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Hijinx Hotel Surfers Paradise

This Gold Coast bar from the Holey Moley team pairs challenges with cocktails — and plenty of nostalgia.
By Sarah Ward
February 07, 2023
By Sarah Ward
February 07, 2023

What looks like it takes its design cues from The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Shining's Overlook Hotel and Willy Wonka's chocolate factory? What gives the escape-room concept a game-fuelled twist and drips with nostalgia as well? What also combines all of the above with booze for the ultimate in kidulting fun? And, what marks the latest Queensland venue for Funlab, the company behind Strike, Holey Moley, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq, and B Lucky and Sons?

Actually, another question: what's now open in Surfers Paradise, and wants you to play and sip your way through it over summer? The answer: Hijinx Hotel, Funlab's adult-focused twist on sleuthing your way through various spaces with a beverage or several in your hand.

Instead of escaping here, patrons here hit up challenges. Making its Queensland debut on the Gold Coast first opening in Sydney midyear, the new venue spans ten game rooms filled with entertaining things to do. That includes a ball toss room, one dedicated to television, another that's all about basketball and yet another that's devoted to Rubik's cubes.

Basically, the whole concept is a bar decked out like a hotel, but getting attendees to complete challenges rather than get a-slumbering in its various spaces. It also gleans inspiration from all those supremely Instagrammable pop-up installations that include ball pits, but this one is sticking around southeast Queensland permanently. And, it boasts bars for cocktail-drinking opportunities, nods to New York hotels in its facade, and just generally overflows with homages to movies and board games from the 80s and 90s.

Shaking off your regular routine is clearly the name of the game here, and partying like you would've before you were old enough to drink alcohol — but with the hard stuff definitely on offer. That all starts when you enter via the faux hotel lobby bar, which is full of colour and surrealist touches. Instead of merely checking in, though, that's where you'll find cocktails.

As for the not-quite-hotel rooms themselves, you gain access by heading to reception t0 pick up a swipe card. As well as the aforementioned activities, Sydney faves such as the Adore-a-ball, Scrambled, Threenicorn and candy ball pit rooms have been replicated in Surfers. And, yes, the Big-style piano room with a giant keyboard across the floor is included here as well.

Open since December 2022, Hijinx Hotel has company at its Piazza on the Boulevard home, underneath Cali Beach on Elkhorn Ave in Surfers Paradise, as part of a 3279-square-metre precinct with a capacity for 410 guests. Fellow Funlab brands Holey Moley and Archie Brothers have also opened their doors, for tapping around 18 pop culture-themed greens and getting a sideshow experience.

In total, the entire space — encompassing Hijinx Hotel, Holey Moley and Archie Brothers — features 72 arcade machines, six bowling lanes, ten game rooms and 18 holes of golf. Also a highlight: those three bars serving up creative cocktails, and breaking up all that kidulting.

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