Soul Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia

A short 30-minute drive from the Gold Coast airport in Australia is Surfers Paradise. If you've seen photos of the Gold Coast and its skyline, Surfers Paradise is the center of it all. Since I'm not a surfer, it wasn't that type of paradise for me, but the beautiful beach and views out of my balcony and up the Australian coast were fantastic.

After nearly 30 hours of travel, two things in my room at Sea Temple Surfers Paradise made me giddy - a full kitchen and a washer/dryer! Then, in order of giddiness, the large balcony, coastline view, and great bed. Each room can be owned for those that come here often but also is a wonderfully spacious hotel retreat. Interestingly when I checked in, for the first time ever, I had to sign a sheet saying that I would keep noise levels to a minimum. Alas, my fog horn never came out of my suitcase.

Because it's so shiny, bright and new with great facilities, Sea Temple stands out. Get a mass of soft scrambled eggs for breakfast - they are bright orange from the Australian yolks and delicious.

Updated in May 2014: The hotel where I stayed has been rebranded as Soul Surfers Paradise.

KitchenToo bad it was only me!

Outdoor Pool Outdoor Seating and Ocean ViewsGreat gym! Indoor Pool