Destinations

Checking in: The Langham Gold Coast

We take the guesswork out of local travel with our tips on where to stay, eat, drink and play. This month, GT hits the Gold Coast.

By Fiona Donnelly
The Langham Gold Coast's pool area
It's hard not to fall for a hotel that incorporates essential intel like cocktail recipes in its online guest compendium. And here, you know the minibar will be more than up to the task — right down to the inclusion of olives in brine for that Dirty Martini.
Team Langham may have activated "resort mode" for its glamorous Gold Coast splashdown — it's the first absolute beachfront property built in three decades on Queensland's Glitter Strip. But the brand's city-sharp standards haven't been lost in translation. As you inhale the signature ginger flower scent, lightly spritzed with ozone from nearby breakers, you know you're in line for a full Langham experience, invigorated with a shot of local colour.
Recently opened, the 339-room hotel fills the loftiest of three towers, each designed like a giant multifaceted crystal, in a development called The Jewel.
With 17 room categories, including long-stay apartments, balcony views ranging from urban hinterland panoramas, through to pristine beach vistas. Décor chimes with the seaside theme. Room furnishings are restful, almost pared back, with luxe textures in tones of silver, sand and misty sea blue and Langham's Blissful Beds. Oversize bathrooms score rainforest showers and indulgent tubs — ideal for giving Diptyque amenities a workout, especially with the nearby surf as a hypnotic backing track.

Explore

With inhouse dining choices like T'ang Court, the Aussie branch of Langham's three Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong, you don't need to decamp to be well-fed. But a visit to vibrant Burleigh Heads, a 15-minute drive to the southern end of the Coast, provides a fresh take on the GC food scene.
The GC is home to understated Euro bistro Labart, and stylish sibling, Paloma, winner of Gourmet Traveller's 2023 Bar of the Year. Perhaps a signature bug roll at oceanfront pan-Asian restaurant Rick Shores? Or upstairs to The Tropic for yet more spectacular views (ask for a deck seat by the railing), Med-inspired small plates and house sourdough. Afterwards, take the 2.4-kilometre trail around Burleigh Headland, followed by a dip in idyllic Tallebudgera Creek.

Experience

Slip into something silky, and head to the lobby for a legendary Langham Afternoon Tea at Palm Court. This chic space with its soaring ceilings, pale hues and floral arrangements, is pure, well-upholstered Langham elegance. But you're left in no doubt where you are, with those arrestingly framed palm and pool views just outside. Your three-tiered cake-stand features local twists too. Perhaps choux buns with Fraser Coast spanner crab and pops of scampi roe, doll-sized cheesecakes with Sunshine Coast strawberries, lemon myrtle cucumber sandwiches, scones and much more. Second flush Darjeeling pairs well with the delicate pink and white China, or raise a flute of the house Taittinger instead.

Breakfast

Nab a beachside seat at 26 & Sunny for a reviving Little Marionette coffee. Patisserie is crafted by The Langham's crack team and branded breakfast rolls come crammed with locally smoked bacon, egg, haloumi and chilli relish. Or try an acai bowl with granola, berries, carambola slices and dragonfruit cubes. Inhouse Akoya's brekkie buffet spread is a blowout, fielding everything from eggs your way, to sashimi, charcuterie, fried rice and yet more perfect patisserie. There are widescreen beach vistas to drink in with a latte too.

Lunch

Drum up an appetite at Langham's outdoor pool with its cute mini beach and swim-up bar, or walk from the grounds straight into the surf. The Gold Coast Oceanway, a 36-kilometre beachfront trail, runs right past the hotel so there's no excuse not to pop on a hat and explore. Here on a weekend? Make tracks back to casually smart Akoya for Sunday's Taittinger Champagne brunch, which runs until 3pm. Or grab a tuna poke bowl to go, or a fish and chip katsu sando with wasabi pea crumble from 26 & Sunny and flop by the pool.

Dinner

The Lobby Bar's extravagant smoke bubble-adorned Grand Jewel cocktail provides the perfect segue into evening, with its mix of bartender theatrics, Brookie's Byron Dry gin, champagne, rosella syrup and Italicus, an Italian bergamot liqueur. T'ang Court on the third level delivers a silver-service take on Cantonese classics. Watch bronzed 14-day dry-aged roast duck deftly crafted into pancakes at the table, then savour the tender breast and crisp skin laid over steamed buns spread with raspberry and lychee sauce and dolloped with caviar. Or plump for one of three set menus, with paired wines.
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  • undefined: Fiona Donnelly