The drums are beating heralding new hotel ventures in Cairns. City Life is going to beat the drums to celebrate some Iconic Hotels we already have. FNQ has a lot to offer with great service and facilities already available to the people of FNQ and those that travel into our region.
From the beautifully refurbished Sheraton Mirage resort to the long-standing Colonial club we have always been spoilt for choice. There is an iconic hotel and getaway to cater to all budgets. Whether it’s for a family fun time or a romantic time away you will not be left wondering.
Let’s celebrate Iconic Hotels and Getaways that are part of the fabric of FNQ.
Mirage Resort Port Douglas
Sheraton Grand Mirage Port Douglas Resort was Australia’s first destination resort and changed the tourism landscape when it opened in 1987. The iconic resort put the sleepy fishing town of Port Douglas on the map and has since become an integral part of the community.
The resorts prime location with exclusive direct beachfront access on to Four Mile Beach wasn’t the only drawcard. Surrounded by 147ha of tropical gardens, 2ha of saltwater lagoon pools and an 18-hole golf course, this luxurious accommodation standard had not been seen before in Australia.
Attracting visitors from around Australia and across the globe, it quickly became the place to be seen. Famous past guests have included George Clooney, John Travolta, Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, Rod Stewart and many more. It still continues to attract celebrities, along with holidaying families, couples, babymooners and people celebrating special occasions, business guests, along with year-on-year returning guests.
Recently receiving the accolade of ‘Best Meetings & Events’ and ‘Best Refurbished Hotel – Accommodation Division’ at the 2018 Australian Hotel Association Awards, the Sheraton Grand Mirage has 18 flexible indoor and outdoor venues. With stunning beach and tropical garden spaces, it’s the perfect backdrop to any corporate meeting or wedding. The rooms, suites and villas boasts captivating views of tropical gardens or lagoon pools, featuring selected deluxe swim-out rooms and private balconies.
Exquisite dining venues offer internationally influenced cuisine for guests. The most nationally awarded restaurant in Port Douglas, Harrison’s is situated at the Sheraton Grand Mirage. This award-winning restaurant has nine chef’s hats among many other national achievements. Experience the perfect ambiance on their deck, this is truly a magical space for those shared moments with that special someone.
The freshly refurbished Daintree Bar is now open with a focus on quality Australian and regional North Queensland spirits. Taking inspiration from the local surroundings of the Daintree Rainforest, this newly opened bar introduces locally produced and Australian spirits in a novel way, showcasing just what Australia has to offer.
The picturesque location, all within close proximity to both the reef and rainforest have put this iconic resort at the top of many lists on where to stay, in Port Douglas.
Cairns Colonial Club Resort
An Iconic Cairns Landmark
“Our aim is to provide a vibrant venue not only for our out-of-town guests but one that can be enjoyed by the local community as well.”
Long before Cairns was considered a bucket-list destination, local developer and visionary Ian Thomas executed his concept to create a unique tourist haven reflecting colonial-style architecture in a tropical setting. Built in 1985, the Cairns Colonial Club Resort originally comprised of 151 rooms on 11 acres of rainforest gardens and immediately created a buzz with locals, travel agents and international tourists alike.
“It was quite a risk to invest in a property of this size in Cairns at that time,” said Cairns Colonial Club director of sales and marketing Jo Neill. “The original resort was built around a tract of ancient rainforest. This was a very unique concept that allowed guests to really experience the natural wonders of the region up close.”
The resort was such a resounding success that 129 new rooms were quickly built. This was followed in 1992 with the addition of 65 new Superior rooms surrounding the popular Club Pool that sported one of the region’s first swim-up bars.
The bright yellow butterfly adorning the tropical logo was widely recognised around the globe and the Cairns Colonial Club name quickly became synonymous with friendly service and excellent value, particularly appealing to visitors from New Zealand, Europe and North America.
Today, the resort is owned by Singaporean-based Goodearth Hotels and boasts 345 accommodation rooms, three lagoon-style pools a full-service restaurant and extensive conference and function facilities.
The stand-alone conference and functions centre opened in 1991 and features a dramatic sweeping staircase and 36-foot ceilings in the main ballroom. With its heritage-style design and wide timber verandas, the centre has always been a huge hit with locals and the romantic rainforest gazebo continues to be a draw card for weddings.
The legacy of the Cairns Colonial Club continues today but has recently been enhanced further with a significant refurbishment now underway.
The $1.2 million refurbishment has seen a complete makeover of 100 accommodation rooms to date including brand new bathrooms. The goal is to have all rooms fully refurbished by 2020. The exterior has also been repainted, gardens upgraded and a contemporary, new poolside bar and café incorporating a unique adventure playground will be opening early in the new year.
The resort is not exclusive to overnight guests.
“Locals have always been very important to us” said Jo. “Our aim is to provide a vibrant venue not only for our out-of-town guests but one that can be enjoyed by the local community as well. We’ll be hosting live entertainment, family BBQs, signature events and Sunday sessions … plenty of reasons for locals to come together and rediscover this iconic resort. Watch this space!”
Cairns Colonial Club Resort
18-26 Cannon Street, Cairns
Ph: 4053 8800
Aqualin Holloways Beach
Better than we could have imagined
Words by Mej Nolan
Finding the perfect place to accommodate my sister, her husband and her two teenage sons from Scotland, who were visiting Cairns over the school holidays, was a bit challenging, mainly because our family also included a teenage boy and, as we know, teenagers are hard to entertain.
Not only did I want my sister and her husband to relax, I wanted to make sure the teenagers had fun too, which is not always easy to do these days when they’re normally glued to their digital devices!
Friends of ours highly recommended staying at Aqualin at Holloways Beach, a five-bedroom beachfront home that has everything you could possibly want. Once I checked out this amazing fully air-conditioned home, its fantastic five-star facilities and location, I just knew it would be a hit with everyone. Well, I kept my fingers crossed about the teenagers!
As soon as we entered the two-story home, everyone was quiet as they stood open mouthed while they looked at the tropical décor and amazing beachfront views. Then they all started chatting at once, admiring this beautiful home. It was then that I knew we picked a winner.
With five spacious bedrooms (each with their own TV), a large gourmet kitchen plus a kitchenette (both with Nespresso coffee makers), three outdoor/indoor alfresco dining areas as well as a spacious lounge area and sitting rooms, there was more than enough room for everyone to chill out, relax and enjoy.
And with Wi-Fi, an Xbox game console and a 3D LED TV entertainment system with Bluetooth sound bar in the main lounge, the teenagers were in seventh heaven. So were the adults, who could relax on the outdoor patios overlooking sensational Coral Sea views.
As we arrived in the afternoon, I was sure the boys would spend the rest of the day playing Xbox games, tuning into their phones or watching TV while us adults could catch up over drinks and nibbles. Boy, was I wrong!
I’m not sure if was the heart-shaped pool that attracted them outside, the undercover pavilion with its lounges, the inviting hammock by the pavilion or the gorgeous landscaped lawn that was perfect for playing soccer, but once they went outdoors all we heard was laughter and lots of splashing. We couldn’t resist joining them.
Afterwards, we all went for a walk along the golden sandy beach, picking up sea shells and enjoying the fresh sea air.
During our week-long stay, we tore ourselves away from our beautiful holiday home to explore Holloways Beach restaurants, Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree and beautiful surroundings.
All too soon our stay came to an end. While our teenagers barely spent time on their phones while we were there, which was a marvellous change, they did take lots of photos and posted them on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
That’s probably why we are suddenly inundated with requests from friends and family to come and visit us. Of course, we can’t refuse. The truth is, we honestly just can’t wait to spend more time at Aqualin. Even with teenagers!
Aqualin, Holloways Beach
Ph 4098 1418