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HOTEL of the month

The Darling at The Star Gold Coast

June 2018

The Star Gold Coast’s exquisite new hotel, The Darling, officially opened in March 2018, delivering a world-class facility to the region. Located at the front of the iconic Broadbeach Island property, the lavish new 17-story hotel features 57 spacious suites ranging in size from 750 square feet to a stunning 3,500 square feet. Each level features just seven suites, including a luxurious northern Penthouse Suite or Penthouse Spa Suite – offering the option of third bedroom – and a southern Penthouse Deluxe Suite, which offers guests the choice of a dedicated Billiard, Media or Exercise room.

The Darling Gold Coast connects to The Star’s recently refurbished five-star hotel, The Star Grand, offering guests access to the iconic property’s award-winning restaurants and bars, including Kiyomi, Cucina Vivo, and Garden Kitchen & Bar, as well as the recently unveiled Sports Bar.

It is the second hotel in The Star Entertainment Group to adopt the boutique brand, with The Darling at The Star Sydney already an established and award-winning hotel. It was the first in New South Wales to be awarded a Forbes Five-Star rating – the most coveted recognition in the global luxury travel sector. The Darling in Sydney recently retained its Forbes Five-Star rating for a second successive year.

HOTEL INFORMATION

ADDRESS: Broadbeach Island
Broadbeach Australia 4218

TELEPHONE: +61 (07) 5592 8100

WEBSITE: www.thestargoldcoast.com.au

INSTAGRAM: @TheStarGoldCoast

" The Darling epitomises what I believe is the perfect marriage of all the at-home comforts with the ultimate in luxury, creating an unrivalled lavish yet relaxing experience. "

John Autelitano

General Manager Hotels, The Star Gold Coast

John Autelitano

General Manager Hotels, The Star Gold Coast

the INTERVIEW

We had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Mr. Autelitano, General Manager Hotels, The Star Gold Coast.

Tell us about the design of The Darling.

Designed by internationally-renowned architects Steelman Partners, the luxurious suites were delivered by multi-disciplinary firm DBI Design and highly-respected Australian construction company, Probuild.

Guests of The Darling enter through large revolving doors, leading to a lavish Lobby – a fusion of the traditional and opulent with the new and eclectic. With its coastal location as inspiration, hundreds of glass beads drape from a black dragon marble ceiling, resembling the beauty of a jellyfish and creating an undeniable “wow” factor for guests as they enter. The Lobby also features a vintage style surfboard sourced specifically for the space by the Burleigh Heads based surfer/designers who founded Maywood.

Meanwhile, no comfort or detail has been spared in the creation of The Darling’s lavish suites, where guests can indulge in elegant décor with a distinct local touch, including artwork, high-end finishes and soothing tones to celebrate the Gold Coast’s unique coastal vibe and charm.

The offering begins with 22 base rooms, the Jewel Suites, and 21 larger Stellar Suites, with a floor plan between 840 and 872 square feet in size and an east-facing balcony overlooking the ocean. The north-facing Penthouse Suite boasts an impressive 2,700 square-foot in space, adorned with grand chandeliers, stunning floor to ceiling glass and an 860 square-foot balcony revealing a spectacular 180-degree vista of the Gold Coast skyline. It features two king bedrooms with ocean or waterway views, with the option of an additional twin room that takes the suite to an even larger floor space of 3,500 square feet. At the southern-end of the hotel, the south-facing Penthouse Deluxe Suites boast a standard floor space of 3,500 square feet and offer two large bedrooms with bathrooms, a grand living and kitchen space and the choice of a private Billiard, Media or Exercise room.

What are three fun facts about the property that many are surprised to learn?

• The Darling formed the centerpiece of The Star Gold Coast’s transformation, which included the refurbishment of the existing 596-room hotel, The Star Grand, and 11 food and beverage offerings.

• The Darling Gold Coast features a gravity-defying infinity pool which perches 720 feet above ground and extends 54 feet beyond the side of the tower.

• Hotel guests will experience the comforting cocoon of plush Frette bathrobes. A Forbes Service Standard partner, Frette also supplies its luxurious products to The Darling at The Star Sydney.

What touches do you believe make a room or suite feel like a home-away-from-home?

The Darling epitomises what I believe is the perfect marriage of all the at-home comforts with the ultimate in luxury, creating an unrivalled lavish yet relaxing experience.

Drawing inspiration from the beauty of oceanside living, each suite is your own tranquil refuge, with the beautifully-appointed spaces designed purposefully for those wishing to relax and rejuvenate in style. In each suite, you will discover first-class amenities including luxurious pampering products from the internationally-renowned Lalique range, a GHD hairdryer and straightener and, of course, plush Frette bathrobes for that supreme sensual feel.

The Darling’s dramatic, unique architecture purposely designed with fluid, curved lines mimics the movement of the ocean’s currents. Additionally, the use of rounded interior elements, including grand circular chandeliers and curved walls and walkways, ensure guests feel comfortable and relaxed on a subconscious level.

The essence of The Darling is ensuring guests experience a home-away-from-home, but on a much more heightened, luxurious level. Each suite features state-of-the-art in-room technology with Samsung Smart TVs, a Bose sound system as well as multiple USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity and revolutionary zone control – affording guests the opportunity to customise lighting, drapery, temperature and service preferences.

Walk us through your ideal stay at The Darling.

Entering The Darling through large revolving doors, relish in the lavish Lobby – a fusion of the traditional and opulent with the new and eclectic. With our coastal location as inspiration, hundreds of glass beads drape from a black dragon marble, which fall just above a stunning water feature creating a beautiful sparkling reflection, resembling the beauty of a jellyfish.

Regardless of which suite you choose, no plush comfort or high-end design element has been spared, from the lavish furniture and bespoke artwork to gold metallic finishes and rich yet soothing tones reminiscent of the Gold Coast.

As you walk the halls of The Darling, admire the hotel’s custom-created artwork and sculptures curated by local artists and stunning chandeliers featured on each level crafted of crystal and hand-blown glass. Experiencing Nineteen at The Star, The Darling’s stylish rooftop restaurant and bar, is an absolute must, while you also have access to The Star Gold Coast’s eleven award-winning food and beverage experiences, including Kiyomi, Cucina Vivo and Garden Kitchen & Bar.

What is your greatest indulgence at a hotel when you travel?

Definitely a massage to help manage any jet lag and, if possible, a sleep in!

Can you share your go-to in-room dining order?

If I feel the need for comfort food, I would opt for a bowl of soup, quality bread and a glass of red wine. Otherwise, I always choose a local specialty from the city or country I am visiting – I feel this is a fantastic way to embrace the culture of a new place.

The Darling is home to an incredibly passionate team of highly skilled chefs who have meticulously crafted an extensive in-suite dining menu featuring all the quality classics all the way up to our very high-end Master Kobe Steak, which is carved in-suite when ordered.

What is the most unique experience the hotel has put together for a guest?

A gentleman recently contacted the Hotel Team explaining he wanted to propose to his girlfriend on her birthday but, being on an international business trip, he had little time to organise the details. He knew it would mean the world to her if she could share the milestone with her parents who lived in Europe, so he arranged everyone’s arrival in Australia, and then the proposal specifics were left in our very excited and honoured hands!

The Team met both parties at the airport where the lovely couple were reunited. After a spoiling spa treatment, they enjoyed cocktails from the comfort of their suite which featured a private terrace. As the sun set, the doorbell chimed and the young lady opened her door to a very special room service surprise – her favourite champagne, a custom-designed birthday cake with a ring box as the centerpiece, and of course her beaming parents!

Being granted the honour of creating these very special moments for our guests is something our Team is thrilled to deliver. It is the true essence of what we do and we do it with great passion, enthusiasm and pride.

If you only had 24 hours on the Gold Coast, where would you visit?

I would begin the day with a beach walk at sunrise before taking a drive through the stunning Hinterland to Mount Tamborine in one of The Darling’s chauffeured cars. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic lunch packed by the Team at The Darling or visit a local vineyard. I would return to my suite for a luxurious spa bath as the sun sets, before an evening of outstanding cuisine and views at Nineteen at The Star.

What do you believe is the greatest hidden gem on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is undeniably famed for its stunning beaches and oceanside culture, but there are many hidden hotspots left off the average travel itinerary. The Hinterland is alive with gorgeous natural gems like the Glow Worm Caves and endless rainforest trails leading to beautiful cascading waterfalls. Many stunning hidden lookouts spanning across the coastline are absolutely perfect at sunrise and sunset, especially during whale watching season.

In your opinion, why is this time of the year a great time of year to visit Sydney?

Autumn on the Coast is a very special time with such beautiful weather and amazing sunsets. In May, the city comes alive with all the buzz and excitement of our annual free music event, Blues of Broadbeach Music Festival, which is just walking distance from The Darling. And we have an incredible shopping experience right on our doorstep at Pacific Fair where you can take advantage of all the luxury stores on offer.

Why do you travel?

Even when it's for work, travel is an adventure. As well as enriching my life and soul with other cultures, new people and tantalising cuisines, it also makes me appreciate my own country and enables me to see it through different eyes.

How do you define luxury?

Luxury to me is superlative accommodation that has you enter a new world of premium opulence and indulgence, while blending perfectly with unrivalled personalised service provided by a Team who is authentic, welcoming and intuitive.

It is private oasis bathrooms, chic linens and luxurious amenities of only the finest quality that indulge all the senses, allowing you to naturally immerse yourself in your very own dream escape. And it is the small touches that never go unnoticed, like The Darling’s dedicated suite powder rooms and our specially-designed pillow menu that has all your personal comfort preferences catered for upon request or before your arrival.

What does it feel like to wrap yourself in Frette?

Just like all the Italian royals in history who have indulged in Frette since its inception in 1860, I feel pampered, deserving and richly rewarded. A customised Frette bathrobe like those provided to guests of The Darling is a plush cocoon of premium Italian linen which comforts all the senses.

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