A glass bowl full of fortune cookies is calling my name as I check in at the new-look Jupiters Hotel & Casino at Broadbeach. Unable to resist, I dip my hand in and select just one. The little slip of paper inside bears the cryptic message: Fear can keep us up all night, but faith makes one fine pillow.
Irrespective of any worldly cares, I suspect I will sleep well tonight. I reach my room in time to witness the setting sun spreading a warm golden glow over the Gold Coast hinterland, so I decide to kick back and rest awhile before heading out to dinner. Jupiters Hotel & Casino is currently undergoing a $345 million transformation - not that you'd know it, for it's whisper-quiet up here on the 18th floor. That is, until there's a tap on the door from a room service staffer bearing night-time chocolates. But really, who could begrudge such an interruption?
Time to hit the terrace. Image courtesy Jupiters Hotel & Casino.
As Queensland's very first casino, Jupiters opened in the mid 1980s, and has undergone several rounds of renovations since then. But the latest revamp is possibly its most extensive, as it involves upgrading existing rooms to an ultra-luxe standard, opening new restaurants and bars, creating a new poolside experience and much, much more. All of which means there's plenty to do for visitors - even before renovations are complete. Need some ideas to get you started?
(1) Enjoy drinks poolside The fresh new poolside experience at Jupiters Hotel & Casino brings the best of Gold Coast glamour back to life. With private cabanas, an extensive cocktail list, and all that glorious sunshine, it's time to drink in the good life.
(2) Get a massage Mmm ... from soothing hot stones to luxurious aromatherapy oils to deep muscle stretching to reflexology, the Touch Therapy team at Jupiters Hotel & Casino has it covered. With a treatment menu that spans more than a dozen different styles of massage, and prices starting at $95 an hour, you'll be in good hands.
(3) Dine Italian style ... The irresistibly elegant Cucina Vivo adds a modern twist to traditional Italian food culture and serves it in a venue inspired by cliff-top restaurants along the Amalfi Coast ... or (4) turn Japanese at Kiyomi, a Japanese restaurant like no other. Headed up by Chase Kojima (whose previous credits include Nobu and Sokyo), Kiyomi reinterprets Japanese classics while using the freshest Australian produce.
Enjoy a colourful night at Kiyomi. Image courtesy Jupiters Hotel & Casino.
(5) Hit the clubs You're a hop skip and jump away from serious glitter strip here, so grab a cab (no driving if you're drinking, folks) and head into Surfers Paradise for its host of pubs, clubs and lounge bars. Be sure to slip a Panadol before you turn in for the night. Travelling with kids? Surfers Paradise has plenty to offer families too, particularly during the Surfers Paradise Festival in April 2015.
(6) Linger over breakfast Sore head? Should've had that Panadol. Never mind, you now have the perfect excuse to enjoy a slow-paced breakfast in Food Fantasy (or if you're staying on the 18th floor, the Executive Lounge offers some peace and quiet). Some describe Food Fantasy as the 'buffet from heaven' while others reckon it's the place to go 'when you need to please everyone'.
(7) Hit the shops The iconic shopping centre Pacific Fair is just across the road - a five minute walk in fact. If you don't care to go on foot, you can always catch the bus (705) which stops just outside the hotel. Pacific Fair, too, is undergoing a $670 million redevelopment which will ultimately create the largest shopping centre in Queensland, with 420 shops, restaurants and other outlets under one roof.
Cucina Vivo is open for lunch every weekend. Image courtesy Jupiters Hotel & Casino.
(8) Have a flutter From Blackjack, Baccarat, or Roulette, through to Texas Hold'em Poker, Sic Bo, or Jupiters 21, sidle on up for table games galore. Which is not to forget gaming machines including Dragon Fish, Wheel of Gold and Pink Panther Returns. This is a casino, after all.
(9) Take in a showJupiters Hotel & Casino has weekly movie, comedy and live music nights, as well as regular big acts on the big stage. Among those coming up in the next six months are The Gipsy Kings, Grand Illusionist Cosentino and Bobby Brown and Naughty by Nature's Treach and Kay Gee.
(10) Don't forget the fortune cookie You'll never know what the future may have in store. Check in, and check it out.