Review: The Langham Gold Coast, a fresh take on beachfront luxury

Almost eight years in the making, Queensland’s latest high-end hotel is now open. Was it worth the wait?

Overall Rating

By Chris Ashton, October 26 2022
The Langham Gold Coast, a fresh take on beachfront luxury
Country

Australia

City

Gold Coast

Hotel

The Langham Gold Coast

Room

Superior Hinterland King Room

Notes
The Good
  • Decor a refined take on ‘coastal chic’
  • Seven diverse restaurants and bars
The Bad
  • No executive lounge or business centre
  • Elevators take multiple card swipes to move
X-Factor
  • Impeccable service from start to finish
  • Tropical lagoon pool with swim-up bar
Location
Rooms
Meals
Overall

Introduction

Whenever a five star hotel opens, its creators often talk of ‘raising the stakes’ and ‘setting new benchmarks’. In the case of The Langham Gold Coast – opened in June and the city’s first beachfront hotel in over 30 years – they may have just achieved that lofty goal.

Housed in the tallest of the eye-catching Jewel towers, a trio of multifaceted highrises in Surfers Paradise, the hotel feels plucked from the streets of London or Hong Kong, offering a level of service and attention to detail that elevates it beyond its local rivals.

Location & Impressions

Centrepiece of the $1.4 billion Jewel hotel and residential development, The Langham Gold Coast marks the first coastal hotel for the Hong Kong-based hotel group, complementing established urban siblings such as Sydney, New York and Chicago.

Within lies 339 elegant rooms and suites, a smorgasbord of dining options – including a local outpost of the brand’s signature Cantonese restaurant – and a wellness spa offering bespoke treatments themed around the elements of earth, fire, wind and water.

Made for embracing the relaxed Gold Coast lifestyle, there’s a sunny sand-edged lagoon pool with swim-up bar, together with an indoor pool, fitness studio and full gym with treadmills overlooking the waves.

All that separates The Langham from the dunes is a small glass gate and concrete pathway providing easy access to Surfers Paradise in the north and Broadbeach in the south.

This pathway is a real asset to guests, meaning they can simply park the car, explore and not have to worry about it again until check-out… if they don’t mind a stroll. Taxis and ubers are plentiful too.

Room

As a quirk of the building’s design, every room is slightly different.

Our Superior Hinterland King Room faces south-west to the hills, with a view over the Gold Coast Convention Centre. Despite its name, it offers impressive ocean views from the balcony railing.

Calm and inviting, the room’s interior in an upscale take on coastal chic, incorporating textured linen-look wallpaper, sun bleached floors and a pale rose gold timber wall panelling, accented by shadow lines and black insets. It feels very high-end.

A dappled blue rug peeking out from beneath the king-size bed, nautically-inspired artworks and the blue-grey base of an elegant marble-topped minibar cabinet provide welcome punches of colour in the room, which would feel a bit too restrained otherwise.

Premium diptyque toiletries boost the feeling of luxury in the bathroom.
Premium diptyque toiletries boost the feeling of luxury in the bathroom.

Pendant lights hang above marble-topped bedside tables, while a circular dining setting with two deep chairs and a chaise at the foot of the bed fill the rest of the space. There’s also a marble plinth, which works well as a wallet stand.

Tech-wise, the room is stocked with a 50” Samsung smart TV with ‘Streamvision’ casting, electric blackout curtains and sheers, and a Nespresso machine with an assortment of pods.

You won't be short of a perch, with deep cushioned chairs, a chaise and two lounges on the balcony.
You won't be short of a perch, with deep cushioned chairs, a chaise and two lounges on the balcony.

USB ports, power outlets and master light switches are on both sides of the bed.

Minibar prices are at the higher end of the spectrum: $10 for a juice, $14 for some nougat. Pre-mixed Syp cocktails – among them a martini and negroni – are $24 each.

The minibar is cleverly hidden inside this swing-door cabinet.
The minibar is cleverly hidden inside this swing-door cabinet.

On the balcony you’ll find two white single-seater lounges on opposite walls with rectangular cushions. While these are ideal for a brief chat while soaking in the view, they’re not really somewhere you’d settle into for an extended period.

Sea views are an unexpected feature of this Hinterland King Room.
Sea views are an unexpected feature of this Hinterland King Room.

Back inside, a small dressing area with hanging space and draws leads to the bathroom – and one of the room’s hero elements: an inviting, deep oval-shaped bathtub with freestanding tapware. A separate rainshower with a hand-held nozzle is directly alongside.

As a nod to the Gold Coast’s subtropical climate, where the average year-round temperature is 26 degrees, Langham-branded thongs are supplied instead of fluffy slippers. A nice touch.

No fluffy slippers here. It's thongs all the way.
No fluffy slippers here. It's thongs all the way.

All in all, the room is finished with an impeccable level of finesse… which makes a couple of quite minor missteps all the more obvious.

The lack of storage and space on the vanity means a separate table is needed in the dressing area to house spare towels and amenities, such as dental and shaving kits.

The dressing area includes ample draw and hanging space, with an iron and mid-size ironing board.
The dressing area includes ample draw and hanging space, with an iron and mid-size ironing board.

In addition, there are no large towel rails (there was just a low rail for hand towels under the sink). Two hooks are provided instead – both on the wall directly above the dressing table, meaning anything hung there has to be draped at an angle either side of the table.

While certainly minor, it’s also something that should have been considered.

Work

One area where the hotel doesn’t quite hit the mark is as a ‘work from hotel’ space.

There’s no executive lounge or business centre available onsite, meaning your best choices for tapping out a few emails are the dining table in your room or perched on a stool down in the Lobby Bar.

Open daily from 11am, the Lobby Bar offers a curated menu of drinks and light bites.
Open daily from 11am, the Lobby Bar offers a curated menu of drinks and light bites.

However, if you’re looking to switch off from work and enjoy a holiday, this is an ideal place.

Free wifi throughout the hotel is a decent 28.6 Mbps download, 24.1 Mbps upload.

Eat

When it’s time to satiate your hunger or thirst, the hotel’s seven restaurants and bars – ranging from casual bites to Chef Hat-level cuisine – mean there’s something for everyone.

Treat your taste buds at Akoya buffet, while also enjoying a view out to the ocean.
Treat your taste buds at Akoya buffet, while also enjoying a view out to the ocean.

Among them is Akoya, an all-day eatery transforming from breakfast mecca to seafood buffet by night; Palm Court, home of the iconic Langham Afternoon Tea; and T’ang Court, inspired by the three Michelin-starred venue of the same name at The Langham Hong Kong. 

With a pedigree like that, it would be remiss not to find a table at T’ang Court. We opt for the set menu with paired wines, eliminating the guesswork and pressure of selecting our own.

The 80-seat T'ang Court features striking abstract artworks by Australian-Chinese artist, Lindi Li.
The 80-seat T'ang Court features striking abstract artworks by Australian-Chinese artist, Lindi Li.

The meal begins with chilled cherry tomatoes in a sweet plum honey syrup – the firm texture unlike any tomato I’ve tried, in a good way – and then moves on to succulent Canadian scallops stuffed with pork mince and a side of glazed barbeque pork. 

This is followed by duck two ways: crispy skin pancakes featuring the chef’s own hoisin sauce, prepared by staff on a trolley alongside the table, followed by duck breast on a fluffy bao pillow and lathered with lychee and raspberry sauce. 

Duck pancakes prepared while you watch.
Duck pancakes prepared while you watch.

A delicate broth with abalone and chicken, wagyu beef with asian greens, steam coral trout, and a chilled mango cream with sago and pomelo prove the menu doesn’t lose any steam as it progresses.

There’s not a single misstep. 

Clockwise: Canadian scallops, duck skin pancakes, duck breast bao, and steamed coral trout with 'superior soya sauce'.
Clockwise: Canadian scallops, duck skin pancakes, duck breast bao, and steamed coral trout with 'superior soya sauce'.

It’s in the hotel’s restaurants – T’ang Court, in particular – that its biggest strength is most apparent: the service. Both knowledgeable and intuitive, it feels like a real step up for the city, more akin to what you’d find in the ‘grand dames’ of Europe and Asia. 

The Lobby Bar, next door to Palm Court and opposite the flower-filled pink telephone box, is the venue most guests will inevitably visit. It too offers refined service, with staff also providing a platter of crackers and macadamia nuts to snack on while you drink. 

Palm Court is the home of Langham's signature Afternoon Tea.
Palm Court is the home of Langham's signature Afternoon Tea.

Opening the menu you’ll be greeted by a bevy of cocktails, wines and beers, or the bartenders can whip up your favourite. That said, signature cocktail ‘The Grand Jewel’ – a Brookies gin-based tipple topped with a bubble of scented smoke – is the one to pick. 

The three stages of The Grand Jewel.
The three stages of The Grand Jewel.

Beyond the lobby, 26 & Sunny cafe plates up deli-style sandwiches and coffees daily, Coral Moon rooftop bar mixes up predominantly Asian-themed cocktails, and the Pool Bar is waiting to offer a spritz while you splash. 

Relax

Speaking of the pool, this is one of the hotel’s stars – a sandy lagoon-style infinity edge retreat angled towards the surf and lined with sun lounges and a spa. It’s an excellent vantage to appreciate the hotel’s multi-angled glass and steel façade too.

Those who enjoy swimming laps can find a 20-metre indoor pool up on level two, adjacent to the health club, which also includes a well appointed fitness studio and full gymnasium.

If you prefer to relax at a slower pace, Chuan Spa makes that easy.

Boasting multiple solo and couples treatment rooms, it offers a selection of treatments guided by traditional Chinese medicine and centred around the element of your choosing. The experience is topped off with a post-treatment rest in one of its egg-shaped Dream pod lounges.

Verdict

Although The Langham Gold Coast’s launch claims of ushering in ‘a new wave of luxury’ could have been dismissed as marketing hype, it turns out they’re actually quite fitting.

Having stayed and dined at several of the Gold Coast’s top hotels, this feels like a jolt of new energy and a big step up in terms of service, amenity and the level of refinement within its rooms and public spaces, compared to what was previously available.

That’s not to write off the current offering – far from it, as each excels in its own way with a different approach to service and experience – but this one just hits differently.

Is it perfect in every aspect? Not quite (the lifts take an average of five swipes against the card reader to get moving) but it's tantalisingly close, with only a few small tweaks needed to help it reach its full potential.


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