Only 25 minutes from Cairns International Airport lies the most beautiful tropical destination in North Queensland: Palm Cove.
The tropical ambience will lull you into a totally relaxed feeling that will take away any stresses from the outside world.
Soak it all in, breathe it all out. Palm Cove’s is a slice of heaven that really does have it all: sea breeze, an abundance of natural light, ideal weather and coconuts, of course.
As you pass the enclave of shops that is Palm Cove’s Williams Esplanade, you’ll notice around a dozen different hotels and apartment blocks fighting for your attention – but none of them quite compare to the plantation-style resort that is The Reef House Palm Cove.
The vanilla scented and white-washed colonial-style oasis has no more than 67 recently refurbished rooms and apartments and feels boutique the moment you are offered a welcome cocktail tray and a fresh towel on arrival. The hotel faces the dramatic location of the sandy shore of Palm Cove and feels more like a luxury beach house rather than a hotel.
The history of the Reef House is intriguing and embraced by the current Sofitel M Gallery team. Originally built in 1958 by a Cairns bookmaker and used as a home, it wasn’t until Brigadier David Thomson, (later Federal Minister for Science & Technology), bought it in 1972 to open as a guest house, and visitors were treated like personal guests.
The fresh and spacious rooms are much appreciated for a quick pause before changing into weather-appropriate (and out of Melbourne) attire. The rooms bear nautical touches with swing chairs on the balcony and views of either the garden or the beach.
Amenities are by Appelles Apothecary which are lovely and sweet and add that touch of ’boutique-style’ to The Reef House.
Opt for a seaside view room to witness spectacular FNQ sunrises and sunsets synonymous to the town of Palm Cove.
Where to eat
Set on a wooden open deck and the odd string of fairy lights you can enjoy the best of far north Queensland’s fresh produce on a plate at The Reef House’s beachfront restaurant.
With a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu carefully curated by the hotel’s Executive Chef Ben Canham, it’s easy to see why it’s a favourite spot among the Palm Cove locals. At dinner, tropical produce stars on the six-course degustation menu available, including dishes such as Crispy Skin locally caught Barramundi served with Coconut pilaf rice and a Cape Grim Rib Fillet (their signature dish).
Warning: thanks to its majestic location, you just might find yourself parked beneath the towering palm trees sipping back on a negroni with some nibbles as you revel in the beachside views. A lazy afternoon, indeed!
What to do
If you’re anything like us, absolutely nothing. We opted for a zen-like trip, spending time in the resort’s day spa or simply lying beside one of the three pools framed by tropical gardens and soaking up the sunshine and the complimentary afternoon ice-cream sorbet service.
However, for those looking for an outlet (away from the pool), the Brigadier’s special touches still remain today, with the property offering an extensive library, art kits for sketching, fishing rods and bicycles for those who want to do a little more than tanning. Every night at sunset, The Brigadier’s Bar offers a ‘punch of the day’ along with canapés, while by day said bar operates on an honesty basis.
With personal touches that make your stay truly unique and special, time seems to stand still at the charming Reef House Palm Cove.
Sit back, unwind and take in all of the beauty that Palm Cove and this boutique-style hotel has to offer. The toughest decision you’ll have to make here? Which cocktail you’ll be ordering next!
For more information and to book your stay at The Reef House Palm Cove, head to the website here