Maureen Spencer checks into the Novotel in Surfers Paradise, Queensland.

Getting there:

Our Air Asia flight departed at 5.30pm and arrived on the Gold Coast at 7pm.

Check-in experience: Excellent. Reception was very quiet at 8pm, and the receptionist was efficient, helpful and informative.


Room: Level 29, Room 4, but moved to level 22, Room 8 the next day (see later). The first was a standard double room with an impressive night-time view, looking over brightly lit Cavill Ave and Surfers, back to the lit-up beach.

Price: Accor Hotels advertised special of 25 per cent off regular room rate plus $1 breakfast. Saturday night was $195 and the following three nights were at $115 each.

Toiletries: All the toiletries are their own brand Fair Trade products. No bathrobes or slippers.

Food & drink: Breakfast was standard hotel buffet options with an egg-cooking station. Great coffee machines.

What's in the neighbourhood: The location is great if you are going to be using public transport. The light rail Cavill Avenue Station is two or three minutes walk away and the beach is three or four minutes away. The hotel is right in the centre of the Surfers Paradise shopping centre with lots of nearby restaurants and is in the heart of the night-club area.

Noise: Speaking of noisy night clubs . . . We were fairly tired after the day's travelling and looking forward to a good night's sleep. We turned off the TV, turned off the lights and then became very aware of the boom-boom-booming bass coming from one (or many) of the local night clubs. It was not an even beat and continued until 3.30am. Hooray, we thought. It's finished! Now we can get some sleep. Then, just as we were nodding off the street-sweeping machines started up followed by the rubbish trucks.

Around midnight we had called the duty manager in desperation to see whether there was a quieter room he could move us to. He apologised but said they were full.

The next morning we chatted to the day manager who also apologised and, at our suggestion, managed to find us a quieter room.

It was an upgraded room that had been modernised and was very smart. We moved all our things and settled in to 22-08 looking forward to a great night's sleep. We wondered what the whooshing noises were that sounded like a plane taking off and soon realised that our quiet room was directly behind the three lift wells. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as the booming of the bass but still disruptive. We renamed the hotel "The Noisy Novotel".

The beds: 29-04 had a king-size bed. It was probably ready for replacement. The next room again had a king. Very comfortable.

The bathrooms: 29-04: standard bathroom with basic shower over the bath; 22-04: renovated and modernised. No bath.

Perfect for: Heavy sleepers and night clubbers who want a good central location right in the heart of Surfers Paradise. When we were there the majority of the hotel guests appeared to be large groups of overseas tourists escaping the hot summer in their countries.

Not perfect for: Light sleepers.

Would I return: No. The staff were friendly and helpful and the nightclub noise problem is out of their control although it would be remedied with double glazing.