SINCE OPENING A FEW MONTHS AGO, it's been described as funky, trendy, slim-line, sleek and phenomenal. It's also called simply "Pool." The resort creating all this buzz is Pool Port Douglas (www.pool-portdouglas.com.au), billed as "the epitome of tropical escapism," Australia-style, in far north Queensland.
Port Douglas itself is the site of two World Heritage areas: the Daintree Rainforest, with the largest range of plants and animals on earth, and the legendary Great Barrier Reef, a diver's paradise. Figure on an hour's drive from Cairns along a spectacular—"speccy," in local speak—Coral Sea coastal road. Once at the property, it's 10 minutes to palm-fringed, golden-sandy Four Mile Beach. Town is close by, with some of Australia's finest dining, as is a selection of great golf courses; the Sheraton Mirage course is right next door.
Step From Room to Pool
Watch your step once you've arrived, for the 578-foot-long centerpiece swimming pool is literally right outside your door. Chill out in one of 71 apartments, categorized as Sunset, Sunset Grande, Swim Up or Swim Up Grande (all with two bedrooms) or the three-bedroom Uber, with its own designer gourmet kitchen and separate internal plunge pool. Those in the know tell us that another four-bedroom private owner's suite is quietly available, designed independently from the others. For details, be sure to contact Kent Fordham, assistant general manager at [email protected]
Wireless Internet is all around; room service and in-room massage are available, and an expert barista steams up rich "flat whites," or espresso and milk, for discerning coffee drinkers in the reception area known as Pool Central. No onsite restaurant exists yet, as it would seem redundant in a town known for diverse culinary offerings.
Now about that swimming: Beaches are closed due to jellyfish during the height of the Aussie summer—December, January, February—but we liked the secure netted areas available for saltwater diehards. "Having a pool is the ultimate accessory in this part of the world," says Fordham. And you won't do better than Pool's pool, 4.3 feet deep at most. If you're not seriously doing laps, you'll likely be resting next to the water on a beanbag or form-fitting, contempo Tokyo Pop lounger.
Your honeymooning clients needn't fear splish-splashing, noisy children will interfere with their pool space. Families are booked at one end of the resort, and thus one end of the humongous pool, while couples relish a quiet escape at another end. "Everybody has the experience they want," promises Fordham.
The commission rate for U.S. agents is 20 percent. Rack rates range from $700 to $1,200 per night depending on room type, but rates are discounted to $295-$495 as an opening special until the end of March. The same rates are ongoing for agent fam visits. Call 011-61-7408-43400, e-mail [email protected]