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January 1, 2015
Ramada Couran Cove Island Resort Evaluation, Queensland
Sixteen years in the past, a former Olympic runner had a imaginative and Island prescient. And fortuitously an investor companion with very deep pockets. Collectively Ron Clarke and American billionaire philanthropist Chuck Feeney created an eco-resort on South Stradbroke Island just off the Gold Coast that was undeniably ahead of its time however alarmingly costly to maintain. In June 2011, after garnering greater than 50 national and international tourism awards whereas simultaneously haemorrhaging money, it went into receivership. Bought by property developer Craig Dowling two years ago, the resort re-opened last year underneath the Ramada model.
From the arrival jetty on the tranquil Broadwater inlet, the place some critical luxury boats are moored, the resort spreads across 151 hectares of seaside and bush. Marine suites in fairly pastels hover over a central lagoon, whereas bigger eco-homes are scattered through the coastal woodlands. A small bridged island within the lagoon boasts two family-pleasant swimming swimming pools however you too can select to walk or cycle alongside the bush paths to the dunes fringing a postcard stretch of beach you may nicely have all to your self.
– Queensland journey guide
Mild-filled one-bedroom Marine Suites are a decent size and all have balconies overlooking the lagoon. There are two plasma televisions, air-conditioning and a fundamental kitchenette with tea and espresso-making services and a fridge. A sofa bed within the living room can accommodate a third particular person. Two bedroom suites have wider balconies and stairs main all the way down to the lagoon “beach”, while 4-bedroom villas are constructed over two ranges and studio or two-bedroom eco-cabins mix into the bush.
Renovation of the resort is ongoing. The accommodation has stood the test of time and appears remarkably recent, while different parts of the resort are waiting their turn for some love. As befitting its eco-tourism status, pure and sustainable materials have been used in the buildings, that are designed to mix into the surroundings. The cabins use solar hot water and the resort has its personal water and sewage remedy plants.
The laidback feel of the resort would not trace at the high normal of meals on supply. There are three eating spots – a cafe, the poolside bar and the relatively unimaginatively named The Restaurant. Executive Chef Chris McIntyre, formerly of Vanitas at Palazzo Versace, heads the kitchen and does a sterling stone island heren jas job of steering it nicely away from standard pedestrian resort fare. Seafood is of course a high point, however the kitchen additionally cures its own meats and pickles vegetables and an antipasto platter of Saskia Beer chicken terrine, home-cured duck prosciutto and bresaola, charred bread and pickles is ideal at sunset, overlooking the water with a glass of riesling. At night time, the restaurant provides a surprisingly subtle degustation menu.
Worth STEPPING OUT FOR
The great thing about South Stradbroke Island is that there is nothing on the island however nature. There are not any roads and no cars apart from the resort’s 4WD, which you can e book for a guided seaside drive. Bicycles, both BYO or rented from the resort are the preferred solution to get round. Activities embrace complimentary kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, basketball courts and putt-putt golf, in addition to a kids’ video games room and a playground for the youthful ones. Paid actions embody a guided quad-bike experience by way of the bush, a joyride in a seaplane, or a pampering hot stone therapeutic massage or facial within the resort’s spa. Nature lovers will likely be excited by the frequent wildlife encounters; the large variety of birds, the wallabies who lounge underneath the shade of timber around the lagoon beach and even the odd harmless python sliding throughout your path.
Parts of Ramada Couran Cove nonetheless need some TLC, but it’s generally in good nick. The resort could be very family-pleasant but in a laidback relatively than manufactured way with good old style fun the order of the day. The secluded, low-key feel additionally appeals to couples. Accommodation, food, the eco focus and the unspoilt nature of the surroundings make Couran Cove very totally different kind of break from what’s on offer at most Gold Coast resorts.
How you can GET THERE
Passenger ferries depart from Hope Harbour on Hope Island. You can also take your personal boat and moor it on the jetty or hire a non-public water taxi. It takes about 45 minutes from Hope Island.
Ramada Couran Cove studios begin at $175 per evening, with four-bedroom homes for $495.
Boat tickets are not included in accommodation rates and advance bookings are important. Return fares are $30 for adults and $15 for children 4-12 years.