voco Gold Coast Review
IHG has a new hotel brand: voco. In the trend of endless branding, voco seems to be aiming for upscale hip. Not sure how it is hoping to differentiate itself from Kimpton. Perhaps voco is to Hyatt Centric as Kimpton is to Andaz. So far there is only one voco property though more are coming soon. The voco Gold Coast is actually not a new hotel at all but is a rebrand of the former Watermark Gold Coast.
The voco Gold Coast is located in Surfers Paradise directly behind the tram stop and across from the Q1 tower and observation deck. It is a block from the beach and the heart of town is about a 5 minute walk north.
My stay was less than 3 weeks after the brand switch over. My two night stay was booked with IHG points. A promotion had 50% points stays at voco so I paid 15,000 points per night instead of 30,000. IHG was listing the rooms for about $250/night, however third party bookings had rooms for about $100/night. I’m guessing the price discrepancy had something to do with the switch over.
I was assigned room 1223 on the 12th floor. There are a total of 20 floors in the property. At check in I was given some shortbread, apparently this is one of the voco brand amenities. As I had rented a car, I was able to park in the underground garage for $20/night. While there are six elevators, only one goes all the way to the parking garage in the basement.
My 600 point Platinum elite amenity posted nearly immediately.
Off of the large glass enclosed lobby is a coffee shop, bar, and restaurant. There is also a small casino off the lobby (just slots it seems).
I was told that rooms on upper floors were being renovated. My room on the 12th floor had not yet been renovated, and I am not sure what the plan is going forward. Still, the room was in good shape so I am not sure what they really need to do.
As you enter, the bathroom is on your right, followed by a small coffee station and mini fridge and the main portion of the room.
Next to the bed is a large closet with sliding doors.
A small bistro table with two chairs and an additional seat are against the wall with the TV.
I had a nice view of the ocean out the large window. Below my window was the east pool and tram station.
My two big complaints about the room were noise and light intrusion. Anyone talking in the hall could be heard clearly from within the room. The curtains are not well fitted and light streams in along all sides. As soon as the sun comes up, the room is lit. I don’t know why hotels have such a difficult time with understanding the need for light blocking shades.
Both of these issues lead to decrease in sleep quality which is ultimately what a hotel is about.
The bathroom is basic and dated. Perhaps the most annoying thing is that there is a 3-inch difference between the floor in the room and the floor in the bathroom. Essentially there is a small step up into the bathroom.
I was impressed by the Aveda branded bath products.
There are two pools at the voco Gold Coast. The east pool is located just behind the tram station (see photo above). The more modern west pool is located on floor 3.
There is a gym on site, though I didn’t check it out so can’t report on it. The spa is small. Besides treatment rooms, there is a co-ed steam room and sauna but they are in bad shape and not worth a visit.
It isn’t clear where the voco brand fits in to the IHG portfolio. The voco Gold Coast is an older property that has been rebranded (and not much else updated despite needs). The service was fine and the staff seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the new branding. It will be interesting to see if voco is here to stay