The Best Hotels to Book in Southport, Queensland

Hit the waves or go for a relaxing dip in the pool when you stay in Southport
Hit the waves or go for a relaxing dip in the pool when you stay in Southport | © Mercure Gold Coast Resort / Expedia
Lilly Graves

With 300 days of sunshine a year, the Gold Coast is a beloved beach destination for Aussies – and Southport is at its heart. The area draws surfers with its famous breaks, couples in search of beachy romance and families seeking proximity to SeaWorld. Whatever your reason, Southport offers distinct neighbourhoods, great restaurants and the Broadwater Parklands. A few miles inland are golf courses and sports complexes, and further afield is a chance to experience subtropical rainforest and renowned wineries. And as for hotels? Here are the best places to stay in Southport.

1. Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast, for an upscale resort setting

Resort, Hotel

Wooden-deck walkway across an outdoor pool fringed with palm trees at Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort
© Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort / Expedia

Prepare for some wow factor at this refurbished beachfront resort and spa along the northern end of the Gold Coast. You’ll find plenty of water features with indoor lagoons and a large outdoor resort pool with different sections. Polished rooms have minimalist coastal decor and signature Sheraton beds, while suites and villas come in a variety of sizes – some with enormous windows and/or rooftop decks facing the ocean. Several restaurants and bars feature Australian and international cuisine, including a swim-up bar and a popular seafood buffet in the evenings. Stay fit with long walks on Mirage Beach and a spacious fitness centre. Guest bicycles are also on hand.

2. Xanadu Main Beach Resort, for apartments a short walk to the beach


Cushioned wicker chair, plus table with four chairs around it on a shaded open-air balcony at Xanadu Main Beach Resort
© Xanadu Main Beach Resort / Expedia
Situated closer to Main Beach, a popular spot for surfers, this sunny high-rise building offers one- and two-bedroom apartments with balconies, granite kitchens and washing facilities. When you’re not at the beach, kick back at two pools – indoor and outdoor – or play a round of tennis on two courts. Parking is free and an airport shuttle is available for a fee. Guests receive a welcome pack of natural hair and body products upon arrival.

3. Maldives Resort, for relaxed apartments


Several canvas chairs under a canopy on wooden decking by an outdoor pool with handrail at Maldives Resort
© Maldives Resort / Expedia

These comfortable apartments are a good value given their location, just a five-minute walk to Main Beach as well as charming cafes and restaurants. Apartments have balconies and receive lots of natural light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. Decor ranges slightly per unit, but the best are the renovated superior units with ocean views. Shared spaces include an outdoor pool and hot tub, along with an area for grilling. Parking is free.

5. Norfolk Luxury Beachfront Apartments, for contemporary units a block from the beach


Sofa, soft chair, three stools by counter, overhead fan, TV, private seated balcony at Norfolk Luxury Beachfront Apartments
© Norfolk Luxury Beachfront Apartments / Expedia

These modern apartments come with either two or three bedrooms, and are just steps from the beach for those early sunrise walks. Decor and bedding configurations range slightly per unit, but each is equipped with a full kitchen, two bathrooms and a spacious private balcony with ocean views. The outdoor pool is heated year round, and there’s a sauna, lawn space for kids, a tennis court and free parking.

6. Limassol Motel, for relaxed rooms with a communal atmosphere


Four cars parked right outside the two-storey Limassol Motel, lit up in the early evening
© Limassol Motel / Expedia

Surfers are drawn to this laid-back motel across the estuary – about a 10-minute drive from Main Beach – due to its affordable rates and chilled setting. Simple rooms have mini-fridges, toasters, microwaves and coffee makers, while larger types have balconies. Guests tend to gather at the small outdoor pool surrounded by tropical plants and a shared outdoor kitchen and terrace – great for kicking back with friends. Make sure to check out the DVD library in the lobby.

7. Jadran Motel & El Jays Holiday Lodge, for dog-friendly accommodation


Tall palm trees line the walkways outside the three-storey Jadran Motel & El Jays Holiday Lodge
© Jadran Motel & El Jays Holiday Lodge / Expedia

Another of the more affordable places to stay in Southport – a bit removed from the busy beaches – is the pet-friendly Jadran Hotel & El Jays Holiday Lodge. Dog walkers will appreciate being a block from the Broadwater with waterfront walking paths and picnic areas. The hotel grounds include a small fenced-in outdoor pool and barbecue area, while rooms range from simple accommodations to larger units with kitchenettes and full kitchens – plus parking is free.

8. Elite Gold Coast, for modern rooms and sporting activities


Shaded open-air dining area at the front of Elite Gold Coast; the building is lit up in blue at dusk
© Elite Gold Coast / Expedia

This contemporary hotel is set inland, about 15 minutes by car from the Gold Coast beaches. Though it doesn’t have sand, it’s surrounded by greenery as well as a neighbouring sports complex, which draws sports enthusiasts. Rooms have custom lighting and mini-fridges, while suites have kitchenettes and living spaces. Amenities include an infinity pool and a day spa on site, along with free access to the lap pool, minigolf course and a fitness centre next door. As for dining, Elite’s restaurant, Mozzafiato, offers Italian cuisine with an extensive wine list. Choose from a list of inventive mains including the Scotch fillet with a trio of shallots – you’ll soon see that this is one of the tastiest places to stay in Southport.

9. Nightcap at Commercial Hotel, for serene rooms and a hip bistro


Double bed in room with desk, chair and translucent curtains at Nightcap at Commercial Hotel
© Nightcap at Commercial Hotel / Expedia

Another inland property, Nightcap offers affordable rooms a short drive from area attractions. Decor is serene with soft green walls and rattan light fixtures, while spacious bathrooms have walk-in showers and extra counter space. The cheerful bistro has big windows and blond wood furnishings — try the vegetarian buddha bowl or the braised lamb shank. Guests can also order a beer and watch the game at the bar with billiards tables.

10. Mercure Gold Coast Resort, for family-friendly rooms


The outdoor pool with umbrellas, sunbeds and palm trees at Mercure Gold Coast Resort
© Mercure Gold Coast Resort / Expedia

Several golf courses are within easy reach at this renovated hotel with contemporary decor. Rooms have large windows, balconies and tub-shower combos – larger types have whirlpool tubs. When not enjoying the beaches – which are 15 minutes away by car – you’ll stay active with two outdoor pools and a fitness centre. You can also pay to use the floodlit tennis courts or sign up for spa treatments. The on-site restaurant, Green, offers a wide variety of cuisine, including Asian-inspired starters and artfully presented salads, steaks and seafood.

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