Last weekend I took off down to the southern end of the coast for a weekend stay at Mantra Coolangatta Beach. The hotel is old-school Gold Coast, where the focus is on the beach and you find yourself becoming part of the local area. It’s an easy, comfortable and enjoyable space perfect for families, couples and friends looking for a beach-focused weekend getaway.
But first, watch my review of Mantra Coolangatta Beach!
The hotel is on Marina Parade at Coolangatta, roughly 75 mins drive from Brisbane. The drive down was really easy, though I’d recommend getting away from work early if you can to beat the traffic and get the most out of your stay. Being on the southern end of the coast it’s way more chilled out than Surfers Paradise. There are fewer clubs and bars and it’s a more laid back, slow paced atmosphere, which I prefer. Coolangatta is right on the New South Wales and Queensland border, giving you access to some of the BEST beaches on the coast; Kirra, Coolangatta Beach, Duranbah and Rainbow Bay. It’s 10 minutes away from the Gold Coast airport, making it easy to fly in from interstate or overseas for a beach break.
The rooms are huge and come with everything you need for a comfortable stay that’s budget friendly too. The kitchenette means you can bring your own food and drinks to cook and eat in the apartment, which really keeps costs down. The views from the private balcony were so amazing that, instead of going out for dinner, Matt and I made a cheese platter and bought wine so we could stay in and watch the sunset.
We stayed in a two bedroom apartment, one main bedroom with an ensuite and a second bedroom containing two single beds and a second bathroom complete with laundry facilities. It was so comfortable I felt like I could move in and live there quite happily! It would be a great location for a family or friends looking to get away together as you have your own space to retreat to. We had some young scallywags staying next to us and I was worried I’d hear them blasting music all night, but I couldn’t hear them at all from our room.
The building isn’t new, it’s your quintessential Gold Coast hotel but without any of the tackiness (like seashell bed-sheets and ugly decor). I loved the old-school hotel vibe because the focus was all about enjoying the ridiculous views, getting outdoors, having fun and just relaxing. It’s the kind of place you feel really comfortable in and it’s the perfect beach break destination. When you stay in a new hotel you feel like you need to get the most for your money out of the room, but with Mantra Coolangatta Beach I felt like I could come and go as I please. It felt like my place to stay and enjoy or go out and explore. Even though the hotel is older, everything is clean and in great condition. In short, the rooms have everything you could ever need, combined with a killer outlook.
Right in front of the hotel is picture perfect Coolangatta beach. You can wake up in the morning and go for a swim, grab a coffee from nearby Bellakai then head back up to your room to watch the beach and water come alive as the sun comes up. The hotel facilities include a beautiful pool and big-size spa as well as a sauna, gym and tennis court too. There’s undercover parking underneath the building which is included in your accommodation costs and wi-fi which can be purchased in-room.
The rooms are fully self-contained and come with a washer and dryer plus a fully stocked kitchen with pots and pans, knives and forks, toaster and kettle and everything else you need to whip up a tasty meal. The seating on the balcony is really comfy and a great spot for soaking in the beautiful beach right in front of you.
Dining and entertainment
There are so many things to see and do nearby, it’s not even funny! We woke up early and grabbed a coffee and breakfast from local spot, Little Mali, then headed up to Point Danger to bask in the sun and watch a local surf comp taking place. For great views, not that you can get any better than the views from the balcony of your room, head up to the Kirra Lookout and place a love-lock on the fence. Visit the Coolangatta Arts & Craft Market or take a trip to one of the big theme parks, or visit Pacific Fair and Harbour Town to get your spend on.
The recently renovated Strand shopping centre has brought with it some great new shops and restaurants, including the infamous Gelato Messina which is worth a visit or two per day. There’s also Grill’d, O-Sushi, Max Brenner, Bin 72, Kazbah and the Coolangatta Hotel which offers pub food and live music. We stopped in at Griffith Street Larder for a well-priced breakfast and good coffee.
There’s a cinema inside the Strand, for those rainy days, and a Woolworths and bottle shop to stock up on your essentials. Take a stroll around the main street behind the hotel and you’ll find boutique shops and a few odd spots mixed in too, selling everything from crystals and hats to second-hand books. I love walking around looking at the buildings that are straight out of the Gold Coast circa 1970. It’s great to see the parts of the coast that are unspoiled by big bucks and have managed to keep things simple. Also on this street are a slew of restaurants, serving all kinds of food from Mexican and Indian to Thai and Chinese.
When I woke up on Sunday morning, I didn’t want to check out. Mantra Coolangatta Beach is my kind of hotel, it’s simple and comfortable but takes your breath away with its stunning views of the coastline. The views from our hotel balcony are the best I’ve seen of the coast and it made the weekend all about the beach, either looking at it or being on it. As I said to Matt on the first night of our stay, it’s somewhere I will definitely go back to and recommend to my own friends and family. I absolutely love the location, from the historic Gold Coast feel to the quieter, more peaceful vibe. Mantra Coolangatta Beach is a must-stay destination for anyone looking for a chilled out beach getaway.
Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.