With only 48 hours to spare you want to visit a place where you can fit in as much, yet as little, as possible. You want a hint of romance, a touch of relaxation, a dash of entertainment and a nip of fun.

So Viva Las Vegas!

Ok maybe not Vegas, but as close as we can get if you are traveling to Australia. Last month my husband and I needed a break so we spent a wonderful weekend at Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast. From the moment you step inside the building it is easy to forget you are just minutes from Surfers Paradise and it seems reasonable to think you have just entered one of the casinos in sin city itself.

A 30 minute drive from the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta or a one hour drive from Brisbane Airport, this might be one of the reasons why Jupiters is perfect for a 48 hour stopover.

DAY 1:

Check in:

Not your usual reception area where you step inside the building and voila the reception desk is waiting in front of you. Instead, at Jupiters you get your first taste of the casino before you have even checked in. A walk up a carpeted staircase, or quick ride in the lift, and we were overlooking the foyer, the bars, and the casino itself. A few minutes later our trip had officially begun.

Room service:

We were booked into a room on Level 11 of 21 floors. A refurbishment in 2008 meant the rooms were fresh, modern and extremely comfortable. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. In my experience, hotels with so many rooms, and this one has 592 in total, can sometimes fall below scratch. I had been here less than an hour and Jupiters just kept on surprising me!

A (big) bite to eat:

We arrived rather late in the day so it wasn’t long before we were heading back down the lift to grab some dinner. And when you are hungry, there really is only one place to go at Jupiters and that is The PA, or The Prince Albert, where supersize was the word of the night.

At The PA you get a twist on traditional pubstyle food. And when I say twist, I mean the servings are massive, delicious and inspired by American feasts.

We chowed down our meals with a beer; Pablo had an old favourite chicken parmy while I went for salt and pepper squid, while watching some live big screen sport. A man’s kind of heaven I would say.

Bit of rhythm:

We were lucky enough during our visit to catch the premiere of Mayumana’s Momentum; an internationally acclaimed stage show spectacular that uses dance, music and movement to explore the relationships between rhythm, time and synchronicity.

Walking the red carpet down flights of stairs to Jupiters Theatre, which reopened in April last year after a $20 million redevelopment, we felt like stars. Cameras snapped our movements and the champagne was flowing.

We took our seats, just 5 rows from the stage, and settled in for 90 minutes of mesmerising music, thumping dance moves and a clever mix of movement and sound.

DAY 2:

Food fantasy:

I can’t remember the last time I got to sleep in until 8am! And still know that I could take another 2 hours to waddle on down to breakfast before the “Food Fantasy” that awaited me was packed down for the morning.

Although we called it a rather early night after the show, a big buffet breakfast was still on the cards. Everything from muffins and pastries to fresh chef cooked omelettes, waffles, crispy bacon, fruit and even a juicer was sprawled “tastefully” across the restaurant.

Take a look:

After breakfast, which lasted a good hour or so, we decided to set off on a little exploration of the property.

Jupiters Casino is open 24 hours a day, has more than 100 gaming tables and 1,400 gaming machines. But even if you are not much into the gambling side of things, you could easily fill your days here without stepping foot into the casino itself.

The new state-of-the-art Jupiters Theatre caters for up to 2150 people and boasts modern technology and architecture including a second balcony level, VIP hospitality rooms for pre and post event functions, purpose-built integrated movie projection booth and a high-tech surround sound system. And there are performances on every night!

If you get thirsty or hungry, there are more than 10 bars and eateries, plus in room dining if you don’t feel like getting out of bed. Each of the bars has live entertainment at night and cocktails to die for.

Recreational facilities include swimming pools and 2 spas integrated into the lush gardens, a gymnasium, massage services, hair and beauty salons, a games room, shopping facilities and tennis courts giving you plenty to do without even leaving the island.

Work it out:

After a tour of the property we decided to do the “right thing” and get in a workout. So we went down to the gym. This is not your average hotel gym. This is an actual gym; with classes and all. So if you want to work off some of the food you have scoffed down, this is the perfect way to spend an hour or so in the afternoon before a well-deserved rest.

Fancy a dip:

One cannot go past the allure of the pools and spas at Jupiters. They even have fountains to play under. So after a workout this was the perfect way to cool down, catch some rays and unwind.

Downtime:

Workout out the way, swim in the pool and plans for a big night ahead meant it was time for a rest. Take a page out of our book and use this time to take a nap, watch some in-house movies or head back down to the pool level for a massage. It’s your time off so enjoy it!

Vivo Italia:

There are not many occasions these days that allow for women to don long flowing dresses or the men to suit up so take advantage of the Jupiters atmosphere and go all out! And when you are eating your dinner in a restaurant as rustically beautiful as Osteria Vivo, an Italian extravaganza of mouth-watering options, you wouldn’t be doing the night justice without looking your best.

To sum up the dining here, it is deceptively simple cooking with the purest of ingredients and incredible flavour. Washed down with a glass (or two) of Moet and you have a dining experience to rival most others.

We dined over 2 hours on bruschetta; perfectly fluffy seasonal garlic, ruccola, margarit pizza; wild mushroom risotto; porcini mushroom crusted fillet of beef with handmade ricotta gnocchi. And if you do choose to dine at Osteria Viva, make sure you try the cinnamon zeppole and chocolate anglaise and classic tiramisu with chocolate espresso beans for dessert. Yumm!

Roll the dice:

For a guaranteed great night out, head to one of Jupiters Hotel & Casinos eight bars complete with extensive beverage lists and a fantastic line-up of live entertainment including stand-up comedy and bands.

Or try your luck in the casino. Whatever you do be sure to start out by taste testing the tequila cocktails in the Atrium Bar they are delicious!

DAY 3:

Bye bye:

After spending some time in Las Vegas (the real one in the USA) we were surprised to find just how much Jupiters reminded us of that trip. The atmosphere was electric, the foyers always busy and whether it is 3am or 3pm there is something happening.

But the time had come to check out of Jupiters and check back in to reality.

Jupiters we will see you again soon.

Location of the hotel & Casino: Gold Coast Highway, 4218 Gold Coast – Broadbeach website https://www.star.com.au/goldcoast/