5 Stars JW Marriott – Gold Coast

As self-confessed hotel nerds who love signature scents, beds that hug you, and breakfast buffets to die for, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to bliss out for a long weekend at the luxury JW Marriott (formerly Surfers Paradise Marriott). Prior to the major $35 million renovations and rebrand, we had always wanted to stay and experience the famous lagoon pool. It is home to 300 tropical fish. Yes, that’s right, you can snorkel in a hotel pool (mind blown). We were thrilled they decided to keep this tropical setting because it’s certainly a drawcard and much loved by everyone from singles, couples, and families.

We took advantage of a 3-night package that also included a $100 credit to use for meals and a complimentary bottle of sparkling. The room type we experienced was their Junior Suite (thanks to a complimentary upgrade), which didn’t feel junior to us. It was exceptional, located on the 27th floor with sweeping views of the ocean and overlooking the lagoon pool and gardens.

The Junior Suite

The room was spacious with high-end fixtures and fittings. It felt so new we could have easily been the first ones to have stayed in the room. The layout was thoughtful, providing you space to lounge and relax away from the bedroom as well as a balcony setting for some fresh sea breeze. Bathrooms can be a hit or miss and this was certainly a hit for us. There was room to burn, boasting a deep and deluxe bath to relax and unwind, a generous rain shower, and even a walk-in wardrobe. Amenities are something we always take an interest in and was over the moon to see the full-size 80ml bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, moisturiser – well you get the drift. There was even a loofah and (drum roll please), a Dyson hairdryer. Not sure Chris was as excited as I was, but I finally got to try one. Having long, thick hair, most hotel hair dryers just don’t cut it.

Chapter & Verse

This little gem of an outdoor-indoor bar was well utilised over the three days serving up entertainment, cocktails, and delectable delights that were certainly pleasing to the taste buds. The first night we arrived, we sat outside and enjoyed a bottle of prosecco along with some chicken baos with panko-crusted chicken with spicy sauce, pickled vegetables, coriander and crispy shallots. For dessert, we moved back indoors and had them whip up an espresso martini which was a great end to a relaxing evening.

Having had such a positive experience we were back for a late lunch the following day. We sat down for a drink and a fresh Mooloolaba prawn pizza with a homemade artisanal base, heirloom tomato sauce, lemon thyme and JW garden chilli flakes. The pizza was to die for.

The Saturday night had a great atmosphere as the hotel was fully booked. During what has been a challenging 18 months for the hotel industry, we were so happy to see them pumping with guests and a flurry of activity. We found a seat outside and enjoyed a beverage and listened to some local talent before our booking at the hotel’s Japanese restaurant Misono.


If you love Japanese then this one is for you offering a variety of experiences for diners. If you like to be entertained, they have the Misono’s teppan experience with all the charisma and theatrics you could poke a stick at. There was also a sushi bar, an a la carte menu and also a bar where you can enjoy some Japanese whisky.

We opted for the a la carte menu. The sashimi was fresh and delicious, the spicy tuna sushi rolls were packed with flavour, karaage chicken was tender, and edamame is always a winner. We were happy to see that Brokenwood was on the wine list (our wedding wine) and enjoyed a bottle between us. Dessert isn’t something that we usually would have, but when we saw wasabi chocolate mousse on the list we couldn’t resist. We just love wasabi and this didn’t disappoint.

Seafood Buffet

There wasn’t much eaten at the breakfast buffet on Saturday as we were saving ourselves for a seafood lunch. We just love seafood so made the most of eating fresh prawns, oysters, bugs, and salads whilst sipping away on their wine buffet. The wine buffet is of exceptional value at only $29 per head so even 3 drinks would cover your cost. Whether it is $29 all the time we are not sure, but this particular weekend it was. The table service was 5 star, with the food and beverage attendants very attentive and personable.

Seafood Buffet

Lagoon Pool

This pool was amazing and much larger than we had anticipated. Sand, saltwater, and tropical fish, all at the hotel for your to enjoy. Not to mention the pool bar for that holiday cocktail. We hired two snorkels which were at the charge of $10 each for 2 hours which we thought was reasonable. The kiosk also had pool noodles and sea scooters for hire.

We snorkelled for about an hour watching a variety of tropical fish swim around. There is something about saltwater and sand that is good for the soul.

Lagoon Pool

5 Bluebird Rating

JW Marriott you were amazing and pleased we choose you for our Ekka long weekend away. The refurbishment and rebrand complement the standard of service. Everyone was attentive from check-in to meal service to housekeeping staff in the hallways. We will certainly be visiting you again and can’t wait for our next stay. We give you 5 out of 5 bluebirds.