The lap pool. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
If you are a busy person (and who isn't these days?) then Rumba Beach Resort in Caloundra is the relaxing break you need and likely deserve for a weekend away or a longer stay.
This small resort offers an idyllic world of affordable 5-star luxury, swimming pools and pampering that stems the rising tide of everyday work stress, peak hour traffic and routine.
It's like being on a tropical Island resort in a secluded and self-contained world, but there is plenty of outside life should you wish to leave your sanctuary.
Add to this Caloundra's magnificent beaches and its close proximity to major towns and your holiday is in the bag. The overnight one you packed in readiness for just such an occasion.
Wonderful walks along the coastline. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
Rumba Beach Resort is an hour's drive from Brisbane. But you could leave your car at home.
The patrolled beach is right outside your back door, as is a lengthy strip of cafes, restaurants and bars. Most guests end up leaving their cars in the free parking area underneath the resort and forget about it until they leave.
Using a Go Card you can train it from Brisbane. That way you get to stare at the fabulous Glass House Mountains instead of the traffic ahead. Then when you get to Landsborough, an awaiting bus whisks you the final stops to Caloundra.
View from the train window. Glass House Mountains. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
Arriving at Caloundra Bus Exchange Rumba Beach Resort is only a minute's suitcase roll away.
Interstate and overseas guests can take door-to-door airport shuttles servicing both the Sunshine Coast Airport and Brisbane Airport seven days a week.
Check-in and Accessibility
As well as being easy to reach, the resort prides itself on accessibility. Whether you are a parent pushing a stroller, someone holidaying with an elderly relative in a wheelchair or a person like me, who plain hates carrying suitcases up steps, easy access is a drawcard.
There is a short ramp when you enter Rumba and then you follow a carefully rolled out red carpet that leads to the friendliness and welcoming smiles at reception.
After that, there are lifts everywhere including to the underneath car park, your room and down to the esplanade.
Sofa with a view. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
'Gosh!' was my reaction when walking into my apartment. Photos soon flew to family and friends so they could share the view.
Open-plan living areas and spacious balconies blur the lines between inside and out in this fabulous design.
My ocean fronting room looked out over the sheltered Pumicestone Passage to Bribie Island. The view was like a painting as there were long thin streaks of yellow and white sand, the grey, blue, jade and silver of the water and looming above the dark metal of threatening clouds.
The storm was suddenly illuminated by a rainbow's arched spectrum of playful colours and then the golden rays of sunshine pierced through.
These lit up the distant Glass House Mountains. Captain Cook named them such as they reminded him of the glass making furnaces of his native Yorkshire. You get to see them as he first did – giants stretching upwards from the flat landscape, the towering and jagged remnants of ancient volcanic activity.
The Décor & Appliances
Glass House Mountains in the distance. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
The apartment's interior lulled me into relaxation mode. The interior designer had used soft rounded edges such as an oval marble bench in the kitchen and a circular spa bath in an alcove spacious enough for two.
Two person round spa baths. Facebook Rumba Beach Resort
Paintings of waves and the colour scheme mirrored the gentle greys of the Pumicestone Passage, and the dark blues and white crested peaks of the distant ocean.
It would have been easy to spend my time sipping a drink on the balcony or sprawled on the long couch, as both took in the spectacular views.
Weekend Music Coax's you to Relax
But relaxation is sometimes heightened by a smidge of activity, so I put on some lipstick and pressed the lift button down to the poolside bar. Happy hour runs from 4-6 pm with $5 drinks as well as a full range of cocktails.
Jess, the lovely bar attendant, soon handed me a drink as well as changing my seat, as she thought I would be more comfortable. She was as welcoming and bubbly as my champagne.
On Friday and Saturday nights, Rumba Beach Resort offers relaxing live music and on this particular Friday singer/guitarist, Alexis Sawford was performing. I know little about music but enough to recognise a few Eric Clapton riffs when I hear them.
Sawford's repertoire included songs by Sam Cooke, The Beatles, Creedence, John Denver and other mellow classics to carry guests into the weekend.
Friday singer/guitarist, Alexis Sawford was performing.
It was an indelible moment hearing my favourite song with a glass of champagne in hand, whilst looking out at Rumba's resort pool where coloured lights playing on the water.
In future whenever I hear the refrain:
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go
I will be transported back to that moment.
The 26° Bar has an inside area but one of the walls is mostly open and has a ledge. Parents can sit here on stools and keep a watchful eye on their children frolicking in the pool while still enjoying the music.
As well as the smaller pool, there is a heated lap pool that has a transparent glass wall at the end that offers a view over the esplanade and several portholes, where swimmers can duck down and see what diners are having for dinner in the restaurant below.
Swimming pool peep outs. Facebook Rumba Beach Resort Caloundra
The resort also offers a separate hot Jacuzzi for a relaxing soak.
Close Proximity to Restaurants and Entertainment
Photo Facebook Rumba Beach Resort Caloundra
Carnival atmosphere outside. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
Bulcock Beach is just outside and you can take a stunning sunset walk along the boardwalk. On certain Friday evenings, there is a Twilight Market with street entertainment and a wide selection of artisan, craft, and food stalls. For details of the market, dates click here
There is always something happening on the Esplanade. When I was there in July the Skyline Ferris Wheel was in Caloundra for the forthcoming school holidays.
Rumba is surrounded by Caloundra's best restaurants, including La Dolce Vita Pizzeria, Tides Waterfront Dining and Drift, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
As I was champing to get back to my room, I chose to have a quick meal at Hog's Breath because a holiday calls for at least one steak and a serve of excellent buttery mash. Service was quick and friendly given they were so busy.
An Indulgent Night In
Back in my room, a richly rewarding soak in the spa bath was followed by a night of Foxtel and on-demand movies.
Making myself a cup of herbal tea I couldn't help but peek into the kitchen cupboards. I could see management had thought of everything making this the perfect self-catering venue.
There was an electric frypan, a huge saucepan for boiling spaghetti, storage containers for leftovers, and an assortment of glasses including champagne flutes and whisky tumblers. Gosh, there was even an ice bucket.
It felt like a home away from home only better than most of our homes. Appliances, for example, included a Miele dishwasher and stovetop and a Fisher & Paykel washing machine and dryer and King Cloud beds. Clever lighting systems had a special setting for watching TV by and the rooms had individual heating and cooling as some like it hot, and some do not.
Whiling Away the Morning
In the morning, I had coffee on my balcony and watched holidaymakers running or walking along the foreshore. The resort hires out bikes as there are 25 kilometres of paths at your doorstep stretching from Golden Beach down south all the way to Mooloolaba.
Rumba Beach Resort serves a complimentary light breakfast with fresh fruit, toast, hot drinks and some good-looking muffins that staff kindly seem to leave out for those who had slept in until morning tea time. Also on offer were $3 barista made coffees.
You could order cooked breakfasts and these were served in a tropical themed room with trailing plants and a soothing waterfall feature.
The menu included favourites such as big brekkies, bacon and egg rolls, omelettes and eggs benny but also more unusual items such as vanilla panna cotta with fresh fruit as well as halloumi cheese topped with a large mushroom and eggs.
As you can see from my breakfast plate below meals are stacked to help you get through the day.
As I was heading up to Rainbow Beach, I had a few hours before my transport left in the afternoon and reception looked after my luggage so I could enjoy a few more hours of soaking up Caloundra's coastal scenery.
Along the boardwalk, I talked to a few fishermen who felt good-sized bream and jewfish would be on the menu that night.
Fishing for dinner. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
Wandering the other way towards King's Beach was the Happy Valley Playground themed on Caloundra's old lighthouse and there was even a coffee van for parents.
The walk was easy but on the beach, the wind was whipping up the waves and the clouds were rain dancing in the sky. It was a whirling dervish of a scene and everyone who was out and about was enjoying the show.
Reaching King's Beach I noticed the surfers were also out. There are six beaches you can easily reach in the area.
You always find beautiful seascapes walking along the beach at Caloundra
The previous day I'd explored the shopping area which is just around the corner from the resort. It struck me as a good place for women like me who love to shop.
It wasn't overly expensive like Noosa with all its upmarket boutiques but there were plenty of magnetic attractions pulling me in. And some excellent bargains on beauty services such as waxing, massages and hairdressing.
I was there on a winter's day which was fine for walking but if you did happen to have an inclement day BigScreen Cinemas
are located in the Strand Building on the corner of Bulcock St and Knox Ave, Caloundra and offer $9 tickets all day.
Who is this resort for?
Waiting for my bus, I read through some of the online reviews and noticed the constant theme was that people return to Rumba Beach Resort time and again. For many groups, couples and large extended families it is their regular go-to for their annual holidays.
Rumba Beach Resort offers one, two and three bedroom guest apartments with multiple bathrooms, home theatre systems as well as free Wi-Fi. So there is plenty of space for families and groups to spread themselves over but also to come together in.
One of the staff members mentioned the resort was family run. There are only 65 suites so the resort has an intimate rather than a cookie-cutter corporate feel.
Some of the rooms such as the beachfront apartment shown in my photos were only recently renovated.
Add to this the closeness of so many amenities and attractions and the stunning beauty of this dramatic coastline.
So, I understand why guests form such a firm attachment to this holiday venue. I was only there for one night and am writing this in retrospect, but I can still feel Rumba Beach Resort's tug as yes just like everyone else I have become well and truly attached.
Rumba Beach Resort offers a variety of specials depending on the time of year such as stay 4 nights and only pay for 3, and stay 7 nights and only pay for 5 including a $50 Resort voucher. Not all rooms have ocean views.
Some look over the fabulous pool area so you should talk about your preference when booking. To find out more about Rumba Beach Resort's specials, click here.
￼For a list of things to do in Caloundra that show why you will never get bored, click here