Choosing The Woodroffe Hotel
With a friends wedding approaching, I needed to book some accommodation near Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast so I could have plenty of time to get ready and have a short drive to and from the venue. I selected the Woodroffe Hotel located in Southport because it was the most affordable, well-rated one at the time of booking (admittedly, not that far in advance because it slipped my mind) and had the most appealing, modern looking rooms.
As I was getting ready for an event and not casually galavanting all over town, this one also won out because it had a full-length mirror, so I make sure I didn’t look like a shaggy mess.
Arriving at the corner of White and Garden Street in the heart of Southport, I snapped up a parking spot on the latter street where parking was free even though the hotel does provide secure undercover parking for a blue note.
Appearance-wise, the Woodroffe Hotel is a beautiful, new, stand-alone white building with accents of grey. Inside, the crisp, clean lines and modern stylings continued with beige wood tones giving the hotel a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Immediately after entering, there were stairs to climb, while those less able to ascend stairs were catered for with a wheelchair lift. Further into the lobby, there was a beautiful cafe and lounging area where you could read up on the tourist attractions around town.
The man at the counter was friendly, and the exchange for the room entry cards for my details was a super quick and effortless affair.
Opening up my digs for the next two nights, Room 610 continued the exterior colour palette of white and soft grey in a beautifully presented and clean room. While the modern styling of clean lines and neutral tones impressed, the size was noticeably small.
The Standard Room with 1 King Bed was cramping my style. With little space to roam and less space for luggage, moving around the room involved stepping over my stuff to get to other areas.
At first glance, there wasn’t even a bag chair that’s usually standard in a room. Upon further inspection, it was hiding behind the curtains. While I was able to use that after I found it, I banished my small suitcase to the area between the wall and the side of the bed I wouldn’t be sleeping.
Another thing too was the lack of closet space. And by lack, I mean, there wasn’t one. Instead, there was a rack artfully placed across the top of the mirror that extended outwards, which I didn’t mine. I’m not someone who generally takes a lot of their clothes out of their suitcase, so I liked having just a handful of things hanging there, so I wouldn’t forget what I had taken out.
Lastly, there was the TV. On it, it said that there was no signal. Around the back, there were loose stripped wires and nothing I could see to fix it. It didn’t bother me too much that it wasn’t working as I don’t generally watch TV in hotel rooms. But once or twice I did want to turn it on for a hot second, but not enough to call and “Can, can I get a connection.” But, hey, the wifi, which is what I do use heaps, was working perfectly.
In the bathroom, it was lovely to have the extra shelf extending across the bottom of the large mirror as the sink had little space for putting anything. While I ordinarily don’t have lots of stuff in the bathroom space, I did this time because I had to look respectable for my friend’s wedding. Unfortunately, the shelf and the edge of the sink was right next to the can. You had to keep it shut in case you knocked something, and it went unfavourably into the drink.
Hopping into the shower to cleanse the day’s grime away, I couldn’t help but notice the glaring design flaw. There was no door. The glass that prevented the water from splashing into other areas of the bathroom was pretty dang small covering only about half of the length of the shower area.
That probably would have been sufficient if the shower was long along the glass edge, but because it wasn’t, water splashed onto the walls and the floor quite a lot, despite my best efforts not to flood the bathroom outside the shower cubicle.
After doing my best to mop up what had inadvertently splashed onto the floor in front of the toilet from the shower, it was time to lay my weary head to rest.
Even after getting out of the shower, the room wasn’t cold. Getting into bed, it was clean, warm and comfortable. Unlike some other places where I need any extra blanket or doona, I didn’t require one here, which was good, because there wasn’t one if I got the chills. I slept soundly through the night.
Waking up to the dawn of a new day, Room 610 gifted me with gorgeous views of the Gold Coast and distant ocean views. And because it wasn’t right in the heart of sky rise territory, I wasn’t looking at the sides of buildings or into neighbouring hotels rooms.
Instead, the view was mostly looking over the low residential buildings of Southport, while to the right, the Gold Coasts iconic highrises were looking gorgeous in the morning light. On the extreme left, you could also see the iconic shopping centre, Australia Fair, that’s easy to spot thanks to its unusual shape designed to resemble a cruise ship bridge.
Unfortunately, the window didn’t open, so I could feel the fresh sea breeze coming in to greet me in the morning. It also made my favourite pastime of photographing the shit out of everything challenging due to reflections, limited angles and spots on the window, so that was a bit of a downer.
There was, however, a smaller window above the main window that opened, but not very much.
Between the day dawning and getting ready for the wedding, I remembered that after I went out last night, I parked on White Street, instead of Garden Street that had free all-day parking again. While parking at night was free, the daylight hours weren’t.
Hauling ass out of Texas, I moved the car just before the pay meter time started and was very lucky to find Garden Street had one space left at the other end of the road after a few go-arounds around the block.
Ordinarily, most people would probably be out by then, so they wouldn’t need to worry about getting fined, but as I was staying at the hotel for a while, that would have been an expensive place to park or result in a big ass fine.
As mentioned before, one of the key reasons for selecting this hotel was for the full-length mirror. There was a wee bit of a problem with it. It was not in an unfavourable position to the bed. Or is it the other way around? Whatever the rhyme or reason, there was no rhyme or reason. It didn’t work.
The bed was in front of the mirror. To see myself standing up, I had to be about a foot away from the mirror. While the lighting above the mirror gave the room a lovely luxury glow, when you’re positioned right under it looking at yourself in the mirror 30 centimetres away, it casts the most unflattering shadows. Never have I been more repulsed by myself. And that’s saying something.
I tried standing in the gap between the bed and the wall and did a severe Michael Jackson anti-gravity lean over the bed to use the mirror, but that was highly impractical. I had to settle on looking like a goblin whilst I used the big mirror to get up close for makeup and the mirror in the bathroom to use the hair straightener. But at least I could sit on the comfy bed while doing so.
Lost Key Card
While I was out at the wedding, I received a text from the Woodroffe Hotel. I had dropped my key card. EEK!!! Thankfully, some kind stranger found it and handed it back in. Whoever you are, I’m very grateful to you. Replying I would be back late, the hotel told me, “No problem. Your key card will be in the safe.” Awesome.
Back at the hotel, the door wasn’t open. Fair enough. Limited hours, I get you. That means the safe has to be on the outside, right? But I couldn’t find it. I think there was a doggy bag dispenser there which was kind of random. After not finding anything for a moment, I briefly searched for a telecom device or something.
Thankfully, before I looked too much like I was casing the joint, some folks were also coming back from their night out, and they hadn’t lost their key cards. I piled on in behind them and got my card out of the safe at reception.
I had briefly wondered how I would have gotten in if those people hadn’t arrived when they did, and I couldn’t find a telecom device. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that, and I didn’t have to disturb anyone at 11 p.m.
Room 610 in the Woodroffe Hotel was a lovely, clean and modern hotel near the heart of the Gold Coast, but it had a few big problems. The most notable is that it’s quite confining, even for just myself.
There’s not much room to put luggage. If you had a bigger check-in sized bag, it’d be awkward to get it across to the other side of the bed near the window where you could lay it and open it up properly without having to step over it every time you try to navigate the room.
Another noteworthy thing was the shower not having a door. The space itself is a good size, as is the rest of the bathroom, but it’s not large enough to warrant being a straight walk-in shower. Despite my best efforts to stop it from splashing outside the shower space, a lot of water ended up on the floor outside the defined area.
Additionally, the window didn’t open, and the bed, which wasn’t a king bed as advertised, was right in front of the full-length mirror. Windows that open allow you to appreciate the place you’re in and is an incredible way to wake up to a new day. Being robbed of that was a downer.
While the bed was not as advertised didn’t bother me, if you’re staying as a couple and doing the things that couples do, the split in the bed would likely be annoying. And that’s if it doesn’t separate, and one of you ends ass up on the floor.
What did bother me was the bed being right in front of the full-length mirror. It was horrifying being about a foot away from the mirror with a light 80 degrees above me, but I couldn’t go any further back because the bed was there. The only alternative was standing between the bed and the wall and leaning over the bed to see myself looking less hideous, but that was very impractical.
Alright, enough about the not-so-good, let’s focus on the good. As mentioned before, it was tidy, clean and modern and aesthetically pleasing.
While there wasn’t a closet, which may be an issue for some people, I quite liked that I could have my clothes hanging where I could see them. The bathroom was also a good size, and the large mirror was nice as well. The room had a mini-fridge, a desk and most importantly, excellent wi-fi too.
The view was beautiful too. As the hotel was further from the city, the high rise buildings weren’t blocking the scenery resulting in a fantastic view of the Gold Coast Skyline to the right. The scene in front was nice, with a bit of the ocean peeking through too. It was much better than I was expecting from a modest hotel with less than ten floors
The location of the Woodroffe Hotel is excellent. Residing in the heart of Southport, it’s an easy walk away from the coast and the iconic shopping centre, Australia Fair and a short drive to the heart of the Gold Coast: Surfers Paradise.
If you don’t have a vehicle, there’s a tram station between the hotel and Australia Fair, so you can electric road train your way in instead of navigating the chaotic traffic.
Even though it’s right near the main road, it’s not noisy either, so you’ll be able to get a restful sleep without the road noise affecting you.
There wasn’t much interaction with the staff, but when there was, they were lovely. Checking in & out was super smooth and super fast. The only thing was that when I checked in, I had a tiny bit of trouble understanding the receptionist, but that is because I’m not the best at comprehending softly spoken people with slight accents. But that’s more my issue.
The Woodroffe Hotel had a lift for people with disabilities to ascend the set of stairs up to the reception, which was fantastic. There was also a beautiful modern cafe, but I didn’t get the chance to try out their delights.
They also have secure paid parking, but I opted for the free street parking.
Would I Stay Here Again?
I’m on the fence. For what I needed it for on that occasion, I needed space and functionality, so in retrospect, I would rather be somewhere else.
However, if I were doing my usual galavanting all over town and pretty much only being in the room to sleep, then yes, I would pick the Woodroffe Hotel again because, in that situation, the convenient location (and the pretty views) is quite impressive.
The Woodroffe Hotel has several issues that might be a problem for some people, but it’s also got some great things going for it. Its location, for example, is the best thing about the hotel. It’s conveniently close to the city, so the accessibility is great, but it’s not right in the heart of it, where it’s so chaotic and overwhelming.
And because it’s further away, the views have more air to them. You’re not looking at a wall or into an office or another hotel room. You’ve to get scenery.
Because of some of the problems staying at the Woodroffe Hotel has, it depends on what you value more. Do you prefer the convenient location and accessibility to the city, or would you rather have a spacious place that is roomy and functional?
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