Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Port Douglas Escape

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Port Douglas Escape

Article excerpt

PREPARING to board a plane at a not-so-sunny Sydney airport, cityites in suits make final business calls, shrug off heavy coats and prepare for a weekend of pampering in paradise.

At Cairns, we are welcomed by a warm breeze and tropical sunset and, while the revelation that it's going to take almost another hour by car to reach our destination raises eyebrows, we quickly learn the transfer is a welcome part of the experience.

Our driver immediately saves us the cost of hiring a tour guide. He can point out all the landmarks, the history of each beachside village we pass and answer every question about what the region he has called home for most of his life has to offer.

As we "ooh" and "ahh" over the rolling waves crashing on the sand, we are told we are lucky to be visiting just before stinger season (late October to early March), when the tempting waters are often too dangerous for swimming.

It seems a little unfortunate that many an uneducated tourist could arrive in paradise only to be told nasties are lurking offshore, but we are assured the "biggest pool in the Southern Hemisphere" will make up for it.

The palm tree-adorned entrance of the Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort and Spa rivals Fiji and Bali's five-star offerings and a sapphire blue lagoon is the centrepiece.

Greeting us with a warm handshake and glass of champagne, general manager Kelvin Dott tells us the pool has recently been expanded so guests can literally swim around the entire resort.

After being introduced to the charming Jane and, with the promise that the team from the relaunched Vie Spa are going to spend the coming days pampering our overworked bodies back to good health, we are whisked away by buggy to a room where our luggage and ever-smiling butler Jamila are waiting for us.

On the other side of the door we are met by the largest spa bath either of us has ever seen, plantation shutters, crisp white linen, gift boxes filled with products from the spa's new Pevonia range and a candle-lit table set for two. …

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