Holiday in your Backyard

It may only be 10 minutes drive down the road from where I live, but a hotel stay in your own back yard can be just as good as a holiday far away. And it seems I’m not the only one doing this. Plenty of people are choosing weekend hotel stays in the city where they live.

I know it may sound crazy, but stay with me for a minute. I travel a lot.  For many years I seem to have been on a plane or on the road every couple of weeks and travelling far away from family and friends.  I love it, don’t get me wrong, but a few weekends ago I chose a weekend stay at Peppers Hotel in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, just a short distance from home. I’ve actually had weekend getaways within 3o minutes of home on many occasions and on the Gold Coast, just looking at our skyline littered with high-rise apartments and hotels, we are spoilt for choice on where to stay.

Here’s why I chose Peppers, what I got up to and why I will most certainly be back. I think the main reason for selecting Peppers Broadbeach over any of the other many many hotels available was it’s perfect location and incredible facilities.

Firstly location. Of course this is imperative. Located in the heart of Broadbeach you are only a few steps away from countless great restaurants and the renowned Gold Coast beaches. Across the road from the hotel is the Broadbeach Surf Lifesaving Club and then a few steps further the never-ending white sandy beaches. Being in front of the surf club, the beach is patrolled by surf lifesavers year round so it is very safe and family friendly. The lifesavers will advise you not only of daily weather and temperature conditions, but also any potential dangers such as surf or rips. Even in the winter, this beach is ideal for a long, lazy walk or a dip in the ocean.

I checked how many restaurants there are in Broadbeach and the list was huge so of course, I can’t mention them all here, the ones I refer to below are my favorites that I keep returning to time and again, as well as being within a short walk of the Peppers Hotel, but please don’t disregard the countless other establishments.

One of my favorite Gold Coast restaurants is Gemelli’s Italian for a casual, authentic Italian feed. If you go, make sure you try the grilled octopus on radicchio salad, it is totally to die for. I often return to Gemellis just for this dish, but of course, the pasta and pizza’s are fantastic too and if there is a group of you, they offer the pizza in meter long which is always a bit of fun.

Next is Mecca Bah, which has a great busy vibe and amazing Mediterranean style food and style. Their tagines are a must try and if you like Turkish delight, they make their own – yum!

Another of my picks is Mamasan, a modern Asian style restaurant. You must try the Pork or soft shell crab bao (steamed bun) and the glazed lamb ribs and definitely leave room for dessert because they are unusual and delightful.

My final recommendation is Social Eating House. It is a great choice for something a bit more upmarket and “special”. Fantastic cocktails and the slow cooked lamb shoulder is a divine dish for sharing.

The other option, which I chose to do a few nights, was grab a takeaway from one of the local restaurants and eat in my room with a chilled vino. I mean honestly, the view from your apartment at Peppers is million dollar and better than any restaurant, so why not take advantage and enjoy your dinner on the balcony dining table watching the sunset and the lights and glitter of the city come to life. The apartments also have a very well equipped kitchen with everything you need to whip up your own meal. Oasis shopping center is located a short walk away so you can stock up on supplies at the local supermarkets and take advantage of saving few dollars.

The other benefit of the location is that you are next to the recently installed tram line. This can take you all the way up to Gold Coast University Hospital in Southport (not that you will have any reason to go there of course) and currently finishes at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, which is pretty much walking distance from Peppers. The places you can benefit from visiting by tram is Surfers Paradise, the annual GC600 Supercars event (if you happen to be in town for this) and Main Beach/Marina Mirage.

If I haven’t already convinced you with location, the facilities at this particular hotel are one of the best I have been in, particularly for families. The apartments are a very generous size.  There are two swimming pools, one which is has a permanent roof half covering it. Both heated to a warm 27 degrees so even in winter, on a sunny day I was swimming comfortably.   The gymnasium is huge and very impressive for a hotel if you feel so inclined whilst travelling. There is a games room for the kids (or big kids – no judgment here) equipped with pinball machines and various other great amusement games, a Zen garden (although honestly, who needs it with all this relaxing and holidaying going on) and my favorite and what was the deal breaker for me, a huge private cinema. I’m not sure exactly how many people this holds, but you book it for private use and we had 13 of my daughters friends come and watch a movie and hang out one night. Was absolutely fantastic. The hotel has a great range of DVD’s you can borrow, or you are welcome to bring your own. I booked it in prior to arrival to ensure we had it at the times I wanted, just in case.

It’s amazing how you feel like you have been far away even though you have only just travelled down the road when you stay in a hotel. It’s so nice to be pampered by others and not have to do anything. If you’re anything like me, when I am at home, there is always something that I can be doing whether it be washing, cleaning, office work, I find it so hard to switch off, so a hotel forces you to stop. The great benefit of being in your home town is obviously ease and cost. You can just load up the car with EVERYTHING you need, no luggage restrictions or worries and no long drives or flights to have to contend with.

I hope I have convinced you to take a break, even if only for one night, whatever you can manage and even if you are not lucky enough to be from the Gold Coast like me, if you are coming here, I highly recommend you choose Peppers for your stay. What a fabulous weekend.