Once I’d set foot in the QT Gold Coast, that was it. I’d found my perfectly designed mecca. I had my run of the lemonade stand and cherry red espresso machine, not to mention a shower tiled in black and white stripes all to myself. I was satisfied and content to spend the rest of my trip tucked away in my version of paradise. But the next morning, the Tourism Queensland ladies let me know that we were heading to Port Douglas, a vacation hotspot which just happened to be home to another QT.
I honestly didn’t expect much. I’d already seen the best…or so I thought. Then, I made three separate trips in as many days even though I wasn’t actually staying at the hotel. Take just one scroll through and you’ll understand why I couldn’t stay away!
The grounds and decor of the QT Port Douglas are impeccable but I soon learned that the real draw is Bazaar, easily the best restaurant I’ve ever dined at.
Best summed up by the QT as an “interactive marketplace,” it’s basically an all you can eat buffet for the jet set. As you stroll through, there’s literally something for everyone and it’s all freshly made that day in the open kitchen.
Salads, seafood, meats, cheeses and a dessert bar are all waiting. I wanted to try a little of everything.
Gala and I both ordered grilled fish and asparagus and it was the best dinner I’ve ever had, hands-down — it was literally made right in front of me and served on the spot.
But, that was just the warm up! For dessert, we ordered a batch of churros and chocolate sauce. When you’re at Bazaar, you have to go all the way. Every time. Seriously, don’t eat the entire day before you show up because I guarantee you’ll want to eat three dinners (I did).
A big appeal of Bazaar are the chefs. Yes, they’re world class but they’re also incredibly charming. They’re more than willing to have their photo snapped and even better, will put on a bit of show on request. This one had a little too much fun shooting up some serious flames for our photographer, Janneke.
One night of fine dining at QT wasn’t enough — I begged to go back again…and Kat and Gala knew better than to argue with me! So back we went for Halloween (!!!) and the restaurant was decked out in pumpkins hand-carved by our hilarious chefs. As we perused the dessert section, nothing really hit the spot so I asked the chef what he could whip up for us. 10 minutes later, a platter of sizzling hot apple crisps arrived on our table. My idea of heaven.
Whether you’re ordering dinner or dessert, if you want something that’s not displayed, they’ll make it! I think they actually enjoy the challenge.
Once we waddled out of Bazaar, we explored the rest of the grounds. The bar next door immediately drew me in with its lemon yellow accents.
It was dead quiet in the late afternoon. This would have been the perfect place to take a meeting.
I wish we’d had more time to lounge on the back patio….but we had to rush off to a sunset sailboat tour (I know, it was tough week).
Gala loved the QT nearly as much as I did.
I thought this bird in the gift shop was real at first…haha.
No cheesy run-of-the-mill art here!
Best hotel sign ever.
That pool! I know where I’m staying the next time I’m in Port Douglas.
There’s nothing better than relaxing in style while enjoying a delicious meal. What I loved most about the QT is that it completely lacked stuffiness. Picture taking was not only allowed but encouraged. The staff engaged in friendly banter. The uniforms and decor were rad. Every detail was picture perfect. They have a good thing going and I can only hope that the chain eventually expands to the U.S.
Hotel: QT Port Douglas
Photos: Janneke Storm and Shauna Haider
Special thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland for making this post possible.