JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa
Mountain View Double Room
- Five excellent restaurant and bar options
- Recently refurbished from top to bottom
- No club lounge or business centre
- Location a bit out of the way
- Saltwater lagoon pool with tropical fish
- Degustation dining at Citrique restaurant
Amid the lustrous luxury hotels of Surfers Paradise, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa holds a special place in the hearts of many travellers. After all, it’s been a fixture of the scene since 1993 – welcoming countless guests in the decades since.
Originally known as Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort, it assumed the mantle as Australia’s first JW Marriott in December 2020 following a $35m rebrand and ‘reimagining’, which saw almost every corner of the property given a significant glow-up.
The long-awaited missing piece – the 2,500sqm ‘Spa by JW’ – finally opened its doors in July this year, marking an end to the top-to-toe refurb of all 238 rooms and public areas.
Location & Impressions
Rising 28 floors between the snaking Nerang River and Gold Coast Highway, a mere five minute stroll from the rolling waves of Main Beach, JW Marriott sits proudly at the northern end of Surfers Paradise.
Though a little out of the way, it’s still a fine location within walking distance of Cavill Ave, while a nearby station for the G:link light rail easily connects you to the likes of Broadbeach.
Arriving at the porte cochère and stepping into the Marriott’s lobby, the first thing to hit you is the scale – it’s a vast, soaring expanse with natural light streaming in from all around.
Comfy cream-toned lounges and stone-clad pillars, dark timber shelves adorned in books and knick-knacks, and a curvaceous staircase leading to the first-floor function space draw your eyes, while large rattan ceiling fans sweeping back and forth beckon you in.
As a Marriott Bonvoy hotel, members of the loyalty program can receive a host of benefits in line with their status, including points for dollars spent and on-availability room upgrades.
JW Marriott Gold Coast is home to 238 rooms and suites, each classed for ocean or hinterland views. Of course, some – like our Mountain View Room 2803 – enjoy the best of both worlds, with a balcony outlook in both directions.
Unlocking the door, a spacious bathroom with a deep tub and walk-in shower is immediately to your left.
Inside is a stone benchtop and single vanity sitting below the mirror; Aromatherapy Associates London toiletries (the same found in every JW) are discreetly tucked inside a drawer.
The main living space is dominated by double beds topped with marshmallow-soft duvets (they wrap around like a hug each time you sit down). A long fabric-look bedhead, circular lamps and stone-topped bedside tables fill the space between.
Opposite the bed is a Chromecast-equipped TV, plus a buffet housing a Nespresso machine and teas, and a limited snack selection. A mini fridge contains beers, soft drinks and juices, along with a mini bottle of Moët. Prices are typical of a five star hotel.
Though classed as a Mountain View Room, there’s actually a fantastic outlook to the beach and horizon, both on the balcony and while reclining in the bed nearest the window.
In all, it’s a calming room with everything needed for a couple of days or more.
Despite housing an expansive conference level with two ballrooms plus several meeting and breakout areas, the hotel doesn’t actually have an executive lounge or business centre.
Instead, your room pulls double duty as your on-holiday office, if required.
A stone dining table by the window makes a fine substitute desk, but the swivel chairs flanking either side aren’t very comfortable for an extended session – the cushion is rather dense.
Alternatively, find yourself a table at one of the dining venues on the ground floor. Chapter & Verse, beneath the lobby staircase, has a good high table. More on this restaurant soon.
One area where the hotel excels in the business stakes though is its complimentary WiFi, which clocks in at an excellent 70Mbps download and 67Mbps upload. It never misses a beat throughout the property – even down alongside the lagoon pool.
The JW Marriott houses five eclectic dining choices (six if you include in-room dining).
Among them are Citrique – buffet by morning and fine dining mecca by night – and Misono, the largest teppanyaki restaurant in town, alongside Chapter & Verse for high tea, coffee or cocktails, and The Pool Pavilion and JW Market grab-and-go.
Breakfast is an elaborate affair, but can get rather crowded at peak times. In a nice touch, a counter of snacks and drinks is provided at the restaurant entrance for guests to snack on while they wait in the queue.
Multiple counters border the open kitchen, each laden with hot items, salads, fruits and pastries, together with muesli, yoghurt and even icecream for kids.
These are complemented by a DIY juice station, where you can make your own concoction from sliced fruits and vege, or pour a pre-made smoothie.
There’s also an orange squeezer (like the ones once frequently seen in supermarkets but now rarer than Bigfoot sightings).
Dinner at hatted signature restaurant Citrique takes the form of an à la carte and several set menus mid-week, followed by a bountiful seafood buffet on weekends.
Walking in, you wouldn’t know it was the same restaurant from breakfast, with the space transformed by dim lighting, elevated customer service and a soft house soundtrack.
There are multiple set menus to peruse, starting from two or three courses and ramping up to a six-course degustation with paired wines. Naturally, the latter piques my interest.
My visit is at the cusp of the winter menu, which sees it include the likes of roasted duck breast drizzled in a spiced mulled wine jus. I’m happy to pretend there’s still a brisk chill in the air.
It’s by no means a quick dining experience, but it is absolutely worth taking time for.
When most people think of JW Marriott Gold Coast, it’s the pool that springs to mind. One look at the pandanus-fringed oasis – centred around a saltwater lagoon brimming with over 300 tropical fish and lined with cascading falls – and you can see why.
Following a lengthy absence, the ‘Spa’ in the resort’s moniker returned sporting a fresh name and new look in July. Now known as Spa by JW, it houses six treatment rooms plus saunas, steam showers and an outdoor relaxation area.
The menu runs the gamut from 15-minute neck and shoulder massages to facials and ‘Sensory Spa Degustations’. You can also make an afternoon of it with high tea and wine service curated by the hotel’s executive chef.
Having stayed at most of the five star properties in the Gold Coast, I’d say JW Marriott stands out from the pack as the most family-oriented, yet it still well and truly delivers in the luxury stakes.
Rooms are of course beautiful and the dining is divine, but the lagoon pool, slides and riverside location (a dock allows you to moor your craft alongside, as well as hire jet skis and the like) are something none of its competitors can match.
Even if you’re not travelling with kids, this is a hotel which ticks plenty of boxes – and one I’d happily return to. If only there was a club lounge.
The writer stayed as a guest of Destination Gold Coast.