When asked by QT, one of Australia\u2019s coolest hotel chains, whether I\u2019d be interested in flying to the Queensland to experience their QT Gold Coast hotel for a weekend of eating, drinking, relaxation and beachside fun? The answer was simple - \u201cyes\u201d. And on that Friday evening, after a short 1hr flight from Sydney, I was in a car chatting Android vs Apple with my cheerful driver en route to the heart of Surfers Paradise to commence my stay at the hotel.\r\n\r\n \r\nThe Wow Factor\r\n\r\n\r\nAside from a well manicured garden, I couldn\u2019t spot any obvious signs of grandeur, as my car approached the hotel. The building\u2019s exterior simply blended in with the typical Gold Coast high-rise architecture common throughout the neighbourhood. The building\u2019s interior on-the-other hand, was an entirely different story.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAs soon as I stepped through the entrance any misconceptions of mediocrity were immediately dispelled. The interior of the QT was a visual delight. Walking through the lobby, all I wanted to do was stand and stare. If you\u2019ve never heard the phrase \u201cdesign hotel\u201d, all you need to do is take a quick stroll through the foyer of the QT Gold Coast and it immediately all makes sense.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe hotel's\u00a0aesthetic combines sleek contemporary styling, with a fun 60\u2019s-inspired beach vibe. Every fixture, finish and furnishing is\u00a0meticulously executed. Features include rich timbers, bright modern furniture pieces, the\u00a0nostalgic touch of some funky retro elements\u00a0and even a mesmerising digital artwork statement piece thrown in the mix. The exceptionally curated mash-up of old, new and eccentric, creates a refreshingly fun environment.\r\n\r\n \r\nTime to Eat\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter being wowed by the spectacle of the hotel\u2019s design and mentally unwound by a couple of pre-dinner brews, it was time to grab a bite at QT\u2019s Yamagen Japanese restaurant. Yamagen is a Gold Coast culinary institution, having existed in the QT building for many years prior to QT opening its doors. Unlike the decor of the rest of the hotel, the Yamagen restaurant has maintained its authentic Japanese look and feel.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter being seated, sushi master Yoshi was out back slicing up the fish, whilst restaurant manager Miakawa was hanging out at our table serving\u00a0up an impromptu lesson in the art of \u00a0sake tasting.\r\nMiakawa\u2019s Sake Fact 1#\r\nThe reason people drink their sake warm is to mask the taste of a bad sake. Always buy good sake and always drink it cold.\r\nAfter the first course of sushi, seafood and tempura, it was time for teppanyaki. Our table\u2019s teppanyaki chef put on a show masterfully chopping and tossing our food around with blade skills reminiscent of a samurai warrior. The food was sumptuous and the service was attentive (and thanks to manager Miakawa it was also educational).\r\n\r\nOverall my favourite dish was the Tempura Moreton Bay Bug; a wonderful fusion between Japanese and Australian cuisine.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter a feast of Japanese food and sake there was only one honourable thing left to do, which was say goodbye to the antique samurai warrior statue sitting in the corner and head to QT\u2019s Stingray Lounge for a nightcap.\r\n\r\nAfter a couple of cheeky gin and tonics it was time to retire to bed, but this would not be the final encounter with the Stingray Lounge...\r\n\r\n \r\nRoom with a View\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter a big night of fun, piercing rays of sunlight beaming through my window, are usually\u00a0an unwelcome sight. However, when staying in an east facing room in an upper floor of the QT Gold Coast, it\u2019s quite the opposite. Waking up to the glorious autumn sun rising over a tranquil Pacific ocean, was quite a blissful moment. I relished in my previous night\u2019s decision not to draw the curtains before bed.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWith a clear mind (the effects of the previous night\u2019s beer, sake and gin having worn-off) I got a chance to properly inspect the QT King Ocean Room that I was sleeping in. Similar to the foyer, the funky, designer feel also extends into the hotel rooms. Additionally, if you find that you\u2019ve fallen in love with any items in your room such as the striped beach towels, or if your QT King bed was so comfortable that you want one for yourself, there\u2019s no need to just stare them, many items in the room can actually be purchased.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNo matter how much pleasure I took in admiring all the cool pieces that made up the room, the real icing on cake was hanging out on my\u00a0private balcony and gazing out at the ocean waves as they gently rolled onto the sun-soaked shore.\r\n\r\n \r\nBreakfast at Bazaar\r\n\r\n\r\nThe best thing about breakfast dining at QT\u2019s Bazaar, is I could eat almost any breakfast food I could think of. Bacon, eggs, pastries, Chinese dumplings, fruit, toast? Done. Choose your own omelette ingredient while the chef cooks it for it you? No problem. It\u2019s all there. Most people would call this a buffet, but the QT aren\u2019t most people, they refer to Bazaar as an \u201cinteractive marketplace\u201d. Either way, I definitely walked out of that place satisfied and well nourished.\r\n\r\n \r\nSpa Q\r\n\r\n\r\nNext stop, spa treatment. If you\u2019re like me and don\u2019t fully understand the meaning of \u201cspa treatment\u201d and the word \u201cpamper\u201d has never existed in your vocabulary, there\u2019s nothing to worry about. I had 20 mins in the steam room followed by a 1 hr massage, left there feeling as relaxed as tranquilised rhinoceros.\r\n\r\nAfter being touched by the healing hands of my massage therapist, it was time to head out of the hotel, spend some time at the beach and then back in the evening for a drink at the QT\u2019s Stingray Lounge.\r\n\r\n \r\nStingray Tequila\r\n\r\n\r\nThe QT describes the Stingray Lounge as having a \u201cluxe baja vibe\u201d. In addition to all the standard options you\u2019d find at an upmarket cocktail bar, Stingray has 45-50 different tequila and mezcal varieties on offer. I was lucky enough to join Bartender Jordan Melling,\u00a0Gold Coast\u2019s master of mezcal, \u00a0on\u00a0a tequila tasting session, as he schooled\u00a0us on how to properly appreciate tequila.\r\n\r\nI\u2019ve slammed many tequila shots in my time and just the thought of it often makes me gag. It turns out that the standard cheap and nasty tequila you find at your local bar, is just that; cheap and nasty. After sampling the likes the of Herradura tequila range it was quickly learned that a fine tequila is actually a delicious stand-alone drink. It\u2019s a drink to be respected, sipped and savoured just like you would do with a fine whisky.\r\n\r\n \r\nBazaar Interactive Marketplace Round II\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter a few tequilas it was back to Bazaar for a dinner time feast, and just like breakfast, the buffet\u2019s interactive marketplace\u2019s options were incredibly vast. Whether you feel like meat, seafood, stir fry, salad there\u2019s so much to choose from. Just remember to save some room for some post dinner beverages from Stingray.\r\n\r\n \r\nBack to The Stingray Lounge\r\nThe appeal of Surfers Paradise\u2019 nightlife has been somewhat tarnished over the years. Everyone has heard a cringeworthy story or two about some debaucherous misadventures which have taken place along the infamous Cavil Avenue strip. Contrary to the reputation of the suburb, QT\u2019s Stingray Lounge, whilst being located in Surfer\u2019s Paradise, is a much welcome refuge from the calamity of Cavil Ave. It attracts a good crowd and a creates a fun atmosphere. Whether staying in the hotel or not, Stingray Lounge is my first choice for a Saturday night drink in Surfers Paradise.\r\n\r\n \r\nVerdict\r\n\r\n\r\nOn my flight home, reflecting upon the fun weekend that was, I began to think of the reasons why my stay at the QT Gold Coast was so enjoyable. Was it my room\u2019s ocean view? The short stroll to the beach? The relaxing massage? The cool furniture? The mouthwatering food? The king sized bed? All these elements were great, but the thing that really made it special was the vibe and energy that the QT Gold Coast exhibits.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe character of the QT Gold Coast is quirky and chic. It\u2019s glamorous, whilst playful. It\u2019s sophisticated, yet unpretentious. They\u2019ve delivered on all the things that you would expect from an upmarket hotel, and they\u2019ve added that extra QT twist. It\u2019s a great place to relax and unwind and I\u2019d highly recommend to stay at the QT Gold Coast when planning a trip to that area.