Peppers Beach Club, Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Perfectly situated between the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, Port Douglas has a wide range of resort accommodation.
By Paul Chai
Whether you want to stay in a boutique hotel with ocean views, a retro themed beachside retreat or a newly renovated resort known for putting Port Douglas on the map, there are plenty of great accommodation options in this pocket of Tropical North Queensland.
PEPPERS BEACH CLUB
A short walk from popular Four Mile Beach, Peppers Beach Club is a contemporary resort with gardens full of tropical palms. Opt for the one-bedroom lagoon suites around the calm waters of the resort lagoon and you can jump into the water via your own private pontoon. Take dinner at the poolside Sublime Bar & Grill, which has an emphasis on fresh local flavours, or head to the Exclusive Spa, where signature treatments are influenced by the tropical rainforest surrounds and local Aboriginal culture.
QT PORT DOUGLAS
The 170-room QT Port Douglas has a shamelessly retro beach vibe, with colourful cane chairs, bars decorated with pebbles and lots of bold stripes. This branch of the design-savvy QT Hotels offers a fun stay. Rooms include a one-bedroom pool view villa that looks onto the action in the circular pool, with its white sun lounges, central island and swim-up bar. Bazaar restaurant offers fresh seafood in a space surrounded by a carp-filled pool. After dinner head to Estilo, the mid-century themed hotel bar that shows black and white surf movies and shakes up killer cocktails.
SHERATON MIRAGE PORT DOUGLAS RESORT
This is the resort that put the town of Port Douglas on the map back when it was built by Australian tycoon Christopher Skase in the 1980s. The 294-room Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort, in the centre of town, has had a $40 million makeover, and the property, set in 147 hectares (363 acres) of lush tropical garden, is back in the limelight. Amenities include an 18-hole golf course, lagoon pools and dining on the deck of Feast Restaurant, where you can sample the area's amazing fresh seafood.
HOTEL PULLMAN PORT DOUGLAS SEA TEMPLE RESORT & SPA
Plunge straight into the 3000 square metre (32,000 square foot) pool from the patio in your room at the Hotel Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa. Or head to the Vie Spa for the signature Heaven on Earth treatment, a combination of organic facial, body exfoliation, massage and foot treatment. Rooms are huge, with stylish cream couches, dark wood tables and sun lounges on the patio. Guests can dine in Aqua Restaurant for the sophisticated seafood menu or keep things casual with a range of share plates on the Tapastry menu.
SILKY OAKS LODGE
Spend the night in a tree house hidden in the thick canopy of the Daintree Rainforest at Silky Oaks Lodge, just under half an hour inland from Port Douglas. Each dark wood cabin, accented with pillows and soft furnishings in the natural greens of the surrounding forest, has a rain shower and balcony that looks out on to the natural surrounds. Guests can have a cocktail or meal at the open-sided Treehouse Restaurant, perched high above the Mossman River. Try the private riverside dining option if you want to get even closer to nature.
PORT DOUGLAS PENINSULA BOUTIQUE HOTEL
This small property offers an intimate counterpoint to the larger resorts in the area and has some of the region's best beach and ocean views. The Port Douglas Peninsula Boutique Hotel has just 34 one-bedroom beachfront suites. The Oceanview Suites offer balconies looking out onto the Coral Sea as well as floor-to-ceiling windows, luxury soft furnishings and a two-person tub. This is seaside romance at its finest. Dine at Hi Tide Café-Bar-Restaurant, the only licensed restaurant right on Four Mile Beach, and raise a glass to paradise.
NIRAMAYA VILLAS AND SPA
Pavilions with high ceilings, private courtyards and lush, frangipani-filled gardens are hallmarks of Niramaya Villas and Spa, a short walk from Four Mile Beach and the town of Port Douglas. This self-contained accommodation offers villas with up to four bedrooms. They have limestone feature walls, indoor-outdoor bathrooms, and decor and design inspired by the Indonesian island of Bali.
Mantra offers families and groups a handful of properties in Port Douglas, including Mantra Aqueous on Port, which has balconies with spa baths, four lagoon pools and a barbecue area, set in tropical gardens. Mantra Heritage is just minutes from Port Douglas’s busy dining precinct on Macrossan Street. Mantra on the Inlet is a smaller, colonial-style stay in the popular marina precinct, the step-off point for exploration of the Great Barrier Reef.
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