With the picturesque backdrop of an expansive golf course and an ideal location between the white sand beaches of Surfers Paradise and the lush Gold Coast hinterland, RACV Royal Pines Resort is a tranquil location for a luxurious escape.
The resort caters for all wants and desires with a range of facilities including a day spa, swimming pools, a children’s water park, 27-hole golf course (that hosts the Australian PGA Championship), eight bars and eateries, and tennis courts.
4pm: Check-in to the Executive Superior Spa Suite
We were delighted to be put up in the extremely plush Executive Superior Spa Suite with simply stunning views over the golf course.
The stresses of the city immediately evaporated as we gazed out from the huge windows.
The room was modern, stylish and featured numerous luxurious touches such as the floor to ceiling stone bathrooms (complete with premium L’Occitane amenities) as well as a Nespresso machine, wonderfully comfortable king size bed and, of course, all of the other features you would expect from a resort of this calibre. The room was also incredibly quiet, preserving the sense of serenity.
7pm: Chefs table
For dinner we were spoilt with a private dining experience with Executive Chef, Glenn Bacon.
A table had been set in the kitchen so we could have a truly behind the scenes experience.
Under the guidance of Bacon and Executive sous Chef Barry Atkinson, it was clear that there is a strong drive and focus at RACV Royal Pines to provide top quality, flexible dining experiences using locally sourced produce and beverages.
We loved being taken on a culinary journey with Bacon's bespoke 13 course menu. Each course was perfectly timed with accents and crescendos along the way. We loved the French, Southeast Asian, and Italian influences in the choices of ingredients, textures and tastes. Exceedingly warm and friendly Maitre d' James Miller ensured each course was served with perfectly matched wines.
We commenced with a generous array of starters comprised of luxurious ingredients including Kaluga Oscietra Imperial caviar, captivating sea urchin and briny oysters - an exquisitely deluxe start to our meal.
Our first entrée, the Mooloolaba prawn looked magnificent on our plate and tasted exceptional. We loved watching Bacon methodically prepare the ingredients and showcase his drop-dead gorgeous plating.
The dish of Moreton bay bugs raviolo graced us next. The filling of deliciously savoury and perfectly cooked Moreton Bay Bug was delicately encased in a zucchini flower. The accompanying roast chicken juices boasted an incredible depth of flavour.
The adventure did not stop there. Next up was the master stock pork jowl, kingfish wing and native lime nam jim. This was comfort food at its best. The pork jowl exploded with flavour and simply melted in our mouths. The kingfish wing was similarly decadent, with a beautiful texture. The native lime nam jim provided the perfect relief with a hint of acidity and spice. A work of art in both form and flavour, this dish has to be tasted to be believed.
The mains continued to please with perfectly cooked elements all seamlessly brought together in perfect harmony. Think luxurious foie gras served with onion brioche, fresh blackberries, turnips and chestnut chips and a rich finish to the savoury courses of Wagyu sirloin, "top shelf spices", pine mushrooms, watercress and puffed grains. A common thread that became obvious throughout this masterfully crafted dining experience was that Bacon uses his unquestionable technique to produce highly cohesive, delicious dishes without superfluous elements – every process and component is driven by the pursuit of flavour.
A pre-dessert of manuka honey, goats curd and bee pollen bubble served with honey comb wafer signalled the commencement of dessert. This was followed by a theatrical dessert (cheekily named "The Royal Pines martini igloo") of heady martini ice cream served theatrically in an illuminated ice igloo.
The final and our favourite dessert course was the Mangosteen and raspberry meringue. A delicious concoction which balanced sweetness, tartness and texture. We loved assisting Glenn with the plating up by smashing the meringue balls on the plate!
It was a truly multi-layered dining experience featuring truly extraordinary cuisine.
10am: Breakfast in bed
Breakfast is a decadent affair with a full buffet on offer and waffles, pancakes, omelettes, poached eggs, fried eggs and all others items cooked by the chefs in the open kitchen. Alternatively, if you want a really lazy start to the day then it is hard to resist having breakfast served in the luxury of your room...
We opted for a wonderful spread of eggs benedict, as well as muesli, fruits, pastries, coffees, juices and yoghurt – all delivered to our room as the morning sun rose across the landscaped vistas outside of our windows.
11am: One Spa
From the moment you enter One Spa, time stops and you are transported to another world. Serene and indulgent, One Spa offers a large range of beauty and relaxation treatments so that you can get the pampering you truly deserve.
We loved our 90 minute couples massage. The skilled therapists displayed the utmost professionalism and made our experience a memorable one. Following our rejuvenating treatments and with a newfound air of tranquillity, we wandered into the One Spa lounge to sip on herbal tea – it does not get much better than that.
1pm: Hitting the town in a Green Car
An Australian first initiative, RACV Royal Pines offers a Green Car Program where guests are able to take the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle for a ride during their stay. The electric vehicle hire is available at just $30 per day. The range of advantages associated with the RACV Green Car Program is enormous. Fewer moving parts in the vehicles mean less wear and tear and lower maintenance costs and associated environmental impacts from disposal of used parts.
RACV has also ensured the Green Car Program is wholly run via the purchase of certified renewable energy. We loved hitting the town and exploring Surfers Paradise in this environmentally friendly vehicle!
7pm: Dinner at Arakawa
Arakawa is an izakaya-style eatery dedicated first and foremost to the art of Japanese eating and drinking, offering a laid back environment for catching up with friends and family with a focus on quality food designed to share in stylish but comfortable surroundings.
The restaurant offers enticing dining options including intricately hand-crafted sushi, traditional a la carte dishes and the thrills of teppanyaki tables. Arakawa also features intimate tatami tables which can be reserved for special occasions.
Of particular note is the sashimi and nigiri selection at Arakawa. Our assorted sushi platter boasted a tenderness exhibited by high quality produce. The scallop nigiri was our favourite - expertly crafted and the plump, sweet scallops beggared belief. It is clear that Arakawa is using only the freshest, highest quality seafood.
The tempura set featured deep fried prawns and salmon and an assortment of vegetables served with grounded ginger and meshed radish and tempura dipping sauce. The tempura batter was ethereally light and crispy. The ingredients inside the batter were fresh and pleasing.
An Arakawa must-have, the Black cod with saikyo miso was stunning. The cod was beautifully fresh, vividly white and had been cooked to perfection. We were blown away by the silky texture and the golden-brown charred bits of caramelised miso on the fish. It was a stunning dish.
Our dinner concluded on a sweet note with a duo of desserts. The Green tea opera gateau was a beautiful layered creation while the Triple chocolate nanami chilli and macadamia bomb, was a chocolate lover's dream.
Arakawa has a band of loyal local followers and it is easy to understand why. With unblemished execution of Japanese food within a vibrant atmosphere and a desirable beverage selection Arakawa has certainly earned our stamp of approval.
9am: Breakfast at the Executive Lounge
Access to the Executive Lounge, located on Level 21, provides guests staying in Executive rooms with an additional retreat including breakfast, lounge, newspapers and magazines, light refreshments during the day, canapes and drinks in the evening and internet access.
After breakfast it was time to say our goodbyes.
Without exception, staff at RACV Royal Pines were professional, friendly and always worked hard to ensure our stay was as enjoyable as possible. From the excellent food, fine wines and indulgent spa treatments, we enjoyed our weekend away at RACV Royal Pines immensely and simply cannot wait to return.
Location: Ross St, Benowa, Queensland
Phone: (07) 5597 8700