How ready is the Gold Coast for a major international luxury brand like JW Marriott? Why was now the best time for the rebrand?
There has been a significant shortage of high-end, luxury accommodation hotels to cater to the demand from an increasing number of high-spending travellers looking for luxury options. We’ve known for some time that a more luxurious option is needed and are perfectly positioned to step up to this demand. The resort brings a new level of luxury to the area and new tourism opportunities for the market and we are confident our addition to the Gold Coast will only increase the tourism area’s appeal. We expect to see continued growth in the luxury segment and experiences to cater to this market.
The JW Marriott experience is about nourishing the soul by enriching the mind, body and spirit, and that enables our guests to come together for their most meaningful moments, and to be mindful and present. The brand appeals to both our returning loyal Marriott Bonvoy guests, and a new breed of multi-generational travellers we call ‘memory makers’ who have a strong desire for authentic cultural, wellness and epicurean experiences.
Australians are avid travellers and high spenders when it comes to travel and the JW Marriott brand caters perfectly to this segment as we allow them to be fully present, take in the moment and reconnect to what matters most. It also doesn’t hurt that we are so close to the beautiful beaches, stunning coastline and an easy drive to the Gold Coast hinterland, we’re surrounded by experiences that appeal to the luxury travel segment.
Why was the Gold Coast the ideal spot for JW Marriott to make its Australasian entry?
The coastal Australian lifestyle has a warm, friendly and relaxed personality and we have incorporated these qualities into a luxury resort experience, centred around living in the present and experiencing every moment to the fullest. Both serene and energised, we truly embody the values and unique spirit of the Gold Coast – an oasis in the centre of the action but part of the natural beauty of the local beaches and the serenity of the hinterland.
We are a spirited destination with a range of experiences that foster reconnection and balance in a distinctly Australian way. A world away from the daily routine, we understand our guests’ needs with ease and give them the chance to be fully present, go beneath the surface and connect to what is important in their lives.
How do you see the new brand bedding down on the Gold Coast over the next 12 months? Are you noticing much demand from interstate travellers eager to experience it?
This property has been an iconic part of the community for almost 30 years and it’s important to us that it continues to play a leading role here on the Gold Coast, that it continues to support the local community and foster fond memories for families and friends. We’ve had a lot of support from local, intrastate and interstate travellers.
Traditionally, our occupancy is 80% domestic guests so we are confident the resort will perform well with interstate travel and a focus on local and drive market ‘Staycations’. The JW Marriott brand will also increase with market share appealing to a new segment of traveller in addition to current guests.
The resort has been very well received by our interstate travellers, albeit the demand has been disrupted by the ongoing border closures mandated by the health authorities.
Despite the challenges from ongoing international air travel restrictions, we have seen strong demand within the luxury hospitality segment this year. We’re encouraged by this, and look forward to welcoming back our international guests to experience the outstanding luxury and service we offer here on the Gold Coast.
It’s early days of course but what feedback are you receiving so far from guests on the new resort?
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Guests are really responding to the resort’s personalised service and our thoughtfully-curated programming that allows them to embark on a journey of discovery and renewal. We have worked very hard to offer a transformative experience the minute a guest walks through the door.
A number of guests have commented that they are loving the fact that we are working so closely with local partners and producers to bring the destination into the property through our amenities and F&B experiences. We source our seafood from nearby QLD waters, our meat and vegetables from the Scenic Rim and we’re also working with a lot of suppliers from nearby Tamborine Mountain.
What are some of the favourite elements and features of the new resort among guests?
The resort offers guests an elevated and enriching experience with new-look, refined spaces, signature JW Marriott experiences, exceptional service and six food and beverage venues, focusing on local produce and sustainability throughout.
We’ve always been well-known for our incredible seafood and we’ve taken this to another level. Delivering a chic all-day dining experience, Citrique is famous for its breakfast, brunch and seafood market experience, attracting both locals and guests with its fresh and locally sourced contemporary Australian cuisine.
We have combined Japanese artistry and local flavour across the three elements of our new signature restaurant, Misono, which features the spirited and communal favourite Teppan dining experience, a new live sushi bar and a secret whisky bar to discover. Each night our guests are delighted by the highly skilled teppan chefs intricate knife work and interactive theatrics. This combination of specific Japanese cultural elements and local interpretation is what makes Misono unique and a local favourite.
The lobby bar Chapter & Verse is famous for its cocktails and high tea, with an all-day food menu designed to share and guests are also really responding to the JW Garden, our onsite ‘farm-to-table’ concept which allows our chefs to elevate their menus with fresh and sustainable ingredients.
Of course our famous salt water lagoon and fresh water pool are as popular as ever with guests. Not only can you enjoy a refreshing dip, you can relax in a private poolside cabana or join the daily fish feeding program which is part of our Family by JW offering.
Our signature JW Experiences have been specially curated to help our guests create lasting and emotional memories outside of the traditional hotel offering. Whether it’s a fun Family by JW activity that gets them moving, taking time out to reconnect in one of our Secret Spots or living in the moment with a tantalising epicurean experience, we let our guests create their own version of happiness.
Guests are loving the interactive cooking classes for both adults and children using fresh ingredients from our JW Garden, grabbing a paddle board to explore the local waterways, or discovering the secrets of our Davidson plum gin on a personalised tour of the Tamborine Mountain Distillery before coming back to the resort for a private mixology class.