Ask a concierge: Surfers Paradise, Australia

Tips for business travel to this seaside resort on Queensland’s Gold Coast

At the vocoTM Gold Coast, concierge Christopher McHarg has spent nearly nine years advising visitors on where to go, what to do and where to dine in this coastal suburb of City of Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Here he offers advice for business travelers.

What’s the most important thing for business travelers to pack?

Although Surfers Paradise offers sunshine in all seasons, a windbreaker or light sweater will fend off the wind and keep you comfortable in air-conditioned places. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are also essential, even on our rare overcast days. And, of course, don’t forget your swimsuit!

What are your top recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?

We have a fantastic restaurant at the hotel, Clifford’s Grill & Lounge, which is perfect for business dinners or special occasions. It has quirky décor, incredible food and large bay windows that open up the deck so you can enjoy our incredible Gold Coast evenings. In the nearby Cavill Mall, you’ll find a superb steak and seafood restaurant called Hurricane’s Grill & Bar. Alfresco Italian Restaurant, directly opposite the voco Gold Coast, is a family-owned, traditional eatery serving pasta, pizza and more.

What’s something that surprises visitors about your hotel?

The one thing that always surprises our guests—and I love telling them this—is that we make our own honey. The hotel has six beehives on the roof with 300,000 bees making honey. We use it in lots of recipes, including our honey and lavender shortbread given to each guest when they check in.

If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see in your city?

In Surfers Paradise, you’re never more than a 10-minute walk from our world-famous beaches. Hop on a tram or train to connect to other areas of the Gold Coast. Just down the coast are Burleigh and Kirra, both favorites with surfers. Outside of beaches, the incredible Gold Coast hinterland is home to stunning scenery and award-winning wineries. It gives you a totally different perspective on the Gold Coast.

What’s the best option for outdoor exercise?

Whether you’re a marathon runner or a casual jogger, the Esplanade in Surfers Paradise provides stunning ocean views, a cooling breeze and exercise equipment so you can work out along the way.

Concierge Christopher McHarg’s top tips for getting business right in Surfers Paradise:

  1. Arrive on time for appointments.
  2. Business meetings in Australia start with a firm handshake.
  3. Dining-out attire for business outings is typically smart casual.

Concierge Christopher McHarg

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