- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
We stayed for a couple of nights at the beginning of January. Our room was clean and relatively large, but a little dated. Most of the resort was showing signs of age, and is definitely not kept to the same standards as similar resorts in places like Bali. The pool was fantastic, although it would have been nice if there had been some more shade offered around the pool.
Most of the staff were lovely, however there were occasions where it felt as if we were treated as an annoyance rather than a valued customer. We weren't advised of any kids' activities when we checked in, and only found out about them by accident. The board that was used to advertised the activities was not kept up to date, so we had a disappointment one day when we turned up for the advertised activity only to find it had been the day before.
It's a nice enough place, but definitely showing its age. I doubt we would go back.
I've had a few false starts trying to write this review on account of how I came to stay at the Mercure Gold Coast resort and what, as it turns out, might just be an unfortunate circumstance - but ultimately a review can only be based on what I experienced and, well, what I experienced wasn't great. It wasn't even average.
To be fair, I experienced good service from all of the staff. Reception, bar, room service and randoms were all friendly and seemed eager to be of assistance I'm a pretty self-sufficient traveler though so I didn't really put any of them to the test, but from what I experienced it is the staff which help to make this property a 4.5 star resort - because nothing else about it would seem to qualify it as one. If they hadn't been at least as friendly as they were then it would have counted as a negative, so maybe I'm giving them too much credit.
There were, ultimately, more bads than goods associated with my stay and what I'll term 'bads' may be 'goods' for other people so read on and see what you're in for... Maybe you like that sort of thing...
I have no real right to complain about the location or, more to the point, the isolation of the resort. I booked it on a website and it was a mystery hotel deal so I thought the price was pretty good for a 4.5 star resort. It wasn't until I booked that I was told where I'd be staying and it wasn't until I filled the journey from Brisbane into the translink website that I realised just how long and tortuous would be the journey from Brisbane down to the resort. This was the first, and possibly last time I book a mystery hotel because, well, I think my major gripe is something that makes it unsuitable for this sort of a booking. If you have a car then you probably won't care about this, if you're happy to pay what (again according to the internets) is between $21 and $40 each way for a cab from Nerang train station you'll be sweet - but you probably don't book mystery hotels. Neither of these applied to me so when I eventually found my way to the resort it was following a bus ride (on a bus that runs hourly from the station) and a half-hour or so walk (from Carrara markets) which would have been impossible if I'd been lugging bags or balancing children and just awful if it had been raining or particularly hot. The only cover on the entire walk was when I walked under the main road via an underpass which you'd be crazy to go near in the dark unless you actually wanted to be murdered, bashed, robbed, raped or some combination of them. I later ascertained a slightly shorter walk (without the underpass adventure but still without any cover) can be had from a different bus stop if you go past Nerang station to Robina station and catch a train back to Carrara. Going home was basically the same thing in reverse, an hourly bus service to your chosen station - your choice how far you want to walk to get which bus and whether you want to go near the underpass. I think trolls live there.
It was, frankly, like some combination of Hotel California and 1408 you could check out if you wanted, but leaving was hard - you're literally a captive audience for drinks at the bar and food from the restaurant. Despite other reviews I've seen the food is reasonably good and not all of it is obscenely priced. Another change I have noted (based on the other reviews I've seen) is there's no longer a charge to bring your room service to your actual room - which given you've got Hobson's choice about where to eat, is good. I enjoyed my $18 burger.
The isolation is, naturally not really the fault of the resort but if you aren't aware of it then you're in for a surprise - so now you're aware of it. Another thing I found disappointing was that the website for the resort says they run a shuttle bus to select destinations in the area. Whether this used to be to Pacific Fair, the Carrara markets or local train stations is something I'm not privy to because when I rang though after booking I was told they'd recently discontinued the shuttle bus and hadn't updated the website yet... it was discontinued because not enough people used it, apparently. Going through some older reviews this doesn't look to have been as recent as made out. It would be prudent for the resort to give some clear directions about how best to actually get there from either Nerang or Robina station or suggest an indicative cab fare - but I'm a marketer, not a hotelier.
The room was nothing if not average. It was clean, but tired. Certainly not 4.5 stars. When I walked in the air conditioning was on about 9 degrees so I turned it off until I went to bed. When I actually did go to bed I turned it on again, adjusted the temperature and commenced an ongoing battle between ferocious heat and icy chill. I had other things to occupy my time, though. Free internet via a network cable in the room was helpful and kept me entertained for a while because unfortunately I couldn't get to sleep until after eleven because of what I (at the time) I thought was a party going on at the restaurant which primarily consisted of loud doof doof music and screaming. I discovered on check out when I mentioned it in passing that it wasn't from the resort but from a party on a neighbouring property - but the result was the same.
Other reviews on this site complain about noise and yep, it's a fact. At 3:30am the residents of the neighbouring room made their exit and in between slamming doors, talking and dragging suitcases along bumpy paths, well the sleep I had managed to fall into was broken. Back to the bus again, the resort does have a bus and maybe it does an airport run at about 4am because all over the complex I could hear doors opening and slamming and luggage being dragged along the path - I don't think it was a coincidence. A final point on noise, I was near the pool and the piercing sounds of children screaming seem to be par for the course in this place - maybe I'm just being grumpy but I had 3 goals for my night away from Brisbane where I was staying in a hostel for a fortnight while here to study. Quiet, air conditioning and a good night's sleep - I'm sorry to say I didn't get any of them, hence the bad review.
But at least I wasn't murdered, bashed, robbed or raped - that's a plus in anybody's book and pushed the review up a notch. I am, however, back in my Brisbane hostel and exhausted from the journey and lack of sleep - not quite the adventure I was looking for this weekend.