Queensland Resort Report

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Besides the world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, Queensland’s other assets are gorgeous white sandy beaches and perfect sunny weather. It’s no wonder Australia’s sunshine state attracts huge numbers of visitors each year. From urban chic to rural hip, there’s a Queensland resort to suit everyone. 

There’s an abundance of island resorts, vibrant city hotels, quirky places to stay in dusty outback towns and ecotourism escapes in lush tropical rainforests. So if you’re feeling like you need a treat there’s a luxurious sun lounge for you in one of these Queensland resorts.

Queensland resorts are right up there with the best luxury escapes in the world

Best Queensland Resorts

Queensland resorts  in Tropical North Queensland

In Tropical North Queensland relax and feel the sand between your toes, drink cocktails and lounge around the pool.

From Cairns to the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef, Tropical North Queensland has some wonderful luxury resorts to choose from.

From shopping in Port Douglas to an adventure in the Daintree Rainforest, there are gorges to explore, waterfalls, lakes, farms and markets.

1- Riley Hotel

riley brisbane
One of the newest resorts in Queensland is the Riley Hotel in Cairns.

The newest Luxury hotel in Cairns brings more than a dash of city flair to the tropical north.

Riley is a gleaming white tower on the Cairns waterfront with rooms that come equipped with all trimmings you’d expect in a 21st-century pad. 

From recycled cardboard coat hangers to sustainable wooden room keys and Apple iPad control centre, facilities are designed to be environmentally friendly. 

Part of the Crystalbrook Collection, there are three new restaurants including a whiskey bar and an even though there are lots of fun things to do in Cairns, you’ll want to spend time around Riley’s inviting lagoon-style pool. 


2- InterContinental Hayman Island

luxury resorts queensland
One & Only is a luxurious Queensland resort on Hayman Island.

InterContinental Hayman Island is possibly the most luxurious resort on a Queensland island.

Rooms are in the Hayman, Pool and Beach Wings and at the top of the range, there are the Hayman Penthouses.

Pool rooms have views over the massive signature pool and ground-level rooms have direct access to the pool for a lazy morning swim.

All the Penthouses have views of the Coral Sea and Whitsunday Islands.

Splurge out and check into the Three-Bedroom Owner’s Penthouse.

It is a spacious abode with a large sitting room and dining area, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, kitchenette, bar and wrap around balcony.

Of course, it comes with complimentary in-room bar, internet access and a butler.


Read this post for more ideas on what to do in Queensland 

3- Lizard Island

great barrier reef holidays
Lizard Island is one of the best Queensland resorts for a Great Barrier Reef escape but it comes at a price.
best queensland resorts
Great Barrier Reef Holidays don’t get any better than this.

Fancy being marooned on a luxurious island resort on the Great Barrier Reef with all the champagne you can drink?

Voted as having the Best Leisure Facilities by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine UK and a regular on the Conde Nast Traveller Gold Lists, Lizard Island is a favourite with those who enjoy the finer things in life.

Fringed with colourful coral reefs, it’s one of the few places in Australia where you can snorkel straight off the beach and be impressed by the coral and colourful fish.

Accommodation is in a range of villas and the service is attentive yet discreet.

The resort’s contemporary design is luxurious but understated, blending with its natural environment.

The décor is all timber, glass and muted tones. Sliding glass doors lead out onto beachfront verandas with solid timber daybeds and deck chairs.

Unlimited French champagne, gourmet meals and fine Australian wines are included in the rate. A highlight is the seven-course degustation menu and matching wine.

Splurge on The Villa atop a ridge with the best view of Sunset Beach and the Coral Sea.

How much? The Villa costs from $5,200 a night.

For more islands in the tropical north, have you considered Green Island or Fitzroy Island

4- Alamanda Palm Cove

luxury resorts queensland
For a luxury resort holiday in Queensland, head to Palm Cove.

If a pampering escape to Queensland’s spa capital sounds like your idea of bliss, then check into Alamanda Palm Cove.

Located in Palm Cove, the resort is a 20-minute drive from Cairns and a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

Should views of the Coral Sea and palms swaying on the beach fail to instantly melt your stress away, then a pampering session at the spa will surely do the trick?

A soothing foot wipe and a herbal drink followed by skilled ministrations of a therapist ought to have you floating in seventh heaven.

luxury resorts queensland
Can you picture yourself on a Queensland resort vacation sipping champagne in the pool?

Suites come in a choice of one, two and three bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening onto wide patios and tropical gardens.

Splurge out on the four-bedroom Alamanda suite for top-of-the-range luxury escape with a private swimming pool, sun terrace and barbecue.

How much? Alamanda Suite costs from $1066 a night.


5- Qualia

best queensland resorts
Qualia is one of the luxury Queensland resorts you might never want to leave.

Is a luxurious break on a tropical island in the Great Barrier Reef your idea of heaven?

Hamilton Island’s qualia ticks all the luxury boxes.

qualia is exclusive, luxurious and right on the doorstep of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

A picnic lunch on a private beach where a staff member leaves you with an icebox of gourmet goodies, chilled champagne and suntan lotion is a Robinson Crusoe experience to write home about.

The most important item is the two-way radio with someone at the other end to deliver more chilled champagne whenever you need it.

The resort is located on the secluded northernmost point of the island.

The spacious architect-designed timber and stone pavilions come with private sundecks or infinity-edge plunge pools.

Facilities include a library, private dining room, two bars and restaurants, two swimming pools and a fitness centre.

How much?

The ultimate retreat is the $4000-a-night Beach House, which has a perfect setup for entertaining guests in the 10-seat dining room, a full-sized swimming pool and separate guesthouse. 


6- Woodwark Bay

north queensland
Woodwark Bay is the Queensland resort away from home.

Can you imagine having 1618 hectares of private lush tropical rainforest, manicured gardens, gushing waterfalls and a tranquil deep freshwater lake all to yourself?

Add a personal chef, housekeeper and activities manager and you have a retreat fit for movie stars, royalty and chief executives (the King of Morocco stayed here!).

A main communal house and six private South Sea-style thatched cottages are decked out with original pieces such as an antique Russian chest, African wall hangings and Tibetan temple doors.

Each cottage is unique and some have open-air garden bathrooms.

The ultimate sleeping area is the Dream House with its cool limestone floors and a raised king-size bed positioned for gazing at the bay from a supine position.

The private property is bordered by 20,000 hectares of national parkland and offers complete privacy with no-one around to watch you swim or sunbake on the beach.

How much?

The entire property costs $15,500 a night (minimum four-night stay) and can accommodate 14 people. It includes meals and activities.

Have you been to a luxury resort in Queensland? Leave us a message and let us know your thoughts. 


Queensland resorts – Gold Coast

8- Q1

queensland luxury escapes
Queensland luxury escape in the sky.

The gleaming elevator doors slide open and in a mere 42 seconds, like a scene from Star Trek, I am transported from the ground floor to the 77th floor of the world’s tallest residential tower.

At the observation deck, the sky is awash with lilac hue while far below me, the surrounding lights from the high-rise buildings of the Gold Coast twinkle in the dusk.

At 322.5m and 80 storeys tall – taller than the Eiffel Tower – the 526-unit Q1 Resort & Spa is one of the most impressive luxury apartments on the Gold Coasts and is the 20th highest building in the world.

Everything about Q1 is futuristic.

On the 42nd floor, I tap my keycard on the security strip and swing open the door of a spacious two-bedroom apartment with white walls, funky black-and-white leather couches, space-aged designer chairs and gleaming stainless steel tables accentuated by bright red unusually shaped ottomans.

The ocean-facing sunroom has a view of sunbathers on the Gold Coasts’ main beach, Surfers Paradise, which is just a short stroll away.

Luxury apartments come equipped with sleek open-plan kitchens and internal laundries thoughtfully included for longer stays.

There are two lagoon-style pools, an indoor lap pool and a poolside café.

Its spa prides itself in providing a uniquely Australian experience that combines ancient Aboriginal Dreamtime therapies with the latest spa technology.

Australian-made Li’Tya products with pure ingredients gathered from the bush – such as quandong hair masks and macadamia facial creams – are a feature.

Besides access to Australia’s amusement parks, Q1 is perfectly situated to take advantage of Queensland’s best nightlife, top-quality international restaurants and great shopping.

Q1 has one, two and three-bedroom serviced apartments.


9- Ruffles Lodge & Spa

Luxury resorts queensland
Get comfortable with lovely views at this Queensland resort in the Gold Coast hinterland.

With distant views of the Gold Coast, Peppers Ruffles Lodge & Spa is romantic and cosy hinterland escape with great views and fabulous food.

The view is particularly stunning from the Owners Villa, which was originally a private home for the owners.

It’s a one- or two-bedroom villa that looks across the hinterland towards the Gold Coast. It has a private garden, large living room and fully equipped kitchen.

The decor echoes the natural environment, with natural timbers and warm interiors.


10- Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise

Luxury accomodation Queensland
The Gold Coast has no shortage of sleek city pads.

If you have a head for heights, you’ll get a buzz staying in the four-bedroom sub-penthouse at Soul Surfers Paradise.

It’s one of the sleekest luxury hotels on the Gold Coast.

From far above you’ll have a bird-eye view of the beaches and ocean at Surfers Paradise. It’s absolute beachfront and luxuriously furnished.

Facilities include an impressive swimming podium with striking beach views and one of the Gold Coast’s best restaurants.

Seaduction Restaurant + Bar is an elegant two-hatted multi-award winning restaurant.

The four-bedroom sub-penthouse from $1,649 per night is based on a three-night minimum stay and includes a bottle of Moet and hamper full of goodies.


11- The Star Gold Coast

Luxury hotels Queensland
Jupiters is an entertainment hub as well as a Queensland resort to stay at for a fun time.

To prepare for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Jupiters Hotel & Casino embarked on a $345 million refurbishment that included a six-star luxury hotel tower with its own entrance fronting the Gold Coast Highway, new contemporary restaurants and bars including outdoor areas and a complete transformation of the existing 592-room hotel and facilities.

Now, the former Jupiters Hotel has rebranded as The Star Gold Coast and of all the luxury hotels on the Gold Coast, this is the one to watch.

Now there are two hotels – The Star Grand, a 596-room luxury hotel, and The Darling, a boutique hotel with 56 suites and luxurious furnishings. 


12- Palazzo Versace

Luxury resorts queensland
A grand Queensland resort with European style is the place to be seen.

The world’s first hotel branded by an international fashion house is naturally a magnet for rock stars, celebrities and fashion-conscious royalty.

This extravagant palace of glitz and glamour was the first of 15 Palazzo Versace hotels to roll out around the world.

Everything including the towels, glasses, sheets and soft upholstery in the 200 elegant rooms and suites has the Versace logo.

The resort has three award-winning restaurants, a day spa fit for the Hollywood jet set, gymnasium and event facilities designed to impress.

You can get a taste the rock star lifestyle with the new Water Salon experience, which will have you lounging glamorously by the 65m heated outdoor lagoon pool on a custom-made Versace daybed behind sheer white curtains in a private Versace cabana.

Splurge on the Imperial Suite, which has a balcony that overlooks the pool.

The master bedroom has a king-sized custom made bed and walk-in closet.

There’s a private dining room with butler service on request. It also comes with a private cabana by the 65m lagoon-style pool.


13- Peppers Broadbeach

The best thing about Peppers Broadbeach is it’s located in one of the trendiest areas of Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Located in the Gold Coast’s uber-hip Oracle precinct, Peppers Broadbeach has luxurious apartments in two towers.

It’s within walking distance from the beach and the complex has a heated pool with an outdoor spa, lap pool, gym, sauna and steam room.

For rainy days, be quick to book the private cinema available to guests.

Apartments are luxurious and well-appointed. The decor is sleek and chic.

My two-bedroom apartment was a luxury pad with fabulous ocean views.

Peppers Broadbeach is close to the beach and it has a heated pool with an outdoor spa, lap pool, gym, sauna and steam room.

There’s a private cinema, which is available to guests (bring your own movie and snacks).

We really liked the free iPad offered to us for the duration of our stay and the complimentary WiFi.

Splurge on the Sub Penthouse on Level 48 in Tower 1, which is a super chic three-bedroom apartment with three bathrooms, a media room and a spacious contemporary living area with floor-to-ceiling glass that brings the ocean inside.


Luxury Resorts – Brisbane area

14- Spicers Peak Lodge, Scenic Rim 

queensland luxury escapes

Having won awards Queensland’s most luxurious accommodation multiple times, Spicers Peak Lodge should definitely be on the bucket list if you’re looking for a serious luxury getaway.

The location near Main Range National Park is stunning and it’s not that far from Brisbane.

The lodge sits high on the Scenic Rim and consists of the main building with 10 suites and a separate two-bedroom ultra-luxurious lodge.

Suites have bluestone fireplaces, king beds, complimentary mini-bar and large screen LED TV’s.

The Peak restaurant offers a menu of a la carte fine dining as well as five-course degustation menus.

From de-stressing in Spa Anise to going on an adventurous mountain biking ride, there are plenty of activities to choose from. 

The two-level two-bedroom lodge is away from the main building in a private location at the edge of the escarpment with stunning views of Spicers Gap and the valleys below.

It has private outdoor infinity spas, outdoor chaise lounges, wood-fuelled fires and top-notch technology such as LED televisions with surround sound and iPod docking stations.

The two-bedroom lodge costs from $2399 per night (for up to four adults).

As I steer my 4WD towards the hills, the gravel road meanders over cattle grids through lush green paddocks and thick eucalypt forests where wallabies scuttle among the trees.

I eventually emerge onto a mountain clearing where the architecturally imposing Spicer’s Peak Lodge beckons invitingly.

When I step into the main lounge room, I instantly feel like I am in a private country club. There is a baby grand piano in one corner, coffee tables with glossy books and an open bar.

Soft comfortable couches are positioned around a huge stone fireplace with the Latin inscription chiselled on a wooden beam translated to mean “The best and most beautiful support in life is friendship”.

Floor-to-ceiling glass panels provide access to a picturesque view of forested hills and green pastures dotted with cattle.

Heavy timber beams soar to a mezzanine level where there is a billiard table, comfortable reading nooks and a walkway that leads to an outdoor observation deck.

Historical elements are incorporated into its design with many of the walls constructed from hand-hewn stone blocks carried from Scotland as ballast in sailing ships, once used to build warehouses along the Port Adelaide wharves.

The culinary experience at Spicers Peak Lodge is one of its highlights, with a nightly seven-course degustation dinner accompanied by fine Australian wines chosen to complement each course.

Another highlight is the 20-minute walk to Ryan’s Lookout, where there is a stunning view of the valley, as is the indulgence of watching the fiery crimson sunset from the heated outdoor spa with a glass of champagne in hand.

With only 10 elegantly decorated rooms, Spicers Peak Lodge is an intimate experience.


15- Inchcolm Hotel & Suites

Luxury hotels Queensland

The term vintage luxe describes Inchcolm Hotel & Suites, which offers a dash of Scottish heritage in the heart of busy Brisbane.

The décor is a blend of old and new and the location at 73 Wickham Terrace is close to Brisbane’s CBD and Fortitude Valley.

This is one of Brisbane’s newer luxury hotels.

Inchcolm Hotel & Suites (named after Dr John Thomson’s home in Scotland’s Inchcolm Island) recently emerged from an $8 million refurbishment.

There are one- and two‐bedroom suites as well as Brisbane’s first loft‐style hotel suites.

The décor in Thomson’s Reserve Restaurant and the sophisticated Socialites Bar captures the glamour of the Charleston era and whisks you back to the socialite scene of Brisbane’s 1920s.

The old cage lift, which was an original feature of the building, has been restored.

Loft-style suites start from $640 a night.


16- The Emporium

Brisbane’s hip Emporium retail precinct in Fortitude Valley is home to the trendy Emporium Hotel. Rooms are stylish and packed with technology.

Think Bose sound systems, large plasma TVs and wireless internet.

Bathrooms are luxurious marble and come with Molton Brown products, fluffy bathrobes with matching slippers and a pillow options menu.

The rooftop terrace with its 15m outdoor heated saltwater lap pool, sauna and sunbaking lounges is worth checking out. It’s right in the midst of a precinct with fabulous restaurants and cafes.

Suites are stylish and funky and decorated with antiques and contemporary artworks.

Splurge on a Deluxe Corner Suite, which are two-roomed suites with a king-sized bed in one room while the second room has a lounge suite, dining area, couch, coffee table and dining table.


Luxury Resorts – Sunshine Coast

17- Spicers Clovelly

Luxury hotels and resorts in Queensland


Just a dash of provincial French charm awaits in the hills of Montville.

Spicers Clovelly is a romantic French themed getaway in the Sunshine Coast.

The Long Apron is well-known for its food experiences.

Highlights include fresh-baked croissants, cooking classes and degustation menus.

Montville is the spot for walking, shopping and long lazy picnics.

The best room in the house is the French Cottage (of course!), which is the accommodation to book if you’re planning a weekend with friends and family.

It has three bedrooms, two marble bathrooms, kitchen and oh-so-chic French furnishings.


Queensland Family Resorts

Travelling with the family?

There are some places that are better than others when travelling with kids.

Fortunately for you, Queensland is one of them so here are eight resorts for families in Queensland. 

18- BIG4 Adventure, Whitsundays

resorts for families in queensland
Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

With the largest lagoon pool (at 32m) in Airlie Beach, the kids will find it difficult to leave this resort. And there are ample activities to keep the children engaged, such as scavenger hunts, beading and colouring competitions.

The weekly outdoor movie is a highlight of this resort.


19- Paradise Resort, Gold Coast

This is where you’re unlikely to see your children because pure paradise is here for those who like to have fun.

To begin with, even the accommodation is intended for kids with a junior bunkhouse room featuring bunk beds, television and Playstation 2.

The Z4K Kids Club holds a range of supervised sessions including arts and crafts and something a little bit more energetic with disco on ice nights, an adventure playground and the Z4K Water Park or for those who like frozen thrills, an ice rink and a teen zone.

20- Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast

hotels in brisbane
Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland & Peter Lik

A nirvana for families, the resort has its very own circus school.

The whole family gets a chance to learn new skills at Cirque Espace like trapeze flying, tightwire walking and juggling — all with trained professionals at the helm.

What’s more, children aged between two and 12 years of age are also cared for at Kidz Cove with a range of activities such as face painting, disco and party nights and popcorn and movie nights.

21- O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Gold Coast Hinterland

Young wildlife warriors will be in their element at this retreat that offers an Eco Rangers program for children between the ages of four and 14 years.

Activities for the lessons about the environment include bush walks, rainforest adventure, night-time spotlighting and bush camp.

Most amazing are the arts and crafts made from items collected from the forest floor.

22- Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island

hotels in brisbane
Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland & PeterLik

Another good idea is to enrol the talented young wildlife enthusiasts in your family in the Junior Eco Rangers program on the world’s largest sand island.

On Fraser Island, children will be given the opportunity to take bush and beach walks.

They’ll learn about mangroves and tidal zones, listen to Aboriginal legends, sing campfire songs and go stargazing.

Then there’s learning how to identify different leaves, canoeing, spotlighting for bats, sugar gliders and frogs.

As a World Heritage-listed destination, all developments on the world’s largest sand island have to be environmentally friendly.

Kingfisher Bay Resort is an ecotourism leader with a host of eco-friendly activities.

There’s a junior eco-rangers club for the kids and a back-of-house tour of the sewage-treatment plant, worm farm, herb garden and native-foods garden.


23- Novotel Palm Cove Resort, Palm Cove

hotels in brisbane
Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland & Peter Lik

This is one Tropical North Queensland resort that delights in being ultra family friendly.

Trained professionals oversee both indoor and outdoor activities while children will be happily occupied with arts and crafts, movie nights, pool games and water bomb wars.

This then will leave the parents ample time to play a relaxing game of golf or relax in the day spa.

24- Crocodylus Village, Daintree Rainforest

Adults and kids will love the heart of this enchanted rainforest. Children between the ages of four and 15 years can join the free Rainforest Action Warrior (RAW) Club.

Countless activities aim to educate everyone about the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest.

There’s also a swimming pool, board games, books and plenty of lush rainforests to explore through bush tucker talks, cassowary and crocodile gatherings and waste management expeditions.

25- Hamilton Island, Whitsundays

hotels in gold coast
Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland & Eddie Safarik

There’s so much to see and do here with an immense range of activities for the young ones.

The Clownfish Club is a kids club and a childcare facility for those aged six weeks to 14 years.

Primary school kids might like quad biking, golf clinics and water sports, while pre-schoolers can join supervised activities like cuddling a koala at the island’s wildlife park.

Teenagers (and adults) can release some adrenaline at Palm Valley or play golf, take an art class or even visit the spa for some well-earned relaxation.

Eco-friendly Queensland Resorts 

Looking for a sustainable tourism resort? Here are some spots in Queensland.

26- Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, Lady Elliot Island

Green Travel
Photo: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Snorkel, swim or dive at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

This pristine spot has some of the state’s most amazing marine life.

Guests are encouraged to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the island’s waste management systems, water desalination plant and energy production.

The resort’s solar hybrid power station has reduced its diesel consumption by 70%.

27- Green Island Resort

The only coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest, Green Island is a treasure trove of native plants and colourful birds. And the marine life and coral gardens are wonderful too.

Green Island Resort produces its own water and power.

Its ‘Be Green Go Green’ programme offers visitors the chance to learn about the island’s environment.

Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises operates day cruises to Green Island.

The company is the first major Great Barrier Reef Marine Park tourism operator to reduce its carbon footprint to zero.

They achieved this by reducing emissions and then offsetting the remaining emissions through Greenfleet Australia who in turn plant native trees as part of its Federal Government certified offsetting program.

28- Hidden Valley Cabins, Hidden Valley

Green Travel
Photo: Hidden Valley Cabin

Northwest of Townsville, Hidden Valley Cabins was the first resort in Australia to become carbon neutral.

Guided tours of their solar energy system are as popular as hiking, nocturnal night walks and platypus tours.

The staff have a passion for renewable energy and love to educate guests about their achievements and setbacks using the technology.

29- Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Port Douglas

Green Travel
Photo: Thala Beach Lodge

The location is picture-perfect with breathtaking views of untouched coastline.

Thala Beach Nature Reserve was constructed from natural sustainable materials in a low-impact style that blends into the landscape.

Guests stay in timber bungalows built on stilts with balconies that offer sightings of birds, butterflies, possums and sugar gliders.

Guided tours include a unique coconut tour, tree planting, nature walks and bird-watching.


30- Heron Island Resort 

Green Travel

This Great Barrier Reef coral cay is home to thousands of noddy terns and shearwater mutton birds.

Heron Island resort’s guest programme offers environmental education delivered in a fun and interesting way.

The Junior Ranger Program teaches children about the environment and wildlife by allowing them to participate in hands-on activities.

Queensland Resort Report

Queensland Resort Report

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Christina Pfeiffer Travel Writer
Christina Pfeiffer is a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia. She has lived in three continents and her career as a travel journalist has taken her to all seven continents. Since 2003, she has contributed travel stories and photographs to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. She has won many travel writing awards and is a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.