There's no disputing that holiday travel has changed a lot in the past decade. People are wanting more from their holiday experience, the traditional hotel room has almost become a thing of the past as people opt for more space, luxurious surroundings, and value for money.
I came across a company called The Boutique Collection, a family owned business that specialises in hand picking the best properties for holiday makers to ensure they feel comfortable during their break. Awarded a Douglas Business Award for Best Holiday Letting agents in 2013, the service is personalised which was my attraction to staying in one of their managed properties.
Palm Cove is a half hour drive from Cairns its name derived from the palm trees that line the beach. A popular seaside location boasting award winning restaurants, tropical tranquil surroundings and a host of accommodation options, it's fast become one of Australia's most popular tourist destinations. I like to call Palm Cove Australia's slice of The Bahamas.
Views from the balcony of the pool, Coral Sea and surrounding islands
For many years I lived in Cairns, and proud to call it my second home. I'm lucky that I still work in the area from time to time, taking the opportunity to re-connect with friends and visit places I still hold wonderful memories of. There's something about the area that forever stays with you.
Staying by the ocean relaxes me, that's what taking time out is all about. I like to soak up the rays, take a beach walk daily, and see and hear the crashing of waves. Seaside spots out of Cairns are gaining popularity as you can't swim at the beach in the city centre. Also, holidaying in Australia's north is a cheaper alternative than travelling overseas to escape from the winter chills down south.
Driving into Palm Cove immediately gives you a sense of peace and tranquility. The region's tropical plants abundantly healthy and palm trees of all different sizes and age line the beach. It made me wonder if these palms could talk, imagine the stories and history each one would be able to share.
The only word I can use to describe my initial reaction walking into this luxury apartment is 'divine' with a capital D. Extremely spacious at 211 square metres, the layout is more like a home than an apartment. Interior design exquisite with modern features throughout, the apartment has been designed with attention to detail as its number one priority.
Second living area, with DVD player, chill out watching a movie or playing games
The outdoor balcony space not only has a dining area with a state of the art BBQ, but also a comfortable lounging area. Imagine two average sized apartments coming together as one - that's how spacious this apartment is.
If you've dreamt of a luxury holiday but never thought you could afford it - think again. This property is so large, there's enough room to retreat into your own private space with separate areas. It's a home away from home. Pick who you want to holiday with, whether it be a group of friends, couples, families, the fun will be in choosing!
Modern kitchen with everything you need, dishwasher and crockery and cutlery (set for left handed person)!
What cuts into a holiday budget is eating out. Three meals a day gets expensive especially for families. Buy groceries and make your own meals, maintain healthy eating while taking in your own private ocean views.
Nothing has been spared when it comes to the kitchen. Modern crockery and cutlery, dishwasher, condiments like salt, pepper, oil, peanut butter, vinegar, even cling wrap, oven bags, alfoil, dishwasher tablets and dishwashing liquid are supplied. Having stayed in many apartments, the beach properties in Far North Queensland supply these little extra touches.
Cook up a BBQ feast on the balcony and enjoy time out with friends or family. For those with children, after dinner they can entertain themselves in their own living area with movies, games, and free Wi-Fi while parents relax without having to leave the apartment to keep them entertained.
While it's a lovely experience to enjoy a meal at a restaurant on the esplanade some nights, the money you save preparing your own meals you can put into spoiling yourself with luxurious accommodation. Here's a rough run down of what I spent in a day eating out. Breakfast $25.00, lunch $30.00 dinner $75.00. A week's groceries cost me $105.00 including wine. If you want to holiday in style and thought you couldn't afford it, this is the way to go.
Master bedroom with king size bed and jacuzzi in the ensuite, leads onto the balcony with ocean views
The master bedroom not only has doors leading to the ocean front balcony and lounging area, but the ensuite is so spacious it houses a jacuzzi (the back massage while enjoying ocean views is just the beginning), large shower, toilet and a walk in robe. There's even toiletries supplied.
Bedroom leads out to the balcony and lounging area
With the beach at your doorstep, you can spend as much time swimming, relaxing, playing beach sports, then retreat back to the apartment at your leisure.
I would awaken to the aroma of coffee and cooked breakfast in the air. My morning beach walks felt different every day, the feeling of sand between my toes and the water temperature as if I'd set it to 'just right'. People from all walks of life out and about doing their own thing, in their own time - each creating memories and moments by this beach paradise they call Palm Cove.
The attraction with staying in Palm Cove is that everything is within walking distance. Restaurants, cafes, boutiques, supermarkets, day spas, water sports, a bottle shop, chemist, doctor, dentist, and access to various tours.
Or you can do what I did - relax while seeing and listening to crashing waves, watch the sunrise, collect your thoughts, write, walk barefoot on the sand, and spend quality time with whoever you choose.
It's your holiday, your way.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Qantas, Tigerair fly into Cairns as do a few international carriers. From Cairns Airport The Boutique Collection can arrange transfers, or hire a car and make your own way there.
Stock up on groceries at Clifton Village Shopping Centre, on the Captain Cook Highway not far from Palm Cove.
Watch the sunrise.
Sit on the beach at night and stare at the moon and stars.