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Where to Stay in Surfers Paradise - From High-Rise Luxury to Rustic Retreats

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There's so much accommodation in and around Surfers Paradise that visitors can afford to be extremely picky. Those looking for large, modern hotels with plenty of amenities will find them in the city centre, while visitors on tighter budgets are well served by the motels in nearby suburbs such as Mermaid Beach. Inland, characterful bed-and-breakfasts and luxury lodges abound.

City centre


Most of the large chain hotels in Surfers Paradise are situated along a 1 km strip of the Gold Coast Highway, a couple of blocks back from the beach. These properties are ideal for those who want to be close to the nightlife hub of Cavill Avenue and, of course, to the action on the beach. There's rarely a quiet moment in this part of town, making it ideal for those looking for a high-energy experience.


The large, modern hotels in this part of town generally cater to those looking for convenience and amenities, so onsite restaurants, swimming pools, and fitness centres are common. Most properties are midrange, but there are also several 5-star options.


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The atmosphere at Broadbeach, a suburb just south of Surfers Paradise, is calmer than in the city centre. There are fewer day-trippers, less traffic, and a smaller range of dining and nightlife options; but the Gold Coast Highway still provides easy access to neighbouring hotspots. It's a perfect location for visitors who appreciate peace and quiet, but want to remain relatively close to the action.


You'll find some of the region's most upmarket hotels in Broadbeach, and there's an adult atmosphere at many of the properties. Although the city centre is close by, most hotels offer onsite services such as dining, for those who don't want to stray far.


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Mermaid Beach


In contrast to fast-paced Surfers Paradise, this suburb to the south has a more relaxed, small-town atmosphere. Mermaid Beach may lack large malls and flashy dining, but the beach is beautiful and there are plenty of friendly locals on hand. Traffic is less of an issue here than other nearby accommodation hubs. The city centre is about 3 km up the Gold Coast Highway.


Mermaid Beach is home to a dense concentration of midrange motels, and the fierce competition between properties means standards are high. The relative affordability of rooms, coupled with Mermaid Beach's friendly vibe, make the area very popular with families.


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The lush forests, rolling hills, and small villages of the Gold Coast hinterland seem far removed from the energetic streets of Surfers Paradise, but geographically they're quite close, as many of the hinterland's hotels are just 15 minutes' drive from the beach. Visitors in search of a relaxing holiday experience often base themselves inland, opting to visit Surfers Paradise and other coastal suburbs during the day, and spend their evenings away from the crowds.


Boutique accommodation rules in the hinterland, and there's a huge variety on offer. Quaint B&Bs can be found tucked away in forested areas, upmarket hotels are common in small towns, and there are several resorts with an ecological focus. Be prepared to travel for dining and other amenities, as the assumption here is that visitors will have their own cars.


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