Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa Gold Coast
I choose the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa because the pools looked beautiful on the Starwood Website and because there was a spa. Two things required for any vacation. Being directly on the beach was a bonus.
The hotel has become notorious for its snake fence – yes, that’s right, I said snake fence. A thick glass wall encircles the resort – theoretically keeping the poisonous Eastern Brown Snake, the second most deadly snake in Australia – outside of the resort. The snakes nest in the sand dunes located outside of the resort. Thankfully, I did not encounter any snakes on this trip.
The hotel is currently undergoing renovations to its rooms and common areas. I was not lucky enough to get a renovated room, however I was “upgraded” to an Oasis Room on the first floor which included a small patio overlooking the oasis pools. The room was very large and had a king size bed (well, actually it was two double beds pushed together,) a small sofa pull out and a chaise lounge. There was also a small breakfast table with two chairs and a work desk with Ethernet cable. The bathroom was definitely the highlight of the room – a large marble bathroom with a soaking tub and shower.
There were some drawbacks to the room – first, there were no blackout shades or privacy shades on the windows or sliding glass doors. The sliding glass doors were covered by wooden slat blinds and when the sun rose at 4:45 a.m. the room was filled with light (so wakeup calls weren’t necessary). Second, my room faced the restaurant and conference rooms and main walkway to the reception area, so I constantly had to close the wooden blinds for privacy, blocking the lovely oasis view.
One thing to note is the speed of the internet connection (wired and wireless) at the hotel and in the room. It was painfully slow and had I been on business, wouldn’t have been workable.
The hotel has 1 restaurant, a bar and a swim-up pool bar. The restaurant, Terraces, is a buffet but also has an a la carte menu. When I arrived late on a Sunday evening, I tried to go to Terraces, but was told that reservations were required and there was a two hour wait for a table. I was directed to the bar, Oysters, where they served food as well. I was not impressed with the sandwich I got there. Room service was another option for food at the hotel. Overall, I was shocked at the prices – $26 for a club sandwich, $28 for a burger, $28 for a margarita pizza, $19 for a cup of soup (though it did come with bread) $25 for a Caesar salad, $35 with Salmon, Chicken or Prawns, $45 for the beef filet, $43 for Asian duck. A side of garlic bread was $10. For dessert, you could get a chocolate brownie with butterscotch sauce for $21. At the pool bar, all cocktails were $18 and non-alcoholic beverages were $6 (no refills.) The other options were to walk across the street to the Mirage Marina and dine there (good choices) or to take a bus or taxi to Surfers Paradise.
The Pool & Beach
The pool looks huge on the website, but the majority of what you’re seeing on the website are the oasis pools and not the swimming pool. On the first day of my stay there were not enough lounge chairs (or any kind of chairs) at the pool. After about 20 minutes of wandering, I finally got a chair.
On my second day, the situation was much better and on the third day, the pool area had a makeover (I assume part of the renovations) and there were dozens of new chairs, new chair cushions and umbrellas added. The pool bar staff spent most of the time I was at the pool moving the chairs and tables around (it was entertaining) I guess they were excited about all the new chairs and tables too.
The beach was very private and looked nice, but unfortunately during my stay the weather wasn’t great and the ocean was very choppy. I didn’t venture in.
The spa is not part of the hotel, but directly next door and does allow room charges. The spa, which is connected to the gym and next to the tennis courts, is very nice. It provides a very tranquil atmosphere. I got a manicure and pedicure and was very happy – though as with everything in Australia – it was very expensive. This is not a spa destination – rather a hotel with a spa next door. If you’re looking for a spa retreat –this isn’t the right location.
Australia is very expensive and the Sheraton is extremely high priced – be prepared. I would love to see the Sheraton after the renovations are completed – I think it will significantly improve the hotel. What I saw on my visit made a great difference. In addition, as with most Australian hotels, a credit card fee of 1.5% will be added to all transactions settled by credit card, so be prepared for that fee. I wouldn’t rule out another stay at the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa, but I would probably try the hotels closer to Surfers Paradise first.