19 at The Star — Gold Coast, Australia
For better or worse, Australia’s Gold Coast tends to be saddled with a somewhat unfair reputation for brash mass tourism glitz. All of which makes the 19th floor of The Darling hotel so unexpected.
Lined with vast swathes of stone, drop-lights encased in curled copper sheets, brass details and a pale palette of greens and blue-greys, the dining room is the work of Mim Design, the Melbourne-based studio capitalising on double-height ceilings and acres of windows to draw in views of the ocean and the Gold Coast’s skyline bristling with skyscraper hotels. The quietly stylish mood-board is made all the more lofty by the insertion of a staircase that curves up to a private dining room and bar, and a glittering snowy mound of chandelier at the foyer.
On an evening awash with the ocean breeze – which on the Gold Coast is pretty much year-round – the outdoor terrace, anchored by an infinity pool, is an impressive staging area for sunset cocktails or a tipple from the restaurant’s collection of 3,500 bottles. Which, it turns out, is the perfect starter for the main courses of grilled Patagonian toothfish, Blackman Bay oysters, marron risotto, and slow roasted prime ribs. §