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Stingray Bar & Lounge

Bars, Cocktail bars
Patrons stand at the bar waiting to be served
Photograph: Supplied

Stingray remains one of the best bars on the Gold Coast

Slotted neatly into the ground floor of the QT Hotel Gold Coast, Stingray was one of the early success stories in a fragile renaissance that’s happening along the interminable strip of high-rises and coastal suburbs bookended by Southport in the north and the NSW border in the south. QT hotels are known for embracing the quirks of their location and the giddy Gold Coast instalment is no different, tapping into a knowingly kitsch post-war beach vibe, from the crisp, brightly coloured rooms to the jumpsuit uniforms sported by the reception staff. Stingray takes all this and twists it for a nighttime crowd: think white-painted brickwork, floating wooden floorboards and sequences of crisp, patterned tiling. The outskirts of the venue are lined by long leather banquettes: during the day they play host to Man Tea, a package deal of drinks and Mexican-skewed bar eats; at night they’re taken over by young, beautiful but friendly Gold Coast types, with just the right smattering of all-sorts furnished by the hotel above. Stingray has a seasonal cocktail list of exotic drinks flavoured with greenery from a second level herb garden. You might try a Tom Collins built on dill-infused Bombay Sapphire, or a Tiki Punch that peddles lemon myrtle-infused Bacardi. Stingray’s calling card, though, is a ginormous range of tequila. It’s a specialty that suits the beach-bum location, but this isn’t about juicing you up for a midnight run into the surf. Instead, venue manager Jeff Clifford can sit down and take you through a short flight of tequilas. It’s an experience designed to promote exploration of an often-underrated spirit. Not that you’ll want to do this too late on a Friday or Saturday night, when the bar gets a heave on: low lights, terrific local and international DJs and the friendly crowd mean it’s easy to slip from the lounges to the dance floor.

By: Cliff Turner


Venue name: Stingray Bar & Lounge
Address: QT Gold Coast
7 Staghorn Avenue
Surfers Paradise
Opening hours: Daily noon-midnight
Static map showing venue location