Families — and loads of loved-up couples — are flocking to the The Alamanda Palm Cove in Far North Queensland. Here are six good reasons why you should too.
The Alamanda is the only absolute beachfront resort on Palm Cove’s 800-metre tourist strip. A mini-forest of coconut palms is all that stands between you and the sands that meet the Coral Sea. Head to the beach from your room, turn left and stroll along the melaleuca- and palm-shaded boardwalk to an array of restaurants spas, souvenir shops (and a couple of painfully overpriced mini-marts). Wander along the wooden pier to see what local fishermen are reeling in.
Each of the Alamanda’s 69 apartments is generously over-sized (even the one-bedders have two bathrooms) if a smidge safe décor-wise. The floating boards, airy open-plan design and stone kitchen benches were ahead of their time when this place was built in the early ‘90s, so it’s hard to fault the hardware. Most apartments feature an L-shaped built-in sofa (more comfy than it sounds), a fully-equipped, open-plan kitchen with Meile appliances, and a vast balcony that either looks over two of the resort’s three pools, or across the vast Coral Sea. There’s free wifi in all apartments, but thanks to the solid walls, access can be hit and miss in places.
Tell the world you’re going to Palm Cove, then charge a dollar for everyone who says “You must go to Nu Nu!” Fortunately, this award-winning 169-seat restaurant — helmed by Nick Holloway, ex-Pearl in Melbourne —fronts the Alamanda, and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Start the day with a North Queensland mud crab omelette as the rising sun glints through the palms. Nu Nu also offers room service and will deliver meals poolside. What did you do to deserve this?
If a tropical wedding has been on your wish-list, check out Alamanda’s picture-perfect chapel. Exchange vows by the glistening Coral Sea, hold your reception under the stars or in the warm sea breeze at Nu Nu, then send friends and family to bed in their Alamanda apartment just metres away. Sigh.
As part of its “Family Stress Free Package”, the Alamanda offers free cots, high chairs, prams, strollers, baby bouncers, baby baths, potties, play mats & security gates. At press time, the resort was putting the finishing touches on a games room with pool table, movies and Play Stations. A gym will open November 1. School holiday activities include beach volleyball and a free BBQ every Wednesday.
The Alamanda Spa is a haven of solitude and relaxation where the only sounds you’ll hear are lapping waves. Three of the spa’s eight treatment rooms are actually rooftop pergolas, each with a private plunge pool and a view of the sea. Try the ‘Utopia’ treatment: a 30 minute honey sesame body polish, 60 minute body massage and 60 minute facial.
(Insider tip: One of the pergolas has outdoor furniture. Check availability with the front desk first, then order a tasting plate from Nu Nu, buy a bottle of wine, and as the warm breeze kisses your cheeks, say farewell to another day in paradise.)