It wasn’t until our best buddies decided to book a short break away to Far North Queensland that Mr. IM and I even considered that we might just be ready for a break ourselves.
Of course being the great mates we are, it didn’t take us long to jump on their band wagon…
Within a heart-beat our diaries were open.
But when should we go? It took all of three seconds to realise my birthday would be the perfect time (especially since the weather over the last two years has been horrendous on the coast – how dare it rain on my birthday parade!)
Our intention was to combat the rainy day birthday celebrations and go in search of some winter sun!
Both of us have always wanted to go North. So flying into Cairns was the obvious choice for us.
When we lived in the UK if a quick guaranteed fix of sunshine was required, all one had to do was hot-tail one’s ass on a two-hour flight to either Spain/Italy/Portugal…a two-hour flight north of Brisbane and we are still in Queensland – its crazy how big this country is!
Anyways…We booked our trip through Expedia.
It was totally painless and the best prices for a flight and hotel package I could find.
Our priorities will be different to yours, but most important on our wish list, is a fabulous hotel in an idyllic spot.
I want to walk into the reception and be wowed. If greatness is promoted on-line, I expect to see it the minute I arrive.
Friendly, yet professional reception staff should always greet you.
Oh and a Spa – did I mention that? Yes that’s always a priority too!
Ok, I’m just going to put it out there and openly confess, before I go any further, I am a hotel snob.
I have been lucky enough to stay in some amazing hotels over the years throughout Europe, Dubai, USA and the Caribbean.
Knock-out hotels that transport you into the ‘holiday’ spirit within seconds of arriving
Yes, I expect a lot.
It’s just not a holiday to me if I am staying in accommodation that is not as nice as the house I live in for the rest of the year.
Holidays are all about a ‘touch of luxury’. I want escapism.
I would rather have a weekend of luxury than two weeks of roughing it any-day – I’m a quality over quantity type of gal!
Let’s just say the room did not disappoint. It was compact but very nice – it’s a real shame because these pic’s don’t really do it justice, but hopefully they will give you an idea .
Note: all of the apartments on offer at The Pullman have full kitchen facilities (which I had no intention of using) but would be perfect if self-catering is your thing.
Before we made Australia our home, I truly struggled to find hotels here in Oz that really lived up to the hype of the marketing teams that had promoted them. Everytime I booked accommodation from the UK it was disappointing to say the least. Too much bragging and not enough delivering.
The was only one place that lived up to its reputation: Oceans at Mooloolaba. Note: I’ve not stayed there in the past 4 years, but at the time it was amazing.
To say we were impressed when we arrived at The Pullman in Palm Cove was an under-statement. It is a gorgeous place to stay.
So as you can imagine, when it comes to booking a hotel here, I’m always cautious.
I get over this hype by checking every hotel I’m interested in through Trip Advisor – Honest advice from honest travellers is what I want. The real people paying good money, all with different expectations and needs.
After reading everything I could find on the Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort & Spa I just knew this would suit our needs perfectly.
This resort style hotel really is gorgeous.
Enormous bi-fold doors give you the impression of being outside at all times.
You could arrive and this place and not move an inch from your sun lounger, besides rolling in to the pool to cool down and of course reaching for your next cocktail 😉
If you are feeling peckish, eat lunch under the shade of the Lagoon Bar or choose to have it served poolside – the choice is yours.
Or walk just the few short steps to the beach...hearing the ocean and feeling the sand between my toes is my idea of heaven.
During our stay we had dinner twice at the hotel in the Temple of Taste restaurant.
The first was for my Birthday…think belly pork with delicate pickles, followed by the best fillet steak I’ve EVER had. YUM.
But if you prefer to explore, the centre of Palm Cove is short five-minute stroll away, with an abundance of fabulous eateries and restaurants that did not disappoint us at all.
From our first afternoon snacking on a tuna fillet burger with a glass of wine and a beer, to our last breakfast at Nu Nu (with a view to die for) the food was incredible.
**Nu Nu was recommended by one of my lovely Instagram followers.
Check this out:
Hot Smoked Red Emperor Croquette, Crumbs, Two Poached Eggs finished off with Saffron Hollandaise – D E L I C I O U S
In order for our us to get the most out of our time at Palm Cove and the surrounding areas, I also booked a hire car through Red Spot at Cairns Airport.
On the Friday we headed off to Port Douglas.
Talk about a scenic drive, it was glorious…although, I suffer from travel sickness, therefore my hot-tip would be: don’t attempt to post your #everydaystyle pic on Instagram while your man drives like Lewis Hamilton around the bends – I FELT AS SICK AS A PIG.
It’s well worth the drive though – just for the breathtaking rainforest backdrop and incredible coastline views.
Port Douglas and the surrounding area are just stunning.
You can shop, eat and go beachside. With high-end resort properties a plenty – there is masses of choice on the accommodation front, especially for such small area.
There is so much to do in the Cairns/Palm Cove/ Port Douglas area.
- The Barrier Reef (by boat or helicopter).
- Mossman Gorge.
- Green Island
- Hartley Crocodile Adventures
- Kuranda Train and Skyrail
We on the other hand, did lots of this – well it was my birthday festival afterall 😉
My birthday is never complete without a date with this kid.
We landed back in Brisbane and headed straight to see her – she had booked a table for dinner at Hatch & Co Gasworks Plaza, Newstead.
Fabulous food in a great setting – with of course the best company I could have asked for.
Yes, as with everywhere you go – there is always room for improvement (especially if you’re a travel aficionado).
But overall, if you take everything in to account; this trip to FNQ was everything we needed plus just a little bit more – which is pretty darn good in my book.
So tell me, have you been? If so, did you fall in love with the place just like we did?
Where else should we add to our list of Australian must see places?