Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa

The catch phrase used by the resort is ‘Simply Sinalei’ and Sinalei is simply stunning. Set in 33 acres of lush gardens on the picture-postcard south coast of Upolo (45 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from Apia with a complimentary shuttle) there are just 27 charming fales. There are two restaurants (the chef is excellent), a swimming pool, golf course, tennis, Day Spa and watersports (swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, fishing and diving). There’s a deep blue hole just off the end of the pier that invites guests to jump in for a swim and a snorkel. The beachfront fales are superb with an enclosed atrium with outdoor shower and large deck looking out to the ocean – and there is one Honeymoon Pool Villa that is exquisite. Both the resort and manager, Sose Alexander, exude casual elegance and from the moment you arrive, you feel special. There are bonuses for honeymooners like massages, bubbly and an upgrade to the next room category (subject to availability) and Stay Pay specials. You will leave Sinalei with so many special memories – could be a sunset cruise, visiting the village next door or simply doing nothing in style.

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Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Beach Resort & Spa

Opened in 2005 “new Aggie’s” is a fabulous resort. There are 140 air-conditioned rooms looking out across the water to Savai’i Island. There’s an excellent restaurant, cocktail bar, pool with swim-up bar, huge range of watersports (diving, sailing, fishing, canoeing, jet skis etc), and a stunning Day Spa for pampering massages. There’s also an excellent golf course and a beautiful 100-year-old chapel – this isn’t a ‘resort’ chapel but a working church and the only resort in the Pacific that can have Catholic weddings on site. The resort is five minutes from the International airport, five minutes from the wharf for the ferry to Savai’i (takes 90 minutes) and about half an hour from Apia – it’s a pretty drive that gives a good insight into village life and Apia can be quite lively at night but don’t miss the spectacular fia fia at the resort on Thursdays. For those who would like to experience a night or two in Apia, we can arrange a combination with the original and famous Aggies (a wonderful colonial experience in Apia’s best hotel).

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Fafa Island Resort

On its own little island, Fafa is a 30 minute boat ride from Nuku’alofa. Certainly the pick for honeymooners and those looking to ‘get away from it all’. There are traditional style fales close to the water and activities include snorkelling, volleyball, surf skis, petanque and bush walks. There’s also a bar and restaurant.

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International Dateline Hotel

This is a bit of an icon in Tonga, located opposite the harbour and wharf, a 10-minute walk from the main part of Nuku’alofa. It was built in 1967 to accommodate guests attending the coronation of King Tupou IV. Recently the property had a much-needed refurbish with new rooms, lobby, restaurant and bar added. All rooms are air-conditioned. There’s a swimming pool and children’s area. Tongan feasts are on Wednesday and Saturday nights and the reasonably priced restaurant is one of the few to open Sunday evenings. Non-guests can use the pool for a fee of T$5 and access the bar (a tip for travellers wondering what there is to do on Sundays in Nuku’alofa!)

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Thala Beach Lodge

Thala Beach Lodge is on a headland surrounded by over 2 km of private sandy beaches and sheltered coves. The views from the restaurant are panoramic, taking in the Far North Queensland coast from Double Island to Cape Tribulation, and from the sparkling waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the World Heritage forests that cover the ranges. Thala is 10 minutes from Port Douglas (regular shuttle) and all tours in the Cairns, Port Douglas area pick up at the Lodge. All buildings are up in the tree canopy, providing an unobtrusive relationship with nature.

Thala is an area exceptionally rich in habitat diversity, making it one of the best places on the coast for bird and butterfly watching. The gardens are a thriving habitat for many of local small marsupials, amphibians, and smaller reptiles. Picnic baskets can be arranged, there’s a boutique, adventure desk, art gallery and a display of Australian opals and handcrafted jewellery. There are two freeform swimming pools. The main pool features waterfalls, spas and grottos. Secluded among the gardens is the “Rock Pool”, a smaller and more intimate swimming pool for guests looking for a quiet, relaxing grove.

Accommodation

All rooms are air-conditioned with ceiling fans and have coffee and tea facilities, hair dryers, remote control television, mini bar, bath and shower, safe-keeping facilities, private balcony, telephone, tropical furnishings, king or queen sized bed and private access.

The intimate bungalows among the trees are beautifully appointed. They have private verandahs and generous windows so you can enjoy the tropical surroundings from the inside or outside. Located on the foremost point of the headland, overlooking two secluded beaches is a suite that has a spectacular view. This luxuriously furnished suite has a private verandah, lounge room and spacious bedroom. It’s perfect for honeymoons and romantic getaways.

Dining

Ospreys Restaurant offers fine food with uninterrupted views for 110 kilometres. Dine among the birds in the surrounding treetops. The ‘Masked Plover’ Cocktail Bar is open throughout the day and evening. It overlooks the pool and the expanse of coast and rainforests.

Getting There

Thala is 40 minutes north of Cairns, just south of Port Douglas.

Contact us for more information and bookings Thala Beach Lodge

Reef House Boutique Resort & Spa Palm Cove

Palm Cove is a secluded beachside village only twenty minutes north of Cairns and it has been voted Australia’s cleanest beach. The Reef House Resort & Spa is a unique and stunning getaway. With only 69 rooms this maintains the relaxed feel of small, sophisticated hotel with all the luxuries and service of an international five star resort.

The resort’s three pristine pools are framed by shaded pathways and tropical flora, creating a magnificent backdrop to the candle-lit corridors and white washed buildings. Take your pick from 2 picturesque freshwater pools (one of which is shaded by a unique suspended canopy), a sheltered saltwater pool or 2 Jacuzzis (one heated).

Harpers & Queen UK Magazine voted the Health Spa in the Top 100 Spa’s in the World. It’s located in a freestanding 2-storey building, integrating white wash walls, terracotta tiles and rich native timbers. A freshwater moat frames the building and access to the sanctuary is via a wooden footbridge.

Accommodation

All rooms have both air-conditioning and ceiling fans, private verandah or terrace, kitchenette, mini bar, uniquely furnished interiors with handcrafted artifacts, large screen colour TV with DVD Player and sound system. They are delightfully cool and airy and the large romantic beds are draped with cascades of light muslin netting.

The Brigadier Rooms are elegantly designed studio-style rooms that open to a balcony or terrace with a swinging double lounge. There’s a kitchenette and the bathroom has a shower only (all other room types have shower & bath). With a King Bed, these rooms overlook the pools and tropical gardens. Beach views are subject to availability.

The Verandah Rooms are, naturally enough, named because they open onto a wide verandah, and they capture the stylish elegance of tropical living. They are also studio-style (more spacious than the Brigadier rooms) and are designed for indoor/outdoor living. They feature a large covered verandah with wooden furniture and a kitchenette. They are available as Double (1 x King Bed) or Twin (2 x Single Beds or 2 x Double Beds). There is room for a rollaway bed at an additional cost. These rooms also overlook the pools and tropical gardens and ocean views are subject to availability.

The Verandah Spa is perfect for honeymooners or a romantic escape, these spacious rooms are similar to the Verandah Rooms, with the luxurious addition of a private double spa bath on the Verandah.

All Suites are spacious and airy with large balconies offering panoramic views of the beach or resort. The premier suite is The Reef Suite with views over beautiful Palm Cove beach and out to the Coral Sea. There are 2 separate bedrooms, each with an ensuite bathroom. There’s a central living area with kitchenette between the bedrooms, which opens onto a large beach-facing balcony.

Dining

The Reef House Restaurant is on a large covered wooden deck overlooking the palm lined esplanade and white sandy beach. This signature restaurant has unsurpassed ocean views and gentle sea breezes and Executive Chef, Ashe, delivers inspired and innovative cuisine. Focusing on local produce, the menu has an eclectic feel with Mediterranean, Asian and traditional influences blending to create a truly unique modern Australian cuisine. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Poolside Cafe is situated alongside a pool and cascading waterfall in a lovely sheltered area surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Open daily for lunch, it can also be used for private functions. The Brigadier’s Bar is fully stocked bar and operates on a unique honesty system. It’s in a relaxing, semi-outdoor area with comfy couches, wooden outdoor furniture, a collection of artefacts from the Brigadier’s travels, a baby grand piano and a comprehensive selection of newspapers, games and magazines.

Getting There

From Cairns it’s 20 minutes north by road. Hire car or limousine transfers can be arranged.

Contact us for more information and bookings Reef House Boutique Resort & Spa Palm Cove

Hayman Island Resort North Queensland

Hayman is the most northerly island in the Whitsunday Islands and it is a unique 5-star resort, renowned for its elegance, style, service and, of course, location. The award-winning resort is situated around a crescent shaped sandy bay and shady ponds and gentle waterfalls thread their way through the gardens and walkways.

There are extensive sporting options and the resort’s Marine Centre operates Reef cruises, fishing, scuba diving (PADI), helicopter and scenic flights. Within this relaxing sanctuary you can even find another level of pampering and revitalisation the The Retreat Spa.

Accommodation

There’s a range of superb accommodation with 244 beautifully appointed rooms, suites, penthouses and a villa, all with private terraces or balconies.

  • The Pool Wing, as the name suggests, overlooks the famous Hayman Pool and comprises Superior and Deluxe Rooms and Pool Suites.
  • The Palm Wing (Superior Rooms) is located in the centre of the resort and is handy to all facilities.
  • The Lagoon Wing (Superior, Deluxe, Suites and Penthouses) overlooks the lagoon, gardens and Lagoon Pool. The Penthouses look out over the Coral Sea to Hook Island.
  • The Beach Wing has Beach Front rooms and a private Beach Villa fronting Hayman Beach and Retreat Rooms set back from the beach in tropical gardens. The tranquil setting and boutique style accommodation here is perfect for couples.

Dining

There are outstanding international restaurants to indulge guests or your private balcony could be the setting for a private, candlelit dinner. The five restaurants and bars include La Trattoria, Azure, and The Oriental Restaurant. Guests can also dine in special outdoor island settings or in the Reef surrounds and there are host evenings with the Chef in the main kitchen.

Getting There

Qantas flies to Hamilton Island from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with connections from other capital cities. Jetstar also flies from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The launch transfer to Hayman takes an hour and the seaplane 15 minutes. Water taxis operate daily from Shute Harbour.

Contact us for more information and bookings Hayman Island Resort North Queensland

Hamilton Island North Queensland

Located in the heart of the Whitsunday group of islands, Hamilton is the only island with a variety of hotels and apartments to suit all tastes and budgets and, being a large resort has every activity and facility imaginable. It’s also the only island with an airport catering for direct commercial flights (at least 48 flights per week).

Just off the Queensland Coast and at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, over 70% of the island has been preserved in its natural state so there are many coral-fringed beaches, unspoilt nature trails and secluded hideaways. There are more than 40 activities on the island, in and on the water or in the air… and it’s also the perfect place to just do nothing at all.

For those looking to marry on the island, the simplest, private ceremonies can be arranged, but for couples inviting guests, Hamilton is ideal because of the range of accommodation and activities to choose from, especially guests with children. Couples can have the total privacy of the Beach Club and the guests can have a holiday!

Accommodation

While there are six styles of accommodation, couples looking for an exclusive retreat should choose the Beach Club on Catseye Beach or the more affordable, free-standing Palm Bungalows, which have garden privacy. The Beach Club is 5-star boutique beachfront hotel with a private ‘infinity’ pool and the club lounge for drinks and snacks. The Beach Club was designed for adults and does not cater for children.

Dining

There are, naturally, numerous dining choices on Hamilton offering take-away, casual or fine dining. Two of the best restaurants are the Beach House and the Outrigger & Mariners Seafood Restaurant. Couples may choose to dine under the stars or have a gourmet picnic hamper prepared for a picnic on a deserted beach.

Getting There

Virgin flies from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with connections from other capital cities. Jetstar also flies from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. By boat, there are 6 services a day from Shute Harbour (30 mins).

Contact us for more information and bookings Hamilton Island North Queensland

Pacific Resort Aitutaki

This is a fantastic resort! It’s very classy but also very casual and is a gem within a gem being located on half a mile of sandy beach on one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. The pool and Black Rock poolside/beachfront bar setting leads to the beach and the Rapae Bay restaurant is excellent.

With views over the lagoon, dinner is prepared from fresh local seafood and farm produce with a Pacific Rim influence of fresh ginger, garlic, chili and soy. Other dishes include Teriyaki Chicken, Kahlua Pork, chargrilled prime beef and racked spring lamb. Friday night is Island Night with a Polynesian feast and entertainment. The architecture is Polynesian, the furnishings colonial, the food superb and the service efficient, relaxed and friendly.

The spacious beachfront rooms have large, private verandahs that lead directly to the beach, thatched roofs, polished timber floors, marble bathrooms and super-king beds – and these are the lead-in rooms!

Room facilties include:

  • Daily housemaid
  • Evening turndown service
  • Air-conditioning
  • Overhead fans
  • IDD telephones
  • Internet access
  • Satellite TV/In-house movies
  • Clock/radio
  • Tea/coffee facilities
  • Refrigerator/mini-bar
  • Guest amenities
  • Hairdryers
  • Iron/ironing board
  • In room safes
  • Insect screens
  • Outdoor showers

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Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa

The Rarotongan was voted Talpacific’s Best Resort 2003 and it is a great resort. Set on beautiful Aroa Beach on the shores of Aroa Lagoon (the Lagoon of Love) it’s a large resort (156 rooms) that also offers intimacy and privacy for couples.

There are more activities here than you can poke an activities director at – from bushwalks to basket weaving, from volleyball to pool, from watersports to being pampered in Spa Polynesia and it is one of the few South Pacific resorts that is wheelchair accessible.

There are a variety of room types from garden to beachfront and there is now one special honeymoon suite. Surrounded by tall brush fencing for total privacy, it is spacious, tastefully furnished and has an outdoor shower and plunge pool with private access to the beach.

Room facilities at the Rarotongan include:

  • Remote-controlled air-conditioning
  • Private verandah with outdoor furniture
  • Filtered and UV purified water on tap
  • King beds in all rooms
  • Fan & insect screen
  • Bath / shower
  • Hairdryer
  • IDD phone with voicemail, automatic wake-up call services
  • Dataport for e-mail & internet access for those with their own laptop
  • Stocked mini-bar & fridge
  • Tea/coffee making facilities
  • Daily housemaid service, room service

Resort facilities and services include:

  • Poolside Cafe & Bar and Treetops Verandah Restaurant
  • Nightly theme dinners
  • Swimming pool with waterfall feature and sundecks
  • Activities hut with a comprehensive 7 day activities program
  • Equipment for snorkelling, kayaking, beach volleyball, tennis courts
  • Games lounge with big screen TV/video, pool table, table tennis, library
  • Kids Club

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