Tray Tables away

travel tips and tales for mature travellers

Australian getaways, Luxury travel, Queensland

Sand, Sculpture and The Star – a weekend on the Gold Coast

a weekend on the gold coast

Each year in September on Australia’s Gold Coast the Swell Sculptural Festival is held at beautiful Currumbin Beach. We finally made it down to enjoy some of the offerings, albeit on the last day. We had a great weekend on the Gold Coast and this is a quick review of how to make the most of a short stay for this event.


Gold Coast weekend

The Swell Sculpture Festival has over 50 sculptures by various artists from all over the world. This is a free exhibition and open all throughout the day over a 10 day period each September.

The program includes free live entertainment, artist talks, yoga experiences , various workshops, master classes and art training courses in clay, sculpture and plaster. There are also specific programs especially for children.

This renowned art exhibition is the largest outdoor art exhibition in Queensland and in previous years has included sculptures from a variety of countries including Germany, New Zealand and India.

After much success the Swell Sculpture Festival has become a must-see event on the Gold Coast and is held each September. Sadly it is over for this year but don’t forget to keep an eye out for information next spring !

Where we stayed

The Star ( formerly Jupiters Casino) has been undergoing a complete transformation and redevelopment for the past two years. This has included a complete refit of its rooms, the casino and the restaurants including a new casual dining space called The Garden. This week its much-anticipated Asian restaurant The Imperial will open. In 2018 ahead of the Commonwealth Games it will also open a new tower which will be home to a new 6 star hotel creating a complex offering over 1400 rooms and 20 food and beverage outlets.

We were upgraded to a Terrace Suite on the 18th floor with great views back to the Gold Coast Hinterland and the Southern Beaches. The once coveted east facing rooms now have obstructed views of the construction zone.

Our room was massive – almost 120 sqm – with two toilets, a full bar and a large outdoor terrace. Every comfort was available including a good mini bar, gorgeous L’Occitane toiletries and a massive Smart TV. There was even a hi-tech loo similar to the ones you see in Japan. Nice and warm but a few surprises !

The Star review

The Star

The Star

The Star review

The dining options are good and the new Garden Kitchen has a beautiful open fit out which leads to a large garden area complete with bean bags, ping-pong and Pimms carts. The food is reasonable and the service was excellent especially from our lovely older gentleman waiter ‘Peter’.

The Star review


Our room included access to the Executive Lounge for evening drinks and canapes and there was great selection of both food and beverages.

Sadly the thing that ruined our stay was the apathetic service found in so many Australian establishments. Breakfast was included in our stay ( even with our original booking – in fact chose that package specifically) but due to a hoard of visiting Thai insurance agents there was a wait of over an hour to access the restaurant. This would have taken us past check out time but we also needed to move on to other appointments. I mentioned this to the receptionist upon checkout ( she asked the usual “how was your stay”) and her care factor could not have been lower. So $100 was spent on breakfast elsewhere which kinda negates the ‘upgrade’.

Check the latest prices at The Star HERE

Where we ate

Apart from the offerings at The Star there are some excellent dining options across the road in Broadbeach. We’ve enjoyed great meals in the past at Sage, Moo Moo and Nero but this time we tried Mamasan. Sadly not related to one of our favourite Bali hang outs this Mamasan is still on a winning formula with delicious asian inspired flavours, an excellent cocktail list and a busy and a busy, vibrant vibe.

The Star review

Despite the lack lustre service at The Star I would stay again mostly due to location and facilities. Will be keen to sample the tower when it opens but I do hope they do some serious upskilling with their staff especially the team on the front desk. We would definitely return to Mamasan and are already pre-planning a longer weekend on the Gold Coast in 2018 for Swell.



  1. Michelle du Toit

    Have never heard of this event before – it looks great! Your food pics make it VERY hard for me to try and stay vegetarian – you always seem to share food pics of dishes I never even knew existed that makes my mouth water 😀

  2. Our next date night idea, Looks like a nice place to stay. Thanks Sandy

  3. sandra

    I admire you for trying ! I dont think I would last we week 😉

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