24 hours.
Bringing the late fashion designer’s extravagant taste to the Gold Coast Broadwater, the 200-room Palazzo Versace is an exclusive five-pearl property with a Versace boutique, a private marina, and close access to Surfers Paradise. A serene lagoon pool has a sandy shore, hot tub, and a full-service spa offers an indoor pool and gym. Versace designs fill rooms that feature Juliet balconies, minibars, and whirlpool tubs in suites. Two- and three-bedroom condominiums have private pools and kitchens. But these designer digs and services come with an expensive price tag. Like Qualia, food and drink here is expensive (though the fine-dining experience at Vanitas, complete with Versace china, is a memorable), but past guests have given dining and bar service mixed reviews.
Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast is a sleek and refined beachfront property with direct access to the beach and Marina Mirage mall. Its 293 stylish rooms have minibars, bathrobes and slippers, and turndown service, and some have ocean views or poolside terraces. Lavishly designed Royal Suites have marble floors and fireplaces, while Two-Bedroom Villas have balconies, rooftop terraces, and kitchens. Unlike Qualia and Palazzo, in-room Wi-Fi costs a fee, though it's free for hotel loyalty members. Fittingly dubbed the “Oasis Pool,” the hotel’s 6,727 square feet (625 square meters) of pools seem to go on forever -- with a swim-up bar, a kids pool, and a section with jets -- although there’s no separate hot tub. Golden Door Spa and Health Club, a privately run facility, has four outdoor tennis courts, a modern fitness center, a lap pool, saunas and steam rooms, Vichy showers, and 12 treatment rooms. Two seafood restaurants overlook the pool and an Asian-styled wooden bar offers ocean views, high tea, and cocktails. While our first two picks appeal to sophisticated couples and, in Palazzo Versace's case, business travelers, Sheraton is increasingly seeing families, which means that it is more susceptible to noisy children.
RACV Royal Pines Resort is an upscale, 333-room golf resort located a short drive from the beach in popular Surfers Paradise. Standard in-room amenities include minibars, air-conditioning, coffee- and tea-making facilities, flat-screen TVs with cable, and bathrooms stocked with l'Occitane products. The facilities are particularly noteworthy and include a 27-hole PGA golf course, a large lagoon pool, a spa with a salon (though it lacks the sauna and steam room found at Sheraton), and a well-equipped gym. Disadvantages here include the fact that it's not on the beach (or on an island, for that matter, like Qualia) and it's not within walking distance of restaurants (there are plenty of on-site options, but some have limited hours).
An upscale hotel on the Cairns marina, the 255-room Shangri-La has a cool, modern tropical vibe and plenty of luxe touches, like a big outdoor pool and big fitness center. In contrast to the five-pearl properties on this list, Shangri-La lacks a full spa (though massages can be arranged). There are excellent dining options on-site, plus many more restaurants and bars are located within easy walking distance. Rooms have a soothing white-and-cream color scheme, plus plenty of space (rooms start at 350 square feet), and balconies. In-room perks include free Wi-Fi, decent pillow menus, stocked minibars, and big bathrooms with black marble floors, separate showers and tubs, and Shangri-La's own toiletries.
Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa is an upscale option located just outside the busy center of Surfers Paradise. Decor is a mix of modern and traditional, with a beautifully finished lobby, extensive pool area and a clean, fresh feel to the 216 guest rooms and suites. Rooms all have balconies with views over the river or ocean; however, minibars aren't standard and bathrooms look a bit dated. There are a number of great amenities, including a spa, tennis courts, gym, and bike rentals, while a kids' club and several meeting rooms make it popular with both families and business travelers. This resort is way ahead of its local competition, but its bathrooms aren't as nice as the ones at Shangri-La and there are no minibars.
Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort is a stylish four-pearl hotel with a contemporary coastal feel and a great location. The beach, riverfront, shopping, and dining are within easy reach. Its 176 rooms include cute two-level poolside villas, high-floor suites with views of the ocean, and spacious studios, all with balconies and a good range of amenities. The hotel's outdoor pool features a swim-up bar, and the large jetted bath in the day spa is a treat. There's plenty of chill-out space in the sunny bar area and modern restaurant, and water sports are available from the hotel's jetty. Sofitel charges a fee for parking and in-room Wi-Fi (Marriott's Wi-Fi is free throughout, but it also charges a fee for parking).
This upmarket resort features beautiful common areas, including landscaped gardens and a bright, spacious lobby. The hotel's modern units include standard rooms with balcony spa baths, along with larger apartment suites with kitchens. All rooms are decorated in soothing shades of cream, and include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with free movies, room service, and minibars. There are no bathtubs though; for that, try booking one of Sofitel's rooms with a spa bath and separate shower. Peppers' centerpiece -- literally -- is its large pool, which on one side has a small beach made with white sand from the nearby Whitsundays. On the other side, many of the hotel's ground-floor rooms have their own private access. The hotel is bolstered by two excellent facilities: the Exclusive Spa, which offers a wide range of treatments, and the Sublime Bar & Grill, which specializes in seafood with Asian influences. Both are extremely popular, and advance booking is recommended.
Less than five minutes from the Surfer's Paradise Esplanade, Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel & Residences is also close to the city's main beach and the Cavill Avenue pedestrian mall. The upscale property has 419 rooms ranging from standard hotel rooms to residential-style apartments, all with massive bathrooms and excellent beds. The Salt Grill, the hotel’s main restaurant, has an outstanding wine list, and other dining options include a cafe, poolside bar, and lounge bar. Multiple pools, an attractive spa, and well-lit gym are nice features, but Wi-Fi and parking fees add up here (both are free at Peppers Beach Club Port Douglas).
One of the most popular places to stay in Broadbeach, Peppers is an upscale resort near the beach with 177 suites and apartments with one to three bedrooms. All units come with private balconies and lovely kitchens complete with gas stoves and high-end appliances. Features include a lovely outdoor pool with a lagoon and a lap-swimming section plus a modern fitness center with sauna and steam facilities. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property, which is unusual in Australia, though it is limited to one device per-room. As opposed to the Hilton's several eateries, Peppers Broadbeach doesn't have any on-site dining options, though some local restaurants allow guests to bill their meals directly to their room.
Personalized service, sophisticated seclusion, a Balinese flavor, and stunning views over the Port Douglas hinterlands define the upscale Mai Tai resort. With only four rooms, it is far and away the smallest and most intimate resort on this list. Each unit is furnished to the highest standard, with hand-carved Balinese king beds with top-quality mattresses and bedding, subtle patterned rugs, white-painted wooden furniture, and charming Buddha statues throughout. The rooms also have private outdoor sitting areas, some with sweeping views. The two Deluxe Rooms also have outdoor Balinese-style showers. A hearty tropical breakfast is included with room rates, but there is no full on-site restaurant. For that -- or a spa, gym, concierge, or business center -- you'll need one of the big chain hotels on this list, like Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel.