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at Marina Shores Review

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Fabulous coastal views from morning until the spectacular sunset, this is the Whitsundays. Escaping the winter chill, we’ve headed north to discover the best of the Whitsundays and indulge in some island hopping.

Airlie Beach is within reach for a memorable mini-break. Just 1hr 20mins flying time from Brisbane, I’m scolding myself for not visiting earlier. Airlie Beach is a great base for exploring the Whitsunday islands or simply relax in this cool, laid back town.

Marina Shores is a boutique apartment style hotel, part of the atHotel Group including alluxia approved accommodation Blue Horizons & Waterfront. The atHotel team greets us warmly and during our stay they prove to be enormously helpful with local tips and advice.

Our apartment is simply jaw dropping. Inside is revealed a wash of white, light & ocean views. The furnishings are in neutral tones to not detract from the view. It’s hard to believe we left overcast Brisbane just hours ago! A full gourmet kitchen is well stocked with every conceivable cooking utensil and a mini-bar including pods to purchase for the Nespresso machine, breakfast on-the-go pack and snacks, because let’s face it; you don’t want to leave this apartment. 

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The spacious apartment has a dining table for six and lounge area opening up to the wide expansive balcony. The two level Penthouse continues upstairs to an entertaining deck with kitchenette and wet bar, it’s an entertainers paradise.

There are two queen size bedrooms, one with ensuite and another with separate bathroom and powder room for guests and Peter Morrissey amenities. The rooms have discreet mod cons including iPod dock and air-con for summer, yet they are, in essence, light filled, airy and contemporary. If you’re indulging in a longer stay, there’s a laundry with washer & dryer in the apartment to ensure your travel wardrobe is ready for island hopping.

As the sun sets, the sky comes alive with vivid colours of pinks, orange, reds and silhouettes of the moored yachts provides a beautiful sense of arrival to Airlie Beach. Enjoying a glass of sparkling wine, thoughtfully provided by our hosts, sunset over the Coral Sea makes for a sophisticated island vibe all its own. For dinner we stroll to Abel Point Marina to new tapas bar, Barcelona. The alfresco space overlooks yachts in the marina & the menu is strong on seafood dishes just right for the waterside setting.

Waking early the next day, we’re welcomed to turquoise-infused Whitsunday light streaming into the apartment and a procession of cheeky cockatoos wanting to join us for breakfast on the balcony. There’s direct access from the hotel to the Bicentennial walkway, providing a great walk along the foreshore along to the Marina and beyond for a spectacular kick-start to the day.

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Coffee cravings calling, we make for the view-rich Fat Frog Beach Café. It’s a quirky, friendly sun-drenched spot serving the best Campos coffee in town. I order the breakie ranchero of housemade Spanish beans served with poached egg, chorizo, avocado and warmed tortilla which is rich & tasty.

You can do as much or as little as you like at Airlie Beach. Marina Shores has its own 30m pool surrounded by lush gardens, you can hire a little car from Reception and explore further afield or seek their advice on the plethora of tours & attractions on offer & embark on some island hopping.

Marina Shores creates a sophisticated base for exploring the islands of the Whitsundays. Whether you choose garden, Marina or ocean views, you’re bound to feel relaxed and revived in this island paradise.

The writer, Sally Scott was a guest of Marina Shores. Images: Sally Scott
 

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