Arriving at The Reef House & Spa in Palm Cove is like stepping back in time without sacrificing any modern-day creature comforts. Built in 1958, The Reef House was a private home for many years before it was transformed into a relaxed luxury resort. Even now, it still has that guesthouse feel, making it the perfect destination for some Far North Queensland R&R.
Your internal thermostat will immediately reset to holiday mode as soon as you arrive in Palm Cove but, just in case you need it, there are plenty of little reminders that you’re no longer in a big city. Take the Brigadier's Bar at Reef House: it works on an honesty system. There are cocktail cards on the bar and all the ingredients you need to whip up some of your favourite tipples. Once you’re done, write your room number and drink on the sheet provided and head back to the pool. Easy as that!
Communal cocktail hour
Chess sets, noughts and crosses boards and an extensive library of holiday reads are just some of the activities waiting for you in the Lounge at Reef House. There’s also complimentary punch in the Brigadier's Bar every day at twilight – it’s a great opportunity to relax and share travel tales with your fellow hotel guests. Prefer something quieter? Take a couple of the DVDs from the hotel’s movie collection back to your room for a quiet night in or borrow a fishing rod from the front desk and throw a line in off the jetty just up the road.
Creature comforts…and then some
Planning a romantic getaway? Book a Verandah Spa Room. The room is spacious and the bed is king size but the real talking point is the verandah. The large balconies have chaise lounges, an area for outdoor dining and a couple’s spa bath. While the spa is technically outside, it somehow feels very secluded and private. With this set up, it’s a wonder people ever leave the rooms!
If there’s one dish you have to eat while you’re at The Reef House it’s the Crispy Skin Wild-Caught Barramundi Thai Red Curry. A house favourite, it has a nice heat from the red curry sauce and a lovely freshness from the fish. The al fresco restaurant is at the base of a beautiful 300-year-old Melaluka tree and looks out over the Coral Sea. The menu is fresh, seasonal and makes the most of local produce.
Kick your holiday relaxation up a notch and book into The Reef House Day Spa. Treatments range from 30 minutes to 2 hours and are designed to cater to all your needs. On arrival you’re asked how you want to feel when you leave – think relaxed, rejuvenated, energised… Your treatment is then tailored to that end goal with facials and massages designed for ultimate indulgence. Remember that romantic getaway? There’s also a couple’s treatment room.