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ESCAPE WITH MATES

Written by JOSIE SARGENT



Escape the monotony of everyday life and embark on an unforgettable staycation with your squad. No need to worry about booking flights or renting a car - we've got the perfect destinations for a getaway with friends right here in the region.


Whether you're seeking a serene break in nature or sunset poolside cocktails in the city, we've curated a list of the best places to escape – so get ready for deep conversations, shared memories, and an epic adventure with your favourite people.


COSMOPOLITAN

qtQT

(As featured on our cover)

First up on our list is the ultimate cosmopolitan retreat - qtQT - cute cabins in the heart of Surfers Paradise. These cosy hideaways redefine the meaning of ‘cute’ with an impeccable attention to detail and luxurious amenities. From the robes and bedding from I Love Linen, to the Drift Candles from Currumbin, every aspect of your stay is designed to make you feel pampered. Gear up for a tech-detox because, happily, there's no TV in sight. Instead, you'll find coffee table books and board games to entertain yourselves while hanging chairs and sun loungers make the perfect spots for reading, relaxing and catching up. Pack your togs and make use of the iconic black and white tiled QT pool, with private cabanas available to settle in for the day with drinks and snacks. Book cabins with adjoining balconies for sunset drinks or hang out on the lush tropical terrace, which boasts an outdoor kitchen with grill, smoker and wood-fire oven for bespoke feasts. And, if there’s enough people in your group to book all the cabins (there are 6 in total), the whole rooftop is yours to enjoy. Book in a private Pilates or yoga session, a chef-curated group picnic, a fun cocktail masterclass, or grab one of QT’s complimentary bikes and go exploring. With Surfers Paradise's vibrant bars, restaurants and clubs just a short stroll away, the qtQT cabins are the perfect base with everything you need for an unforgettable getaway.

qtqtgoldcoast.com | @qtqtgoldcoast


Surfers Paradise

LUXE

Imperial Hotel

Walking through the airy, opulent foyer of The Imperial, luxury is omnipresent - from the giant crystal-chandelier suspended from the ceiling to the hand-crafted mosaics and bespoke furnishings. Continuing the legacy of Italian craftsmanship and style from its beginnings as the Palazzo Versace, this new chapter of five-star luxury has meant the hotel’s 200 rooms have been elegantly refurbished. Soak up the sophistication - there’s no need to leave the hotel. The 63m pool has its own white, sandy beach so make the most of it by booking a private cabana - complete with bubbles and indulgent snacks. In the evening, step out in your finest and enjoy a cocktail at Le Jardin before dining at Il Barocco Restaurant.

theimperialgc.com.au | @imperialhotelgc


Main Beach

RETRO VIBES

Cheshire Cat Motel

If you think highway motels mean itchy cigarette smoke-scented sheets and neon lights, prepare to be blown away. An original Gold Coast institution from the 1960s, the Cheshire Cat’s seven rooms have been lovingly renovated, serving up sleek, Art Deco style rooms, from doubles to two-bedroom bungalows. Book a few with your mates and enjoy the lush plunge pool, lined with cacti and an outdoor shower bearing a rainbow-shaped mantra - “wash your worries away”. The sand and surf of Palm Beach are just a 200m stroll away and, when the sun sets, there are restaurants and bars within stumbling distance.

cheshirecatmotel.com | @cheshire_cat_motel | Palm Beach


RAINFOREST RETREAT

Mouses Houses

If you’re needing a nature escape, head to the hills. The Mouses House Rainforest Retreat offers 14 wooden chalets nestled in World Heritage Listed, Springbrook National Park. Relax with a wine in front of the fireplace and listen to the gentle streams trickling nearby and the call of native birds. Some chalets boast private hot tubs to soak away the stress and reconnect with friends. During the day, hike through the surrounding Gondwana Rainforest, enjoy a spot of tennis or relax in the sauna.

mouseshouse.com.au | @mouseshouseretreat | Springbrook


ULTIMATE BEACHFRONT

Iconic Kirra Beach Resort

With salty sea breezes floating into your room and pristine sunlounges beckoning you poolside, it’s not hard to feel like you’re in a luxurious beachfront resort in the Bahamas. Cue, Iconic Kirra Beach Resort, where luxury meets relaxation. The stylish apartments - some with balconies perfect for sunset drinks - come in one-, two- or three-bedroom options. Here, the only thing stealing the attention from the modern interiors are the uninterrupted coastal views back over the Coral Sea to the high-rises of Surfers Paradise glinting in the distance. Take in Kirra Point, one of Australia’s most famous surf breaks, or laze in the 20m pool (heated in winter) and its inviting deck chairs, cook up a summer feast on the barbecue under the stars, or work out in the guest-only gym. It’s a home away from home and you and your mates will never want to leave.

iconickirra.com.au | @iconickirra | Coolangatta




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