Bring me a cocktail when I check into a hotel and you’ve got me hooked. Well, hopefully I’m a little more discerning than that, but it does mean we’re off to a good start when the check-in at Mantra Club Croc comes with a tropical cocktail decorated with a gorgeous purple orchid.
The newly refurbished Airlie Beach hotel is stylish and breezy, with the feel of a traditional Queenslander despite its modern construct. The large lagoon pool with waterfalls and surrounding lush gardens add to the tropical feel.
Mantra invested $5 million in the upgrade, which provided a facelift to all 160 guest rooms, the restaurant and bar, common areas and leisure facilities. It has brought the 30-year-old property right up to the minute in terms of coastal style, and cemented its place as one of Airlie Beach’s most significant resorts.
The hotel is a little bit away from the town’s busy main street and lively nightlife, so all the rooms are nice and quiet. My room (246) had ocean views; others look out onto the garden and/or pool. It’s a non-serviced resort, which typically means that if you stay a week, your room would be serviced once in the middle of your stay.
Rooms are tastefully decorated in soft blues and beiges, picking up the colours of the sand and the sea.
They are appointed with king or twin beds, air-conditioning, 50-inch LCD Smart TV with 20 Foxtel channels, safe, digital alarm clock with iPod dock, bar fridge, beach towels, and tea and coffee making facilities.
The resort has a gym, spa, 24-hour reception, free parking, and a conference centre (also upgraded) accommodating 20 to 200 delegates.
The poolside restaurant and bar is a great spot to relax in, with ceiling fans gently whirring and a relaxed tropical vibe. Dining options range from poolside snacks and gourmet pizza to full a la carte, including locally sourced seafood. The pizzas really are to die for.
Despite the odd cyclone hitting with devastating results, Queensland’s Whitsundays region is flourishing in the tourism stakes, boosted in part by regular affordable flights from southern ports.
Tigerair introduced direct services from Brisbane earlier this year, and it has ramped up the number of services from Sydney. This is one of the most beautiful regions in Australia, with some of the world’s finest beaches, and I don’t need a cocktail to convince me of that.
If you go:
Mantra Club Croc
240 Shute Harbour Road, Cannonvale
Airlie Beach QLD 4802
Property reception: +61 (0)7 4940 2300
Bookings within Australia: 13 15 17