A little while ago Matt and I took a quick weekend getaway to the Gold Coast and it rained the entire time. The sea was angry that day, my friends, it rained, it poured and the wind howled. But it was still a fantastic break. Why? Because regardless of the weather, it was still time out for us both to relax, recharge and reconnect. A weekend getaway close to home is perfect because it’s budget-friendly, doesn’t require too much planning and you don’t feel pressured to do too much. You already know the area, so you can give yourself a break from sightseeing and just relax.
We’re pretty dang lucky living in Australia because we have access to places most people only dream of visiting. I know people living in the UK who have dreamed their entire lives of seeing somewhere like the Gold Coast. For us, it’s just an overnight bag and a short drive away.
We’re in that funny time of year where it’s just starting to warm up and we know Christmas is creeping up on us, but we’ve run out of patience waiting for those end of year holidays and desperately need a quick break. Enter the perfect weekend getaway.
Traffic to the Gold Coast isn’t as horrid as you’d think it may be on a Friday afternoon. Matt and I drove from Brisbane CBD to the Gold Coast in around an hour. We arrived at the beautiful Q1 Resort and Spa and had a really easy, seamless check-in. Q1 has been around for a while and is one of those places that inspires an appreciative nod when someone tells you they are staying there. For some reason I hadn’t stayed at Q1 before, despite all the good things I’d heard about it.
Our room was huge, massive in fact! Our ocean-view room was north facing with a balcony, dining area, kitchen, living room, bedroom, walk-in robe, washing machine, bathroom and spa. The beds were super comfortable and, importantly, the shower was fantastic. The units are fully self-contained which means you can make your weekend getaway as budget friendly as you like. You can save money by bringing food and drinks with you or splash out and eat at one the great restaurants surrounding the building.
The most impressive thing about the ocean-view rooms at Q1 are the view, it was absolutely stunning. The contrast of the lights and buzzing vibe of Surfers Paradise against the vast blue expanse of the ocean and the waves crashing on the beach, I just love being able to see the water.
Matt and I had dinner at the fantastic Japanese restaurant downstairs, Osaka Kaiten Sushi. The food was absolutely delicious and well-priced and the staff were friendly, providing great customer service. There is a convenience store, cafe, hairdresser, Subway and a few other shops downstairs from Q1 too, which make it easy to grab a bite to eat. I’m pretty sure I spied the good old Pancakes in Paradise around the corner too. After dinner we picked up a couple of ice creams from the convenience store and went back upstairs to watch movies.
The rainy weather didn’t deter Matt and I from having a fantastic weekend, in fact it was the perfect excuse to sleep-in and spend a few hours in bed with a cup of coffee. We wandered down to the beach later in the day and strolled along the water. The only people on the beach were clearly locals, easily identifiable by their immaculate tans and fit bodies. We sat on the beach with a juice and watched the waves crashing onto the sand while a few very excited dogs ripped up and down the beach, covered in sand and salty water.
I struggle to justify treating myself to a spa treatment as I usually convince myself I’m not worth it but this weekend was different though and I visited the beautiful Q1 Spa for a very relaxing afternoon of pampering. A full body salt scrub followed by something I can only describe as the most incredible shower of my life, saturated steam and strong jets of water as well as rainforest shower-heads above. We’re talking hot water coming at you from every angle, if you love a strong shower, you’ll LOVE this.
The world’s best shower was followed up with a full body moisturise and an incredible head, neck and face massage. By the end of the treatment I was pretty much floating/levitating around the Spa. I even took the time at the end of the treatment to sit and enjoy a honey and chamomile tea because I had nowhere to rush off to and nowhere to be. The products used on my skin were beautiful leaving it soft, moisturised and smelling amazing.
On our last morning we went up to the SkyPoint Observation Deck for a continental breakfast and to take in the stunning views. For $19 you get breakfast and entry to the Observation Deck, which is well worth it. Again, I had never been up to the Observation Deck before and was really blown away by the incredible views, it was fun to see the Gold Coast in a way I’d never seen it before and it’s somewhere I will be taking friends who come to visit from overseas.
The only unfortunate thing was I nearly burned down the entire Q1 building. Umm yep, it really did happen. My toast got stuck in the toaster at SkyPoint and caught fire, with flames coming out of the top of the toaster. Luckily for me the staff are fire trained and quickly put it out before I could incinerate an entire resort. That would have been awkward.
The whole weekend had a relaxed pace to it, it was much-needed time out for Matt and I to reconnect and relax in each others company. Q1 was the perfect place to base ourselves as we didn’t have to leave the room if we didn’t want to, but when we did, everything we needed was close by. I loved that every morning when I woke up the first thing I saw was the ocean, it made me feel like I was far away from home even though I wasn’t. Our weekend getaway was easy to organise and really affordable as we took snack foods with us and spent most of our time walking around, visiting the beach or watching movies.
A weekend getaway doesn’t have to be over the top, sometimes it’s just about making time for yourself and your significant other or friends or family to get away and treat yourself to some much-needed time out.
Stay: Q1 Resort and Spa, Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
Eat: Osaka Kaiten Sushi, Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
Play: Check out Visit Gold Coast for inspiration on things to see and do
Visit: the SkyPoint Observation Deck.
Watch: our ’12 months in 60 seconds’ video
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.