A while back I attended a function on the rooftop of the new Rhapsody Resort on the northern end of Surfers Paradise beach. It was a warm winters evening as they tend to be in Queensland and as we chatted and sipped our drinks the sun went down over the coast.
The view was stunning as you can see from my impromptu iPhone shot below so when the chance came up for a short escape from the city in one of their one-bedroom ocean-view suites we jumped on it. A couple of days chilling out Gold Coast style and getting another opportunity to enjoy that view with a real camera was exactly what we needed!
The Rhapsody Resort is one of the newer apartment resorts in Surfers Paradise. It’s located at the quieter northern end of the beach, a comfortable 1.2 km (15 minute) walk to the always lively Cavill Mall. Of course, if you don’t feel up to walking home after your evening revelries the Surfers North light rail stop is right across the road from Rhapsody Resort and there are plenty of fantastic places to eat and drink much closer.
Let’s take a look around
Check-in was fast and friendly. As part of the welcome pack, we got a preprinted slip providing unique WiFi access codes for our room and to use on the guest facilities at level 27. I was able to connect multiple devices and achieve a reasonable connection speed, two things that I really do appreciate as someone who regularly does need to work in my accommodation although I know they aren’t as important to everyone.
As we walked into the apartment we were blown away by the ocean view from the floor to ceiling windows in front of us but I couldn’t quite believe it when Drew immediately pointed out a humpback whale cruising past not 150m offshore. It wasn’t the only one we saw on the wrong side of the shark net buoys.
The next day we watched one that was surrounded by a pod of dolphins for quite a while as they appeared to escort it back north out of the net area before its spouts started moving south again.
It was hard to tear ourselves away from the view but before we headed to look around (that’s why you’re on the Gold Coast right?) I want to show you around our suite. This is a one-bedroom ocean view apartment on level 24, there’s also a two-bedroom or a studio option available.
With 42 floors we were slightly over halfway up but plenty high enough to enjoy the fabulous views and not be disturbed by street noise. I love salt air and the sound of surf crashing on the beach so we had the sliding doors open most of the time but there’s air conditioning if you’re finding it a bit warm.
The rooms are designed to be self-contained and are well suited to extended stays with a fully equipped kitchen and laundry in each unit. I also appreciated that in an apartment that accommodates 2 people there are 4 of everything, including towels, crockery, glassware etc.
The lounge area has comfortable seating and the floor to ceiling windows looking out to the ocean. There’s a good-sized flat-screen TV in there but with the entertainment happening right off the patio I had to wonder if anyone had turned it on yet?
The deck is accessed from both the lounge and bedroom and equipped with a comfortable table and chairs. It’s enclosed on 3 sides meaning it’s well sheltered from the wind which can be quite strong being high up and coastal but the inset style means you still enjoy uninterrupted ocean views in most weather conditions. It was blowing a gale on the roof garden on Sunday night but you wouldn’t have known it down on our private deck.
In the bedroom, there’s also a TV, a desk set up with power points and a good-sized wardrobe. Storage has been well considered with large bedside drawers, shelving and hanging space in the closet and a room safe.
It’s easy to unpack and get your luggage out of the way. As for the all-important question on whether the bed was comfortable, it’s subjective because everyone’s preferences are different but as someone who loves the beds in Japanese hotels, I found it firm and super comfortable.
The Resort Facilities
If you don’t feel like heading out just yet there are plenty of options for relaxing or socialising on site.
I’m not the biggest fan of structured exercise but even I could be up and into the cardio every morning with this view – I mean, seriously!
If cooling off in the pool and relaxing poolside is your thing that area is also well-appointed. The pool is good sized with a separate spa pool. There’s a large BBQ area down there too for a relaxed meal.
Need to catch up on a bit of work, or chill out for a while? Try the club lounge on level 27 which offers air-conditioned comfort or the zen garden on the same level might provide a bit of creative inspiration. There are more BBQ’s in this area and a deck area that gives great views down to the south.
Then there is that rooftop space that started it all. It is just as gorgeous as I remembered. Up here you’ll find more BBQ and heaps of seating. We also found it was fairly quiet other than at sunset when a few more residents came up to see the sky show.
The sun’s up early in Queensland so after a few sunrise shots we tried out the BBQ facilities for breakfast, a hot crispy bacon roll is pretty good any day but overlooking the incredible view back down the coast and still more whales passing by … perfect!
The Rhapsody Resort is beachfront at the northern end of Surfers Paradise beach, so if you cross the road you’re on the sand. There’s a wide promenade all the way along here through Surfers Paradise or in the opposite direction it’ll take you towards Main Beach and The Spit.
So let’s take a look around the area. When we first visited the Gold Coast from New Zealand many years ago the site the apartments are located on was a single-story Red Rooster takeaway but the whole Surfers North area looks much different now. The light rail must have been a nightmare for residents when it was being built but it’s so convenient now. You can jump on right across the road and head south as far as Broadbeach or anywhere in between.
Rather than getting the car out we did ride it down to Broadbeach for lunch at Mamasan, a fusion style restaurant specialising in share plates that I’ve been wanting to try. Getting in early we nabbed one of the tall outdoor tables and the food was every bit as good as I’d been told.
The fluffiest pillowy bao filled with soft shell crab, flying fish roe and tangy mayonnaise set our expectations high. Then the Chinese style duck pancakes with perfectly rendered duck breast followed by perfectly tender panko coated calamari with a sriracha mayo proved our undoing. I won’t leave it at that though, we’ll definitely be back to try out the rest of the menu.
The main attraction to a stay in Surfers Paradise, or anywhere down the 50+ kilometres of coastline is the gorgeous soft golden sand and sparkling water of the surf beaches. Surfers Paradise is well supplied with Surf Lifesaver patrolled areas all the way along so you never need to walk far to swim between the flags. While it’s a popular beach you can always find a quiet space in the sand especially if you’re happy to move up the beach a little.
If you’re staying in Surfers Paradise on Wednesday, Friday or Sunday nights head down to the iconic beachfront markets opposite Cavill Mall from 4 – 9 pm. You’ll find a variety of stalls selling craft, food and souvenirs on the esplanade and there’s usually some live entertainment around the mall area.
Looking for dinner afterwards? There’s no shortage of places but I’m a fan of Elston. They’re always packed but if the waitress can find you a possie you can watch the world go by, listen to the surf crashing on the Gold Coasts most popular beach and enjoy some great food.
It is becoming rare to see a new beachfront property pop up in Surfers Paradise so Rhapsody Resort is a very welcome addition. With its fully equipped apartments, it’s ideally set up for a longer stay but as we found it can also provide a perfect base for a night or two staycations out of the city.
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