Iconic Kirra Beach Resort review: Family apartments in Coolangatta
If you're travelling with kids to the Gold Coast, Queensland, the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort could be the best family accommodation for your needs.
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The stand-out feature of the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort is its huge, modern apartments. Its proximity to one of the world's best beaches can't be ignored either. But it's a little short on killer facilities to be a knock-out.
Iconic Kirra Beach Resort Coolangatta
- Where: 74/76 Musgrave St, Coolangatta QLD 4225
- When: April 2022
- Room type: 2-bedroom partial ocean view apartment
- Guests: 2 adults, 3 kids (10, 8 and 6)
- Cost: $230–$340 a night
- Hotel star rating: na
My review, in short:
- My star rating: ★★★★
- Cost: At $250 to $280 a night for a 2-bedroom apartment with ocean views, it's good value.
- Location: It's right on the beach, with great cafes and restaurants nearby. But it is a 15-minute walk from Coolangatta.
- Decor: Bright, modern, beachy feel. Functional more than flashy.
- Check-in/out process: Simple, and easy entry after hours via a lockbox.
- The room: Huge apartment with plenty of space for a large family, including a parent's retreat and an inside-outside entertaining area. Great views, too.
- Food: There is no in-room dining, restaurant or cafe, but there is a fully featured kitchen.
- Facilities: There is a generous-sized, but exposed pool next to a single BBQ, and a small gym with just the basics. Fast Wi-Fi and Foxtel.
Within sight of the world-famous barrels of Kirra Point at the very southern end of Queensland's famed Gold Coast, you'll find the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort. It's one of a number of high-rise buildings that have sprouted along the beachfront here in recent years. Or at least since this writer was a young grom, cycling up and down the path out front with his mates, looking for waves.
During a recent trip to the Gold Coast, I stayed at the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort for a couple of nights with my wife and 3 kids, aged 6, 8 and 10. My first reaction is that it's not a resort; not that I thought it was. But it's a strange word to have in the name. In truth, the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort is a block of apartments.
So, how do these apartments hold up compared to the best stays on the Gold Coast? Let's jump into my Iconic Kirra Beach Resort review.
There are a number of factors that influence the price of your stay at the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort. The height of the floor, the number of bedrooms, how much ocean you can see and, of course, the season. When I stayed at the back end of Easter, high partial ocean view 2-bedroom apartments like the one I was staying in were going for around $260 to $280 per night.
I've seen apartments in the low $200s per night, however, and up to the low $300s per night. Regardless, it's definitely a reasonable price for family stays in this location.
For those not familiar with the area, Kirra is the suburb just north of Coolangatta – which is the suburb just north of Rainbow Bay, home of famed surf break Snapper Rocks. It's Coolangatta, however, which is the busy centre of the region. It's home to most of the restaurants, pubs and activities you will engage in during a stay in this part of the Gold Coast.
The Iconic Kirra Beach Resort isn't far away from Coolangatta, but it is a good 15-minute walk around the headland. It's a lovely walk that'll fill your eyeballs with endless stunning waves, but if you're a stickler for being centrally located, it's something to be aware of.
On the plus side, it's not surrounded by buildings. You've got unblocked ocean views on one side, and a stunning vista out to the hinterlands on the other. You could almost throw a rock and hit the beach it's so close, with the only thing in the way a modern kids' playground.
As it's out of the Coolangatta splurge, there's ample street parking around, but also underground parking in the building itself if your car fits. Mine didn't, given it's a 4WD with a roof rack.
The bottom level of the building is filled with cafes, restaurants, takeaways and even a bottle shop. As you go further down the street, you'll find more of the same, too. Directly under the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort, I can vouch for Bread & Butter, which does tasty cocktails and stunning pizzas. I can also vouch for the Haigh St Cafe, 100m or so down the road, for a yummy breakfast. Great smoothies.
Check-in / check-out
Checking in was a breeze. There is a couple of staff in attendance near the entrance during most of the day, and they handle everything in a jiffy for you. We actually arrived late, but were sent a code that unlocked a box at the front door so we could get pre-prepared key cards. The only requirement was that we show our faces and ID before midday the next day to staff. This is a system that worked well for us.
There isn't any sort of pull-in area for your car on approach, however, so be mindful of that. There is a driveway right beside the main door that leads to the underground parking. You can stop and block that if you need to. It's 2 lanes, so cars should still be able to get past.
Iconic Kirra Beach Resort facilities
The Iconic Kirra Beach Resort is a little light-on when it comes to facilities. There's only a small foyer with a tight hallway as an entrance. There's no cafe, eating space or place for meetings. On the second floor you'll find a convoluted pathway through hallways and doors to a gym and pool.
The gym isn't huge, but it's big enough for 3 (maybe 4) people to work out simultaneously. Cardio equipment, free weights and floor space are provided.
Just past this is the pool. If you like swimming laps, you'll enjoy its long, rectangular shape. However, as a family area, it's underdone. There's not much seating, and there's little imagination in the shape or depth. There's no spa, either. I wouldn't say it's a bad pool, but by Gold Coast standards, perhaps a little underwhelming. Especially as it's exposed to the onshore breeze.
This space does feature a single BBQ and a long bench space with stools, so you can at least entertain here.
The only other feature of note is the free Wi-Fi, which worked great. And I was also very happy to discover the full suite of Foxtel channels available through the TV.
When I was a young bloke, the beach opposite was considered one of the best in the world. I recall one Kelly Slater calling it his favourite wave back in the 1990s. These days Kirra Point has lost some of its lustre, with the local council opting to fill it in with too much sand to facilitate a perfect point break. But as its name would suggest, the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort pays tribute to those glory days.
The entry foyer is dominated by large photos showing off the great waves to be found next door. Local legend and ex-world champion Joel Parkinson is a feature. And that surf/beach culture vibe permeates through the hallways and apartments, too. The spaces connecting rooms to elevators forgo natural light for moody transitions, but the rooms themselves feel modern, bright and clean.
Iconic Kirra Beach Resort apartment
During our stay at the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort, we were in a 2-bedroom apartment with a partial ocean view. This put us on the 9th floor on the south-west corner of the building. I think it's important to start by saying that the ocean views were still pretty generous. You're not looking out the windows at the ocean at every turn, it's true. But you can sit on the balcony and easily watch people catching waves off Kirra Point.
Meanwhile, the view back towards the hinterlands is nothing to be sneezed at. If it wasn't for the ocean on the other side, you'd be hard-pressed to complain.
The main thing you will notice on entry isn't the view, however, it's the size of the apartment. It's huge. When you walk through the entrance hallway, it splits in two.
To the left the room opens up into a large living space with a small dining table, big couch and TV. Then just beyond it, a somewhat narrow but fully featured kitchen can be found. This whole area is an indoor-outdoor space, leading to a good-sized deck big enough for a table and chairs, or outdoor couch and coffee table set-up. The sliding doors and windows make it feel like one space, while also letting plentiful natural light and cool breezes enter.
A good-sized bathroom can be found in this wing, with a nice shower (but no bath). And you also have a second bedroom with 2 comfy singles in it and floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out to the hills. What I love about this room is that it can easily fit a third rollout bed. This was awesome for our family of 5, and was provided by the Iconic Kirra.
Heading back to the entrance hallway, if you turn right instead you'll find a compact laundry with a washing machine, dryer, clothes rack and ironing board. This space then opens up into almost an apartment within the apartment. A secondary storage space can be found, walk-in wardrobe, another bathroom with an excellent shower, and a huge master bedroom. The comfortable bed is large, but there's still plenty of space for a cot or even a second rollout bed. Plus, there's a private balcony here, too.
I love ocean views as much as the next human, but for families, space is just as vital and in this regard, it's impossible to fault the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort. Especially when you add in the aforementioned Foxtel and Wi-Fi, not to mention air-con.
Iconic Kirra Beach Resort verdict
My family and I had a really comfortable and enjoyable stay at the Iconic Kirra Beach Resort. The location isn't optimal and I certainly wouldn't call it "facility-rich", but the apartment itself is massive and the view spectacular. That space will really pay dividends if you're a large family, and especially one staying for an extended period. And you don't have to walk to Coolangatta to get a good feed, a nice beach and to find things to do anyway.
It's definitely a heck of a lot nicer than the place I used to stay at when I was a kid!
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