Home to Australia’s glitter strip, the Gold Coast has long delivered on glitz. Now, a different version of luxury has moved in
You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, we all know that. Yet, regretfully, I erred as I pulled up on The Esplanade in the heart of Queensland’s Burleigh Heads.
I was there to check-in and check out the debut offering from bon Sol, a luxury apartment provider with big plans in the Gold Coast suburb. I had seen and heard plenty about the Pandanus Apartment so I was thrown by the building’s 1960s facade, which delivered big on the retro vibes. Surely, I had the wrong address.
Nope. In keeping with the vintage veneer, a bold Helvetica-esque font on a slate backdrop confirmed I was, in fact, in the right place. As I ascended the internal stairwell, complete with nostalgic tessellations underfoot, my curiosity found a place to land: this was not the Gold Coast’s standard version of luxury.
Home to the bright lights of the Surfers Paradise glitter strip, the Gold Coast is more often associated with glitz and glamour than understated luxury. Yet behind the ‘groovy’ exterior, Pandanus is every bit the indulgent retreat, and the shift is entirely befitting the laid-back Burleigh surrounds.
The first-floor, two-bedroom apartment with ocean-wide frontage is 135-square-metres of relaxed style, thanks largely to the work of interior designer Anna Spiro – she of Halcyon House fame. Contrast is a hallmark of Spiro’s work and comparisons between bon Sol and the much-lauded boutique hotel and spa in Cabarita Beach are easy. Yet, while Halcyon House commits to a predominantly blue-and-white palette, Spiro has made no such commitment here. And the resulting explosion of clashing patterns and colours works beautifully.
Spiro believes “fabric can change the mood of a room in an instant” and her work here proves as much. Greens and blues dominate the space but red, yellow and pink all come out to play. White cabinetry and sisal flooring complete the coastal look. The bottle of Bollinger on ice is quite the mood-lifter, too.
Bang & Olufsen BeoSound technologies, Netflix and Foxtel subscriptions in the living room and master bedroom, Moss River linens and towels, a well-stocked drinks cart, and sparkling beach views might make it hard to pry yourself away from textile heaven, but Burleigh is a suburb worth exploring. With its 2.5-kilometre stretch of white sand, barrelling blue waves and regimented Norfolk Pines, Burleigh Heads has always appealed to travellers but the current incarnation extends beyond beach culture.
The area is steadily building a reputation as one of the Coast’s premium dining destinations with Rick Shores (where you might inadvertently dine next to, say, Margot Robbie, as I did – swoon!), The Fish House, Restaurant Labart, Iku and Burleigh Pavilion among the top spots. There’s a vibrant cafe scene with a healthy leaning, and enough boutique shopping to warrant a wander.
If eating in is more your style, bon Sol can arrange an in-house solution for breakfast, lunch and dinner by way of hampers or fully catered private dining. The choice is yours.
bon Sol also offers a Beach Club service (at an additional cost), allowing you to meander through your morning while an on-sand set-up of beach lounges, umbrellas and a stocked cooler box is prepared across the street.
A sister apartment to Pandanus, Hibiscus is currently in the making with plans for a December 2020 unveiling. And if she’s anything like her sibling, an understated exterior will belie true inner beauty.